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Nonfiction > True Crime

True Crime

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Melinda

Melinda UT Member Since 2009

So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

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7
  • "Gripping Investigative Look at Huma..."

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    It is no wonder that this crime haunted and intrigued Parry (Tokyo bureau chief for the London Times) for 10 yrs.; it's hard to wrap your head around such evil and remorseless crimes -- and a culture that treats both sexual deviance and prosecution of criminals so foreignly from Western societies. Kudos to Parry for keeping this tangled story so on track and objective. The author has layered the crime with insightful histories of the victim and the perp, the cultural morals, and the Japanese police and legal process, which is all fascinating. I was blown away by the behavior of the killer Obara while he was in custody, and by several other incidents that I won't go into lest I spoil some shocking twists.

    The crime itself is told mercifully free of many details -- you don't need them as the crime itself speaks volumes. The focus here is on the overall layered events, which are presented in a precise timeline. Parry himself becomes involved in the case, adding another fascinating dimension to a story that is on par with Capote's In Cold Blood (a comparison I can't credit for reaching myself; I read the obsservation in a review and found it dead on). Parry's investigative journalism is a different style from Capote's, but a reading worthy of comparisons. Aside from an horrific crime, I found the insider look into the culture and process illuminating.

    More

    People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo - and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Richard Lloyd Parry
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (337)

    Lucie Blackman - tall, blond, 21 years old - stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?

    La Becket says: "The best audiobook I have ever heard -- hands down"
  • "Defining Strength, Faith, and Inspi..."

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    Dubbed *one of the kidnapping crimes of the century,* the abduction of 14 yr. old Elizabeth Smart from her family home, dominated the news on June 5, 2002. When 9 months later we heard the amazing report that she had been found, we rejoiced...then we pondered the nightmare. Where had she been? What had she gone through? How did she survive? Would she be okay? With this book, and the assistance of Congressman/author Chris Stewart, Smart goes back over her ordeal, and in her own words answers those questions with brave candor and purpose. A story horrific enough that Stewart said he wondered how, after he listened to the details, he would be able to "make it so that people would read it and walk away with more faith, hope and belief in the goodness in life," as Smart intended. And that is exactly what we do walk away with...plus admiration for this incredible woman.

    Smart called her ordeal "nine months of hell," but never even hints at self-pity, or fishes for ours. We learn that she endured an almost daily menu of torture, including daily sexual abuse by the depraved Brian David Mitchell -- aka the self proclaimed prophet Emmanuelle. There are no new titillating facts revealed -- it is about the events as she experienced them. Smart and her family have courageously insisted on presenting the facts, but have consistently refused to discuss in the media details of the abuse. She continues to keep the story focused on the crime, free of salacious details, and true to the perspective of a 14 year old innocent and very scared girl. Hearing her narrate her own story makes this all the more poignant. It is heartbreaking to hear her voice tell of the near rescues as they crumbled...looking through her veil at a young boy and wondering how her first date would have gone. And then, with the voice of an indomitable spirit, she makes a brilliant case for Mitchell's and Barzee's competency, that ultimately destroyed their plot to be found legally mentally incompetent to stand trial for their crimes.

    Through all of this darkness, with the exception of sharing a few deservedly low moments, she amazingly keeps a tone of hope, and her light shining. Drawing on her Mormon upbringing, and faith that God had not abandoned her, Elizabeth refused to be beaten or broken, refused to be a victim. Her survival, her appreciation for each day of life, her love for her family, and her dedication to those suffering from similar experiences (the Elizabeth Smart Foundation) is remarkable, and one of the most inspiring stories I've read. Listening to this book changed the way I look at my own challenges. At the end, Lois Smart tenderly, but with force, gives her daughter the most beautiful and empowering advice -- words that only a mother could offer. Through all else, that is what finally brought me to tears.






    More

    My Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Smart, Chris Stewart
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Smart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (584)
    Performance
    (531)
    Story
    (537)

    On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.

    Erin says: "Uplifting?"
  1. People Who Eat Darkness: ...
  2. My Story
  3. .

A Peek at farmhouselady's Bookshelf

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22 REVIEWS / 22 ratings 12 Followers / Following 0
 
farmhouselady's greatest hits:
  • Written in Blood: A True Story of Murder and the Deadly 16-Year-Old Secret that Tore a Family Apart

    "Red meat for true-crime junkies"

    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    This book was really interesting. It was very hard to put down between listens. The story was infuriating - how some slick operators manage to get away with terrible acts - but told in the very detailed, thorough way I like. The fact that the perp was a NY Times bestselling author made it all the more fascinating.

    The book is well written, with no annoying defects that I could see. True-crime lovers will want to add this to their collection.

  • The Pastor's Wife: The True Story of a Minister and the Shocking Death that Divided a Family (St. Martin's True Crime Library)

    "Satisfies your curiosity about this murder."

    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    I had read available stories that were in the news about this when it happened and like a lot of people I suppose, I had the uncomfortable feeling there had to be more to it than what I was reading. I couldnt understand how she got off so easy.

    Actually, this question still bothers me slightly.

    The author did a very good job, by my standards, though. She presented what information she was able to gather in her research and, what is important to me, she did not try to FILL IN where there was no satisfactory documentation on why things happened as they did. It left me still wanting to know, but realizing that in real life, we usually have to accept that some questions will remain, for extreme events such as a murder.

    In any case, I WAS much more satisfied after listening to the book than before, that most of my questions were answered. Most of them were tracked right back to the wife who shot her husband - some might say she was half batty but not batty enough to be guilty of capital murder, others might say she was an example of battered wife syndrome or PTSD. To me it looked like some of both. But this woman was not easy to figure out, not by a long shot. I do not think she was just coy, or pulled a fast one, I think she was damaged goods due to one cause or the other.

    Quite a fascinating study, however. For you true-crime lovers, go ahead, you will like it.

  • Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony

    "The ultimate in true-crime stories"

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    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is essential for all the true-crime junkies out there.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Imperfect Justice?

    The whole sordid tale is packed with memorable moments.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All of the courtroom scenes are what I am after in true-crime books. This one is absolutely exceptional in that regard, being authored (and narrated) by the actual prosecutor. If you dislike getting through actual court transcripts or being subjected to recreations of actual trials, with all the extraneous stuff that goes on, interruptions, objections, etc., then this book might well be too hard to get through. For me, though, that is what I relish the most.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but unfortunately I have a real life to tend to...


    Any additional comments?

    This book is RED MEAT for the true-crime junkie, don't miss it. Even though everyone knows the outcome while still on the first page, this book holds your interest and never lets up till the very last word.

  • Through the Window: The Terrifying True Story of Cross-Country Killer Tommy Lynn Sells

    "i am slogging through it..."

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    Would you try another book from Diane Fanning and/or Thomas M. Hatting?

    i have had others by fanning, they were not this bad! definitely not up to ann rule standards, however. as for the narrator, i never want to be subjected to him again. he reads in this artificially soft, slow kind of voice that seems like he is reading to a kindergarten class. it just doesnt mesh with the subject matter. or anything else i can think of. possibly children's books.as for the author, i think this book is pretty fatally badly written. such statements as "and then he murdered her. she did not report in for work on monday." give me a break. there are countless such inartful, asinine statements, as if the author was just too lazy or unimaginative to say something in a better way. i am deathly tired of this horrible style of writing but trying to finish the book.... i was very surprised at this lack of quality in the writing having had several other fanning books. i am a true-crime fan. one or more of her books was actually good. not quite up to ann rule, but getting there. but overall, so far there has been a wide variety in the quality of her work. maybe this current one was an early effort in her career.but it definitely sounds like the work of a beginner or an amateur. because i like to learn the detail and background of true crime stories, and i do enjoy courtroom descriptions, i am trying to stay with it to the end. but it's not really easy nor that enjoyable. it is a total mystery to me, however, that such a narrator was chosen. this only made bad writing almost unbearable to listen to. i cannot imagine a situation where this reader was chosen over almost anyone else. again, maybe it was his first attempt. just awful. painful to endure.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    not to the end yet. trying to get there!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    the narrator practically destroyed a book that was very poorly written to begin with. i cannot listen to this narrator ever again.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    the only redeeming quality for me is that there is a fair amount of the factual detail included, such things as psych reports, police reports, some family background. but i resented that the author included in such background "facts" that she could not have known about a victim whose only appearance in the book is as a dead person. the author could not have known what the person thought or felt, not in the way she presents it. true, SOME assumptions can be made. but definitely not in the way, and to the degree, that she writes it. how someone twirled their sundress on a summer day, or was so eager to see someone and had missed someone so much, this type of thing, where these statements are not quotes from others who were there, they are just made up by the author. to me, that is injecting FICTION into the facts, which is what i DO NOT WANT. if i want a novel, i wouldnt be buying NON-FICTION. i resent this kind of liberty taken. there was way too much of this little sin. and it is only one of the, what i consider, little writing sins in this book.however, in answer to the question, if you grit your teeth and bear some bad stuff, you can glean the facts and circumstances, and general flow of various crimes the perp committed and how they were done, and why, if there is any answer to that last one. audible has so relatively few true crime books available, i feel i have to get as many as i can.


Amy

Amy Granite Falls, NC, USA 01-28-13 Member Since 2006

Say something about yourself!

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  • "Impressively Researched and Thrilli..."

    3 of 3 helpful votes

    A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics.

    At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years—until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist. The two men—intelligent and bold—typified the Belle Époque, a period of immense scientific achievement and fascination with science’s promise to reveal the secrets of the human condition.

    With high drama and stunning detail, Douglas Starr revisits Vacher’s infamous crime wave, interweaving the story of how Lacassagne and his colleagues were developing forensic science as we know it. We see one of the earliest uses of criminal profiling, as Fourquet painstakingly collects eyewitness accounts and constructs a map of Vacher’s crimes. We follow the tense and exciting events leading to the murderer’s arrest. And we witness the twists and turns of the trial, celebrated in its day. In an attempt to disprove Vacher’s defense by reason of insanity, Fourquet recruits Lacassagne, who in the previous decades had revolutionized criminal science by refining the use of blood-spatter evidence, systematizing the autopsy, and doing groundbreaking research in psychology. Lacassagne’s efforts lead to a gripping courtroom denouement.

    The Killer of Little Shepherds is an important contribution to the history of criminal justice, impressively researched and thrillingly told.

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    The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Douglas Starr
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
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    (144)
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    (141)

    A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics. At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years - until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist.

    Praetor says: "Masterly introduction to modern forensic science"

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    On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.

    Erin says: "Uplifting?"
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    Story
    (859)

    Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

    Book reader says: "Truth and heartache"
  • Murder Myself, Murder I Am (






UNABRIDGED) by Jon Keehner Narrated by Charles Ahl

    Murder Myself, Murder I Am

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jon Keehner
    • Narrated By Charles Ahl
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In the early morning hours of May 2, 1990, my stepfather, Rich Duncan, checked out of the Motel 6 in Moses Lake, Washington, and traveled over the North Cascades Highway en route to his home in Duvall, Washington. He was supposed to be home by four o'clock that afternoon. Two days later, police discovered his abandoned car in the small town of Darrington, Washington. As my mother desperately struggled to get law enforcement to help find her husband, his killer set out to cover up his crime and evade detection.

  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (






UNABRIDGED) by Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry Narrated by Scott Brick

    Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1464)
    Performance
    (1279)
    Story
    (1281)

    Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.

    Larry says: "What a great book."
  • The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Graeber Narrated by Will Collyer

    The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Charles Graeber
    • Narrated By Will Collyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (356)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (315)

    After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.

    FanB14 says: "More Chilling than Murder?"
  • Dr. H.H. Holmes and The Whitechapel Ripper (






UNABRIDGED) by Dane Ladwig Narrated by Alex Hyde-White, Punch Audio

    Dr. H.H. Holmes and The Whitechapel Ripper

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Dane Ladwig
    • Narrated By Alex Hyde-White, Punch Audio
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Serial killer doctor Henry Howard "H.H." Holmes was the most viable suspect for the 1888 Whitechapel London murders attributed to the enigma we have come to know as "Jack the Ripper". The research in this nonfiction true crime investigative journal of documents and case file historic accounts reveals startling information that leads the listener to perhaps the most hidden secrets behind the crimes.

  • Deadly Divorces: Ten True Stories of Marriages That Ended in Murder (






UNABRIDGED) by Tammy Cohen Narrated by Jamie Laird

    Deadly Divorces: Ten True Stories of Marriages That Ended in Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Tammy Cohen
    • Narrated By Jamie Laird
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    You fall in love, you get married, and you build a lifetime's worth of dreams around each other. Then suddenly, it's gone - the past tainted, the present a living nightmare, the future wiped out. Divorce is the blade that cuts the still-beating heart out of a marriage. What's left is a gaping wound that festers and can all too quickly become infected. Where once was love, now comes hate, where once was purity, now comes corruption. Dreams of happy ever after are replaced by visions of revenge.

    Laura says: "Can't live with or -- well, just push DELETE"
  • My Life with Bonnie and Clyde (






UNABRIDGED) by Blanche Caldwell Barrow Narrated by Valerie Gilbert

    My Life with Bonnie and Clyde

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Blanche Caldwell Barrow
    • Narrated By Valerie Gilbert
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Bonnie and Clyde were responsible for multiple murders and countless robberies. But they did not act alone. In 1933, during their infamous run from the law, Bonnie and Clyde were joined by Clyde's brother Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche. Of these four accomplices, only one, Blanche Caldwell Barrow, lived beyond early adulthood and only Blanche left behind a written account of their escapades. Edited by outlaw expert John Neal Phillips, Blanche's previously unknown memoir is here available for the first time.

  • They Almost Got Away with It: How DNA & Forensic Science Caught 7 Notorious Killers (






UNABRIDGED) by John Summit Narrated by Ginger Cucolo

    They Almost Got Away with It: How DNA & Forensic Science Caught 7 Notorious Killers

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Summit
    • Narrated By Ginger Cucolo
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    You will be shocked and astonished as Mr. Summit takes you through some of the groundbreaking cases where DNA was able to assist law officials in capturing some of America's most prevalent and violent murderers. Some of the cases profiled are infamous, others you may never have heard of, but the criminals in this audiobook share one commonality - they were on the loose until those microscopic molecules known as DNA nabbed them for good.

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  • Alexanderplatz, Berlin (






UNABRIDGED) by Georg Diez, Steve Anderson (translator) Narrated by Christopher Lane

    Alexanderplatz, Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 49 mins)
    • By Georg Diez, Steve Anderson (translator)
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Alexanderplatz has long survived as the symbol of a city burdened by its ruinous past. In 2012, twenty-year-old Jonny K. was beaten to death on this infamous Berlin square - and Germany's first multicultural murder brought another shock to a country that’s seen its share. Before the trial, the question of guilt already had an ideological slant: Was Alexanderplatz itself to blame? Was the socialist architecture? The brutality of capitalism?

  • Where Is Daniel? (






UNABRIDGED) by Denise Morcombe, Bruce Morcombe Narrated by David Tredinnick

    Where Is Daniel?

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Denise Morcombe, Bruce Morcombe
    • Narrated By David Tredinnick
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    On 7 December 2003 Daniel Morcombe disappeared on the Sunshine Coast, while waiting for a bus. For Bruce and Denise Morcombe – the parents of Daniel – and his brothers, Bradley and Dean, it was apparent within hours that something was very wrong. In the first few days following Daniel's disappearance, Bruce and Denise made a promise to their son that they would never ever stop looking for him, and bring who was responsible to justice. 'We will never give up.'

    A.R. says: "A moving story of disappearence and murder"
  • True Stories from the Files of the FBI (






UNABRIDGED) by W. Cleon Skousen Narrated by Corey M. Snow

    True Stories from the Files of the FBI

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By W. Cleon Skousen
    • Narrated By Corey M. Snow
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Be the FBI Agent in training under J. Edgar Hoover and run the gauntlet of Machinegun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson, and the Barker Karpis Gang. Step back into downtown Chicago of the 1930s and retrace the steps of some of America's most notorious mobsters. True Stories from the Files of the FBI was written by W. Cleon Skousen under the direct supervision of Mr. Hoover himself. These first-hand accounts of actual "do or die" situations were used for decades to train thousands of FBI agents.

    Robert says: "This is a really good book"