Early in the morning of Monday, 8 July 1895, 13-year-old Robert Coombes and his 12-year-old brother, Nattie, set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord's. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next 10 days, Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents' valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside.
"Not what I expected from the title"
When Caylee Anthony was reported missing in Orlando, Florida, in July 2008, the public spent the next three years following the investigation and the eventual trial of her mother, Casey Anthony. On July 5, 2011, the case that captured headlines worldwide exploded when, against all odds, defense attorney Jose Baez delivered one of the biggest legal upsets in American history: a not-guilty verdict.
Richard Stratton was the unlikeliest of kingpins. A clean-cut Wellesley boy who entered outlaw culture on a trip to Mexico, he saw his search for a joint morph into a thrill-filled dope run smuggling two kilos across the border in his car door. He became a member of the Hippie Mafia, traveling the world to keep America high, living the underground life while embracing the hippie credo, rejecting hard drugs in favor of marijuana and hashish.
"Bit boring - hard to follow who is who"
Queen of Thieves is the gritty, fast-paced story of Fredericka "Marm" Mandelbaum, a poor Jewish woman who rose to the top of her profession in organized crime during the Gilded Age in New York City. During her more than twenty-five-year reign as the country's top receiver of stolen goods, she accumulated great wealth and power inconceivable for women engaged in business, legitimate or otherwise.
Spanning murder cases from the beginning of the 20th century to today, this is a must-hear for fans of true crime and will also be compelling to mystery and thriller listeners. The contributors include Harold Schechter, Katherine Ramsland, Carol Anne Davis, Burl Barer, and other leading writers in this genre. Each of the 17 contributors draws on his or her own strengths, backgrounds, interests, and research skills to describe, in a vivid narrative, not only the facts of each notorious case but also the terrible emotions and macabre circumstances surrounding the crimes.
Shirley Pitts, the eldest of six children, was born upside down on November 24, 1934. Her "career" began by thieving bread off doorsteps and coal from coal carts. Her father's bungled attempts at black marketeering and her dipsomaniac mother's inadequacies made Shirley resolve to be not only a first-class thief but also the best mother her six children could wish for.
In the early 1980s, Brian O'Dea was operating a $100 million a year, 120-man drug smuggling business, and had developed a terrifying cocaine addiction. Under increasing threat from the DEA in 1986 for importing seventy-five tons of marijuana into the United States, he quit the trade - and the drugs - and began working with recovering addicts in Santa Barbara. Despite his life change, the authorities caught up with him years later and O'Dea was arrested, tried, and sentenced to ten years at Terminal Island Federal Penitentiary in Los Angeles Harbor.
Many people are familiar with the story of Al Capone, the legendary Chicago gangster best known for orchestrating the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. But few are aware that Capone's remarkable story began in the Navy Yard section of Brooklyn, New York. Tutored by the likes of infamous mobsters Johnny Torrio and Frankie Yale, young Capone's disquieting demeanor, combined with the "technical advice" he learned from these shady teachers, contributed to the molding of a brutal criminal....
"The Book is alive"
Nine of the most controversial violent crimes in America's history are reexamined in these compelling stories of true crime. Dr. Samuel Mudd set John Wilkes Booth's broken ankle, but was he actually part of the larger conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln? Did Lizzie Borden brutally murder her own parents in Massachusetts? Was admitted jihadist Zacarias Moussaoui really involved in the terrorist plot to destroy the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001?
Meet Samuel Israel III. Born into one of the world's richest families, he rose to the top of Wall Street in the 1980s amid insider trading, drugs, and vice. Founder of the Bayou Hedge Fund Group, which collapsed in 2005, he became synonymous with one of the largest Ponzi frauds in Wall Street's history. But as his fund faced ruin, his story took an astonishing twist. Based on three years of interviews in prison with Israel, acclaimed Rolling Stone journalist Guy Lawson reveals how the conman was himself conned.
On 14 June 1856, after a scandalous and extremely high-profile trial, Dr William Palmer was hanged for the poisoning of his friend John Parsons Cook. The case was one of the most infamous of its time, and as the twelve-day trial unfolded, accusations of no less than fourteen murders came to light.
"Not what I was expecting"
Bonny Lee Bakley was shot to death in a car parked on a dark Hollywood side street. Eleven months later Robert Blake - her husband, the father of her child, and the star of the classic film In Cold Blood and the popular 1970s TV detective series Baretta - was arrested for murder, conspiracy, and solicitation. Did Blake kill his wife?
This is a work of narrative nonfiction based on the last days of the fugitive Raoul Moat, a Geordie bodybuilder and mechanic who became nationally notorious in Britain one hot summer's week when, after killing his ex-girlfriend's new lover, shooting her in the stomach, and blinding a policeman, he disappeared into the woods of Northumberland, evading discovery for seven days - even when TV tracker Ray Mears was employed by the police to find him.
Madoff with the Money is a deeply disturbing portrait of Bernie Madoff based on dozens of exclusive, news-making interviews. From the values Madoff was taught growing up in the working-class town of Laurelton, Queens, to his high-life on Wall Street and the super-rich enclaves of Palm Beach and the French Riviera, best-selling author Jerry Oppenheimer follows the disgraced money manager's trail as he works his way up the social and economic ladder, and eventually scams his clients in a $50-billion Ponzi scheme.
The definitive portrait of the powerful, corruption-ridden Teamsters union and its legendary president Jimmy Hoffa - organizer, gangster, convict, and conspirator - with a new afterword by the author.
January 2, 1972: Men in tuxedos rob the Pierre, a New York hotel. They get away with $11 million worth of cash and jewelry. The police are baffled by how large-scale a heist could go off so smoothly. The answer was in the leader of the thieves, a man by the name of Bobby Comfort. Comfort took to crime from a young age, card sharping, petty theft, and eventually robbery. Taking money from the rich, though, was where he excelled.
Eddie Trascher was a gentleman gangster, but he never wanted to be part of the mob. For 50 years, from the pre-Castro Havana casinos to Los Angeles, Trascher stole from mob-owned casinos, scammed gangsters, and was one of the top bookies in the country. He capped his career as a confidential informant for Florida law enforcement and was the source for getting inside the Trafficante Mafia family.
In June of I985, while her teenage sons held their half sister down, Theresa Cross beat her I9-year-old daughter, Sheila, unconscious and then stuffed her into a 2' x 2' storage locker. After three days, the knocking, kicking, and cries stopped. Theresa and her sons dumped the girl's body in the desolate High Sierras....
In 2008, Daniel Richard Wolfe was awaiting trial on two counts of first-degree murder at the Regina Correctional Centre. This wasn't his first time in jail; from his teenage years his life had been marked by stints in and out of prison - with Danny sometimes finding his own way out. This time around, he was orchestrating his boldest move yet: a carefully plotted escape that would send the RCMP on a nationwide manhunt, launching Danny Wolfe to headline-topping notoriety.
James Carr started fighting when he was very young, and never gave up. A child prodigy of crime in the streets of the L.A. ghettos and scourge of half a dozen boys' homes, his career in armed robbery was quickly cut short by arrest. In prison he fought harder than ever, and became one of the most notorious rebels in the seething California Penal System. Linking up with George Jackson in Folsom, they led the notorious Wolf Pack, which quickly fought its way to a position of strength in the prison race war.
In the boot were six homemade pipe bombs, all linked to detonate at the same time from a single call on a brand-new pay-as-you-go phone found on the target. Special Branch also found Chinese Type 56 assault rifles with eight full magazines of ammunition. His target was a local school. He planned to attack two coaches of teenagers returning home after a school trip to France. Approximately 60 children, their accompanying teachers and their waiting parents. He was going to kill them all.
"A fascinating insight into another world"
As an undercover police officer with the drugs squad, Neil Woods regularly risked his life on the streets, dealing with some of the most violent and unpredictable criminals in Britain. Good Cop, Bad War is a unique story about a man with a striking ability to infiltrate and extinguish drug gangs but who, as the success of his operations grows, becomes disillusioned with the war on drugs, as he sees how it demonizes those who need help whilst empowering the very worst elements in society.
"Not just a good story but a good point well made"
On December 6, 1995, three key members of the infamous Essex Boys gang were lured to a deserted farm track on the pretense of planning a robbery. As the trio sat in their Range Rover, two gunmen approached the open rear door of the vehicle. Moments later, the first shots rang out signaling the start of a swift, yet bloody massacre. When the weapons fell silent, the three men lay dead.
On July 19, 2001, Jeffrey Archer is sentenced to four years in prison for perjury. He serves the first three weeks of his sentence in a high-prison that houses some of Britain's most violent criminals. Archer contemplates suicide; he is allowed out and followed by 100 reporters on the day of his mother's funeral; he's moved to the Lifer's wing because of the security; and he becomes a trusted confidant for fellow convicts. A Prison Diary is Archer's account of these events.
Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was a devoted family man and a psychopathic killer; a terrible enemy, yet a wonderful friend. While donating millions to the poor, he bombed and tortured his enemies - some had their eyeballs removed with hot spoons. Through ruthless cunning and America's insatiable appetite for cocaine, he became a multi-billionaire, who lived in a $100-million house with its own zoo.
American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam.
With her career, live-in boyfriend and loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the rebellious young woman who got mixed up with drug runners and delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe over a decade ago. But when she least expects it, her reckless past catches up with her; convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at an infamous women's prison in Connecticut, Piper becomes inmate #11187-424.
Alfonso "Little Al" D'Arco, the former acting boss of the Luchese crime family, was the highest-ranking mobster to ever turn government witness when he flipped in 1991. His decision to flip prompted many others to make the same choice, including John Gotti's top aide, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, and his testimony sent more than fifty mobsters to prison. In Mob Boss, award-winning news reporters Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins team up for this unparalleled account of D'Arco's life.
"I wish there had been more."
The police in Jersey County, Illinois, accepted Paula Sims' story of a masked kidnapper who snatched her baby girl, Lorelei, from her bassinet. Three years later, her second newborn daughter suffered an identical fate - and this time the police were unable to stop searching until they had discovered the whole horrifying truth. This is the full terrifying story of twisted sexuality and hate seething below the surface of a seemingly normal family and of the massive investigation and nerve-shattering trial that made the unthinkable a reality.
Vincent "Chin" Gigante. He started out as a professional boxer - until he found his true calling as a ruthless contract killer. His doting mother's pet name for the boy evolved into his famous alias, "Chin", a nickname that struck fear throughout organized crime as he routinely ordered the murders of mobsters who violated the Mafia code. Vincent Gigante was hand-picked by Vito Genovese to run the Genovese Family when Vito was sent to prison. Chin raked in more than $100 million for the Genovese Family, all while evading federal investigators.
To his neighbors, Anthony Sowell was a friendly and helpful former Marine. But they didn't know about his dark side - or the gruesome secret inside his house. Sowell's secret life was revealed to the nation on October 29, 2009, when a Cleveland Police SWAT team entered his house to arrest him for an alleged rape. They didn't find Sowell, but they encountered a nightmarish scene: two decomposed bodies in his third-floor living room. Eight more bodies were hidden throughout the house and buried in the back yard.
Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar.
The last pill and testament from Britain's most famous and well-loved drug smuggler, Howard Marks. Howard Marks is the most famous drug smuggler of his age and a hero to a generation. On his release from one of America's toughest prisons, Howard made a promise to himself to go straight. No more drugs, no more smuggling, no more fake passports. He would retire to a quiet life with his family in the Balearic Islands of Spain. It didn't quite work out that way.
Narrated by the visionary founding member, Hell's Angel provides a fascinating all-access pass to the secret world of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Sonny Barger recounts the birth of the original Oakland Hell's Angels and the four turbulent decades that followed. Hell's Angel also chronicles the way the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and built what has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity, a beacon for freedom-seekers the world over.
Dr. Helen Morrison has profiled more than 80 serial killers around the world. What she has learned about them will shatter every assumption you've ever had about the most notorious killers known to man.
"Errors throw this book into doubt for me"
Within the audio of The Trail of Ted Bundy: Digging Up the Untold Stories, you'll hear the voices - many for the first time - of some of Ted Bundy's friends, as they bring to light the secrets of what is was like to know him while he was actively involved in murder. The stories of his victims are here as well, as told by their friends, including the information and anecdotes that didn't make it into the investigative files and are being published here for the first time.
"The great white shark of serial killers"
From his heyday to the present moment, Al Capone - Public Enemy Number One - has gripped popular imagination. Rising from humble Brooklyn roots, Capone went on to become the most infamous gangster in American history. At the height of Prohibition, his multimillion-dollar Chicago bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling operation dominated the organized-crime scene.
Darryl Sutorious was spellbound, convinced he'd found the perfect wife. But their honeymoon didn't last long. Beneath Dante Britteon's façade lurked a man-hater born as Della Faye Hall, whose four previous marriages had been spiked with butcher knives, pistols, vandalized houses, and a lover set on fire. By the time Darryl summoned the strength to demand out of the marriage, Della Faye was only too happy to oblige: with a bullet to the brain. Aphrodite Jones traces the intricate web of this fiendishly calculating sexual con artist.