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"
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"
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.
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.
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.
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?
On March 24, 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French Alps. All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed. In the ensuing days, a picture of the flight's harrowing final moments began to emerge. Shortly after reaching cruise altitude, a 27-year-old first officer named Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit, took control of the plane, and deliberately caused its descent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Misfit Jeremiah Rodgers, 21, and racist devil worshipper Jonathan Lawrence, 23, were serving time for petty crimes when they met in a Florida penal-system mental hospital. A friendship grew from their shared lust for sadistic brutality, and once released they teamed up to hunt human prey. In March 1998, in Pensacola, Florida, while quietly watching TV, Leighton Smitherman was shot in the back by assailants hiding outside his home.
"very interesting but also very sad"
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.
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"
In October, 1996, young, pretty, and petite women began vanishing off the streets of Poughkeepsie, New York. Most were prostitutes and some were addicts. By August, 1998, the toll had reached eight, when a prostitute told police she had barely escaped being strangled by Kendall Francois, 27, a 6'4", 300-lb. middle school hall monitor whose slovenly personal hygiene had earned him the nickname "Stinky". Inside his house, the smell was worse, as investigators discovered a tangle of rotting flesh and bones.
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.
Billy Wayne Sinclair was only 21 when he heard the Louisiana judge pronounce these words: "I hereby sentence you to death in the electric chair." It was the culmination of a botched holdup committed the year before in which Billy had accidentally shot and killed a man. Billy spent the next 40 years in Angola Prison - one of the country's worst - six of those years on death row. When in 1972 the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty as arbitrary and capricious, Billy was re-sentenced to life without parole.
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.
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"
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"
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.
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.
Frank W. Abagnale was one of the most daring conmen, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was 21. His story is now a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
"Captivating - his audacity is astounding"
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.
"Follows on from Netflix 'Narcos'"
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.
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"
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.
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.
Beth is a sweet-natured child who appears to have been well looked after. But it isn't long before Cathy begins to have concerns that the relationship between Beth and her father is not as it should be. Little Beth, aged 7, has been brought up by her father Derek after her mother left when she was a toddler. When Derek is suddenly admitted to hospital with psychiatric problems, Beth is taken into care and arrives at Cathy's.
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."
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"
In 1887, Elizabeth Berry found notoriety throughout the nation after the death of her daughter, perceived by many to be the cruellest of murders. There were many who protested her innocence in the affair, but there were also suspicions surrounding another death related to the nurse - that of her mother. Suddenly Elizabeth Berry's dark story began appearing darker still. For the first time we discover the true story behind this infamous case of the first woman to be hanged at Liverpool's Walton Prison.
"What a Wicked Woman"
In perhaps his most important literary feat, Norman Mailer fashions an unprecedented portrait of one of the great villains - and enigmas - in United States history. Here is Lee Harvey Oswald - his family background, troubled marriage, controversial journey to Russia, and return to an "America [waiting] for him like an angry relative whose eyes glare in the heat."
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 notorious Gotti family is the stuff of mob legend. The "Dapper Don", John Gotti Sr., and his son John A. "Junior" Gotti ran New York's powerful Gambino crime family and were well known for their flamboyant style and brutal ways, an image perpetuated in popular Mafia mythology. John Alite, a mob hit man, associate, and close friend of the Gottis, has a very different story to tell.
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.