The definitive account of the O. J. Simpson trial, The Run of His Life is a prodigious feat of reporting that could have been written only by the foremost legal journalist of our time. First published less than a year after the infamous verdict, Jeffrey Toobin’s nonfiction masterpiece tells the whole story, from the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman to the ruthless gamesmanship behind the scenes of “the trial of the century.” Rich in character, as propulsive as a legal thriller, this enduring narrative continues to shock and fascinate with its candid depiction of the human drama that upended American life.
Praise for The Run of His Life
“This is the book to read.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“This book stands out as a gripping and colorful account of the crime and trial that captured the world’s attention.”—Boston Sunday Globe
“A real page-turner . . . strips away the months of circuslike televised proceedings and the sordid tell-all books and lays out a simple, but devastating, synopsis of the case.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A well-written, profoundly rational analysis of the trial and, more specifically, the lawyers who conducted it.”—USA Today
“Engrossing . . . Toobin’s insight into the motives and mind-set of key players sets this Simpson book apart from the pack.”—People (one of the top ten books of the year)
From the Hardcover edition.
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
A DEVOTED BACHELOR
Travis Alexander was a handsome, hard-working, practicing Mormon who lived in Mesa, Arizona. His good looks and easygoing manner made him popular with everyone, especially the ladies. So when he was found with a bullet wound in the face and his throat slashed, the brutal murder sent shock waves throughout his community. Who could have done something so sinister?
A DEADLY OBSESSION
But soon a suspect was singled out—Jodi Arias. A beautiful, aspiring photographer, Jodi had been in a long-distance relationship with Travis the year before. But Travis wasn't interested in a serious commitment; he was seeing several women during that time. When he broke up with her, that didn't stop Jodi from leaving California, moving to just a few miles away from Travis's home, and inserting herself into his daily life. Investigators found one piece of startling evidence in Travis's home that implicated Jodi. But in a bizarre turn of events, Jodi would claim self-defense. Was she a victim—or a devious femme fatale?
With 8 pages of chilling photos
The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly world.
David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator; Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl.
Originally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition—which includes a new introduction, an afterword, and photographs—revives this classic, riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience.
Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.
This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties.
His family never suspected a thing.
Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.
One week after fifteen-year-old Nick Markowitz vanished, his mother received the news: Nick's body had been found in a shallow grave. Now she tells her own gripping story-the unbelievable motive for the murder, the shocking identity of the accused, and her own nine-year battle to bring her son's killers to justice.
The film story of young Sanford Clark and his forced participation in the Wineville Murders was covered in Clint Eastwood's movie, THE CHANGELING, but for answers to the questions Eastwood posed after completing the project, turn to the true story of the Wineville murders: Anthony Flacco's THE ROAD OUT OF HELL. The hell part isn't what makes the story important; it's the road out that does.
From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco—using never-before-heard information from Sanford’s son, Jerry Clark—tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation.
Forced by Northcott to take part in the murders, Sanford carried tremendous guilt all his life. Yet despite his youth and the trauma, he helped gain some justice for the dead and their families by testifying at Northcott’s trial—which led to his conviction and execution. It was a shocking story, but perhaps the most shocking part of all is the extraordinarily ordinary life Clark went on to live as a decorated WWII vet, a devoted husband of 55 years, a loving father, and a productive citizen.
In dramatizing one of the darkest cases in American crime, Flacco constructs a riveting psychological drama about how Sanford was able to detoxify himself from the evil he’d encountered, offering the ultimately redemptive story of one man’s remarkable ability to survive a nightmare and emerge intact.
The West Memphis Three. Accused, convicted…and set free. Do you know their story?
In 2011, one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American legal history was set right when Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley were released after eighteen years in prison. Award-winning journalist Mara Leveritt’s The Devil’s Knot remains the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on the investigation, trials, and convictions of three teenage boys who became known as the West Memphis Three.
For weeks in 1993, after the murders of three eight-year-old boys, police in West Memphis, Arkansas seemed stymied. Then suddenly, detectives charged three teenagers—alleged members of a satanic cult—with the killings. Despite the witch-hunt atmosphere of the trials, and a case which included stunning investigative blunders, a confession riddled with errors, and an absence of physical evidence linking any of the accused to the crime, the teenagers were convicted. Jurors sentenced Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to life in prison and Damien Echols, the accused ringleader, to death. The guilty verdicts were popular in their home state—even upheld on appeal—and all three remained in prison until their unprecedented release in August 2011.
With close-up views of its key participants, this award-winning account unravels the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case, one which will shape the American legal landscape for years to come.
But something about her story was fishy, and detectives began to suspect Diane was lying. Was it possible that she was the shooter? Absolutely not, her supporters insisted. Diane, they said, adored her children. When investigators suggested a motive, Diane was indignant. Not only would she never harm her own children, she certainly would never do it for the reason detectives suggested. Was the attractive blonde the wonderful mother she claimed to be? Or was she a woman so obsessed, she would kill her own young to achieve her goal?
Ann Rule's critically acclaimed SMALL SACRIFICES, was an instant bestseller, and later Farrah Fawcett was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Downs in the TV miniseries based on Rule's book.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?
These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.
Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.
All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.
— Washington Post, Best Memoirs of 2016
And don't miss Kathryn Casey's latest book, Deliver Us, a riveting account of the brutal murders of young women in the I-45/Texas Killing Fields.
Killing Her Wasn't Enough. . .
Sixteen-year-old Adrianne Reynolds couldn't unravel the twisted tangles of jealousy and domination complicating her new life in East Moline, Illinois. What began as a fresh start after a troubled home life in Texas ended with Adrianne's body charred, stuffed into garbage bags, and scattered. It seemed the work of hardened criminals, but the truth was far more astonishing: her own "best friends" choked Adrianne to death and cut her up. Now, master crime writer M. William Phelps recounts this horrific saga of teen lust and violence in every gripping detail.
Praise for M. William Phelps
"One of our most engaging crime journalists." -Katherine Ramsland
"Phelps creates a vivid portrait." -Publishers Weekly
"One of America's finest true-crime writers." -Vincent Bugliosi
Includes 16 Pages Of Shocking Photos
Hollywood’s make-believe maniacs like Jason, Freddy, and Hannibal Lecter can’t hold a candle to real life monsters like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and scores of others who have terrorized, tortured, and terminated their way across civilization throughout the ages. Now, from the much-acclaimed author of Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved, comes the ultimate resource on the serial killer phenomenon.
Rigorously researched and packed with the most terrifying, up-to-date information, this innovative and highly compelling compendium covers every aspect of multiple murderers–from psychology to cinema, fetishism to fan clubs, “trophies” to trading cards. Discover:
WHO THEY ARE: Those featured include Ed Gein, the homicidal mama’s boy who inspired fiction’s most famous Psycho, Norman Bates; Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, sex-crazed killer cousins better known as the Hillside Stranglers; and the Beanes, a fifteenth-century cave-dwelling clan with an insatiable appetite for human flesh
HOW THEY KILL: They shoot, stab, and strangle. Butcher, bludgeon, and burn. Drown, dismember, and devour . . . and other methods of massacre too many and monstrous to mention here.
WHY THEY DO IT: For pleasure and for profit. For celebrity and for “companionship.” For the devil and for dinner. For the thrill of it, for the hell of it, and because “such men are monsters, who live . . .
beyond the frontiers of madness.”
PLUS: in-depth case studies, classic killers’ nicknames, definitions of every kind of deviance and derangement, and much, much more.
For more than one hundred profiles of lethal loners and killer couples, Bluebeards and black widows, cannibals and copycats– this is an indispensable, spine-tingling, eye-popping investigation into the dark hearts and mad minds of that twisted breed of human whose crimes are the most frightening . . . and fascinating.
Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer -- the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew -- Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.
Through two trials, America watched with baited breath as Juan Martinez fought relentlessly to convict Jodi Arias of Murder One for viciously stabbing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander to death. What emerged was a story wrought with sex, manipulation, and deceit that stunned the public at every turn. Arias, always playing the wronged and innocent woman, changed her story continually as her bizarre behavior surrounding the crime and its aftermath came to light. Unwavering, Arias and her defense team continued to play off the salacious details of the case, until she was finally found guilty and—controversially—sentenced to life behind bars.
Now, speaking openly for the first time, prosecutor Juan Martinez will unearth new details from the investigation that were never revealed at trial, exploring key facts from the case and the pieces of evidence he chose to keep close to the vest. Throughout the trials, his bullish and unfaltering prosecution strategy was both commended and criticized, and in his book, Martinez will illuminate the unique tactics he utilized in this case and how they lead to a successful conviction, and-for the first time-discuss how he felt losing the death penalty sentence he’d pursued for years.
Going beyond the news reports, Martinez will explore the truth behind the multiple facades of Jodi Arias. Sparring with her from across the stand, Martinez came to know Arias like no one else could, dissecting what it took for a seemingly normal girl to become a deluded, cunning, and unrepentant murderer.
With new stories from behind the scenes of the trial and Martinez’s own take on his defendant, the book takes you inside the mind of Jodi Arias like never before. Complete with 16 pages of photos from the case and trial, this book is the definitive account of the case that shocked America.
Walking home on a dark night, you hear footsteps coming up behind you. As they get closer, your heart pounds harder. Who is closing in with dangerous intent—a total stranger? Or someone you know and trust? The answer is as simple as turning around, but don’t look behind you . . . run. Ann Rule, who shared her own nerve-jangling account of unknowingly befriending sadistic sociopath Ted Bundy in The Stranger Beside Me, chronicles other fateful encounters with the hidden predators among us in this riveting collection, fifteenth in the bestselling series drawn from her personal files. First in line is a stunning case that spanned thirty years and took a determined detective to four states—ending, finally, in Alaska—where he unraveled not one but two murders. A second case appears to begin and end with the hunt for the Green River Killer, focusing on a Washington State man who was once cleared as a suspect in that deadly chain of homicides. But the millionaire property owner believed he had successfully buried his own murderous past and the awful truth behind his young wife’s disappearance. She vanished soon after she left for a day at the Seattle World’s Fair, and her three small children grew up believing their mother had abandoned them. But one amazing witness remained—the missing woman’s best friend, who heard her last words in a frantic phone call—“He’s coming!”—before the line went dead. Only since Robert Hansen’s suicide has the monster within been revealed. In another true story, a petite woman went to a tavern, looking only for conversation and fun. Instead, she met violent death in the form of a seven-foot man who had seemed shy and harmless. You’ll feel a chill as you uncover these and numerous other cases of unfortunate victims who made one tragic mistake: trusting the wrong person—even someone they’d known intimately, or thought they knew.
When news broke of three-year-old Caylee Anthony's disappearance from her home in Florida in July 2008, there was a huge outpouring of sympathy across the nation. The search for Caylee made front-page headlines. But there was one huge question mark hanging over the case: the girl's mother.
As the investigation continued and suspicions mounted, Casey became the prime suspect. In October, based on new evidence against Casey—her erratic behavior and lies, her car that showed signs of human decomposition—a grand jury indicted the young single mother. Then, two months later, police found Caylee's remains a quarter of a mile away from the Anthony home. Casey pled not guilty to charges of murder in the first degree, and she continues to protest her innocence. Did she or didn't she kill Caylee? Mommy's Little Girl is the story of one of the most shocking, confusing, and horrific crimes in modern American history.
In July 2011, billionaire Jonah Shacknai’s Coronado, California, mansion was the setting for two horrifying deaths only days apart—his young son’s plunge from a balcony and his girlfriend’s ghastly hanging. What really happened? Baffling questions remain unanswered, as these cases were closed far too soon for hundreds of people; Rule looks at them now through the eyes of a relentless crime reporter. The second probe began in Utah when Susan Powell vanished in a 2009 blizzard. Her controlling husband, Josh, proved capable of a blind rage that was heartbreakingly fatal to his innocent small sons almost three years later in a tragedy that shocked America as the details unfolded. If anyone had detected the depth of depravity within Josh Powell, perhaps the family that loved and trusted him would have been saved. In these and seven other riveting cases, Ann Rule exposes the twisted truth behind the façades of Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors.
These doomed relationships are the focus of queen of true crime Ann Rule’s sixteenth all-new Crime Files collection. In these shattering inside views of both headlined and little-known homicides, Rule speaks for vulnerable victims who relied on the wrong people. She begins with two startling novella-length investigations.
Jeanne Dominico's fiancé found her body on her kitchen floor. More than forty stab wounds and blows to her head with a blunt instrument had cut her life short. What monster had struck in the heart of a peaceful New England town?
A Trust Betrayed
Jeanne was a hard-working single mother. Nicole, her fourteen-year-old daughter was on the honor-roll and head over heels in love--with an eighteen-year-old man she'd known only through the Internet. Once the lovers met in person, Jeanne's motherly instincts sensed trouble. If only she'd known that the life in danger was her own.
In The Name Of Love
With a history of psychological trouble and family misfortune, Billy Sullivan's obsessive and controlling power over Nicole contributed to the brutal slaying of her mother. But it was Nicole's stunning confession and guilty plea that led to Billy's sensational trial, where a sordid tale of love, loss, betrayal and murder finally took a cold-blooded killer offline--and on line for justice.
"Phelps is a first-rate investigator." --Dr. Michael M. Baden
Includes 16 Pages Of Shocking Photos
Investigative journalist M. William Phelps is the author of Murder in the Heartland, Perfect Poison, Every Move You Make, Lethal Guardian, and Sleep in Heavenly Peace. He has appeared on dozens of national radio and television programs, including Court TV, The Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, Geraldo at Large and Montel Williams, and has consulted for the Showtime cable television series Dexter. He lives in a small Connecticut farming community with his wife and children.
MOVING IN FOR THE KILL
In this all-new collection of investigative accounts from her private archives, “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews) exposes the most frightening aspect of the murderous mind: the waiting game. Trusted family members or strangers, these cold-blooded killers select their unsuspecting prey, wait for the perfect moment to strike, then turn normality into homicidal mayhem in a matter of moments. Ann Rule will have you seeing the people and places around you with heightened caution as you read these shattering cases, including:
• New mothers murdered, their infants kidnapped, in an atrocious baby-selling scheme
• The man who kept his criminal past hidden from his wife—and his wife from his mistress—until he coldly disposed of one of them
• The beautiful daughter of a State Department official ran away from the privileged world she knew and hitched a ride with a man she didn’t . . . with fatal consequences
• For months, a vicious, rage-filled serial rapist eluded police and terrorized Seattle’s women—when would he strike next, and how far would his violence escalate?
• A criminal known for his Houdini-like escapes is serving time for murder in a botched robbery—now the convict is being served dinner in a civilian’s home, where he has one more trick up his sleeve
• A long-lost relative who came home to visit, leaving a bloody trail through Washington and Oregon; no one realized how dangerous he and his ladylove were—until it was far too late. . . .
With her ability to translate the most complex cases into storytelling “as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at night” (The New York Times), Rule expertly analyzes the thoughts and deeds of the
sociopath, in this seventeenth essential Crime Files volume.
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Economist • The Globe and Mail • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews
On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.
But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.
Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.
Praise for Ghettoside
“A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.”—Los Angeles Times
“Moving and engrossing.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.”—USA Today
“Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.”—The Boston Globe
“Gritty, heart-wrenching . . . Everyone needs to read this book.”—Michael Connelly
“Ghettoside is remarkable: a deep anatomy of lawlessness.”—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
“[Leovy writes] with grace and artistry, and controlled—but bone-deep—outrage in her new book. . . . The most important book about urban violence in a generation.”—The Washington Post
“Riveting . . . This timely book could not be more important.”—Associated Press
“Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights—and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter.’ ”—The New York Times Book Review
“A compelling analysis of the factors behind the epidemic of black-on-black homicide . . . an important book, which deserves a wide audience.”—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian
From the Hardcover edition.
The Washington Post • New York Daily News • Slate
“Fast-paced, fair-minded, and fascinating, Tim Weiner’s Enemies turns the long history of the FBI into a story that is as compelling, and important, as today’s headlines.”—Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Oath
Enemies is the first definitive history of the FBI’s secret intelligence operations, from an author whose work on the Pentagon and the CIA won him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
We think of the FBI as America’s police force. But secret intelligence is the Bureau’s first and foremost mission. Enemies is the story of how presidents have used the FBI to conduct political warfare, and how the Bureau became the most powerful intelligence service the United States possesses.
Here is the hidden history of America’s hundred-year war on terror. The FBI has fought against terrorists, spies, anyone it deemed subversive—and sometimes American presidents. The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between national security and civil liberties. It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republic.
Praise for Enemies
“Outstanding.”—The New York Times
“Absorbing . . . a sweeping narrative that is all the more entertaining because it is so redolent with screw-ups and scandals.”—Los Angeles Times
Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo might look like the ideal couple, but they were a nation's most despicable killers. Karla began their depraved sex and murder spree by stealing drugs to knock out her little sister. While Paul raped and sodomized the unconscious girl, Karla dutifully caught it all on videotape.
Unbelievably, the worst was yet to come. In a brazen daylight kidnapping, Karla lured schoolgirl Kristen French to their car and helped Paul force the struggling, screaming teenager inside. Then, just as she had with fourteen-year-old Leslie Mahaffy, Karla videotaped Paul's repeated beatings and rape of his sex slave, violated the terrified girl herself, then simply watched as Paul choked the life out of his victim.
The entire nation was horrified by these crimes in what became the costliest and, by far, most controversial manhunt and most sensational trial in Canada's history. Now the full shocking story--considered too grisly for newspaper and television coverage at the time--can finally be told. . . .
From the Paperback edition.
She wanted everything, but her husband stood in the way.
The lesbian lover:
A love-struck, middle-aged woman with a history of mental illness, she would do anything to set Celeste free.
The beauty salon receptionist:
Celeste hired her to tie up the loose ends ... in a second conspiracy to commit murder.
Bestselling author Joe McGinniss chronicles every aspect of this horrifying and intricate crime, and probes the life and psyche of the magnetic, all-American Jeffrey MacDonald, a golden boy who seemed destined to have it all. The result is a penetration to the heart of darkness that enshrouded one of the most complex criminal cases ever to capture the attention of the American public. It is a haunting, stunningly suspenseful work that no reader will be able to forget.
When beautiful, blond Sheila married the charming, handsome Blackthorne, she was convinced she had found her perfect soul mate, and helped him reach his goal of living the privileged life of the country club set. But behind Allen's smooth facade, she discovered a violent, controlling sociopath -- a liar, a scam artist, a sexual deviant. When she finally fled with their two young daughters, she was skeletally thin, bruised, and beaten.
Although Sheila recovered, remarried, and was starting a new life and family, she still felt she was doomed. Joyously pregnant, she and her new husband expecting quadruplets, Sheila still feared Blackthorne, who had sworn to her he would monitor her every move and "every breath you take." And, in fact, Blackthorne inevitably tracked her down, as did her killer, who left her in a pool of blood marked by the tiny footprints of her two-year-old toddlers. The questions remained: Could the authorities ever link Sheila's murder to Blackthorne himself? Was his true obsession high-stakes golf and his extravagant pink mansion -- or was it to destroy Sheila?
Following a trail of deception from Oregon and Hawaii to Texas and Florida, Ann Rule gained complete access to Sheila's family, friends, and neighbors, as well as to the detectives and prosecutors on the case. With Every Breath You Take, Ann Rule has written a heart-pounding account of obsession, revenge, and murder that will enthrall readers from beginning to end.
For months, the DaVita Dialysis Center in Lufkin, Texas had been baffled by the rising number of deaths and injuries occurring in their clinic. In April alone, they’d rushed thirty-four patients to the hospital. But no one expected such a horrific cause to be behind it all.
Kimberly Clark Saenz was a well-liked licensed vocational nurse at the center. The East Texas nurse was a mother of two, and known for her smiles and the stories she told to help patients pass the time. But on April 28, 2008, witnesses came forward to say that instead of lifesaving medication, they’d seen Saenz adding toxic bleach to IV ports. Turns out, it wasn’t the first time. Once caught, the shocking story of Saenz’s murderous practices began to unravel…
In the heart of Indianapolis in the mid 1960's, through a twist of fate and fortune, a pretty young girl came to live with a thirty-seven-year-old mother and her seven children. What began as a temporary childcare arrangement between Sylvia Likens's parents and Gertrude Baniszewski turned into a crime that would haunt cops, prosecutors, and a community for decades to come...
When police found Sylvia's emaciated body, with a chilling message carved into her flesh, they knew that she had suffered tremendously before her death. Soon they would learn how many others—including some of Baniszewski's own children—participated in Sylvia's murder, and just how much torture had been inflicted in one HOUSE OF EVIL
Then one night Rob, his head bloodied, reported Maria had been brutally slain. Sympathy poured in—until disquieting facts began to surface…and the true story of adultery, gambling, drugs and murder tore the mask off Rob Marshall and the blinders off the town that thought he could do no wrong…
Today, wildland fire is everybody’s business, from the White House to the fireground. Wildfires have grown bigger, more intense, more destructive—and more expensive. Federal taxpayers, for example, footed most of the $16 million bill for fighting the Esperanza Fire. But the highest cost was the lives of the five-man crew of Engine 57, the first wildland engine crew ever to be wiped out by flames.
The author of fifteen New York Times national bestsellers, Ann Rule, a former Seattle policewoman, has researched thousands of homicides and understands every facet of murder investigation. Now, in the most complex and shocking book of her long career, she delves into the motivation that drove a seemingly successful man to kill, and she explores heretofore unknown aspects of a fatal affair between a beautiful young woman who moved confidently in the heady world of the upper echelons of government and a widely admired millionaire attorney who was an immensely popular political figure.
On June 27, 1996, thirty-year-old Anne Marie Fahey, who was the scheduling secretary for the governor of Delaware, had dinner with a man she had been having a secret affair with for more than two years. "Tommy" Capano, forty-seven, was perhaps the most politically powerful man in Wilmington. Son of a wealthy contractor, former state prosecutor, partner in a prestigious law firm, advisor to governors and mayors, Tom Capano had a soft-spoken and considerate manner that endeared him to many. Although recently estranged from his wife, he was a devoted father to his four beautiful young daughters, the trusted son of his widowed mother, and the backbone of his extended family. But sometime after 9:15 that night when Anne Marie and Tom left a Philadelphia restaurant, something terrible happened to Anne Marie. It would be forty-eight hours before her brothers and sisters realized that she had disappeared entirely.
Ann Rule brilliantly traces the lives of both Fahey and Capano as she discloses the intimate details of their ill-fated bonding. A vulnerable, trusting woman becomes spellbound by a charming, duplicitous married man, and what begins as a seemingly unremarkable affair is slowly transformed into an obsessive, convoluted, and deadly relationship.
Through her impeccable research, Rule peels away layer after layer of deception to reveal a man who lived a secret life for decades, a man so greedy that he would sacrifice anyone to gain what he desired. One of his many mistresses -- all of whom were unknown to one another -- was Deborah MacIntyre, an attractive and wealthy member of one of Wilmington's oldest families and an administrator of an elite private school. She, too, would become part of the mystery surrounding Anne Marie's disappearance.
As three prominent families are destroyed to satisfy one man's jealous obsessions, this unfathomable tragedy becomes a tale that few would believe if it were presented as fiction. Shockingly, it is all true. Destined to become a classic,...And Never Let Her Go is a riveting account of forbidden love and murder among the rich and powerful, and a chilling insight into the evil that sometimes hides behind even the most charming façade.
In this harrowing New York Times bestseller, Ann Rule is at her masterful best as she winnows horrific truths from the ashes of what seemed like paradise in Prairie Village, Kansas. Rule probes the case of Debora Green, a doctor and a loving mother who seemed to epitomize the dreams of the American heartland. A small-town girl with a genius IQ, she achieved an enviable life: her own medical practice, a handsome physician husband, three perfect children, and an opulent home in an exclusive Kansas City suburb. But when a raging fire destroyed that home and took two lives, the trail of clues led investigators to a stunning conclusion. Piece by piece, Ann Rule digs beneath this placid Midwestern facade to unveil a disturbing portrait of strangely troubled marriages, infidelity, desperation, suicide, and escalating acts of revenge that forever changed dozens of lives.
A Descent Into Hell is the gripping true story of one of the most brutal slayings in UT history—and the wild "Bonnie and Clyde-like" flight from justice of a cold-blooded young killer and his would-be girlfriend, who claimed that her unquestioning allegiance to Pitonyak was "just the way I roll."
Praise for Caitlin Rother
"A superb writer." --Los Angeles Times
"A star in the field of true crime." --The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Will keep you on the edge of your seat." --Aphrodite Jones
Nanette Johnston Packard, a sexy divorcee, liked to meet men at the gym and through personal ads. Soon after she began dating millionaire Bill McLaughlin, he moved her and her kids into his bay-front home in Newport Beach. But one man was never enough for Nanette. . .
Eric Naposki, her NFL linebacker lover, fulfilled Nanette's wilder cravings. Together they schemed to make her fiance's fortune their own. When McLaughlin was gunned down, authorities had suspicions--but no proof. Pulitzer-nominated writer Caitlin Rother explores this chilling story of a woman who seemed to have it all--until justice finally had its day.
Includes dramatic photos
So began an investigation into one of the most bizarre cases Virginia and Texas law enforcement agencies had ever encountered: a twisted conspiracy of lies, rage, paranoia, manipulation, and savage murder that would ensnare an entire family—including two lethally close look-alike sisters—and reveal the shocking depravities possible when a dangerously disordered mind slips into madness.
In her trademark narrative style, Ann Rule weaves a tale that is riveting, enraging, and heartbreaking all at once, and brilliantly chronicles the fateful confluence of a killer and his female victims, as well as the shattering investigation into Roth's heinous crimes.
Patrol Sergeant Truman Simons, who had been called to the scene that night, saw the carnage first-hand -- and vowed to find the ferocious killer or killers. He soon became a man with a mission, risking his career and his family's safety in search of evidence. Plunging himself into a netherworld of violence and evil, Simons finally got close enough to a murderous ringleader to hear his careless whispers--and ultimately, put him and his three accomplices behind bars for the brutal slayings.
Now, in his Edgar Award-winning account of the Lake Waco killings, acclaimed true crime writer Carlton Stowers lays bare the facts behind the tragic crimes, the twisted predators, and the heroic man who broke the investigation--with important updated information based on new developments in the case.
That first book, WHO KILLED MY DAUGHTER?, was Duncan’s desperate attempt to motivate informants and prevent the facts of Kait’s story from becoming buried. It turned out to accomplish much more than that.
Duncan’s new book, ONE TO THE WOLVES: ON THE TRAIL OF A KILLER, is even more horrifying than its predecessor as new information poured in, the family ran for their lives, and their original suspicions turned out to be the tip of an iceberg so immense that Kait, herself, could not have known how dangerous the information was that she had been sitting on in order to protect a now-estranged boyfriend.
Since Kait didn’t live to reveal it, her mother now does so in a book so intense and yet so painfully human that the reader will never forget it. All of the elements of a suspenseful mystery are here--intrigue, turns and twists, cover-ups, and page-turning action. The sobering fact is that, this time, the story isn’t fiction.
Nestled in Puget Sound and accessible only by ferry, Whidbey Island is a gem off the coast of Washington State where life is insular and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas is discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV, the whole island is shocked. No one can imagine who among them could plot such a cold-blooded crime. And like a cast of characters from a mystery novel, a host of Whidbey residents fall under suspicion.
Brenna Douglas was Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, who allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. Brenna often complained to her good friend Peggy Sue that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Married three times, Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes: hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.
Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive, the newest heart pounding true-crime tour de force from Ann Rule.
In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several of those caregivers faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.
Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.
In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.
One of The New York Times' Best Ten Books of the Year
It was a crime that shocked the country. On March 12, 2011, two young saleswomen were found brutally attacked inside a lululemon athletica retail store in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the nation’s wealthiest suburbs.
Thirty-year-old Jayna Murray was dead—slashed, stabbed, and struck more than three hundred times. Investigators found blood spattered on walls, and size fourteen men’s shoe prints leading away from her body.
Twenty-eight-year-old Brittany Norwood was found alive, tied up on the bathroom floor. She had lacerations, a bloody face, and ripped clothing. She told investigators that two masked men had slipped into the Bethesda lululemon store just after closing, presumably planning to rob it. She spoke of the night of terror she and her coworker had experienced. Investigators were sympathetic…but as the case went on, Brittany’s story began to unravel. Why rob a business that dealt mostly in credit cards? Why was Jayna murdered but Brittany left alive? Could the petite, polite Brittany have been involved? Most chilling of all: could she have been the killer?
FROM SECURITY TO SURVIVAL
The author of The Stranger Beside Me brings her brilliantly informed understanding of the sociopath to this riveting truecrime collection. Only Ann Rule, who unknowingly worked alongside the smart and charming Ted Bundy -- America's most notorious serial killer -- could lend her razor-sharp insight into these cases of the spouse, lover, family member, or helpful stranger who is totally trusted but whose lethally violent nature, though masterfully disguised, can and will kill. Featured here is the case of a Southern California family man who appeared to be the picture of healthy living with his expertise in naturopathic healing. Luring a beautiful flight attendant into a passionate affair, he swept her away to a secluded home on the Oregon coast where his jealous rages escalated, ultimately leading to a brutal sex attack in which she believed she would die. How this brave victim survived, never knowing her tormentor's whereabouts, and how he resurfaced, forcing a tragic end for all involved, makes this one of Ann Rule's most compelling narratives. Other cases include that of the woman who masterminded her husband's murder to gain his inheritance...the monstrous sadist whose prison release damaged a presidential candidate's campaign and ended in a bitter double tragedy in a quiet neighborhood three thousand miles away...the shocking DNA link between a cold-blooded crime and a cold case...and inside the horrific case of the man who crossed an ocean and several countries to stalk the Eurasian beauty who had fled from him in desperation.
In this unnerving collection drawn from her personal crime files, "America's best true-crime writer" (Kirkus Reviews) Ann Rule brilliantly dissects the convoluted love affairs that all too often end in violence.
Expertly analyzing a shocking, headline-making case, Rule unmasks the deadly motives inside a seemingly idyllic marriage: a beautiful young wife, a rising star in America's top-ranked computer corporation, and a prosperous husband, the scion of a family building business. With an adorable son and a gorgeous home, the couple seemed to have it all. But a furtive evil permeated their days and nights, dragging them into a murky world of drugs, sordid sex, and con operations. In this realm, one of them would prove to be a virtual innocent, the other a manipulator with no conscience. Sudden, violent death brought their charade of a fairy-tale romance to a tragic end -- with a brutal crime that might never have come to light were it not for the stubborn detectives and prosecutors whose fight for justice spanned an entire decade.
Empty Promises recounts several other cases where the search for love brought only lies and betrayal -- a cautionary primer, perhaps, for those who trust too much too soon. Powerful because they strike so close to home, the cases in Empty Promises will leave readers shaken by the realities of love gone terribly -- and fatally -- wrong.
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 this tell-all, Baez shares secrets the defense knew but has not disclosed to anyone until now and frankly reveals his experiences throughout the entire case—discovering the evidence, meeting Casey Anthony for the first time, being with George and Cindy Anthony day after day, leading defense strategy meetings, and spending weeks in the judge’s chambers.
Presumed Guilty shows how Baez, a struggling, high-school dropout, became one of the nation’s most high-profile defense attorneys through his tireless efforts to seek justice for one of the country’s most vilified murder suspects.
LAST DANCE LAST CHANCE
Dr. Anthony Pignataro was a cosmetic surgeon and a famed medical researcher whose flashy red Lamborghini and flamboyant lifestyle in western New York State suggested a highly successful career. But appearances, as this shocking insider account of Pignataro's tailspin from physician to prisoner proves, can be deceiving -- and, for the doctor's wife, very nearly deadly. No one was safe if they got in his way. With scalpel, drugs, and arsenic, he betrayed every oath a physician makes -- until his own schemes backfired. Now, the motivations of the classic sociopath are plumbed with chilling accuracy by Ann Rule. Along with other shocking true cases, this worldwide headline-making case will have you turning pages in disbelief that a trusted medical professional could sink to the depths of greed, manipulation, and self-aggrandizement where even slow, deliberate murder is not seen for what it truly is: pure evil.
Sheila Davalloo was young, attractive, and successful. When she started a new job at a cutting-edge research lab in Stamford, Connecticut, she met the man of her dreams. Nelson Sessler had no idea how violently Sheila would react when he began seeing a co-worker, Anna Lisa Raymundo. Sheila eliminated her rival in a bloody knife attack—and then turned her rage on another victim she saw as an obstacle to her passions. M. Williams Phelps recounts the riveting story of a white-collar love triangle gone horribly wrong. . .and the terrifying infatuation that drove one woman to kill.
"Phelps is the Harlan Coben of real-life thrillers."—Allison Brennan
"M. William Phelps dares to tread where few others will: into the mind of a killer." —TV Rage
Includes 16 Pages Of Dramatic Photos
On Friday, April 8, 1994, a body was discovered in a room above a garage in Seattle. For the attending authorities, it was an open-and-shut case of suicide. What no one knew then, however, and which is only being revealed here for the very first time, is that the person found dead that day -- Kurt Cobain, the superstar frontman of Nirvana -- was murdered.
In early April 1994, Cobain went missing for days, or so it seemed; in fact, some people knew where he was, and one of them was Courtney Love. Now a star in Hollywood and rock music, in early 1994 she was preparing to release her major label debut with her band, Hole, and what she knew then, though few others did, was that Cobain was planning to divorce her. Love & Death paints a critical portrait of Courtney Love; it also reveals for the first time the case tapes made by Love's own P.I., Tom Grant, a man on a mission to find the truth about Kurt Cobain's demise; and introduces us to a number of characters who feature in various theories about plots to kill Cobain. In addition, Cobain's grandfather goes public, charging that his grandson was murdered. Drawing on new forensic evidence and police reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the book explodes the myths that have long convinced the world that Cobain took his own life, and reveals that the official scenario was scientifically impossible.
Against a background of at least sixty-eight copycat suicides since 1994, award-winning investigative journalists Max Wallace and Ian Halperin have conducted a ten-year crusade for the truth, and in Love & Death they are finally able to present a chilling and convincing case that each and every one of these suicides was preventable -- and in doing so, they call for this case to be reopened and properly investigated.
Over a three-decade span, more than twenty women—many teenagers—died mysteriously in the small towns bordering Interstate 45, a fifty-mile stretch of highway running from Houston to Galveston. The victims were strangled, shot, or savagely beaten. Six met their demise in pairs. They had one thing in common: being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The day she vanished, Colette Wilson waited for her mother after band practice. Best friends Debbie Ackerman and Maria Johnson loved to surf and were last seen hitchhiking. Laura Kate Smither dreamed of becoming a ballerina and disappeared just weeks before her thirteenth birthday.
In this harrowing true crime exposition, award-winning journalist Kathryn Casey tracks these tragic cases, investigates the evidence, interviews the suspects, and pulls back the cloak of secrecy in search of elusive answers.
Terror by Night tells the compelling story of how Terry Caffey found peace after his wife and sons were brutally murdered and his teenage daughter implicated in the crime. Sharing never-before-told details about the night of the crime and subsequent murder trial, it explains how Terry was able to forgive the men who murdered his family, and how he even interceded with the prosecutors on their behalf. A powerful example of how the power of forgiveness can bring healing after tragedy and great loss, it shows how God can bring good out of even the darkest tragedies.
"Phelps is the Harlan Coben of real-life thrillers." –Allison Brennan
It was Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer season. Thousands headed to Ocean City, Maryland, to enjoy its scenic beaches, lively boardwalk, and trendy nightclubs. Among the bright-spirited vacationers was a couple with a much darker idea of fun. Erica Sifrit, a former honor student, was packing a gun in her Coach bag. Her husband, B.J., an ex-Navy SEAL, was trained in violence. What started as a chance encounter with another couple ended with two dismembered victims buried in a Delaware landfill. M. William Phelps updates this modern-day "Bonnie and Clyde" saga to create a haunting account of money, madness, sex, and murder. . .
Praise for M. William Phelps
"Phelps's writing reads like a mystery novel." --Suspense Magazine
"One of our most engaging crime journalists." --Katherine Ramsland
Includes 16 Pages Of Dramatic Photos
In Justice for All, Jim Newton, an award-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times, brings readers the first truly comprehensive consideration of Earl Warren, the politician-turned-Chief Justice who refashioned the place of the court in American life through landmark Supreme Court cases whose names have entered the common parlance -- Brown v. Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut, Miranda v. Arizona, to name just a few. Drawing on unmatched access to government, academic, and private documents pertaining to Warren's life and career, Newton explores a fascinating angle of U.S. Supreme Court history while illuminating both the public and the private Warren.
Speak Now tells the story of a watershed trial that unfolded over twelve tense days in California in 2010. A trial that legalized same-sex marriage in our most populous state. A trial that interrogated the nature of marriage, the political status of gays and lesbians, the ideal circumstances for raising children, and the ability of direct democracy to protect fundamental rights. A trial that stands as the most potent argument for marriage equality this nation has ever seen.
In telling the story of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the groundbreaking federal lawsuit against Proposition 8, Kenji Yoshino has also written a paean to the vanishing civil trial--an oasis of rationality in what is often a decidedly uncivil debate. Above all, this book is a work of deep humanity, in which Yoshino brings abstract legal arguments to life by sharing his own story of finding love, marrying, and having children as a gay man.
Intellectually rigorous and profoundly compassionate, Speak Now is the definitive account of a landmark civil-rights trial.
— Winner, Stonewall Book Award
Charles Hamilton Houston laid the groundwork, reinventing the law school at Howard University (where he taught a young, brash Thurgood Marshall) and becoming special counsel to the NAACP. Later Houston and Marshall traveled through the hostile South, looking for cases with which to dismantle America's long-systematized racism, often at great personal risk. The abstemious, buttoned-down Houston and the folksy, easygoing Marshall made an unlikely pair-but their accomplishments in bringing down Jim Crow made an unforgettable impact on U.S. legal history.
One of America’s great miscarriages of justice, the Supreme Court’s infamous 1927 Buck v. Bell ruling made government sterilization of “undesirable” citizens the law of the land
In 1927, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling so disturbing, ignorant, and cruel that it stands as one of the great injustices in American history. In Imbeciles, bestselling author Adam Cohen exposes the court’s decision to allow the sterilization of a young woman it wrongly thought to be “feebleminded” and to champion the mass eugenic sterilization of undesirable citizens for the greater good of the country. The 8–1 ruling was signed by some of the most revered figures in American law—including Chief Justice William Howard Taft, a former U.S. president; and Louis Brandeis, a progressive icon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered by many the greatest Supreme Court justice in history, wrote the majority opinion, including the court’s famous declaration “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Imbeciles is the shocking story of Buck v. Bell, a legal case that challenges our faith in American justice. A gripping courtroom drama, it pits a helpless young woman against powerful scientists, lawyers, and judges who believed that eugenic measures were necessary to save the nation from being “swamped with incompetence.” At the center was Carrie Buck, who was born into a poor family in Charlottesville, Virginia, and taken in by a foster family, until she became pregnant out of wedlock. She was then declared “feebleminded” and shipped off to the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded.
Buck v. Bell unfolded against the backdrop of a nation in the thrall of eugenics, which many Americans thought would uplift the human race. Congress embraced this fervor, enacting the first laws designed to prevent immigration by Italians, Jews, and other groups charged with being genetically inferior.
Cohen shows how Buck arrived at the colony at just the wrong time, when influential scientists and politicians were looking for a “test case” to determine whether Virginia’s new eugenic sterilization law could withstand a legal challenge. A cabal of powerful men lined up against her, and no one stood up for her—not even her lawyer, who, it is now clear, was in collusion with the men who wanted her sterilized.
In the end, Buck’s case was heard by the Supreme Court, the institution established by the founders to ensure that justice would prevail. The court could have seen through the false claim that Buck was a threat to the gene pool, or it could have found that forced sterilization was a violation of her rights. Instead, Holmes, a scion of several prominent Boston Brahmin families, who was raised to believe in the superiority of his own bloodlines, wrote a vicious, haunting decision upholding Buck’s sterilization and imploring the nation to sterilize many more.
Holmes got his wish, and before the madness ended some sixty to seventy thousand Americans were sterilized. Cohen overturns cherished myths and demolishes lauded figures in relentless pursuit of the truth. With the intellectual force of a legal brief and the passion of a front-page exposé, Imbeciles is an ardent indictment of our champions of justice and our optimistic faith in progress, as well as a triumph of American legal and social history.
From the Hardcover edition.
Chief Justice Rehnquist’s engaging writing illuminates both the high and low points in the Court's history, from Chief Justice Marshall’s dominance of the Court during the early nineteenth century through the landmark decisions of the Warren Court. Citing cases such as the Dred Scott decision and Roosevelt's Court-packing plan, Rehnquist makes clear that the Court does not operate in a vacuum, that the justices are unavoidably influenced by their surroundings, and that their decisions have real and lasting impacts on our society. The public often hears little about the Supreme Court until decisions are handed down. Here, Rehnquist reveals its inner workings--the process by which cases are chosen, the nature of the conferences where decisions are made, and the type of debates that take place. With grace and wit, this incisive history gives a dynamic and informative account of the most powerful court in the nation and how it has shaped the direction America has taken.