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.
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.
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.
When attorney Cheryl Keeton's brutally bludgeoned body was found in her van in the fast lane of an Oregon freeway, her husband, Brad Cunningham, was the likely suspect. But there was no solid evidence linking him to the crime. He married again, for the fifth time, and his stunning new wife, a physician named Sara, adopted his three sons. They all settled down to family life on a luxurious estate. But gradually, their marriage became a nightmare....
In this gripping account of Cheryl's murder, Ann Rule takes us from Brad's troubled boyhood to one of the most bizarre trials in legal history, uncovering multiple marriages, financial manipulations, infidelities, and monstrous acts of harassment and revenge along the way. Dead By Sunset is Ann Rule at her riveting best.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
had a long and wonderful life. Athletic,
smart, and beautiful, she was also the mother of a six-year-old daughter. She was just 43 when her future was stolen by
a most unlikely monster.
State Patrolman Tim Harris was a
father of two, described by supervisors as a “model” trooper. Few
who glanced at his handsome face could sense the darkness behind his blue
eyes. His victim did not see the evil
until it was too late. She drove right
into his trap.
Rule’s You Belong to Me reveals
the twisted secrets of Tim Harris’s past, the heartache of those who loved him,
and the obsession that culminated with violence on Florida’s I-95 on a soft
This shocking book length feature
is followed by five bonus stories, Black Christmas, One Trick Pony, The Computer Error and the Killer, The Vanishing and The Lost Letter.
It was nine days before Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was getting ready to travel from Seattle to Spokane to visit her mother and brother and grandmother before the holidays. Ronda’s second marriage was dissolving after less than a year, her career as a pioneering female Washington State Trooper had ended, but she was optimistic about starting over again. "I’m actually looking forward to getting on with my life," she told her mother earlier the night before. "I just need a few days with you guys." Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mother, who had met her daughter’s second husband only once before, was just happy that Ronda was coming home.
At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds called 911 and told the dispatcher his wife was dead. She had committed suicide, he said, although he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t know if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was conducted. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the death scene nor attended the autopsy, declared the manner of Ronda’s death as "undetermined." Over the next eleven years, Coroner Wilson would change that manner of death from "undetermined" to "suicide," back to "undetermined"—and then back to "suicide" again.
But Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics expert Marty Hayes or attorney Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s friends. For eleven grueling years, through the ups and downs of the legal system and its endless delays, these people and others helped Barb Thompson fight to strike that painful word from her daughter’s death certificate.
On November 9, 2009, a precedent-setting hearing was held to determine whether Coroner Wilson’s office had been derelict in its duty in investigating the death of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime writer Ann Rule was present at that hearing, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled evidence and present all sides of this haunting case and to determine, perhaps, what happened to Ronda Reynolds, in the chill still of that tragic December night.
Torn from the headlines, here is the case that shocked a nation: the Seattle city bus ride that turned to mayhem and murder at the hands of a gunman. Ann Rule unmasks the forces that drove quiet, clean-cut Silas Cool to shoot the driver, causing the bus to plunge off the Aurora Bridge into an apartment building. The catastrophe left three dead -- including Cool -- and dozens injured. While the scene unfolds as in a terrifying movie, Rule finds very real answers to the haunting question "how could this happen?" -- and expertly constructs the unseen chain of events that resulted in an explosive and shattering tragedy.
Included here are nine other sensational cases that illuminate Rule's unique and authoritative view of the human psyche gone temporarily berserk. No one can match Rule's meticulous research, or reveal the motives to murder in such explicit and chilling detail. You may think you know who is safe and who is dangerous; in A Rage to Kill, Ann Rule frighteningly shows that none of us are truly protected from the flashes of irrational violence that can erupt from the killers among us.
REAL-LIFE MURDER. REAL-LIFE MYSTERY.
In some murder cases, the truth behind the most tragic of crimes crystallizes with relative ease. Not so with these fascinating accounts drawn from the personal files of Ann Rule, America's #1 bestselling true-crime writer. What happens when the case itself becomes an intractable puzzle, when clues are shrouded in smoke and mirrors, and when criminals skillfully evade law enforcement in a maddening cat-and-mouse chase? Even the most devoted true-crime reader won't predict the outcome of these truly baffling cases until the conclusions revealed in Ann Rule's marvelously insightful narrative: An ideal family is targeted for death by the least likely enemy, who plotted their demise from behind bars.... A sexual predator hides behind multiple fake identities, eluding police for years while his past victims live in fear that he will hunt them down.... A modest preacher's wife confesses to shooting her husband after an argument -- but there's more to her shattering story than meets the eye. These and other true cases are analyzed with stunning clarity in a page-turning collection you won't be able to put down.
Trust. It's the foundation of any enduring relationship between friends, lovers, spouses, and families. But when trust is placed in those who are not what they seem, the results can be deadly. Ann Rule, who famously chronicled her own shocking experience of unknowingly befriending a sociopath in The Stranger Beside Me, offers a riveting, all-new collection from her true-crime files, with the lethally shattered bonds of trust at the core of each bloodsoaked account. Whether driven to extreme violence by greed or jealousy, passion or rage, these calculating sociopaths targeted those closest to them -- unwitting victims whose last disbelieving words could well have been "but I trusted you...." Headlining this page-turning anthology is the case of middle-school counselor Chuck Leonard, found shot to death outside his Washington State home on an icy February morning. A complicated mix of family man and wild man, Chuck played hard and loved many...but who crossed the line by murdering him in cold blood? And why? The revelation is as stunning as the shattering crime itself, powerfully illuminating how those we think we know can ingeniously hide their destructive and homicidal designs. Along with other shattering cases, immaculately detailed and sharply analyzed by America's #1 true-crime writer, this fourteenth Crime Files volume is essential reading for getting inside the mind of the hidden killers among us.
Jerry Harris was a self-made California millionaire who, at age forty-four, had it all: booming businesses, yachts, a mansion, a beautiful wife, and a voice to rival Elvis. No one who knew this well-liked, generous man could make sense of his sudden disappearance one autumn night. On a final phone call to his brother from his Mercedes, Jerry breathed a muffled oath -- then the line went dead. For Jerry's wife, Susan, it was just the beginning of an unwavering, eight-year search for the truth behind her husband's vanishing. Through exclusive access to an FBI agent inside the investigation, Ann Rule unmasks a man driven by malevolence and hidden jealousy to destroy Jerry Harris' magnificent business empire. She expertly profiles a criminal mind that stopped at nothing in a scheme of greed and violence. With the riveting power of a Greek tragedy, Rule reveals the dark underside of an all-American success story, and a wife's ultimate triumph of justice in the name of love. Including other unforgettable accounts of true crime, this is Ann Rule at her chilling best.
ANN RULE PORTRAYS THEIR SHATTERING CRIMES WITHOUT PITY.
In eight stunning Case Files volumes, from A Rose for Her Grave to the #1 blockbuster Last Dance, Last Chance, Ann Rule reigns as "America's best true-crime writer" (Kirkus Reviews). Now, she updates the most astonishing cases from that acclaimed series -- and presents shocking, all-new true-crime accounts -- in one riveting anthology. In every explosive chapter of Without Pity, Ann Rule deepens her unrelenting exploration of the evil that lies behind the perfect facades of heartless killers...and the deadly compulsions of greed and power that shatter their outward trappings of material success.
They are the admired, trusted neighbor; the affable family man; the sexy, charismatic lover; the high-achieving professional. Perhaps most frightening of all is that they are heroes in their own minds. But when someone gets in the way of their deluded dreams, they are capable of deadly acts of violence with no remorse. Analyzing the true nature of the sociopathic mind in chilling detail, Ann Rule traces the murderous crimes of seemingly ordinary men -- killers who drew their unsuspecting victims into their twisted worlds with devastating consequences.
For their wedding portrait, petite Pat Taylor and handsome Tom Allanson posed as Rhett and Scarlett. Both came from fine Southern families, and dreamed of the Tara-like plantation where they would grow roses, raise horses, and move in the genteel circles of Atlanta society. Less than two months later, their dream exploded in terror and murder: their beautiful home mysteriously burned to the ground and Tom was convicted of the brutal slaying of his mother and father.
Pat's only brother had died in a puzzling suicide, her grandparents-in-law were poisoned with arsenic, and no one — from her wealthy employers to her own children — was safe when Pat Allanson didn't get her way. It took Georgia lawmen more than two decades to stop her for good — if indeed they have.
In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Ann Rule, the undisputed master of true crime, brings her formidable talents to her only novel, a riveting tale of psychological suspense. When Danny and Joanne Lindstrom's camping trip in the Cascade mountains goes terribly awry, beautiful young Joanne is left alone and stranded in the savage wilderness. Her last hope is to rely on another camper, a tall stranger who seems to know the forest and the dangers there all too well. Without him, she will surely die; with him, her future is as unpredictable as the lowering clouds that envelop the mountain. He asks only that she trust him . . . totally.
But few knew the reality behind the leafy screen that surrounded Seven Cedars, Scott's woodland dream home -- a tree house equipped with every luxury. From this idyllic enclave, some of these trusted friends would become the quarry for a vigilant Seattle police detective and an FBI special agent, who unmasked clues to disturbing secrets that spawned murder, suicide, million-dollar bank robberies, drug-dealing, and heartbreaking betrayal. When the end came in a violent stand-off, the ringleader of the foursome -- the fugitive dubbed "Hollywood" for his ingenious disguises and flawless getaways; the persuasive talker who turned his friends into accomplices -- faced a final chapter no one could have predicted. In a blast of automatic gunfire, the highest and lowest motives of the human heart were, at last, revealed.
Along with four other true-crime tales, The End of the Dream is a masterful and compelling tour of the criminal mind from Ann Rule.
Because they were...
Worth More Dead
A cold case reopened -- and solved -- with dogged police work and new evidence. One of the shocking true crimes of passion and greed from Ann Rule's Crime Files.
Former Marine sergeant and judo instructor Roland Pitre Jr. claimed it was all an elaborate plan to win back his wife's love -- it wasn't supposed to end with her dead body in the trunk of a car. Nearly twenty years later, he acknowledged that he had hired someone to kill his estranged wife in 1988, though his alleged excuse for why a monstrous "mistake" happened is as shocking and convoluted as the crime itself. Eventually, he was charged with first-degree murder in the long-unsolved death of Cheryl Pitre, after a mysterious witness betrayed Pitre to save his own skin. Tracing back the dark and bloody path of Pitre's life, two generations of detectives found a chain of brutal and terrifying crimes by a man who manipulated the courts and prisons to walk free.
Here, complete with the testimony of women who suffered his unspeakable sexual abuses and barely escaped with their lives, and of the police who at last put him behind bars, is one of the most shattering and thought-provoking true-crime stories of our time. Includes 8 pages of photos
A bestselling book that is inspiring the nation: “We have written here about terrible things that we never wanted to think about again . . . Now we want the world to know: we survived, we are free, we love life.”
Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape
On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”
A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughter—Jocelyn—by their captor.
Drawing upon their recollections and the diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines—including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations—Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.
From the Hardcover edition.
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.
In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.
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.
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.
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.
In this memoir, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime. On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. Elizabeth was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
With My Story, Elizabeth tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
In the years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. She and her husband, Matthew Gilmour, now have two children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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
This is the true-crime bestseller that was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s film masterpiece GoodFellas, which brought to life the violence, the excess, the families, the wives and girlfriends, the drugs, the payoffs, the paybacks, the jail time, and the Feds…with Henry Hill’s crackling narration drawn straight out of Wiseguy and overseeing all the unforgettable action.
Read it and experience the secret life inside the mob—from one who’s lived it.
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.
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.
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?
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