Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.
Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.
The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
To find out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.
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.
Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, and this book is his enthralling account of how he built his case from what a defense attorney dismissed as only "two fingerprints and Vince Bugliosi." The meticulous detective work with which the story begins, the prosecutor's view of a complex murder trial, the reconstruction of the philosophy Manson inculcated in his fervent followers... these elements make for a true crime classic. ?Helter Skelter ?is not merely a spellbinding murder case and courtroom drama but also, in the words of ?The New Republic?, a "social document of rare importance."Some images in this ebook are not displayed due to permissions issues.
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.
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.
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.
Contents: Europe – Burke and Hare, Jack the Ripper, Henri Landru, Fritz Haarmann, Marcel Petiot, Peter Kürten, Peter Manuel, Joachim Kroll, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Fred and Rosemary West, Harold Shipman. North America – H.H.Holmes, Albert Fish, The Lonely Hearts Killers,The Boston Strangler, Charles Manson, Ed Kemper, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, The Hillside Stranglers, Clifford Olson, Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole, Tommy Lynn Sells, Cary Stayner. South America – Pedro Alonso López, Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos, Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo, Juana Barraza. Australia – Eric Edgar Cooke, William the Mutilator Macdonald, Paul Charles Denyer, Ivan Milat, The Snowtown Murderers, John Wayne Glover, Peter Dupas, Catherine and David Birnie.
Soon after his birthmother contacted him for the first time at the age of thirty-nine, adoptee Gary L. Stewart decided to search for his biological father. His quest would lead him to a horrifying truth and force him to reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself and his world.
Written with award-winning author and journalist Susan Mustafa, The Most Dangerous Animal of All tells the story of Stewart's decade-long hunt. While combing through government records and news reports and tracking down relatives and friends, Stewart turns up a host of clues—including forensic evidence—that conclusively identify his father as the Zodiac Killer, one of the most notorious and elusive serial murderers in history.
For decades, the Zodiac Killer has captivated America's imagination. His ability to evade capture while taunting authorities made him infamous. The vicious specificity of his crimes terrified Californians before the Manson murders and after, and shocked a culture enamored with the ideals of the dawning Age of Aquarius. To this day, his ciphers have baffled detectives and amateur sleuths, and his identity remains one of the twentieth century's great unsolved mysteries.
The Most Dangerous Animal of All reveals the name of the Zodiac for the very first time. Mustafa and Stewart construct a chilling psychological profile of Stewart's father: as a boy with disturbing fixations, a frustrated intellectual with pretensions to high culture, and an inappropriate suitor and then jilted lover unable to process his rage. At last, all the questions that have surrounded the case for almost fifty years are answered in this riveting narrative. The result is a singular work of true crime at its finest—a compelling, unbelievable true story told with the pacing of a page-turning novel—as well as a sensational and powerful memoir.
More than forty years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person near the scene of the crime was spared.
Manson puts the killer in the context of the turbulent late sixties, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege. Guinn shows us how Manson created and refined his message to fit the times, persuading confused young women (and a few men) that he had the solutions to their problems. At the same time he used them to pursue his long-standing musical ambitions. His frustrated ambitions, combined with his bizarre race-war obsession, would have lethal consequences.
Guinn’s book is a “tour de force of a biography…Manson stands as a definitive work: important for students of criminology, human behavior, popular culture, music, psychopathology, and sociopathology…and compulsively readable” (Ann Rule, The New York Times Book Review).
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.
On Sunday May 2, 1993 in Lantana, Florida, a town in the Palm Beach area, the naked body of ten-year-old Andrew "A.J." Schwarz was found floating facedown in the family's backyard swimming pool. But how could he have drowned when the water level was only four feet deep? And why was his body covered with cuts and bruises from head to toe?
Suspicion soon fastened on the dead boy's stepmother, Jessica Schwarz, who boastfully described herself as "loud and crude." She was a brute and a bully--but was she a torturer and child killer? Investigators unearthed a pattern of nightmarish physical and mental abuse that she had inflicted on the boy, one that left even hardened police sleuths sickened.
Day Of Reckoning
During her trials, Jessica Schwarz was smugly defiant, until convictions for criminal child abuse and second degree murder wiped the smirk off her face. She is now serving a seventy-year prison term. Carol J. Rothgeb, author of Hometown Killer, and Scott H. Cupp, the prosecutor who successfully convicted Jessica Schwarz, now tell the riveting inside story of how a brutal killer's reign of terror was finally brought to an end.
16 Pages Of Photos
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.
Cullen's murderous career in the world's most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When, in March of 2006, Charles Cullen was marched from his final sentencing in an Allentown, Pennsylvania, courthouse into a waiting police van, it seemed certain that the chilling secrets of his life, career, and capture would disappear with him. Now, in a riveting piece of investigative journalism nearly ten years in the making, journalist Charles Graeber presents the whole story for the first time. Based on hundreds of pages of previously unseen police records, interviews, wire-tap recordings and videotapes, as well as exclusive jailhouse conversations with Cullen himself and the confidential informant who helped bring him down, THE GOOD NURSE weaves an urgent, terrifying tale of murder, friendship, and betrayal.
Graeber's portrait of Cullen depicts a surprisingly intelligent and complicated young man whose promising career was overwhelmed by his compulsion to kill, and whose shy demeanor masked a twisted interior life hidden even to his family and friends. Were it not for the hardboiled, unrelenting work of two former Newark homicide detectives racing to put together the pieces of Cullen's professional past, and a fellow nurse willing to put everything at risk, including her job and the safety of her children, there's no telling how many more lives could have been lost.
In the tradition of In Cold Blood, THE GOOD NURSE does more than chronicle Cullen's deadly career and the breathless efforts to stop him; it paints an incredibly vivid portrait of madness and offers a penetrating look inside America's medical system. Harrowing and irresistibly paced, this book will make you look at medicine, hospitals, and the people who work in them, in an entirely different way.
He was smart, merciless, and deadly. And it took someone just as tough to bring him down.
A mob contract killer known as “The Iceman” for hiding a body in an ice-cream truck freezer, Richard Kuklinski boasted a personal body count of more than a hundred victims. Using guns, knives, poison, ice picks, tire irons, baseball bats, and bombs, the family man from New Jersey killed for fun, for money, to cover up his own crimes, and to satisfy his inner rage. Law enforcement officials knew all about Kuklinski and had a list of his victims, but couldn’t get near him—until undercover agent Dominick Polifrone posed as a mobster and began a deadly game of cat and mouse.
In this harrowing true-crime account, Anthony Bruno delves into the mind of a cold-blooded killer, chronicling the Iceman’s grisly crimes and probing the bizarre dynamics of Agent Polifrone’s dangerous liaison with him. For as Polifrone carefully built up a case against Kuklinksi, he knew he was running out of time—because the Iceman was planning to kill him too.
“Bruno puts his writing talents to white-knuckle use with a tight focus on a killer with no human feelings.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Excellent . . . [re-creates] the tension and stress Polifrone experienced in fulfilling his risky undercover assignment.”—Publishers Weekly
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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 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.
On a snowy winter evening in 1982, twenty-one-year-old Mary Brown accepted a ride from a handsome stranger in the resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado. The trip ended with her brutally beaten and raped. Mary survived, but her predator's violence had only just begun.
After ten years in prison, Tom Luther was released a far more vicious criminal. Soon, from the Rockies to West Virginia, like Ted Bundy, Luther enticed a chain of women into his murderous trap. In this gripping new edition of a true crime masterpiece, acclaimed author Steve Jackson recounts the intriguing pursuit and long awaited conviction of a charismatic, monstrous psychopath--one who remains a suspect in three other crimes, and has never given up hope of escape.
"Steve Jackson is a born storyteller. He makes you sweat. . .and turn the page." --Ron Franscell, author of The Darkest Night
Includes 16 Pages Of Dramatic Photos
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.
Fifteen-year-old Tony Ciaglia had everything a teenager could want until he suffered a horrific head injury at summer camp. When he emerged from a coma, his right side was paralyzed, he had to relearn how to walk and talk, and he needed countless pills to control his emotions.
Abandoned and shunned by his friends, he began writing to serial killers on a whim and discovered that the same traumatic brain injury that made him an outcast to his peers now enabled him to connect emotionally with notorious murderers. Soon many of America’s most dangerous psychopaths were revealing to him heinous details about their crimes—even those they’d never been convicted of.
Tony despaired as he found himself inescapably drawn into their violent worlds of murder, rape, and torture—until he found a way to use his gift. Asked by investigators from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to aid in solving a murder, Tony launched his own searches for forgotten victims with clues provided by the killers themselves.
The Serial Killer Whisperer takes readers into the minds of murderers like never before, but it also tells the inspiring tale of a struggling American family and a tormented young man who found healing and closure in the most unlikely way—by connecting with monsters.
In this unique book, Peter Vronsky documents the psychological, investigative, and cultural aspects of serial murder, beginning with its first recorded instance in Ancient Rome through fifteenth-century France on to such notorious contemporary cases as cannibal/necrophile Ed Kemper, Henry Lee Lucas, Ted Bundy, and the emergence of what he classifies as the “serial rampage killer” such as Andrew Cunanan.
Vronsky not only offers sound theories on what makes a serial killer but also makes concrete suggestions on how to survive an encounter with one—from recognizing verbal warning signs to physical confrontational resistance. Exhaustively researched with transcripts of interviews with killers, and featuring up-to-date information on the apprehension and conviction of the Green River killer and the Beltway Snipers, Vronsky’s one-of-a-kind book covers every conceivable aspect of an endlessly riveting true-crime phenomenon.
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.
Empire of Sin re-creates the remarkable story of New Orleans’ thirty-years war against itself, pitting the city’s elite “better half” against its powerful and long-entrenched underworld of vice, perversity, and crime. This early-20th-century battle centers on one man: Tom Anderson, the undisputed czar of the city's Storyville vice district, who fights desperately to keep his empire intact as it faces onslaughts from all sides. Surrounding him are the stories of flamboyant prostitutes, crusading moral reformers, dissolute jazzmen, ruthless Mafiosi, venal politicians, and one extremely violent serial killer, all battling for primacy in a wild and wicked city unlike any other in the world.
Written by four award-winning crime reporters who covered the story for more than twenty years, Bind, Torture, Kill is the most intimate and complete account of the BTK nightmare told by the people who were there from the beginning. With newly released documents, evidence, and information—and with the full cooperation, for the very first time, of the Wichita Police Department’s BTK Task Force—the authors have put all the pieces of the grisly puzzle into place, thanks to their unparalleled access to the families of the killer and his victims.
Cries in the Desert is the true story of "The Toy Box Killer"--a shocking story of torture and murder in the New Mexico desert.
In 2000, Douglas Preston fulfilled a dream to move his family to Italy. Then he discovered that the olive grove in front of their 14th century farmhouse had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, meets Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to learn more. This is the true story of their search for--and identification of--the man they believe committed the crimes, and their chilling interview with him. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation. Preston has his phone tapped, is interrogated, and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy's grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. Like one of Preston's thrillers, The Monster Of Florence, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, and suicide-and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.
In the horrifying annals of American crime, the infamous names of brutal killers such as Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, and Berkowitz are writ large in the imaginations of a public both horrified and hypnotized by their monstrous, murderous acts. But for every celebrity psychopath who’s gotten ink for spilling blood, there’s a bevy of all-but-forgotten homicidal fiends studding the bloody margins of U.S. history. The law gave them their just desserts, but now the hugely acclaimed author of The Serial Killer Files and The Whole Death Catalog gives them their dark due in this absolutely riveting true-crime treasury. Among America’s most cold-blooded you’ll meet
• Robert Irwin, “The Mad Sculptor”: He longed to use his carving skills on the woman he loved—but had to settle for making short work of her mother and sister instead.
• Peter Robinson, “The Tell-Tale Heart Killer”: It took two days and four tries for him to finish off his victim, but no time at all for keen-eyed cops to spot the fatal flaw in his floor plan.
• Anton Probst, “The Monster in the Shape of a Man”: The ax-murdering immigrant’s systematic slaughter of all eight members of a Pennsylvania farm family matched the savagery of the Manson murders a century later.
• Edward H. Ruloff, “The Man of Two Lives”: A genuine Jekyll and Hyde, his brilliant scholarship disguised his bloodthirsty brutality, and his oversized brain gave new meaning to “mastermind.”
Spurred by profit, passion, paranoia, or perverse pleasure, these killers—the Witch of Staten Island, the Smutty Nose Butcher, the Bluebeard of Quiet Dell, and many others—span three centuries and a host of harrowing murder methods. Dramatized in the pages of penny dreadfuls, sensationalized in tabloid headlines, and immortalized in “murder ballads” and classic fiction by Edgar Allan Poe and Theodore Dreiser, the demonic denizens of Psycho USA may be long gone to the gallows—but this insidiously irresistible slice of gothic Americana will ensure that they’ll no longer be forgotten.
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.
The first bodies found were those of a feisty millionaire widow and her daughter in their posh Louisville, Kentucky, home. Months later, another wealthy widow and her prominent son and daughter-in-law were found savagely slain in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mystified police first suspected a professional in the bizarre gangland-style killings that shattered the quiet tranquility of two well-to-do southern communities. But soon a suspicion grew that turned their focus to family. The Sharps. The Newsoms. The Lynches. The only link between the three families was a beautiful and aristocratic young mother named Susie Sharp Newsom Lynch. Could this former child “princess” and fraternity sweetheart have committed such barbarous crimes? And what about her gun-loving first cousin and lover, Fritz Klenner, son of a nationally renowned doctor?
In this powerful and riveting tale of three families connected by marriage and murder … of obsessive love and bitter custody battles, Jerry Bledsoe recounts the shocking events that ultimately took nine lives, building to a truly horrifying climax that will leave you stunned.
“Recreates one of the most shocking crimes of recent years!”—Publishers Weekly
“Absorbing suspense…Bledsoe leaves no pebble unturned in his reporting.”—Chicago Tribune
“An astonishing, shocking and riveting account, brilliantly chronicled.”—Detroit News-Free Press
“An engrossing southern gothic sure to delight fans of the true-crime genre. Bledsoe maintains the suspense with a sure hand.”—Charlotte Observer
That was one of the rules David Parker Ray posted on the isolated property where he and his girlfriend Cynthia Hendy lived near New Mexico's Elephant Butte Lake. They called their windowless trailer The Toybox. Over the years they lured countless young women into its chamber of unspeakable pain and horror--and filmed every moment.
A Satanist, Ray was the center of a web of sadism, sex slavery, and murder. Authorities suspect he murdered more than 60 women. In October 2011, a flood of tips led to a renewed search for the remains of more possible victims. This updated edition reveals all the details, plus the inside story on the controversial movie based on these unforgettable events.
"An eye-opening journey into the world of criminal sexual sadism." --Jim Yontz, Deputy District Attorney, Albuquerque, New Mexico
16 pages of haunting photos
"Darkly fascinating. . .a shocker from beginning to end." --Gregg Olsen, New York Times bestselling author
To all appearances, Paul and Karla Bernardo had a fairytale marriage: beautiful working-class girl weds bright upper-middle-class guy and they buy a fashionable dream house in the suburbs. But, bored with his straight, prestigious accounting job, Paul soon went freelance as an international smuggler. He also revealed his boredom with conventional sex—enough so that, one Christmas Eve, he persuaded his wife to drug her own sister and engage in a menage a trois, during which the sister died (a bungling coroner ruled her death accidental). The couple then upped the ante, kidnapping and imprisoning several high school girls for sexual marathons, which they videotaped before savagely murdering their captives. When the girls’ bodies were found, the police were stymied (although Paul had been accused of rape and given a DNA test that vanished for two years and only recently was linked to some fifty sexual-assault cases) until Karla tried to have her husband arrested for wife beating. During questioning, she confessed to the crimes and is now serving two concurrent twelve-year sentences for manslaughter in exchange for testifying against her husband, who was jailed for life.
From the Paperback edition.
Former district attorney Jeanine Pirro was cast as the bad guy fifteen years ago when she reopened the cold case of Kathleen Durst, a young and beautiful fourth-year medical student who disappeared without a trace in 1982, never to be seen again. Kathie Durst’s husband was millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst, son of one of the wealthiest families in New York City—but though her friends and family suspected him of the worst, he escaped police investigation.
Pirro, now the host of Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News, always believed in Durst’s guilt, and in this shocking book, she makes her case beyond a shadow of a doubt, revealing stunning, previously unknown secrets about the crimes he is accused of committing. For years, Pirro has crusaded for justice for the victims, and her impassioned perspective in the captivating HBO documentary series The Jinx made her one of its breakout stars. Featuring Pirro’s unique insider’s perspective on the crimes, as well as her exclusive interviews with many of the major players featured in the The Jinx, this comprehensive book is the definitive story of Robert Durst and his gruesome crimes—the one you didn’t see on television.
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.
Horror in the City: Serial Killers
1. The Bloody Benders
2. Bob Berdella: The Kansas City Butcher
3. Alexander Pichushkin
4. David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam
5. ARTHUR GARY BISHOP
6. Lawrence Bittaker & Roy Norris
On July 14th, 1966, Richard Franklin Speck swept through several student nurses’ townhouse like a summer tornado and changed the landscape of American crime. He broke in as his helpless victims slept, bound them one by one, and then stabbed, assaulted, and strangled all eight in a sadistic sexual frenzy. By morning, only one young nurse had miraculously survived. The killer was captured in seventy-two hours; he was successfully prosecuted in an error-free trial that stood up to appellate scrutiny; and the jury needed only forty-nine minutes to return a death verdict.
Here is the story of Richard Speck by the prosecutor who put him in prison for life with a brand new introduction by Bill Kunkle, the prosecutor of the infamous John Wayne Gacy Jr. In The Crime of the Century, William J. Martin has teamed up with Dennis L. Breo to re-create the blood-soaked night that made American criminal history, offering fascinating behind-the-scenes descriptions of Speck, his innocent victims, the desperate manhunt and massive investigation, and the trial that led to Speck’s successful conviction.
It’s 1980, and Genene Jones is working the 3 to 11 PM shift in the pediatric ICU in San Antonio's county hospital. As the weeks go by, infants under her care begin experiencing unexpected complications—and dying—in alarming numbers, prompting rumors that there is a murderer among the staff. Her eight-hour shift would come to be called “the death shift.” This strange epidemic would continue unabated for more than a year, before Jones is quietly sent off—with a good recommendation—to a rural pediatric clinic. There, eight children under her care mysteriously stopped breathing—and a 15-month-old baby girl died.
In May 1984, Jones was finally arrested, leading to a trial that revealed not only her deeply disturbed mind and a willingness to kill, but a desire to play ‘God’ with the lives of the children under her care. More shocking still, it was discovered that the hospital had shredded records and remained silent about Jones’ horrific deeds, obscuring the full extent of her spree and prompting grieving parents to ask: Why?
Elkind chronicles Jones' rampage, her trials, and the chilling aftermath of one of the most horrific crimes in America, and turns his piercing gaze onto those responsible for its cover-up. It is a tale with special relevance today, as prosecutors, distraught parents, and victims' advocates struggle to keep Jones behind bars, despite her scheduled mandatory release from a Texas prison in early 2018.
“Intriguing...A horrifying true-life medical thriller...” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Gripping...A remarkable journalistic achievement!”—NEWSWEEK
“Murder, madness, and medicine...superb!”—LIBRARY JOURNAL
“Shocking...true crime reporting at its most compelling.”—BOOKLIST
The world mourned the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.
We remember the numbers: twenty children and six adults, murdered in a place of nurture and trust. We remember the names: teachers like Victoria Soto, who lost her life protecting her students. A shooter named Adam Lanza. And we remember the questions: outraged conjecture instantly monopolized the worldwide response to the tragedy—while the truth went missing.
Here is the definitive journalistic account of Newtown, an essential examination of the facts—not only of that horrific day but the perfect storm of mental instability and obsession that preceded it and, in the aftermath of unspeakable heartbreak, the controversy that continues to play out on the national stage. Drawn from previously undisclosed emails, police reports, and in-depth interviews, Newtown: An American Tragedy breaks through a miasma of misinformation to present the comprehensive story that must be told—today—if we are to prevent another American tragedy in the days to come.
Now, acclaimed true-crime writer Stephen G. Michaud takes you into the heart of Hazelwood's work through dozens of startling cases, including those of the Lonely Heart Killer, the "Ken and Barbie" killings, the Atlanta Child Murders, and many more. Here Michaud and Hazelwood go beyond the lurid details, to a deeper understanding of the depraved minds behind the grisly crimes, in a stark, startling, and fascinating work you will not soon forget.
He was a model citizen. A hospital volunteer. And one of the most sadistic serial killers of all time. But few people could see the cruel monster beneath the colorful clown makeup that John Gacy wore to entertain children in his Chicago suburb. Few could imagine what lay buried beneath his house of horrors--until a teenaged boy disappeared before Christmas in 1978, leading prosecutor Terry Sullivan on the greatest manhunt of his career.
Reconstructing the investigation--from records of violence in Gacy's past, to the gruesome discovery of 29 corpses of abused boys in Gacy's crawlspace and four others found in the nearby river--Sullivan's shocking eyewitness account takes you where few true crime books ever go: inside the heart of a serial murder investigation and trial.
This updated edition features new revelations that have emerged using DNA evidence to confirm the identities of additional victims--and 16 pages of dramatic photos.
"An unnerving true crime story of murder, terror, and justice." --Dallas Morning News
"UNNERVING."--Dallas Morning News
It began as a home invasion by the “Manson family” in the early hours of August 9, 1969. It ended in a killing spree that left seven people dead: actress Sharon Tate, writer Voyteck Frykowski, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, hair stylist Jay Sebring, student Steven Parent, and supermarket owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.
The shock waves of these crimes still reverberate today. They have also, over time, eclipsed the life of their most famous victim—a Dallas, Texas, beauty queen with Hollywood aspirations. After more than a dozen small film and television roles, Tate gained international fame with the screen adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, but The Fearless Vampire Killers marked a personal turning point, as she would marry its star and director, Roman Polanski. Tate now had a new dream: to raise a family—and she was only weeks away from giving birth the night Charles Manson’s followers murdered her.
Drawn from a wealth of rare material including detective reports, parole transcripts, Manson’s correspondence, and revealing new interviews with Tate’s friends and costars as well as surviving relatives of the murder victims, Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders gives readers a vital new perspective on one of the most notorious massacres of the twentieth century. The dark legacy of the cult phenomenon is still being explored in novels (Emma Cline’s The Girls) and TV shows (NBC’s Aquarius).
In addition to providing the first full-fledged biography of Sharon Tate, author Greg King finally gives a voice to the families of the slain, notably Tate’s mother, Doris. Her advocacy for victims’ rights was recognized during President George H. W. Bush’s 1992 “A Thousand Points of Light” ceremony. This is the true story of a star who is being rediscovered by a new generation of fans, a woman who achieved in death the fame she yearned for in life.
As Her Best Friend Was Murdered At The Hands Of An Intruder.
Then with cold-blooded precision he brought a twelve-inch boning knife to Krystal's throat. With a single, violent slash, he severed her windpipe and left her for dead. Miraculously, she survived and would lead authorities to the arrest of 35-year-old Tommy Lynn Sells, a former truck driver, carnival worker, and cross-country drifter...
He Aspired To Become "The Worst Serial Killer Of All Time."
With no apparent motive and no common pattern to his inconceivable bloodshed, the elusive Sells had carved his way across the country for two decades slaughtering women, men, transients, entire families, teenagers, and even infants with ghoulish abandon.
Through The Window is more than an investigation into a crime spree that stunned a nation. It's an utterly terrifying plunge into the unfathomable dark mind of a serial killer, and the heart-wrenching story of the brave child who finally brought him to justice.
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
The stories and trivia cover such killers as:John Wayne Gacy Ted Bundy The BTK Killer Jack the Ripper The Green River Killer Serial killers around the world And many more
Bathroom readers have enjoyed considerable success as a format, selling millions of copies. The Killer Book series brings this format to the rabid true crime audience. Including more than 40 black & white photos, this is a must for true crime fans.
Ted Bundy . . . Jeffrey Dahmer . . .
David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz . . . Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer . . .
These are some of the names that strike terror into even the bravest of hearts. Human monsters, they preyed upon the unsuspecting, freely feeding their terrible hungers. Their crimes were unspeakable, as they maimed, tortured, killed, and killed again, leaving so many dead in their bloody wake. But somehow, astonishingly, seven would-be victims fell into the clutches of the century's worst serial killers—and escaped death through courage, divine providence, or just plain luck.
This is the remarkable true story of those who lived.
The Classic Account Of One Of The World’s Most Feared Serial Killers
Decades after Richard Ramirez left thirteen dead and paralyzed the city of Los Angeles, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture, and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo’s classic The Night Stalker, based on years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined. From watching his cousin commit murder at age eleven to his nineteen death sentences to the juror who fell in love with him, the story of Ramirez is a bizarre and spellbinding descent into the very heart of human evil.
Incredibly, after The Night Stalker was first published, thousands of women from all over the world contacted Carlo, begging to be put in touch with the killer. Carlo interviewed them and here presents their disturbing stories and the dark sexual desires that would drive them towards a brutal murderer. And in an exclusive death row interview, the killer himself gives his thoughts on the “Ramirez Groupies”—and what he thinks they really want.
“An astonishing portrait of a killer not seen since In Cold Blood.” —New York Daily News
“An exceptionally well-told true crime tale.” —Publishers Weekly16 Pages Of Shocking Photos
When North Carolina farmer Stuart Taylor died after a sudden illness, his 46-year-old fiancée Velma Barfield, was overcome with grief. Taylor's family grieved with her—until the autopsy revealed traces of arsenic poisoning. Turned over to the authorities by her own son, Velma stunned her family with more revelations. This wasn't the first time the born-again Christian and devout Sunday school teacher had committed cold-blooded murder. Tried by the "world's deadliest prosecutor," and sentenced to death, Velma turned her life around and gained worldwide attention.
With chilling precision,New York Times bestselling author Bledsoe probes Velma's stark descent into madness. From her harrowing childhood to the shocking crimes that incited a national debate over the death penalty, to the dark, final moments of her execution—broadcast live on CNN—Velma Barfield's riveting life of crime and punishment, revenge and redemption is true crime reporting at its most gripping and profound.
"A painfully intimate, moving story about the life and death of the only woman executed in the U.S. between 1962-1998... explores a facet of human behavior that defies easy definitions or easy answers... with graceful writing and thorough reporting, it makes the reader look hard at something dark and sad in the human soul... breathes new life into the true crime genre." —Raleigh News & Observer
"Bledsoe has written a detailed account of Barfield's troubled life and motives...holds the reader's interest with a true story that reads like a novel." —Library Journal
"Undertakes to answer the questions about the justice system and the motives that drive women to kill." —Washington Post Book World
"An extraordinary piece of writing... the most chilling description of a legal execution that we are ever likely to get." —Asheville Citizen Times
"Substantial... focused and intensive... genuinely instructive." —The Spectator
"Bledsoe has been long known as one of the most prodigiously talented reporters and writers in the country." —Tom French
"Taut and engrossing on the nature of justice and the death penalty as well as on guilt and responsibility." —Booklist
"She had beautiful legs. I wanted to keep those legs."
One by one, investigators found the women's bodies. Each one carefully posed. Each one brutally mutilated. An arm here. A leg there. A breast, nipples, a tattoo. The killer was cutting his victims to pieces. . .
"At that point, I pretty much went for the head."
For ten years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the killings went on. Women of slight stature were hunted down, bludgeoned and strangled. And what the killer did with their bodies in the privacy of his car, his home, his kitchen, and his shower-was beyond anything police could imagine.
"I was pure evil."
When investigators finally caught mild-mannered, Star Trek fan Sean Vincent Gillis, he couldn't wait to tell his story. In the presence of shocked veteran detectives, Sean told them every detail of his killings, everything he did with the bodies. . .. And he smiled the whole time. . .
Includes 16 pages of shocking photographs
Warning: Contains Graphic Details
Computer genius Hans Reiser married beautiful Russian pediatrician Nina Sharanova, moved with her to his native Oakland, California, and had two children. But bliss soon soured, and in the middle of a contentious divorce Nina simply vanished. One month later, Hans was charged with her murder. But that was just the beginning...
A model officer and elite pilot, Colonel Russell Williams was trusted with flying international dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth, as well as commanding Canada's most important military airbase. Yet his dark and violent secret life included breaking into 82 homes of girls and women; thefts of vast amounts of lingerie (which he dressed in); two bizarre sexual assaults that left an uncomprehending Ontario village on a knife's-edge; and eventually, two rape-murders. In A New Kind of Monster, veteran Globe and Mail crime reporter Tim Appleby chronicles a true story that could have been lifted from the darkest pages of pulp fiction, one that offers fascinating--and troubling--insights on human psychopathology.