with maps, photos, and more
Texas rightfully claims a celebrated place in the “wildest” West of both myth and reality—which makes it truly stranger than fiction that The Crime Buff's Guide to Outlaw Texas is the first-ever travel guide to the many sites related to the Lone Star State's renowned rambunctious past, complete with GPS coordinates that put you at the scene of the action.
From outlaws like Sam Bass and John Wesley Hardin to Bonnie & Clyde and Houston's notorious Candy Man killer, Texas has dozens of places where true-crime buffs can actually stand close to history. For many readers, the attraction to these sites—some well-known, some obscured by time—is irresistible.
Written with the same fast-paced, gripping style that marked the author's widely praised earlier work, The Crime Buff's Guide to Outlaw Texas is an indispensable resource for both criminal-history enthusiasts and travelers. Each site description includes a concise summary of the location's significance, historical context, maps, directions, and photos.
Praise for a previous book by the same author, The Darkest Night
“Heartbreaking . . . Not unlike Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“This uncommon story has every chilling component of human terror, drama, and suspense that readers of true crime look for.” —Vincent Bugliosi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Helter Skelter
“A very, very, good book . . . written by a very, very, good writer.” —Ann Rule, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stranger Beside Me
Beginning with his street-smart Italian origins in Brooklyn, the book spans 40 years of work and more than 9,000 autopsies, and DiMaio's eventual rise into the pantheon of forensic scientists. One of the country's most methodical and intuitive criminal pathologists will dissect himself, maintaining a nearly continuous flow of suspenseful stories, revealing anecdotes, and enough macabre insider details to rivet the most fervent crime fans.
Years later, author and journalist Ron Franscell—who lived in Casper at the time of the crime, and was a friend to Amy and Becky—can't forget Wyoming's most shocking story of abduction, rape, and murder. Neither could Becky, the surviving sister. The two men who violated her and Amy were sentenced to life in prison, but the demons of her past kept haunting Becky...until she met her fate years later at the same bridge where she'd lost her sister.
And, astonishingly, they all survived.
From Howard Unruh’s 1949 shooting rampage through a quiet New Jersey neighborhood to Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee’s reign of terror in 2002, the corpses piled up and few lived to tell the horror. Now, award-winning journalist Ron Franscell explores the wounded hearts and minds of the ordinary people these monsters couldn’t kill. His mesmerizing accounts crackle with gritty details that put the reader in the midst of the carnage—and offer a front-row seat on the complex, painful process of surviving the rest of their haunted lives. In intimate, gripping prose, Franscell takes the reader on a pulse-pounding dash through the murky intersection of pure evil and the potency of the human spirit. This journey into the darkest corners of the American crime-scape is a penetrating work of literary journalism by a writer hailed as one of the most powerful new voices in true crime.
Pimp sent shockwaves throughout the literary world when it published in 1969. Iceberg Slim’s autobiographical novel offered readers a never-before-seen account of the sex trade, and an unforgettable look at the mores of Chicago’s street life during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. In the preface, Slim says it best, “In this book, I will take you, the reader, with me into the secret inner world of the pimp.” An immersive experience unlike anything before it, Pimp would go on to sell millions of copies, with translations throughout the world. And it would have a profound impact upon generations of writers, entertainers, and filmmakers, making it the classic hustler’s tale that never seems to go out of style.
Mafioso Enriquez gives an insider′s view of how he devoted his life to the cause--the Mexican Mafia, La Familia Mexicana, also known as La Eme--only to find betrayal and disillusionment at the end of a bloody trail of violence that he followed for two decades.
And now, award-winning investigative journalist Chris Blatchford, with the unprecedented cooperation of Rene Enriquez, reveals the inner workings, secret meetings, and elaborate murder plots that make up the daily routine of the Mafia brothers. It is an intense, never-before-told story of a man who devoted his life to a bloody cause only to find betrayal and disillusionment.
Based on years of research and investigation, Chris Blatchford has delivered a historic narrative of a nefarious organization that will go down as a classic in mob literature.
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.
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.
Karen Gravano is the daughter of Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, once one of the mafia's most feared hit men. With nineteen confessed murders, the former Gambino Crime Family underboss—and John Gotti's right-hand man—is the highest ranking gangster ever to turn State's evidence and testify against members of his high-profile crime family.
But to Karen, Sammy Gravano was a sometimes elusive but always loving father figure. He was ever-present at the head of the dinner table. He made a living running a construction firm and several nightclubs. He stayed out late, and sometimes he didn't come home at all. He hosted "secret" meetings at their house, and had countless whispered conversations with "business associates." By the age of twelve, Karen knew he was a gangster. And as she grew up, while her peers worried about clothes and schoolwork, she was coming face-to-face with crime and murder. Gravano was nineteen years old when her father turned his back on the mob and cooperated with the Feds. The fabric of her family was ripped apart, and they were instantly rejected by the communities they grew up in.
This is the story of a daughter's struggle to reconcile the image of her loving father with that of a murdering Mafioso, and how, in healing the rift between the two, she was able to forge a new life.
American Desperado is Roberts’ no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become--at age 22--one of the city’s leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel’s most effective smuggler.
But that’s just half the tale.
The roster of Roberts’ friends and acquaintances reads like a Who’s Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega.
Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6”6” professional wrestler called “The Thing” as his bodyguard. Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party’s leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda.
Scrupulously documented and relentlessly propulsive, this collaboration between a bloodhound journalist and one of the most audacious criminals ever is like no other crime book you’ve ever read.
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.
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.
The father figure is Leonard, the high-living, recovering coke addict "West Coast Director of a large Italian-American finance firm" (read: mobster) who helped to keep James Frey clean in A Million Little Pieces. The son is, of course, James, damaged perhaps beyond repair by years of crack and alcohol addiction-and by more than a few cruel tricks of fate.
James embarks on his post-rehab existence in Chicago emotionally devastated, broke, and afraid to get close to other people. But then Leonard comes back into his life, and everything changes. Leonard offers his "son" lucrative—if illegal and slightly dangerous—employment. He teaches James to enjoy life, sober, for the first time. He instructs him in the art of "living boldly," pushes him to pursue his passion for writing, and provides a watchful and supportive veil of protection under which James can get his life together. Both Leonard's and James's careers flourish…but then Leonard vanishes. When the reasons behind his mysterious absence are revealed, the book opens up in unexpected emotional ways.
My Friend Leonard showcases a brilliant and energetic young writer rising to important new challenges—displaying surprising warmth, humor, and maturity—without losing his intensity. This book proves that one of the most provocative literary voices of his generation is also one of the most emphatically human.
These were the principles that the greatest Mafia "Boss of Bosses," Joseph Bonnano, lived by. Born in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Bonnano found his future amid the whiskey-running, riotous streets of Prohibition America in 1924, when he illegally entered the United States to pursue his dreams. By the age of only twenty-six, Bonnano became a Don. He would eventually take over the New York underworld, igniting the "Castellammarese War," one of the bloodiest Family battles ever to hit New York City...
Now, in this candid and stunning memoir, Joe Bonanno-likely a model for Don Corleone in the blockbuster movie The Godfather-takes readers inside the world of the real Mafia. He reveals the inner workings of New York's Five Families-Bonanno, Gambino, Profaci, Lucchese, and Genovese-and uncovers how the Mafia not only dominated local businesses, but also influenced national politics. A fascinating glimpse into the world of crime, A Man of Honor is an unforgettable account of one of the most powerful crime figures in America's history.
From his blood feud with John Gotti to his dealings with the "Mafia cops," decorated NYPD officers Lou Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, to the Windows case, which marked the beginning of the end for the New York Mob, Gaspipe is Anthony Casso's shocking story—a roller-coaster ride into an exclusive netherworld that reveals the true inner workings of the Mafia, from its inception to the present time.
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.
Until now. Here at last is the explosive memoir that captures the Gottis as they are-unvarnished, raw, and real. And who better to tell this no-hold-barred story than their most famous daughter? Victoria Gotti never intended to reveal the inside story of the Gotti household, but with the pressing need to finally set the record straight came the realization that only she can do so, once and for all. Daughter to the late John Gotti, sister to John A. "Junior" Gotti and three other siblings, single mother to three sons with whom she shared reality television stardom on Growing Up Gotti, an outspoken columnist and bestselling author, Victoria Gotti delivers a candid, colorful, and brutally honest family portrait that reads like a confidential file, filled with deeply personal reflections and never-before-published photographs.
With the trial of "Junior" Gotti poised to continue the high drama of the Gotti story, fascination with the icons of this only-in-New-York clan is stronger than ever. Victoria Gotti's bombshell revelations and stunning insider secrets make This Family of Mine the essential chronicle in the ultimate American family saga.
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).
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
Colton ("C-Loc") Simpson calls himself the only gang member ever allowed to quite the Crips--and one of the few to survive into his thirties. Simpson--son of a ballplayer for the California Angels and a mother who was relentlessly rough with her sons after their fathers left her--became a gang member at ten. Inside The Crips tells the remarkable--and at the same time, all too common--story of gang life in the 1980s in immediate and descriptive prose that makes this book a gripping true-life read. Inside The Crips covers the rush that comes from participating in gang violence and the years-long wars between the Bloods and Crips. Simpson's story also puts the reader in the middle of the struggle between the Crips and corrections officers in Calipatria prison. It covers gang life from the mid-seventies to the mid-nineties, and introduces characters it's impossible not to care about: Simpson's fellow gangbanger Smile; and Gina, the long-suffering friend and mother of two sons who married Simpson in prison.
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
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.
A New York Times Bestseller
A Boston Globe Bestseller
An ABA Indie Bestseller
James "Whitey" Bulger became one of the most ruthless gangsters in US history, and all because of an unholy deal he made with a childhood friend. John Connolly a rising star in the Boston FBI office, offered Bulger protection in return for helping the Feds eliminate Boston's Italian mafia. But no one offered Boston protection from Whitey Bulger, who, in a blizzard of gangland killings, took over the city's drug trade. Whitey's deal with Connolly's FBI spiraled out of control to become the biggest informant scandal in FBI history.
Black Mass is a New York Times and Boston Globe bestseller, written by two former reporters who were on the case from the beginning. It is an epic story of violence, double-cross, and corruption at the center of which are the black hearts of two old friends whose lives unfolded in the darkness of permanent midnight.
Alfonso "Little Al" D'Arco, the former acting boss of the Luchese organized crime family, was the highest-ranking mobster to ever turn government witness when he flipped in 1991. His decision to flip prompted many others to make the same choice, including John Gotti's top aide, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, and his testimony sent more than fifty mobsters to prison.
In Mob Boss, award-winning news reporters Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins team up for this unparalleled account of D'Arco's life and the New York mob scene that he embraced for four decades.
Until the day he switched sides, D'Arco lived and breathed the old-school gangster lessons he learned growing up in Brooklyn and fine-tuned on the mean streets of Little Italy. But when he learned he was marked to be whacked, D'Arco quit the mob. His defection decimated his crime family and opened a window on mob secrets going back a hundred years.
After speaking with D'Arco, the authors reveal unprecedented insights, exposing shocking secrets and troublesome truths about a city where a famous pizza parlor doubled as a Mafia center for multi-million-dollar heroin deals, where hit men carried out murders dressed as women, and where kidnapping a celebrity newsman's son was deemed appropriate revenge for the father's satirical novel.
Capeci and Robbins spent hundreds of hours in conversation with D'Arco, and exhausted many hours more fleshing out his stories in this riveting narrative that takes readers behind the famous witness testimony for a comprehensive look at the Mafia in New York City.
THE INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLER!
Until now, we believed that everything had been said about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, the most infamous drug kingpin of all time, but these versions have always been told from the outside, never from the intimacy of his own home.
More than two decades after the full-fledged manhunt finally caught up with the king of cocaine, Juan Pablo Escobar travels to the past to reveal an unabridged version of his father—a man capable of committing the most extreme acts of cruelty while simultaneously professing infinite love for his family.
This is not the story of a child seeking redemption for his father, but a shocking look at the consequences of violence and the overwhelming need for peace and forgiveness.
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
A student at Forest Park High School near Atlanta, Georgia, popular blonde-haired Sharon Marshall was at the top of her class. Serving as a Lt. Colonel in the ROTC, she earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech University to study aerospace engineering. She was the ultimate girl next door, sweet, generous, and well-adjusted. But Sharon had disturbing secrets so shocking and unique, they took more than a decade to unravel...
This is the horrifying true story of a mysterious young woman caught in the violent web of the murderous fugitive she called her father—and a heartrending testament to the profound courage and perseverance of one woman trapped in the grip of extreme evil.
“This is my kind of history book. Get ready. Here’s the action.” —BRAD MELTZER, bestselling author of The Fifth Assassin and host of Decoded
When George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied—thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. He realized that he couldn’t defeat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York.
Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have offered fascinating portraits of these spies: a reserved Quaker merchant, a tavern keeper, a brash young longshoreman, a curmudgeonly Long Island bachelor, a coffeehouse owner, and a mysterious woman. Long unrecognized, the secret six are finally receiving their due among the pantheon of American heroes.
James L. Swanson's Manhunt is a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.
Now, award-winning broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell, a veteran of some of the most storied court cases in recent memory, goes behind the scenes of the trial and into the mind of a killer. Using insider accounts from friends who knew Travis and Jodi, Velez-Mitchell turns her sharply-focused lens on Arias and offers her seasoned perspective on the case’s most pressing questions. Separating fact from fiction, she reports on the bizarre and explicit stories that have both shocked and fascinated the American public—from Jodi’s romantic history before meeting Travis, to their torrid sex life together, to the complicated role their Mormon faith played in the relationship’s demise. With unbridled access to the evidence and the case’s key players, Velez-Mitchell unearths Jodi’s contentious life with those closest to her, examining the paranoid and erratic behavior behind each relationship and illustrating the disturbing pattern of a murderer in the making.
Complete with photos from the case and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s fresh insights on the crime, Exposed takes readers behind closed bedroom doors to uncover the truth behind the secret and sordid life of Jodi Arias.
Gary Heyward’s life changed forever when he received a letter from the New York City Department of Corrections announcing he was accepted into the academy for new recruits. For the Harlem-born ex-Marine, being an officer of the law was the ticket he’d been waiting for to move up from a low-wage security job and out of the Polo Ground Projects in New York City—and take his mother with him.
Heyward was warned of the temptations he’d encounter as a new officer, but when faced with financial hardship, he suddenly found himself unable to resist the income generated from selling contraband to inmates. In his distinctive voice, Heyward takes you on a journey inside the walls of Rikers Island, showing how he teamed up with various inmates and other officers to develop a system that allowed him to profit from selling drugs inside the jail.
Corruption Officer is a jarring exposé of a man having lived on both sides of the law, a rare insider’s look at a corrupt city jail, and a testament to the lengths we’ll go when our backs are against the wall.
Al DeMeo will never forget the day in 1992 when a coworker, a fellow trader at the New York Stock Exchange, taunted him with a copy of the hot new book Murder Machine, chronicling the horrific criminal life of DeMeo's father, Roy, the head of the most deadly gang in organized crime. The moment sent DeMeo into a psychological tailspin: How could he have spent his life looking up to, and loving, a vicious killer?
For the Sins of My Father recounts the chilling rise and fall of the man who led the Gambino family's most fearsome killers and thieves, through the eyes of a son who had never known any other kind of life. Coming of age in an opulent Long Island house where money is abundant but its source is unclear, Al becomes Roy's confidant, sent to call in loans at age fourteen and gradually coming to understand his father's job description--loan shark, car thief, porn purveyor and, above all, murderer. But when Al is seventeen, Roy's body is found in the trunk of a car, a gangland slaying that places Al between federal prosecutors seeking his testimony and a mob crew determined to keep him quiet.
Desperate to abide by the father-son bond, but equally determined to escape his father's dangerous and doomed life, Al Demeo embarks on a courageous quest for the truth, reconciliation, and honor. With the implacable narrative drive of a thriller and the power of a painfully honest memoir, For the Sins of My Father presents a startling and unprecedented perspective on the underworld of organized crime, exposing for the first time the cruel legacy of a Mafia life.
From the Hardcover edition.
Frank W. Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams, and Robert Monjo, was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was twenty-one.
Known by the police of twenty-six foreign countries and all fifty states as "The Skywayman," Abagnale lived a sumptuous life on the lam--until the law caught up with him. Now recognized as the nation's leading authority on financial foul play, Abagnale is a charming rogue whose hilarious, stranger-than-fiction international escapades, and ingenious escapes-including one from an airplane-make Catch Me If You Can an irresistible tale of deceit.
Her troubled childhood in Queensland led to working in a brothel on the Sunshine Coast at the age of fifteen, and from there Annika worked her way up to the high-end parlours, agencies and private work in various parts of Australia and internationally.
In this book Annika reveals the truth of a sex worker's life; the clients, the
girls, the parlour bosses, the rip-off merchants, the drug deaths, the white slavery, the discrimination, the corrupt police and politicians, the exotic travel and the money.
Mattress Actress is a revealing and gutsy look at someone practising the world's oldest profession in the late twentieth century. From wide-eyed innocent to experienced and successful professional, Annika's story is both shocking and highly entertaining.
"Annika Cleeve is not her real name but this is her real story: a raw and honest account of life in the raw as a new recruit to the oldest profession." – Andrew Rule
Also published as Eve: Confessions of an International Call Girl by Monsoon Books
These are the words of Roberto Escobar-the top accountant for the notorious and deadly Medellín Cartel, and brother of Pablo Escobar, the most famous drug lord in history. At the height of his reign, Pablo's multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine each week into countries all over the world. Roberto and his ten accountants kept track of all the money. Only Pablo and Roberto knew where it was stashed-and what it bought.
And the amounts of money were simply staggering. According to Roberto, it cost $2,500 every month just to purchase the rubber bands needed to wrap the stacks of cash. The biggest problem was finding a place to store it: from secret compartments in walls and beneath swimming pools to banks and warehouses everywhere. There was so much money that Roberto would sometimes write off ten percent as "spoilage," meaning either rats had chewed up the bills or dampness had ruined the cash.
Roberto writes about the incredible violence of the cartel, but he also writes of the humanitarian side of his brother. Pablo built entire towns, gave away thousands of houses, paid people's medical expenses, and built schools and hospitals. Yet he was responsible for the horrible deaths of thousands of people.
In short, this is the story of a world of riches almost beyond mortal imagination, and in his own words, Roberto Escobar tells all: building a magnificent zoo at Pablo's opulent home, the brothers' many escapes into the jungles of Colombia, devising ingenious methods to smuggle tons of cocaine into the United States, bribing officials with literally millions of dollars-and building a personal army to protect the Escobar family against an array of enemies sworn to kill them.
Few men in history have been more beloved-or despised-than Pablo Escobar. Now, for the first time, his story is told by the man who knew him best: his brother, Roberto.
The daring movie revolutionized Hollywood—now the true story of Bonnie and Clyde is told in the lovers' own voices, with verisimilitude and drama to match Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
Strictly nonfiction—no dialogue or other material has been made up—and set in the dirt-poor Texas landscape that spawned the star-crossed outlaws, Paul Schneider's brilliantly researched and dramatically crafted tale begins with a daring jailbreak and ends with an ambush and shoot-out that consigns their bullet-riddled bodies to the crumpled front seat of a hopped-up getaway car.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow's relationship was, at the core, a toxic combination of infatuation blended with an instinct for going too far too fast. The poetry-writing petite Bonnie and her gun-crazy lover drove lawmen wild. Despite their best efforts the duo kept up their exploits, slipping the noose every single, damned time. That is until the weight of their infamy in four states caught up with them in the famous ambush that literally blasted away their years of live-action rampage in seconds. Without glamorizing the killers or vilifying the cops, the book, alive with action and high-level entertainment, provides a complete picture of America's most famous outlaw couple and the culture that created them.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation’s burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.
Graced by David McCullough’s remarkable gift for writing richly textured, sympathetic social history, The Johnstown Flood is an absorbing, classic portrait of life in nineteenth-century America, of overweening confidence, of energy, and of tragedy. It also offers a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times: the danger of assuming that because people are in positions of responsibility they are necessarily behaving responsibly.
“A page-turner, as compelling and evocative as the finest novel. The best book on prison I’ve ever read.”—Jonathan Kellerman
The most dreaded facility in the prison system because of its fierce population, Leavenworth is governed by ruthless clans competing for dominance. Among the “star” players in these pages: Carl Cletus Bowles, the sexual predator with a talent for murder; Dallas Scott, a gang member who has spent almost thirty of his forty-two years behind bars; indomitable Warden Robert Matthews, who put his shoulder against his prison’s grim reality; Thomas Silverstein, a sociopath confined in “no human contact” status since 1983; “tough cop” guard Eddie Geouge, the only officer in the penitentiary with the authority to sentence an inmate to “the Hole”; and William Post, a bank robber with a criminal record going back to when he was eight years old—and known as the “Catman” for his devoted care of the cats who live inside the prison walls.
Pete Earley, celebrated reporter and author of Family of Spies, all but lived for nearly two years inside the primordial world of Leavenworth, where he conducted hundreds of interviews. Out of this unique, extraordinary access comes the riveting story of what life is actually like in the oldest maximum-security prison in the country.
Praise for The Hot House
“Reporting at its very finest.”—Los Angeles Times
“The book is a large act of courage, its subject an important one, and . . . Earley does it justice.”—The Washington Post Book World
“[A] riveting, fiercely unsentimental book . . . To [Earley’s] credit, he does not romanticize the keepers or the criminals. His cool and concise prose style serves him well. . . . This is a gutsy book.”—Chicago Tribune
“Harrowing . . . an exceptional work of journalism.”—Detroit Free Press
“If you’re going to read any book about prison, The Hot House is the one. . . . It is the most realistic, unbuffed account of prison anywhere in print.”—Kansas City Star
“A superb piece of reporting.”—Tom Clancy
In the fall of 2010, in the all-American town of Apple Valley, Ohio, four people disappeared without a trace: Stephanie Sprang; her friend, Tina Maynard; and Tina’s two children, thirteen-year-old Sarah and eleven-year-old Kody. Investigators began scouring the area, yet despite an extensive search, no signs of the missing people were discovered.
On the fourth day of the search, evidence trickled in about neighborhood “weirdo” Matthew Hoffman. A police SWAT team raided his home and found an extremely disturbing sight: every square inch of the place was filled with leaves and a terrified Sarah Maynard was bound up in the middle of it like some sort of perverted autumn tableau. But there was no trace of the others.
Then came Hoffman’s confession to an unspeakable crime that went beyond murder and defied all reason. His tale of evil would make Sarah’s survival and rescue all the more astonishing—a compelling tribute to a young girl’s resilience and courage and to her fierce determination to reclaim her life in the wake of unimaginable wickedness.
Fans nationwide have fallen in love with Orange Is the New Black, the critically acclaimed and wildly popular Netflix show based on Piper Kerman’s sensational #1 New York Times bestseller. Now, Catherine Cleary Wolters—the inspiration for Alex Vause, Piper’s ex-girlfriend, friend, and sometimes-romantic partner on the show—tells her true story, offering details and insights that fill in the blanks, set the record straight, and answer common fan questions.
An insightful, frustrating, heartbreaking, and uplifting analysis of crime and punishment in our times, Out of Orange is an intimate look at international drug crime—a seemingly glamorous lifestyle that dazzles unsuspecting young women and eventually leads them to the seedy world of prison. Told by a woman originally thrust into the spotlight without her permission—Wolters learned about Piper’s memoir in the media—Out of Orange chronicles Wolter’s time in the drug trade, her incarceration, her friendships and acquaintances with odd cellmates, her two marriages, and her complicated relationship with Piper. But Wolters is not solely defined by her past; she also reflects on her life and the person she is today.
Filled with colorful characters, fascinating tales, painful sobering lessons, and hard-earned wisdom, Out of Orange is sure to be provocative, entertaining, and ultimately inspiring.
Secretive—even reclusive—Russell Bufalino quietly built his organized crime empire in the decades between Prohibition and the Carter presidency. His reach extended far beyond the coal country of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and quaint Amish farms near Lancaster. Bufalino had a hand in global, national, and local politics of the largest American cities, many of its major industries, and controlled the powerful Teamsters Union. His influence also reached the highest levels of Pennsylvania government and halls of Congress, and his legacy left a culture of corruption that continues to this day.
A uniquely American saga that spans six decades, The Quiet Don follows Russell Bufalino’s remarkably quiet ascent from Sicilian immigrant to mob soldier to a man described by a United States Senate subcommittee in 1964 as “one of the most ruthless and powerful leaders of the Mafia in the United States.”
A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice.
In 2014, PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE released a film based on The Poisoner's Handbook.
In an America torn apart by the Vietnam War and the demise of '60s idealism, airplane hijackings were astonishingly routine. Over a five-year period starting in 1968, the desperate and disillusioned seized commercial jets nearly once a week, using guns, bombs, and jars of acid. Some hijackers wished to escape to foreign lands; others aimed to swap hostages for sacks of cash. Their criminal exploits mesmerized the country, never more so than when shattered Army veteran Roger Holder and mischievous party girl Cathy Kerkow managred to comandeer Western Airlines Flight 701 and flee across an ocean with a half-million dollars in ransom—a heist that remains the longest-distance hijacking in American history.
More than just an enthralling story about a spectacular crime and its bittersweet, decades-long aftermath, The Skies Belong to Us is also a psychological portrait of America at its most turbulent and a testament to the madness that can grip a nation when politics fail.
“We gotta kill ‘em. They know what we look like.”
On a hot summer night in Houston, two teenage girls—bright, beautiful, success-bound friends—took a shortcut home from a friend’s apartment to make their curfew. They never reached their homes. The next morning, the families of the two girls began a frantic search, organizing friends and neighbors and posting thousands of fliers across the sprawling city. But not until an anonymous 911 call four days later were the bodies of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena finally recovered. Their killers were soon rounded up—a brutal, unrepentant gang of teenage boys whose convictions should have put them behind bars for life. But in the halls of justice, nothing is ever a sure bet . . .
“Corey Mitchell empathized with crime victims in a way unique and personal way. That empathy is evident in every true crime book he wrote and is what makes his books heartfelt, compelling reads.” —Suzy Spencer
“No one faces evil head on like Corey Mitchell.” —Gregg Olsen
INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF HAUNTING PHOTOS
From “America’s principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers” (The Boston Book Review) comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation—and redefined the meaning of the word “psycho.” The year was 1957. The place was an ordinary farmhouse in America’s heartland, filled with extraordinary evidence of unthinkable depravity. The man behind the massacre was a slight, unassuming Midwesterner with a strange smile—and even stranger attachment to his domineering mother. After her death and a failed attempt to dig up his mother’s body from the local cemetery, Gein turned to other grave robberies and, ultimately, multiple murders. Driven to commit gruesome and bizarre acts beyond all imagining, Ed Gein remains one of the most deranged minds in the annals of American homicide. This is his story—recounted in fascinating and chilling detail by Harold Schechter, one of the most acclaimed true-crime storytellers of our time.
Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers—both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.
Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief —until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. The Map Thief delves into the untold history of this fascinating high-stakes criminal and the inside story of the industry that consumed him.
Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all the key players in this stranger-than-fiction story, and shares the fascinating histories of maps that charted the New World, and how they went from being practical instruments to quirky heirlooms to highly coveted objects. Though pieces of the map theft story have been written before, Blanding is the first reporter to explore the story in full—and had the rare privilege of having access to Smiley himself after he’d gone silent in the wake of his crimes. Moreover, although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more—and offer intriguing clues to prove it. Now, through a series of exclusive interviews with Smiley and other key individuals, Blanding teases out an astonishing tale of destruction and redemption.
The Map Thief interweaves Smiley’s escapades with the stories of the explorers and mapmakers he knew better than anyone. Tracking a series of thefts as brazen as the art heists in Provenance and a subculture as obsessive as the oenophiles in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Blanding has pieced together an unforgettable story of high-stakes crime.
INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF DRAMATIC PHOTOS
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.
In Gotti’s Rules, George Anastasia, a prize-winning reporter who spent over thirty years covering crime, offers a shocking and very rare glimpse into the Gotti family, witnessed up-close from former family insider John Alite, John Gotti Jr.’s longtime friend and protector. Until now, no one has given up the kind of personal details about the Gottis—including the legendary “Gotti Rules” of leadership—that Anastasia exposes here. Drawing on extensive FBI files and other documentation, his own knowledge, and exclusive interviews with insiders and experts, including mob-enforcer-turned-government-witness Alite, Anastasia pokes holes in the Gotti legend, demystifying this notorious family and its lucrative and often deadly machinations.
Anastasia offers never-before-heard information about the murders, drug dealing, and extortion that propelled John J. Gotti to the top of the Gambino crime family and the treachery and deceit that allowed John A. “Junior” Gotti to follow in his father’s footsteps. Told from street level and through the eyes of a wiseguy who saw it all firsthand, the result is a riveting look at a family whose hubris, violence, passion, and greed fueled a bloody rise and devastating fall that is still reverberating through the American underworld today.
Gotti’s Rules includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.
From New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author of The Nine and The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson, the definitive account of the kidnapping and trial that defined an insane era in American history
On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in college and heiress to the Hearst Family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbonese Liberation Army. The weird turns that followed in this already sensational take are truly astonishing--the Hearst family tried to secure Patty's release by feeding the people of Oakland and San Francisco for free; bank security cameras captured "Tania" wielding a machine gun during a roberry; the LAPD engaged in the largest police shoot-out in American history; the first breaking news event was broadcast live on telelvision stations across the country; and then there was Patty's circuslike trial, filled with theatrical courtroom confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, after which the term "Stockholm syndrome" entered the lexicon.
Ultimately, the saga highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. American Heiress portrays the electrifying lunacy of the time and the toxic mic of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and captivated the nation.