On March 31, 1995, South Texas came to a standstill as the shocking news spread that the hugely popular Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla Perez had been shot and killed in Corpus Christi. She was a girl from the barrio whose voice won her a Grammy, sold millions of albums, and turned her into a sensation unlike any other. When she was murdered, Selena seemed to take with her the aspirations of fans across the globe.
Fifteen years later, in this exclusive oral history, her family, bandmates, and friends recall the life and devastating death of a star who still mesmerizes us all.
For more than a decade, it was Michelle Lyons's job to observe the final moments of death row inmates--but watching 278 executions did not come without a cost.
S.C. Gwynne’s New York Times bestselling historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West is now available from Encore for the first time and at a great low price.
Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.
Although listeners may be more familiar with the names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun.
The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being.
Picking up where Part One of "The Innocent Man" left off, Pamela Colloff dives into what Michael Morton went through in the 25 years he was wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife. Lawyers convinced of Michael's innocence sought appeal after appeal and were blocked repeatedly by a court system reluctant to admit their errors. Michael meanwhile dealt with the torments of prison, matched only by the torment of slowly losing hope of ever reconciling with his son.
What began with the tragedy of losing his wife and what could have led to bitter vindication became the story of man seeking nothing more than the truth and a chance to start over.
Few stories feel as classic as a well-told ghost story, the kind that makes your hair stand on end or sends chills down your spine even years after its alleged happening. Almost as classic are those stories that take place in high school, starring the jocks, the cheerleaders, and the outsiders; nostalgic for a time that almost certainly never was and yet remains a stalwart of American storytelling. Pamela Colloff's "A Kiss Before Dying" is both kinds of story and what's more, it's all true.
Betty Williams was an outsider at a time when conformity was king: Texas in the 1960s. Mack Herring was the quintessential football player, handsome and well-liked by the sweater set-wearing girls Betty scoffed at. When their unlikely relationship came to an end and Betty's life began to spiral, she asked for death and Mack was more than happy to oblige. The resulting trial of Betty Williams's murder would shock no one familiar with the resolutions of today's rape cases.
In "A Kiss Before Dying," Pamela Colloff weaves together a story that's part true crime, part high school classic, that feels at once contemporary as it does of another time.
Twenty-five years ago, the FBI staged a deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. Texas. David Thibodeau survived to tell the story.
When he first met the man who called himself David Koresh, David Thibodeau was a drummer in a local a rock band. Though he had never been religious in the slightest, Thibodeau gradually became a follower and moved to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. He remained there until April 19, 1993, when the compound was stormed and burned to the ground after a 51-day standoff with government authorities.
In this compelling account--now with an updated epilogue that revisits remaining survivors--Thibodeau explores why so many people came to believe that Koresh was divinely inspired. We meet the men, women, and children of Mt. Carmel. We get inside the day-to-day life of the community. We also understand Thibodeau's brutally honest assessment of the United States government's actions. The result is a memoir that reads like a thriller, with each page taking us closer to the eventual inferno.
Originally published as A Place Called Waco.
"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." —Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review
SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017
Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse
From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
In this gripping narrative history, the beloved NBC weather personality vividly brings to life the Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in American history.
On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, 200-mile-per-hour winds and fifteen-foot waves slammed into Galveston, the prosperous and growing port city on Texas’s Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, when the storm had passed, the city that existed just hours before was gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: 8,000 corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, smashing them into pieces, while intensive winds had upended girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. In less than twenty-four hours, one storm destroyed a major American metropolis—and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature.
The Storm of the Century brings this legendary disaster and its aftermath into brilliant focus. No other natural disaster has ever matched the havoc caused by the awesome mix of winds, rains, and flooding that devastated this bustling metropolis and shocked a young, optimistic nation on the cusp of modernity. Exploring the impact of the disaster on a rising nation’s confidence—the pain and trauma of the loss and the determination of the response—Al Roker illuminates both the energy and the limitations of the American Century, and of nature itself.
"Ripped from the headlines . . . Combining in-depth, investigative reporting and fresh interviews, the authors effectively tabloid-proof this shocking, celebrity-driven story by lining up the facts and labeling rumors." --USA Today
Aaron Hernandez was a college All-American who became the youngest player in the NFL and later reached the Super Bowl. His every move as a tight end with the New England Patriots played out the headlines, yet he led a secret life--one that ended in a maximum-security prison. What drove him to go so wrong, so fast?
Between the summers of 2012 and 2013, not long after Hernandez made his first Pro Bowl, he was linked to a series of violent incidents culminating in the death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who dated the sister of Hernandez's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins.
All-American Murder is the first book to investigate Aaron Hernandez's first-degree murder conviction and the mystery of his own shocking and untimely death.
The facts are brutally straightforward. On December 6, 1991, the naked, bound-and-gagged bodies of the four girls--each one shot in the head--were found in an I Can't Believe It's Yogurt! shop in Austin, Texas. Grief, shock, and horror spread out from their families and friends to overtake the city itself. Though all branches of law enforcement were brought to bear, the investigation was often misdirected and after eight years only two men (then teenagers) were tried; moreover, their subsequent convictions were eventually overturned, and Austin PD detectives are still working on what is now a very cold case. Over the decades, the story has grown to include DNA technology, false confessions, and other developments facing crime and punishment in contemporary life. But this story belongs to the scores of people involved, and from them Lowry has fashioned a riveting saga that reads like a Russian novel, comprehensive and thoroughly engrossing.
What brought the author's family to Texas? What is it about Texas that for centuries has exerted a powerful allure for adventurers and scoundrels, dreamers and desperate souls, outlaws and outliers? In search of answers, Hodge travels across his home state--which he loves and hates in shifting measure--tracing the wanderings of his ancestors into forgotten histories along vanished roads. Here is an unsentimental, keenly insightful attempt to grapple with all that makes Texas so magical, punishing, and polarizing. Here is a spellbindingly evocative portrait of the borderlands--with its brutal history of colonization, conquest, and genocide; where stories of death and drugs and desperation play out daily. And here is a contemplation of what it means that the ranching industry that has sustained families like Hodge's for almost two centuries is quickly fading away, taking with it a part of our larger, deep-rooted cultural inheritance. A wholly original fusion of memoir and history--as piercing as it is elegiac--Texas Blood is a triumph.
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
In the early morning of April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh drove into downtown Oklahoma City in a rented Ryder truck containing a deadly fertilizer bomb that he and his army buddy Terry Nichols had made the previous day. He parked in a handicapped-parking zone, hopped out of the truck, and walked away into a series of alleys and streets. Shortly after 9:00 A.M., the bomb obliterated one-third of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, including 19 infants and toddlers. McVeigh claimed he'd worked only with Nichols, and at least officially, the government believed him. But McVeigh's was just one version of events. And much of it was wrong.
In Oklahoma City, veteran investigative journalists Andrew Gumbel and Roger G. Charles puncture the myth about what happened on that day—one that has persisted in the minds of the American public for nearly two decades. Working with unprecedented access to government documents, a voluminous correspondence with Terry Nichols, and more than 150 interviews with those immediately involved, Gumbel and Charles demonstrate how much was missed beyond the guilt of the two principal defendants: in particular, the dysfunction within the country's law enforcement agencies, which squandered opportunities to penetrate the radical right and prevent the bombing, and the unanswered question of who inspired the plot and who else might have been involved.
To this day, the FBI heralds the Oklahoma City investigation as one of its great triumphs. In reality, though, its handling of the bombing foreshadowed many of the problems that made the country vulnerable to attack again on 9/11. Law enforcement agencies could not see past their own rivalries and underestimated the seriousness of the deadly rhetoric coming from the radical far right. In Oklahoma City, Gumbel and Charles give the fullest, most honest account to date of both the plot and the investigation, drawing a vivid portrait of the unfailingly compelling—driven, eccentric, fractious, funny, and wildly paranoid—characters involved.
As heard on Sirius XM Radio and NPR stations!
Lady Bird Johnson: Legacy of a First Lady was written, produced, directed, and narrated by veteran NPR producer Joe Bevilacqua. One of the most licensed audiobooks on The Public Radio Exchange and iTunes, it is Bevilacqua's award-winning audio documentary examining the challenges and achievements of this extraordinary woman. The hour combines never-before-released archive audio gleaned from thousands of hours of recordings from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, period news broadcasts, private conversations with Lyndon Baines Johnson, and the words of Lady Bird Johnson from an interview that has never before been released to the public.
Bevilacqua spent nearly five months listening to the rare tapes and traveled to Washington, DC, to interview Mrs. Johnson's colleagues and friends. The program features Lyndon Johnson Administration staffers Liz Carpenter, Bess Abell, and Nash Castro; Washington Post owner Katherine Graham; Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum director Harry Middleton; Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center director Robert Glass Breunig; Lady Bird biographer Jan Jarboe Russell; and first ladies Betty Ford and Barbara Bush. Other voices heard on the program include Kirk Douglas and Helen Hayes reading from LBJ's and Lady Bird's love letters. The production was produced in association with KUT Radio in Austin, Texas, and overseen by a panel of scholars and experts, including Lewis Gould, retired University of Texas (UT) at Austin professor of history; Walt Rostow, UT professor emeritus; Elspeth Rostow, former dean of the UT LBJ School of Public Affairs; Carl Anthony, Washington, DC, historian; and Don Carleton, director of the Center for American History at UT.
Mickey Mantle was the ideal batter for the atomic age, capable of hitting a baseball harder and farther than any other player in history. He was also the perfect idol for postwar America, a wholesome hero from the heartland.
In A Season in the Sun, acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith recount the defining moment of Mantle's legendary career: 1956, when he overcame a host of injuries and critics to become the most celebrated athlete of his time. Taking us from the action on the diamond to Mantle's off-the-field exploits, Roberts and Smith depict Mantle not as an ideal role model or a bitter alcoholic, but a complex man whose faults were smoothed over by sportswriters eager to keep the truth about sports heroes at bay. An incisive portrait of an American icon, A Season in the Sun is an essential work for baseball fans and anyone interested in the 1950s.
Drawing upon newly available primary sources, THE BLOOD OF HEROES is the definitive account of this epic battle. Populated by larger-than-life characters--including Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis--it is a dynamic story of courage, sacrifice, and redemption.
The harrowing true story of abduction and survival from the courageous young woman who lived it—now the subject of a Lifetime original movie, I Am Elizabeth Smart.
In this memoir, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime. On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. Elizabeth was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
With My Story, Elizabeth tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
In the years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. She and her husband, Matthew Gilmour, now have two children.
The acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Sue Klebold, mother of one of the Columbine shooters, about living in the aftermath of Columbine.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?
These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.
Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.
All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.
— Washington Post, Best Memoirs of 2016
MURDER BEYOND THE GRAVE (with Andrew Bourelle): Stephen Small has it all-a Ferrari, fancy house, loving wife, and three boys. But the only thing he needs right now is enough air to breathe. Kidnapped, buried in a box, and held for ransom, Stephen has forty-eight hours of oxygen. The clock is ticking . . .
MURDER IN PARADISE (with Christopher Charles): High in the Sierra Nevada mountains, developers Jim and Bonnie Hood excitedly tour Camp Nelson Lodge. They intend to buy and modernize this beautiful rustic property, but the locals don't like rich outsiders changing their way of life. After a grisly shooting, everybody will discover just how you can make a killing in real estate . . .
HOME SWEET MURDER (with Andrew Bourelle): Lawyer Leo Fisher and his wife Sue are a sixty-one-year-old couple enjoying a quiet Sunday dinner at home. Until a man in a suit rings their front door claiming to be an SEC agent. By the end of the evening, two people will be shot, stabbed, and tortured. And two others will fare worse . . .
MURDER ON THE RUN (with Scott Slaven): The middle-aged housekeeper found dead with a knife in her throat was bad. But the little boy was worse. After a bloody double homicide that puts Omaha, Nebraska, on the map, Detective Derek Mois promises the boy's parents he will catch the killer, no matter how long or far he runs . . .
Juan Martinez, the fiery prosecutor who convicted notorious murderess Jodi Arias for the disturbing killing of Travis Alexander, speaks for the first time about the shocking investigation and sensational trial that captivated the nation.
Through two trials, America watched with baited breath as Juan Martinez fought relentlessly to convict Jodi Arias of Murder One for viciously stabbing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander to death. What emerged was a story wrought with sex, manipulation, and deceit that stunned the public at every turn. Arias, always playing the wronged and innocent woman, changed her story continually as her bizarre behavior surrounding the crime and its aftermath came to light. Unwavering, Arias and her defense team continued to play off the salacious details of the case, until she was finally found guilty and—controversially—sentenced to life behind bars.
Now, speaking openly for the first time, prosecutor Juan Martinez will unearth new details from the investigation that were never revealed at trial, exploring key facts from the case and the pieces of evidence he chose to keep close to the vest. Throughout the trials, his bullish and unfaltering prosecution strategy was both commended and criticized, and in his book, Martinez will illuminate the unique tactics he utilized in this case and how they lead to a successful conviction, and-for the first time-discuss how he felt losing the death penalty sentence he’d pursued for years.
Going beyond the news reports, Martinez will explore the truth behind the multiple facades of Jodi Arias. Sparring with her from across the stand, Martinez came to know Arias like no one else could, dissecting what it took for a seemingly normal girl to become a deluded, cunning, and unrepentant murderer.
With new stories from behind the scenes of the trial and Martinez’s own take on his defendant, the book takes you inside the mind of Jodi Arias like never before and is the definitive account of the case that shocked America.
It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.
Detective Lt. Joe Kenda, star of Homicide Hunter, shares his deepest, darkest, and never before revealed case files from his 19 years as a homicide detective.
Are you horrified yet fascinated by abhorrent murders? Do you crave to know the gory details of these crimes, and do you seek comfort in the solving of the most gruesome?
In I WILL FIND YOU, the star of Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda shares his deepest, darkest, and never-before-revealed case files from his two decades as a homicide detective and reminds us that crimes like these are very real and can happen even in our own backyards.
Gruesome, macabre, and complex cases.
Joe Kenda investigated 387 murder cases during his 23 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department and solved almost all of them. And he is ready to detail the cases that are too gruesome to air on television, cases that still haunt him, and the few cases where the killer got away. These cases are horrifyingly real, and the detail is so mesmerizing you won't be able to look away.
The tales in I WILL FIND YOU will shock you like the best horror stories-divulging insights into the actions, motivations, and proclivities of nature's most dangerous species.
Don't mind the blood.
Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.
In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several of those caregivers faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.
Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.
In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.
One of The New York Times' Best Ten Books of the Year
MURDER, INTERRUPTED (with Alex Abramovich): Rich, cheating financier Frank Howard wants his wife dead, and he's willing to pay Billie Earl Johnson whatever it takes, to the tune of $750,000. When his bullet misses the mark, Billie Earl and Frank will turn on each other in a fight for their lives . . .
MOTHER OF ALL MURDERS (Christopher Charles): Dee Dee Blancharde is a local celebrity. Television reports praise her as a single mother who tirelessly cares for her wheelchair-bound, chronically ill daughter. But when the teenaged Gypsy Rose realizes she isn't actually sick and Dee Dee has lied all these years, Gypsy Rose exacts her revenge . . .
A search began which lasted an agonizing four months. Sadly, Laci Peterson and her son Conner were found dead on the shores of San Francisco Bay on April 18, 2003.
Her husband, Scott, was eventually arrested and charged with the murder of Laci and Connor. After a sensational, media-saturated trial, Peterson was found guilty of capital murder and was sentenced to death on March 16, 2005.
This book deals with the story in three separate sections: first, Sharon describes the ordinary, loving life her daughter led, including fond memories of her childhood and adolescence. Second, it covers her marriage, disappearance, the community's moving search for her, and her and Connor's eventual recovery from San Francisco Bay. Third, it tells the story of the trial in detail not before revealed. Sharon will also talk about victim's rights, a subject on which she now campaigns regularly.
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Economist • The Globe and Mail • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews
On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.
But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.
Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.
Praise for Ghettoside
“A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.”—Los Angeles Times
“Moving and engrossing.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.”—USA Today
“Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.”—The Boston Globe
One wintery night on tiny, quiet Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington, Russ Douglas spent Christmas with his estranged wife, Brenna. She agreed to let him visit his children even though they were headed for divorce. He left Brenna Douglas’s home in Langley on the morning of December 26, 2003 to run some errands.
But hours passed and the sun set in the late afternoon; Russ didn’t return home as he’d promised his children he would. Nor did he come back during the night. On the afternoon of December 27, a couple walking down a rural road noticed a vehicle that had apparently backed into the driveway of a cabin. Since many of the places were vacant during the winter, neighbors kept an eye out for strangers.
Curious, they walked up the cabin’s driveway to check inside. They saw a man in the front seat, still strapped in his seatbelt, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. They immediately put in a call to the Island County Sheriff’s Office. The dead man was easily identified; it was Russell Douglas. But what came next surprised law enforcement and captured the attention of the entire town when the suspects included an aging beauty queen, her guitar-teacher lover, and Russell’s widow, Brenna. With her trademark aplomb, Ann Rule unravels the fascinating story of a murder, a small town, and a number of potential killers.
‘I’m so sorry, Casey,’ my link worker John said, sounding weary. ‘I know this is probably the worst time I could ring you, but we desperately need someone to take a child tonight.’
It’s the night before Christmas when Casey and Mike get the call. A twelve year old girl, stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her father is on a ventilator, fighting for his life, while her mother is currently on remand in prison. Despite claiming she attacked him in self-defence, she’s been charged with his attempted murder.
The girl is called Bella, and she’s refusing to say anything. The trouble is that she is also the only witness...
Krakauer takes readers inside isolated communities in the American West, Canada, and Mexico, where some forty-thousand Mormon Fundamentalists believe the mainstream Mormon Church went unforgivably astray when it renounced polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the leaders of these outlaw sects are zealots who answer only to God. Marrying prodigiously and with virtual impunity (the leader of the largest fundamentalist church took seventy-five “plural wives,” several of whom were wed to him when they were fourteen or fifteen and he was in his eighties), fundamentalist prophets exercise absolute control over the lives of their followers, and preach that any day now the world will be swept clean in a hurricane of fire, sparing only their most obedient adherents.
Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism’s violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism. The result is vintage Krakauer, an utterly compelling work of nonfiction that illuminates an otherwise confounding realm of human behavior.
Although Sheila recovered and remarried, she still felt she was doomed. Joyously pregnant -- she and her new husband expected quadruplets -- Sheila still feared Blackthorne would use his millions and power to track her down. As did her killer, who left her in a pool of blood marked by the tiny footprints of her two-year old toddlers. Could the authorities ever link Sheila's murder to Blackthorne himself? Was his true obsession high-stakes golf and his extravagant pink mansion -- or was it to destroy Sheila?
Following a trail of deception from Oregon and Hawaii to Texas and Florida, Ann Rule gained complete access to Sheila's family, friends, and neighbors, as well as to the detectives and prosecutors on the case. With Every Breath You Take, Ann Rule has written a heart-pounding account of obsession, revenge, and murder that will enthrall listeners from beginning to end.