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. She 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.
Now for the first time, in her memoir, MY STORY, she 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 nine 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. In 2012, she married Matthew Gilmour, whom she met doing mission work in Paris for her church, in a fairy tale wedding that made the cover of People magazine.
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.
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.
The Lost Girls tells the truly amazing story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped and beaten in a Cleveland house for over a decade by Ariel Castro, and their amazing escape in May 2013, which made headlines all over the world. The book has an exclusive interview and photographs of Ariel Castro's secret fiancé, who spent many romantic nights in his house of horror, without realizing he had bound and chained captives just a few feet away. There are also revealing interviews with several Castro family members, musician friends and several neighbors who witnessed the dramatic rescue.
But something about her story was fishy, and detectives began to suspect Diane was lying. Was it possible that she was the shooter? Absolutely not, her supporters insisted. Diane, they said, adored her children. When investigators suggested a motive, Diane was indignant. Not only would she never harm her own children, she certainly would never do it for the reason detectives suggested. Was the attractive blonde the wonderful mother she claimed to be? Or was she a woman so obsessed, she would kill her own young to achieve her goal?
Ann Rule's critically acclaimed SMALL SACRIFICES, was an instant bestseller, and later Farrah Fawcett was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Downs in the TV miniseries based on Rule's book.
Nor did Queen suspect that he would penetrate the gang so successfully that he would become a fully “patched-in” member, eventually rising through their ranks to the office of treasurer, where he had unprecedented access to evidence of their criminal activity. After Queen spent twenty-eight months as “Billy St. John,” the bearded, beer-swilling, Harley-riding gang-banger, the truth of his identity became blurry, even to himself.
During his initial “prospecting” phase, Queen was at the mercy of crank-fueled criminal psychopaths who sought to have him test his mettle and prove his fealty by any means necessary, from selling (and doing) drugs, to arms trafficking, stealing motorcycles, driving getaway cars, and, in one shocking instance, stitching up the face of a Mongol “ol’ lady” after a particularly brutal beating at the hands of her boyfriend.
Yet despite the constant criminality of the gang, for whom planning cop killings and gang rapes were business as usual, Queen also came to see the genuine camaraderie they shared. When his lengthy undercover work totally isolated Queen from family, his friends, and ATF colleagues, the Mongols felt like the only family he had left. “I had no doubt these guys genuinely loved Billy St. John and would have laid down their lives for him. But they wouldn’t hesitate to murder Billy Queen.”
From Queen’s first sleight of hand with a line of methamphetamine in front of him and a knife at his throat, to the fearsome face-off with their decades-old enemy, the Hell’s Angels (a brawl that left three bikers dead), to the heartbreaking scene of a father ostracized at Parents’ Night because his deranged-outlaw appearance precluded any interaction with regular citizens, Under and Alone is a breathless, adrenaline-charged read that puts you on the street with some of the most dangerous men in America and with the law enforcement agents who risk everything to bring them in.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
Jaycee's story was revealed: For eighteen years, she had lived in an outbuilding on the Garrido property in Antioch, CA, just two hours away from her childhood home. Kept in complete isolation, she was raped by Garrido, who fathered her two daughters. When news broke of Jaycee's discovery, there was a huge outpouring of relief across the nation. But questions remain: How did the Garridos slip past authorities? And how did Jaycee endure her captivity? This is the story of a girl-next-door who was Lost and Found.
In Beware the Night, he takes readers into the very hierarchy of a hell on earth to expose the grisly rituals of a Palo Mayombe priest; a young girl whose innocence is violated by an incubus; a home invaded by the malevolent spirit of a supposedly murdered ninteenth-century bride; the dark side of a couple who were literally, the neighbors from hell; and more. Ralph Sarchie's NYPD revelations are a powerful and disturbing documented link between the true-crime realities of life and the blood-chilling ice-grip of a supernatural terror.
--President Barack Obama It was just another day on the job for fifty-three-year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, the United States-flagged cargo ship which was carrying, among other things, food and agricultural materials for the World Food Program. That all changed when armed Somali pirates boarded the ship. The pirates didn't expect the crew to fight back, nor did they expect Captain Phillips to offer himself as hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew. Thus began the tense five-day stand-off, which ended in a daring high-seas rescue when U.S. Navy SEALs opened fire and picked off three of the captors. "It never ends like this," Captain Phillips said. And he's right. A Captain's Duty tells the life-and-death drama of the Vermont native who was held captive on a tiny lifeboat off Somalia's anarchic, gun-plagued shores. A story of adventure and courage, it provides the intimate details of this high-seas hostage-taking--the unbearable heat, the death threats, the mock executions, and the escape attempt. When the pirates boarded his ship, Captain Phillips put his experience into action, doing everything he could to safeguard his crew. And when he was held captive by the pirates, he marshaled all his resources to ensure his own survival, withstanding intense physical hardship and an escalating battle of wills with the pirates. This was it: the moment where training meets instinct and where character is everything. Richard Phillips was ready.
Named on Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015--Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar (Politico) Favorite Book of the Year--Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics (Bloomberg/WSJ) Best Books of 2015--Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky (WSJ) Books of the Year--Slate.com's 10 Best Books of 2015--Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Books of 2015 --Buzzfeed's 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015--The Daily Beast's Best Big Idea Books of 2015--Seattle Times' Best Books of 2015--Boston Globe's Best Books of 2015--St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Best Books of 2015--The Guardian's The Best Book We Read All Year--Audible's Best Books of 2015--Texas Observer's Five Books We Loved in 2015--Chicago Public Library's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015
From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.
In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America--addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland.
With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico.
Introducing a memorable cast of characters--pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents--Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.
When beautiful, blond Sheila married the charming, handsome Blackthorne, she was convinced she had found her perfect soul mate, and helped him reach his goal of living the privileged life of the country club set. But behind Allen's smooth facade, she discovered a violent, controlling sociopath -- a liar, a scam artist, a sexual deviant. When she finally fled with their two young daughters, she was skeletally thin, bruised, and beaten.
Although Sheila recovered, remarried, and was starting a new life and family, she still felt she was doomed. Joyously pregnant, she and her new husband expecting quadruplets, Sheila still feared Blackthorne, who had sworn to her he would monitor her every move and "every breath you take." And, in fact, Blackthorne inevitably tracked her down, as did her killer, who left her in a pool of blood marked by the tiny footprints of her two-year-old toddlers. The questions remained: Could the authorities ever link Sheila's murder to Blackthorne himself? Was his true obsession high-stakes golf and his extravagant pink mansion -- or was it to destroy Sheila?
Following a trail of deception from Oregon and Hawaii to Texas and Florida, Ann Rule gained complete access to Sheila's family, friends, and neighbors, as well as to the detectives and prosecutors on the case. With Every Breath You Take, Ann Rule has written a heart-pounding account of obsession, revenge, and murder that will enthrall readers from beginning to end.
For twenty-seven years, Josef had imprisoned and molested Elisabeth in his man-made basement dungeon, complete with sound-proof paneling and code-protected electric locks. There, she would eventually give birth to a total of seven of Josef's children. One died in infancy—and the other three were raised alongside Elisabeth, never to see the light of day.
Then, in 2008, one of Elisabeth's children became seriously ill, and was taken to the hospital. It was the first time the nineteen-year-old girl had ever gone outside—and soon, the truth about her background, her family's captivity, and Josef's unspeakable crimes would come to light.
John Glatt's Secrets in the Cellar is the true story of a crime that shocked the world.
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.
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.
Nestled in Puget Sound and accessible only by ferry, Whidbey Island is a gem off the coast of Washington State where life is insular and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas is discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV, the whole island is shocked. No one can imagine who among them could plot such a cold-blooded crime. And like a cast of characters from a mystery novel, a host of Whidbey residents fall under suspicion.
Brenna Douglas was Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, who allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. Brenna often complained to her good friend Peggy Sue that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Married three times, Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes: hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.
Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive, the newest heart pounding true-crime tour de force from Ann Rule.
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.
The West Memphis Three. Accused, convicted…and set free. Do you know their story?
In 2011, one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American legal history was set right when Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley were released after eighteen years in prison. Award-winning journalist Mara Leveritt’s The Devil’s Knot remains the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on the investigation, trials, and convictions of three teenage boys who became known as the West Memphis Three.
For weeks in 1993, after the murders of three eight-year-old boys, police in West Memphis, Arkansas seemed stymied. Then suddenly, detectives charged three teenagers—alleged members of a satanic cult—with the killings. Despite the witch-hunt atmosphere of the trials, and a case which included stunning investigative blunders, a confession riddled with errors, and an absence of physical evidence linking any of the accused to the crime, the teenagers were convicted. Jurors sentenced Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to life in prison and Damien Echols, the accused ringleader, to death. The guilty verdicts were popular in their home state—even upheld on appeal—and all three remained in prison until their unprecedented release in August 2011.
With close-up views of its key participants, this award-winning account unravels the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case, one which will shape the American legal landscape for years to come.
For twenty-one years, the killer carried out his self-described "career" as a killing machine, ridding the world of women he considered evil. His eerie ability to lure his victims to their deaths and hide their bodies made him far more dangerous than any infamous multiple murderer in the annals of crime.
A few men -- including a law student, a truck painter, and a taxi driver -- eventually emerged as the prime suspects among an unprecedented forty thousand scrutinized by the Green River Task Force. Still, there was no physical evidence linking any of them to the murders until 2001, when investigators used a new DNA process on a saliva sample they had preserved since 1987, with stunning results.
Ann Rule has followed the case since July 1982, when the first body -- that of teenager Wendy Lee Coffield -- was found in the Green River, snagged on pilings under a bridge. Rule has compiled voluminous files, working through an incredible 95,000 pages of official police records, transcripts, photographs, and maps, winnowing out the chaff and identifying what is truly important. Over the years, she gained unparalleled access to all the key players -- from King County Sheriff Dave Reichert to those close to the killer and his victims.
When finally apprehended and convicted, the killer made a detailed confession -- of his twisted sexual obsessions -- that will shock even the most jaded reader. Green River, Running Red is a harrowing account of a modern monster, a killer who walked among us undetected. It is also the story of his quarry -- of who these young girls were, and who they might have become. A chilling look at the darkest side of human nature, this is the most important and most personal book of Ann Rule's long career.
When attorney Cheryl Keeton's brutally bludgeoned body was found in her van in the fast lane of an Oregon freeway, her husband, Brad Cunningham, was the likely suspect. But there was no solid evidence linking him to the crime. He married again, for the fifth time, and his stunning new wife, a physician named Sara, adopted his three sons. They all settled down to family life on a luxurious estate. But gradually, their marriage became a nightmare....
In this gripping account of Cheryl's murder, Ann Rule takes us from Brad's troubled boyhood to one of the most bizarre trials in legal history, uncovering multiple marriages, financial manipulations, infidelities, and monstrous acts of harassment and revenge along the way. Dead By Sunset is Ann Rule at her riveting best.
What do they find attractive about me? An underage girl who just lies there, sobbing, looking up at them...as they come to me one by one.
This is the shocking true story of how a young girl from Rochdale came to be Girl A – the key witness in the trial of Britain’s most notorious child sex ring.
Girl A was just 14 when she was groomed by a group of nine Asian men. After being lured into their circle with free gifts, she was plied with alcohol and systematically abused. She was just one of up to fifty girls to be 'passed around' by the gang. The girls were all under-16 and forced to have sex with as many as twenty men in one night.
When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass. And now, the girl at the very centre of the storm reveals the heartbreaking truth.
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.
This is Caesar's story, from his recruitment into the Comancheros, to the savage split within the club that led to the foundation of the Bandidos and the bloody massacre at Milperra that resulted from it. This was the massacre that saw the death of two of Caesar's brothers, and resulted in four bullet wounds and a lengthy jail term for him.
Never before has someone so respected in the bikie gangs opened a window on to their world. The fact that Caesar has been able to do so is a testament to his ruthlessness, his fearlessness and his reputation in the bikie community.
Enforcer is a unique and captivating true crime story that will shock you with its raw violence, its brutality and its insights into an outlaw world.
As a young mum-of-three, Josefina Rivera was determined to get her troubled life back on track. But then she met Gary Heidnik and the next four months became a living nightmare.
Along with five women Josefina was held captive in a cellar where she was starved, beaten, and repeatedly raped to fulfil Heidnik’s desire of creating a ‘family’ of ten children.
Cellar Girl is the shocking but ultimately inspiring story of how one brave, young woman saved herself and others from a life worse than hell.
Cannibals including Albert Fish, Armin Meiwes, Dennis Nilsen, Eladio Baule, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy
Serial Killers including Andrei Chikatilo, H.H.Holmes, Javed Iqbal, John Wayne Gacy
Lady Killers including Bell Gunness, Beverley Allit, Ilse Koch, Rosemary West
Cult Killers including Charles Manson, David Koresh, Jim Jones, Shoko Asahara
Tyrants including Adolf Hitler, Attila the Hun, Caligula, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin
Children of Evil including Bryan and David Freeman, Edmund Kemper, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson
For most people this is the stuff of nightmares, horror movies, folklore, and superstition. For New York City police Sergeant Ralph Sarchie, it's as real—and dangerous—as midnight patrol . . .
A sixteen-year NYPD veteran, Ralph Sarchie works out of the 46th Precinct in New York's South Bronx. But it is his other job that he calls "the Work": investigating cases of demonic possession and assisting in the exorcisms of humanity's most ancient—and most dangerous—foes. Now he discloses for the first time his investigations into incredible true crimes and inhuman evil that were never explained, solved, or understood except by Sarchie and his partner. Schooled in the rituals of exorcism, and an eyewitness to the reality of demonic possession, Ralph Sarchie has documented a riveting chronicle of the inexplicable that gives a new shape to the shadows in the dark.
In Deliver Us from Evil, he takes readers into the very hierarchy of a hell on earth to expose the grisly rituals of a Palo Mayombe priest; a young girl whose innocence is violated by an incubus; a home invaded by the malevolent spirit of a supposedly murdered nineteenth-century bride; the dark side of a couple who were literally, the neighbors from hell; and more. Ralph Sarchie's revelations are a powerful and disturbing documented link between the true-crime realities of life and the blood-chilling ice-grip of a supernatural terror.
What began as an innocent flirtation erupted into an affair that destroyed many lives. At its center were three people so charismatic, attractive and intelligent, that they should have had decades of happiness ahead of them. But three is a crowd, and the odd man out wanted back in--at any cost.
But was he capable of murder? Supporters said no, and pointed out he had an airtight alibi. Yet someone hatched a fatal scheme so unbelievable it could be a plot from a Hitchcock film.
Ann Rule first covered this case for COSMOPOLITAN magazine in 1976. But Olive Blankenbaker, mother of one of the victims, begged Rule to dig deeper and write an entire book. Rule promised Olive that she would.
It took twenty years, but she kept her promise to Olive. Rule's thorough research of one of the most fascinating cases she has ever found brings A FEVER IN THE HEART to life and keeps true crime fans riveted.
Faison was a ninth grade dropout who earned more than $100,000 a week selling cocaine in Harlem, New York, during the peak of America's "War on Drugs" between 1983 and 1990. Faison, along with two partners, was an urban prince with cars, jewels, and people -- in awe of this million-dollar phenomenon -- at his feet. His legacy has been praised by hip-hop's top names in their lyrics, and his life was the basis for the urban cult classic film Paid in Full starring Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris, and rapper Cam'ron and produced by Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Films.
In Game Over, Azie brings forth a powerful memoir of New York's perilous drug underworld and music industry, with an intellect and wisdom to empower and challenge the street culture he knows so very well.
Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken-- but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars.
After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face-- and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives.
With Picking Cotton, Jennifer and Ronald tell in their own words the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.
In this unnerving collection drawn from her personal crime files, "America's best true-crime writer" (Kirkus Reviews) Ann Rule brilliantly dissects the convoluted love affairs that all too often end in violence.
Expertly analyzing a shocking, headline-making case, Rule unmasks the deadly motives inside a seemingly idyllic marriage: a beautiful young wife, a rising star in America's top-ranked computer corporation, and a prosperous husband, the scion of a family building business. With an adorable son and a gorgeous home, the couple seemed to have it all. But a furtive evil permeated their days and nights, dragging them into a murky world of drugs, sordid sex, and con operations. In this realm, one of them would prove to be a virtual innocent, the other a manipulator with no conscience. Sudden, violent death brought their charade of a fairy-tale romance to a tragic end -- with a brutal crime that might never have come to light were it not for the stubborn detectives and prosecutors whose fight for justice spanned an entire decade.
Empty Promises recounts several other cases where the search for love brought only lies and betrayal -- a cautionary primer, perhaps, for those who trust too much too soon. Powerful because they strike so close to home, the cases in Empty Promises will leave readers shaken by the realities of love gone terribly -- and fatally -- wrong.
Just as she told her 6'1", 210-pound captor that his ultimate "purpose" in life was to end up spending the rest of his life in prison, preaching the teachings of Jesus Christ to his fellow inmates, Smith believes her own purpose is to spread that message of love to the rest of us. Juxtaposing the minute-by-minute tale of her experience with the never-before-told tragedies and triumphs of her own life, Unlikely Angel is a gripping tale of downfall and redemption, involving addiction, violence, death, loss, faith, and love. It is a story that will leave no reader untouched.
—New York Times Book Review
“Wall’s story couldn’t be more timely.”
Stolen Innocence is the gripping New York Times bestselling memoir of Elissa Wall, the courageous former member of Utah’s infamous FLDS polygamist sect whose powerful courtroom testimony helped convict controversial sect leader Warren Jeffs in September 2007. At once shocking, heartbreaking, and inspiring, Wall’s story of subjugation and survival exposes the darkness at the root of this rebel offshoot of the Mormon faith.
Jack the Ripper. Lizzie Borden. The Zodiac Killer. Certain homicide cases maintain an undeniable, almost mystical hold on the public imagination. They touch a nerve deep within us because of the personalities involved, their senseless depravity, the nagging doubts about whether justice was done, or because, in some instances, no suspect has ever been identified or caught.
In The Cases That Haunt Us, twenty-five-year-FBI-veteran John Douglas, profiling pioneer and master of modern criminal investigative analysis, and author and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, the team behind the bestselling Mindhunter series, explore the tantalizing mysteries that both their legions of fans and law enforcement professionals ask about most. Among the questions they tackle:
Was Jack the Ripper actually the Duke of Clarence, eldest grandson of Queen Victoria, or perhaps a practicing medical doctor? And did highly placed individuals within Scotland Yard have a good idea of the Ripper's identity, which they never revealed? Douglas and Olshaker create a detailed profile of the killer, and reveal their chief suspect.
Was Lizzie Borden truly innocent of the murder of her father and stepmother as the Fall River, Massachusetts, jury decided, or was she the one who took the ax and delivered those infamous "whacks"? Through a minute-by-minute behavioral analysis of the crime, the authors come to a convincing conclusion.
Did Bruno Richard Hauptmann single-handedly kidnap the baby son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the most famous couple in the world, or was he an innocent man caught up and ultimately executed in a relentless rush to judgment in the "crime of the century"?
What kind of person could kill six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on Christmas night in her own home? Douglas was called in on the case shortly after the horrifying murder, and his conclusions are hard-hitting and controversial. Why, in the face of the majority of public, media, and law enforcement opinion, including former FBI colleagues, does Douglas believe that John and Patricia Ramsey did not murder their daughter? And what is the forensic and behavioral evidence he brings to bear to make his claim?
Taking a fresh and penetrating look at each case, the authors reexamine and reinterpret accepted facts and victimology using modern profiling and the techniques of criminal analysis developed by Douglas within the FBI. This book deconstructs the evidence and widely held beliefs surrounding each case and rebuilds them -- with fascinating and haunting results.
From Art (both by and about serial killers) to Zeitgeist (how killers past and present embody their times)...from Groupies (even the most sadistic killer can claim devoted fans) to Marriage (the perfect domestic disguise for demented killers)...from Homebodies (psychos who slay in the comfort of their homes) to Plumbing (how clogged drains have undone the most discreet killer), THE A TO Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SERIAL KILLERS is the ultimate reference for anyone compelled by the personalities and pathologies behind the most disturbing of crimes.
And while we may like to believe that crimes of the heart only victimize those who aren't careful, this page-turning collection of must-read accounts will convince you otherwise. America's #1 true-crime writer, Ann Rule reveals how lovers become predators, how sex and lust can push ordinary people to desperate acts, and how investigators and forensics experts work to unravel the most entangled crimes of passion. Extracting behind-the-scenes details, Rule makes these volatile relationships utterly real, and masterfully re-creates the ill-fated chains of events in such cases as the ex-Marine and martial arts master who seduced vulnerable women and then destroyed their lives...the killer whose calling card was a single bloodred rose...the faithless wife who manipulated and murdered without conscience...the blind date that set the stage for a killer's brutality...and more. In every case, the victim -- young and innocent or older and experienced -- unknowingly trusted a stranger with the sociopathic skill to hide their dark motives, until it was too late to escape a web of deadly lies, fatal promises, and homicidal possession.
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.
'We will never give up.' As the nightmare of hours became days then weeks, and months and years, the family mobilised to become the moral force behind the longest criminal investigation in Australia's history.
Where is Daniel? covers the decade-long investigation into the disappearance of Daniel and the extraordinary courage, dignity, persistence and fortitude Bruce and Denise displayed under unbearable circumstances.
This determination also applied to Bruce and Denise's desire to mine something positive from the darkest of experiences. They started the Daniel Morcombe Foundation in 2005, to teach children about safety, and have since visited hundreds of schools around Australia. They've established Australia's largest annual child safety day-of-action, 'Day for Daniel', and utilised the funds raised to support other children who have been the victims of abuse.
Over a decade later, with Daniel's killer brought to justice thanks to an amazing covert police sting, this is the family's story. Where is Daniel? is a testament to the enduring power of love between parents and their child, and the strength and bonds of family to survive.
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.
LAST DANCE LAST CHANCE
Dr. Anthony Pignataro was a cosmetic surgeon and a famed medical researcher whose flashy red Lamborghini and flamboyant lifestyle in western New York State suggested a highly successful career. But appearances, as this shocking insider account of Pignataro's tailspin from physician to prisoner proves, can be deceiving -- and, for the doctor's wife, very nearly deadly. No one was safe if they got in his way. With scalpel, drugs, and arsenic, he betrayed every oath a physician makes -- until his own schemes backfired. Now, the motivations of the classic sociopath are plumbed with chilling accuracy by Ann Rule. Along with other shocking true cases, this worldwide headline-making case will have you turning pages in disbelief that a trusted medical professional could sink to the depths of greed, manipulation, and self-aggrandizement where even slow, deliberate murder is not seen for what it truly is: pure evil.
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.
While on holiday with her mother at a popular Mediterranean coastal resort, Megan fell in love. Just 14 years old, naïve and vulnerable, she had no reason to suspect that the man who said he loved her would commit the ultimate betrayal of her trust.
When her mother returned to England, Megan stayed with Jak, who said he would find her a job as a waitress and promised they would be together forever. But when Megan travelled to the city with Jak, his attitude quickly changed and instead of finding her work as a waitress, he allowed her to be raped and then sold her to a human trafficker.
Abandoned by Jak but still unable to accept that everything he’d told her had been a lie, Megan was coerced by threats and violence into working as a prostitute in private homes and brothels. Then the trafficker threatened her mother’s life and it was Megan’s turn to lie: sending her mother the staged photographs that had been taken of her apparently working as a waitress in a cafe, she told her she was happy.
Too frightened and bewildered to trust or reach out to anyone, Megan remained locked in a world of brutality and abuse for six years. In the end, there only seemed to be one way out.
Megan’s powerful story reveals the devastating realities of human trafficking and the fear that imprisons its victims more effectively than any cage could ever do.
On Friday, April 8, 1994, a body was discovered in a room above a garage in Seattle. For the attending authorities, it was an open-and-shut case of suicide. What no one knew then, however, and which is only being revealed here for the very first time, is that the person found dead that day -- Kurt Cobain, the superstar frontman of Nirvana -- was murdered.
In early April 1994, Cobain went missing for days, or so it seemed; in fact, some people knew where he was, and one of them was Courtney Love. Now a star in Hollywood and rock music, in early 1994 she was preparing to release her major label debut with her band, Hole, and what she knew then, though few others did, was that Cobain was planning to divorce her. Love & Death paints a critical portrait of Courtney Love; it also reveals for the first time the case tapes made by Love's own P.I., Tom Grant, a man on a mission to find the truth about Kurt Cobain's demise; and introduces us to a number of characters who feature in various theories about plots to kill Cobain. In addition, Cobain's grandfather goes public, charging that his grandson was murdered. Drawing on new forensic evidence and police reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the book explodes the myths that have long convinced the world that Cobain took his own life, and reveals that the official scenario was scientifically impossible.
Against a background of at least sixty-eight copycat suicides since 1994, award-winning investigative journalists Max Wallace and Ian Halperin have conducted a ten-year crusade for the truth, and in Love & Death they are finally able to present a chilling and convincing case that each and every one of these suicides was preventable -- and in doing so, they call for this case to be reopened and properly investigated.
In 1995, a film called I.D., about an ambitious young copper who was sent undercover to track down the ‘generals’ of a football hooligan gang, achieved cult status for its sheer brutality and unsettling insight into the dark and often bloody side of the so-called beautiful game.
The film was so shocking it was hard to believe the mindless events that took place could ever happen in the real world. Well, believe it now...
Almost twenty years on, the man behind the film has explosively revealed that the script was largely a true story. That man, James Bannon, was the ambitious undercover cop. The football club was Millwall F.C. and the gang that he infiltrated was The Bushwackers, among the most brutal and fearless in English football.
In Running with the Firm, Bannon shares his intense and dangerous journey into the underworld of football hooliganism where sickening levels of violence prevail over anything else. He introduces you to the hardest thugs from football’s most notorious gangs, tells all about the secret and almost comical police operations that were meant to bring them down, and, how once you’re on the inside, getting out from the mob proves to be the biggest mission of all.
A disturbing but compelling read, this is the book that proves fact really is stranger than fiction.
"a unique, uncensored insight into a hidden world." The Chronicle
It's snowing in Bali. Among Bali's drug dealers it's the code for a huge cocaine shipment having just landed. For the men who run the country's drug empires, it's time to get rich and party hard.
Snowing in Bali is the story of the drug trafficking and dealing scene that's made Bali one of the world's most important destinations in the global distribution of narcotics. With its central location to the Asia Pacific market, its thriving tourist industry to act as cover for importation, and a culture of corruption that can easily help law enforcement turn a blind eye, Bali has long been a paradise for traffickers as well as for holiday-makers.
Kathryn Bonella, bestselling author of Hotel Kerobokan, has been given extraordinary access into the lives of some of the biggest players in Bali's drug world, both past and present. She charts their rise to incredible wealth and power, and their drug-fuelled lifestyles, filled with orgies, outrageous extravagance and surfing. But running international drug empires in Bali can also be a highly risky business, with terrible consequences for those caught and convicted.
As Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns did for the story of America’s black migration, Gilbert King’s Devil in the Grove does for this great untold story of American legal history, a dangerous and uncertain case from the days immediately before Brown v. Board of Education in which the young civil rights attorney Marshall risked his life to defend a boy slated for the electric chair—saving him, against all odds, from being sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.
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.
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.
Torn from the headlines, here is the case that shocked a nation: the Seattle city bus ride that turned to mayhem and murder at the hands of a gunman. Ann Rule unmasks the forces that drove quiet, clean-cut Silas Cool to shoot the driver, causing the bus to plunge off the Aurora Bridge into an apartment building. The catastrophe left three dead -- including Cool -- and dozens injured. While the scene unfolds as in a terrifying movie, Rule finds very real answers to the haunting question "how could this happen?" -- and expertly constructs the unseen chain of events that resulted in an explosive and shattering tragedy.
Included here are nine other sensational cases that illuminate Rule's unique and authoritative view of the human psyche gone temporarily berserk. No one can match Rule's meticulous research, or reveal the motives to murder in such explicit and chilling detail. You may think you know who is safe and who is dangerous; in A Rage to Kill, Ann Rule frighteningly shows that none of us are truly protected from the flashes of irrational violence that can erupt from the killers among us.
Caught smuggling half a million euros’ worth of cocaine, Paul Keany was sexually assaulted by Venezuelan anti-drugs officers before being sentenced to eight years in the notorious Los Teques prison outside Caracas. There he was plunged into a nightmarish world of coke-fuelled killings, gun battles, stabbings, extortion and forced hunger strikes until finally, just over two years into his sentence, he gained early parole and embarked on a daring escape from South America . . .
Aided by his extensive prison diaries, Keany reveals the true horror of life inside Los Teques: a shocking underworld behind bars where inmates pay protection money to stay alive, prostitutes do the rounds and vast amounts of cocaine are smuggled in for cell-block bosses to sell on to prisoners for huge profits. The Cocaine Diaries is a remarkable story, told by Keany with honesty, courage and even humour, despite knowing that every day behind bars might have been his last.