On a chilly January night, Dr. Eugene Turner hastened the death of a three-day-old baby boy who had been pronounced brain-dead. Six weeks later, ER physician Dr. Bruce Rowan hacked his wife to death with an axe, then tried to kill himself--claiming he snapped after witnessing Dr. Turner's euthanasia.
A Small Town Rocked by A Shocking Fatality
What really happened? What drove Dr. Bruce Rowan--a man who was entrusted to heal the sick--to so savagely take the life of his own wife? Acquitted by reason of insanity, Dr. Rowan was committed to a mental institution. And thought the trial is over, some fascinating ethical and legal questions have been raised by its outcome.
Now, bestselling true crime writer Carlton Smith reveals the never-before-told facts and the stunning truth behind two doctors, two deaths, a surprising trial, and the picturesque town standing in the shadow of a ghastly killing.
When New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo–who has taken on Finkel's identity–his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat and mouse. True Story weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, deceit, and redemption, following Finkel's relentless pursuit of the shocking truth.
Stayner was arrested at a California nudist colony and soon admitted to all four killings, claiming he'd had urges to kill women for thirty years. And Cary's twisted impulses were not the only tragedy of the Stayner family. At the age of seven, his younger brother Steven was abducted by a pedophile and forced to live with the man for seven years, until he escaped. His story was told in a TV movie called "I Know My First Name is Steven." Steven would ultimately die in a motorcycle crash at twenty-four.
What are the odds of one family suffering such astounding tragedies? What would compel a seemingly pleasant, clean-cut man to brutally attack and gruesomely kill four innocent women? Did he act alone? Or was his a false confession? Bestselling true crime author Carlton Smith searches for the shocking answers in Murder at Yosemite, this fascinating account of murder and madness.
Robert and Doris Angleton seemed to have the perfect life. Until she was coldly murdered in her own home, shot thirteen times in the head, chest, and abdomen...
Suddenly the ideal husband seemed anything but perfect: he was jailed, accused of hiring his older brother, Roger, to kill his wife for money-- possibly as much as $2 million. However, without the crucial eyewitness testimony of Roger-- who soon committed suicide in a Houston jail cell-- the case against Robert rested entirely on circumstantial evidence. But the facts raise more questions than answers...
* Doris Angleton-- deeply involved in a secret love affair-- had asked her husband for a divorce, which might have exposed him as a tax-skipping millionaire bookie and favored police informant...
* Extensive handwritten and typewritten notes, coupled with a secretly taped conversation between Roger and another man outlining the murder, were found in a briefcase Roger Angleton was carrying when he was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, it was later concluded that the second voice on the tape was not Robert's...
* Also in Roger's briefcase: $64,000 in cash, along with a money wrapper with Robert's fingerprint on it...
* Ultimately Roger confessed to the murder in his suicide note, exonerating his brother of any guilt...
A Texas jury came to one conclusion. Read this fascinating true-crime account of greed, deception, and cold-blooded murder-- and decide for yourself.
With eight pages of shocking photos!
The Ewells' tony Fresno community was shocked by the grisly murder of the socially prominent family. Only the son, handsome 21 year-old Dana, seemed strangely unaffected except for his outrage at not receiving his slaughtered family's entire multimillion-dollar fortune immediately.
Although the father Dale Ewell, was a ruthless businessman with a score of enemies, Detective John Souza immediately suspected the spoiled son with the new airplane and the Armani suits. But the brilliant college student sneered at the veteran investiagtor's efforts and appeared to have an airtight alibi. But Souza knew there had to be a hole and when he found it he would bring a cold-blooded killer to justice.
Seeds of Evil is a terrifying true story of murder and money in California.
Police had a hunch that Jeff was responsible for the massacre, but they didn't have enough evidence to convict. The case went cold...until, more than a decade later, when law officials resolved to finally try to unravel the truth about Jeff and to establish a motive—that he was angry toward his father for grounding him on prom night. Then it would be up to prosecutors to prove that Jeff was responsible for THE PROM NIGHT MURDERS
For twenty years, Ken and Kristine Fitzhugh and their two sons had lived lives of comfortable middle-class normality in the university town of Palo Alto, California. Then came the shocking news that Kristine Fitzhugh was dead, the victim of a terrible accident... By the time the Palo Alto Police Department looked closer at the death of Kristine Fitzhugh, there could be only one conclusion. Someone had murdered Kristine in her own home, inflicting a series of horrific blows to the back of her head, and then cleaned up the mess to make it look like an accident. Who would do such a thing? Protesting his innocence, Kenneth Fitzhugh was arrested and tried for the murder of his wife. And as the case progressed, one by one, the hidden secrets of the Fitzhugh family came spilling out. . .
Blood Will Tell is the shocking true story of a seemingly happy family and the deadly secrets that led to murder.
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.
Watkins' body was found in a steamer trunk near the Appalachian Trail. Half-naked and strangled, he remained unidentified for more than six years. Meanwhile, Nancy cashed his Social Security checks and opened new lines of credit under his name. By the time the police tracked her down, she had committed bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and more. New York Times bestselling author Carlton Smith takes you inside the greed, the gambling, and one gruesome murder—to question the very nature of evil...
A vulnerable and shy girl, Becky Watts was brutally murdered and dismembered by her own step-brother on 19 February 2015. As her father Darren discovered the horrific details of what happened to his darling girl, his world fell apart.
Writing about the darkest hours, Darren uncovers what Becky’s relationship with her step-brother Nathan, a child he had raised as his own son, was really like. He recalls the devastation of discovering the truth about the depravity with which Becky was torn from him in the safety of her own home. And he recounts the torment of the legal battle to see his step-son sentenced to life behind bars.
Both heartfelt and haunting, searingly honest and unflinching, this is the ultimate story of a family tragedy.
“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.
Then in August 2001, Jana Carpenter Koklich went to an Eric Clapton concert with friends.
She was never heard from again.
Bruce Koklich painted himself as the grieving husband. He turned up on news broadcasts, tearfully pleading for his wife's safe return. But something wasn't right.
First of all, there were inexplicable money problems that police traced back to some of Bruce Koklich's shadier business dealings. Then there was the shadowy business partner who came out of the woodwork and the million dollar insurance policy on Jana Carpenter Koklich's life. Topping it all off were the supposedly grieving husband's sleazy secret attempts to bed his 18-year-old niece while his wife was secretly missing!
Eventually, those who had been close to Jana grew suspicious of the man she had married. And no one was more suspicious than her father, former State Senator Paul Carpenter. He was dying of cancer in Texas, but still found in his decaying body the strength for one last fight. It would be the fight of his life: Justice for Jana Carpenter Koklich.
Finally, in late 2003, after Jana's blood-stained car had been found, a California jury convicted Bruce Koklich for her murder and sentenced him to fifteen years to life in prison. Paul Carpenter did not live to see justice done.
Henri Charrière, nicknamed "Papillon," for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.
Charrière's astonishing autobiography, Papillon, was first published in France to instant acclaim in 1968, more than twenty years after his final escape. Since then, it has become a treasured classic--the gripping, shocking, ultimately uplifting odyssey of an innocent man who would not be defeated.
“A first-class adventure story.” — New York Review of Books
But there was to be no such closure for Charlene and Lisa. Over the coming years, their friendship was strained to breaking point, as they struggled to reconcile themselves to their painful memories and to each other.
Abducted is their astonishing first-hand, insider account of how it feels to be kidnapped, how they survived their horrific ordeal and how they have found the strength to move on and rebuild their lives.
Stunningly, police arrested Dennis Rader, the president of his church board and the father of two. As a shocked community watched, evidence began to pile up. Then Rader coldly described how he went about "his projects" as the families of his victims relived the horrific scenes this supposed pillar of the community had unleashed on their loved ones.
From the tricks he used to enter his victims' homes to the puzzles he sent the media and the key role his own daughter may have played in his arrest, The BTK Murders is the definitive story of the BTK killer. He was, as one victim's family member called him, "a black hole inside the shell of a human being"—and the worst American serial killer since Ted Bundy.
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.
But the affair soon ended when Deepti told her mentor that she was pregnant with his child. threatened with exposure as a sexual harasser and his career and marriage at risk, Anderson took his lover on a romantic rendezvous in the San Gabriel Mountains. under the stars, Anderson strangled Deepti with his necktie, doused her body and car with gasoline, and shoved both over a steep cliff to make it look like an accident. But was it an outburst of unexpected rage, as Anderson later claimed, or was it premeditated murder? Or was it something more mysterious still?
Kathleen Savio was married to Drew Peterson for eleven years before filing for divorce in 2003. The next year, she was found dead in her bathtub. Her drowning appeared to be an accident—and for years, no one had reason to question it. But when Peterson's next wife, Stacy—thirty years younger—went missing, the tough-talking and wise-cracking former Illinois cop came under suspicion....
With Stacy Peterson missing—and presumed dead—authorities exhumed Kathleen Savio's body, looking for answers. A new autopsy pointed to homicide, and a 2002 letter was revealed in which Savio wrote that Drew, "knows how to manipulate the system, and his next step is to take my children away. Or kill me instead." He was arrested for Kathleen's murder, and is a prime suspect in Stacy's disappearance, Peterson continues to protest his innocence. New York Times bestselling author Carlton Smith digs deep into the mystery behind the two Peterson wives—and sheds some light on one of the most complex crime cases in modern American history.
Three years later, fifty-year-old Kathy died after a heart attack—the result, her family and friends believed, of a stressful political campaign. But when an autopsy of Kathy's body revealed no signs of heart disease, investigators dug deeper into Kathy's case...only to find the presence of a powerful, paralyzing emergency-room drug in Kathy's system. A jury would later charge Nurse Chaz with murder in the first degree. But could Kathy's first husband also have been the victim of Chaz's treachery? And just how much did Kathy know? This is the shocking true story of a family torn apart by lies, medical crime, and POISONED LOVE.
A TROUBLED TEENAGE GIRL.
After divorcing his first wife, Felix married Susan. Susan would later claim that her marriage was built on lies, manipulation, and psychological abuse. She tried to divorce Felix, but no settlement could be reached. Susan seemed to believe that Felix had stashed up to $40 million in a secret bank account in the Caribbean. She wanted her half—or else...
A CASE THAT STUNNED THE NATION.
In October 2002, Felix was found stabbed to death in his own home. Susan insisted she acted in self-defense. But what would a jury think when Susan—claiming she was the victim of Felix's manipulation—became her own defense attorney? This is the true story of marriage, murder, and mind games
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.
The pop music genius, who revolutionized music from the Beatles to the Ramones, was making headlines again. But Spector, notorious for his eccentric behavior, volatile temper, and fascination with guns, pleaded innocent. What really happened on that fateful pre-dawn morning in Spector's hilltop mansion? As the controversial wunderkind's life of fame, money, and excess was coming undone, a true Hollywood mystery was about to unfold.
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.
Ford was a long-distance trucker who had traveled fourteen western states. Prowling the highways in his big rig tractor-trailer, he picked up young, vulnerable women and then raped, killed, and dismembered them. He scattered some of their bodies in waterways along the road. He kept parts of others for over a year in the freezer of his trailer home. Learn the shocking truth in Shadows of Evil--a chilling account of madness, depravity, and murder...
This is the shocking true story of a schoolgirl groomed by her teacher, and her courageous journey to heal the wrongs of her past.
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.
Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict patriarchal culture defined by subordinate sister wives and men they must obey. No one in this radical splinter sect of the Mormon Church was more powerful or terrifying than its leader Warren Jeffs—Rachel’s father.
Living outside mainstream Mormonism and federal law, Jeffs arranged marriages between under-age girls and middle-aged and elderly members of his congregation. In 2006, he gained international notoriety when the FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted List. Though he is serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, Jeffs’ iron grip on the church remains firm, and his edicts to his followers increasingly restrictive and bizarre.
In Breaking Free, Rachel blows the lid off this taciturn community made famous by Jon Krakauer’s bestselling Under the Banner of Heaven to offer a harrowing look at her life with Warren Jeffs, and the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered. Sexually assaulted, compelled into an arranged polygamous marriage, locked away in "houses of hiding" as punishment for perceived transgressions, and physically separated from her children, Rachel, Jeffs’ first plural daughter by his second of more than fifty wives, eventually found the courage to leave the church in 2015. But Breaking Free is not only her story—Rachel’s experiences illuminate those of her family and the countless others who remain trapped in the strange world she left behind.
A shocking and mesmerizing memoir of faith, abuse, courage, and freedom, Breaking Free is an expose of religious extremism and a beacon of hope for anyone trying to overcome personal obstacles.