Written by the case’s lead homicide detective, this gripping true crime account details the killing spree of one of California’s most gruesome murderers: Richard Chase, aka “the Vampire of Sacramento.” In December 1977, Sacramento police found the corpse of Teresa Wallin, a loving wife and soon-to-be mother. Veteran detective Lt. Ray Biondi immediately knew the case would be unlike anything he had ever seen before.
The victim’s body was deliberately disfigured in nightmarish ways, and evidence suggested the culprit had collected large volumes of her blood. In less than a month, a two-year-old boy was missing, and two men, another woman, and a five-year-old child dead, their bodies contorted, like Wallin’s, to fulfill the killer’s demented sexual desires, and—most disturbingly—his taste for human blood.
Previously published as The Dracula Killer, A Thirst for Blood is a riveting report of the investigation, from eyewitness testimonies to the discovery of the crime scenes to Chase’s interrogation. Lieutenant Biondi and his coauthor, Walt Hecox, provide an unflinching look at the “vampire killer” and the cunning police work that finally put an end to his reign of terror. The inspiration for Investigation Discovery’s Lore: Deadly Obsession and episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds, Chase’s crimes continue to haunt the world generations later.
A wealthy and well-connected legal ace and the proud owner of a champion show horse, Larry McNabney had every reason to love his life. But when he disappeared in September 2001, his wife, Elisa, claimed he joined a cult.
When Larry’s body was found in a shallow grave three months later, Elisa was already gone. In a red convertible Jaguar, her brown hair dyed blond, Mrs. McNabney was speeding toward a new life in Florida—and a brand new identity.
Who was Elisa McNabney? Beautiful, seductive, and ruthless, she had thirty-eight aliases and a rap sheet a mile long. Carlton Smith, coauthor of the true crime classic The Search for the Green River Killer, reveals one shocking surprise after another in this harrowing tale of broken vows and deadly betrayal.
Joyce Aparo seemed to be the perfect single mother. She doted on her sixteen-year-old daughter, Karin, encouraging her musical ability and lavishing affection on her. But behind closed doors, Joyce was a terror. For thirteen years, she beat Karin savagely, kept her away from other children, and demeaned her relentlessly. When Karin met the troubled yet brilliant Dennis Coleman, the two fell head-over-heels into lustful infatuation. But Joyce disapproved—so she had to die.
On August 5, 1987, Joyce’s body was found under a bridge near the Connecticut–Massachusetts border. She had been strangled, and was covered in bruises, with paper stuffed in her mouth and pantyhose knotted around her throat. The police investigation soon dragged her horrific treatment of Karin into the open, and the teenage lovers became the prime suspects. Dennis eventually confessed to the murder, testifying that Karin begged him to kill her mother. But Karin had a very different story to tell, claiming to have no knowledge of Dennis’s plans. Was she manipulating the police the same way she manipulated her former boyfriend, or was she an innocent victim?
Based on meticulous research, court transcripts, and interviews with the survivors, Beyond Obsession is the definitive account of an American tragedy and the basis for a popular TV movie starring Victoria Principal and Emily Warfield.
In Houston, Texas, on a Sunday morning in spring, Coral Eugene Watts trapped two young women in their apartment. Only hours before, he’d killed another woman by drowning her in her bathtub. As Watts attempted to do the same to 20-year-old Lori Lister, her roommate made a daring escape, leading to Watts’s arrest.
Watts confessed to thirteen murders, but with no direct evidence, he managed to plea bargain his sentence down to 60 years for burglary. Through the untiring efforts of investigators and the mother of one of his victims, Watts was finally convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, where he remained the prime suspect in dozens of other slayings.
Experts theorized that Watts may have slain more than Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy . . . combined! Bestselling author Corey Mitchell takes us inside the twisted mind of “The Sunday Morning Slasher” and tells the chilling story of how he almost got away with murder.
“Corey Mitchell empathized with crime victims in a unique and personal way. That empathy is evident in every true crime book he wrote.” —Suzy Spencer
“Mitchell nailed the real story.”
—City of Houston Mayor’s Office
“Mitchell is the leading voice of true crime.” —Dennis McDougal
On the morning of December 30, 1978, in Littleton, Colorado, Robert Spangler lured his wife Nancy into the basement with the promise of a "surprise." He then shot her in the head with a .38 handgun. Going upstairs, he shot his teenage children, Susan and David. David was slow in dying, so his father finished him off by smothering him with a pillow.
Spangler had cunningly framed the crime scene, making it appear that his wife had shot their children and then herself. Now he was free to marry his new love, Sharon Cooper. A former high school athlete, he hiked the Grand Canyon with Sharon, who chronicled the trip in a book dedicated to her "soul mate," Spangler. But their happiness was short-lived. The marriage ended in a costly, messy divorce.
In April, 1993, when Spangler's third marriage to 59-year-old aerobics instructor Donna Sundling went sour, he took her hiking in the Grand Canyon and pushed her off a 140-foot drop to her death. In 1994, when ex-wife Sharon committed suicide, Spangler became the focus of intense police scrutiny. Wracked with brain cancer, he told all to investigators in the fall of 2000, detailing his shocking serial saga--the story of a two-time widower. . .and a four-time killer.
On a freezing Christmas morning, a distraught young man named Gerald Davies led Madison police to Tomahawk Ridge, where they found the body of Harold Berge, naked, bloody, and beaten. Davies insisted that he hadn’t killed the man, but that he and his fiancée had simply buried the corpse in a snowbank.
The investigation confirmed that the victim had died in the apartment of Barbara Hoffman—a young woman who had dropped out of the University of Wisconsin and had worked at Jan’s Health Studio, a local massage parlor. She and Davies, whom she met at Jan’s, had recently become engaged.
The circumstances were suspicious already. But when the police discovered that Berge was Hoffman’s ex-lover, that he had signed over his house and an insurance policy to her—and that Davies had also made her his beneficiary—they began to suspect that Davies might also be in danger . . .
The police kept him under watch, but eventually had to stop surveillance. Soon after, Davies turned up dead in his bathtub, a Valium bottle nearby, in an apparent suicide. But, an accomplished student of chemistry, Hoffman knew how tricky it could be to detect cyanide poisoning. It would take a dedicated effort by detectives to sort out the truth about the highly intelligent masseuse, her work in the shadowy local sex trade, and the real circumstances that led two of her clients to their deaths.
Winter of Frozen Dreams is the full story of the case that would become a sensational televised trial and inspire a film of the same name starring Thora Birch. It’s a “snappy read” by an author with a “talent for sleuthy description and psychological insight” (Kirkus Reviews).
Pimp sent shockwaves throughout the literary world when it published in 1969. Iceberg Slim’s autobiographical novel offered readers a never-before-seen account of the sex trade, and an unforgettable look at the mores of Chicago’s street life during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. In the preface, Slim says it best, “In this book, I will take you, the reader, with me into the secret inner world of the pimp.” An immersive experience unlike anything before it, Pimp would go on to sell millions of copies, with translations throughout the world. And it would have a profound impact upon generations of writers, entertainers, and filmmakers, making it the classic hustler’s tale that never seems to go out of style.
THE YOGURT SHOP MASSACRE
On a December night in Austin, Texas, teenagers Jennifer Harbison and Eliza Thomas closed up the yogurt store where they worked. The girls were joined by Jennifer's younger sister, Sarah, and her friend Amy Ayers.
Less than an hour later, all four girls were dead—tragic victims of an apparent fire. Until it was discovered that the girls had been bound and gagged, sexually assaulted, and shot execution-style.
With no physical evidence or eyewitnesses, Austin police faced one of their toughest cases ever. Nearly eight years passed before four young men were charged with the crime, and authorities learned how a planned robbery exploded into a drug- and sex-fueled spree of brutality. But the road to justice was packed with shocking twists . . .
“Corey Mitchell empathized with crime victims in a unique and personal way. That empathy is evident in every true crime book he wrote.” —Suzy Spencer
INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF HAUNTING PHOTOS
Mafioso Enriquez gives an insider′s view of how he devoted his life to the cause--the Mexican Mafia, La Familia Mexicana, also known as La Eme--only to find betrayal and disillusionment at the end of a bloody trail of violence that he followed for two decades.
And now, award-winning investigative journalist Chris Blatchford, with the unprecedented cooperation of Rene Enriquez, reveals the inner workings, secret meetings, and elaborate murder plots that make up the daily routine of the Mafia brothers. It is an intense, never-before-told story of a man who devoted his life to a bloody cause only to find betrayal and disillusionment.
Based on years of research and investigation, Chris Blatchford has delivered a historic narrative of a nefarious organization that will go down as a classic in mob literature.
Discover the classic, behind-the-scenes chronicle of John E. Douglas’ twenty-five-year career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, where he used psychological profiling to delve into the minds of the country’s most notorious serial killers and criminals.
In chilling detail, the legendary Mindhunter takes us behind the scenes of some of his most gruesome, fascinating, and challenging cases—and into the darkest recesses of our worst nightmares.
During his twenty-five year career with the Investigative Support Unit, Special Agent John Douglas became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic serial killers of our time: the man who hunted prostitutes for sport in the woods of Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer, and Seattle's Green River killer, the case that nearly cost Douglas his life.
As the model for Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs, Douglas has confronted, interviewed, and studied scores of serial killers and assassins, including Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Ed Gein, who dressed himself in his victims' peeled skin. Using his uncanny ability to become both predator and prey, Douglas examines each crime scene, reliving both the killer's and the victim's actions in his mind, creating their profiles, describing their habits, and predicting their next moves.
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.
In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye.
It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.
The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet.
Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it’s all too real.
Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.
This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties.
His family never suspected a thing.
Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.
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
"The tragedies keep coming. As we reel from the latest horror . . ."
So begins a new epilogue, illustrating how Columbine became the template for nearly two decades of "spectacle murders." It is a false script, seized upon by a generation of new killers. In the wake of Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech, the imperative to understand the crime that sparked this plague grows more urgent every year.
What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we "know" is wrong. It wasn't about jocks, Goths, or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on scene, and spent ten years on this book-widely recognized as the definitive account. With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws on mountains of evidence, insight from the world's leading forensic psychologists, and the killers' own words and drawings-several reproduced in a new appendix. Cullen paints raw portraits of two polar opposite killers. They contrast starkly with the flashes of resilience and redemption among the survivors.
Luis J. Rodríguez joined his first gang at age eleven. As a teenager, he witnessed the rise of some of the most notorious cliques in Southern California. He grew up knowing only a life of violence—one that revolved around drugs, gang wars, and police brutality. But unlike most of those around him, Rodríguez found a way out when art, writing, and political activism gave him a new path—and an escape from self-destruction.
Always Running spares no detail in its vivid, brutally honest portrayal of street life and violence, and it stands as a powerful and unforgettable testimonial of gang life by one of the most acclaimed Chicano writers of his generation.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Luis J. Rodríguez including rare images from the author’s personal collection.
Karen Gravano is the daughter of Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, once one of the mafia's most feared hit men. With nineteen confessed murders, the former Gambino Crime Family underboss—and John Gotti's right-hand man—is the highest ranking gangster ever to turn State's evidence and testify against members of his high-profile crime family.
But to Karen, Sammy Gravano was a sometimes elusive but always loving father figure. He was ever-present at the head of the dinner table. He made a living running a construction firm and several nightclubs. He stayed out late, and sometimes he didn't come home at all. He hosted "secret" meetings at their house, and had countless whispered conversations with "business associates." By the age of twelve, Karen knew he was a gangster. And as she grew up, while her peers worried about clothes and schoolwork, she was coming face-to-face with crime and murder. Gravano was nineteen years old when her father turned his back on the mob and cooperated with the Feds. The fabric of her family was ripped apart, and they were instantly rejected by the communities they grew up in.
This is the story of a daughter's struggle to reconcile the image of her loving father with that of a murdering Mafioso, and how, in healing the rift between the two, she was able to forge a new life.
Richard Namey, 26, drug abuser and woman-beater, had already threatened a previous girlfriend with a gun, but she'd gotten away. Sarah Rodriquez, 21, wasn't so lucky. On April 16, 2002, in Orange County, California, she and her true love, Matt Corbett, 20, were forced off the road by Namey, who shot them both at point-blank range with a .357. Sarah was killed. Corbett was paralyzed for life.
After a 42-mile chase, Namey was finally cornered in a drainage tunnel by a police dog. He pleaded manslaughter, claiming he'd really meant to kill himself in front of Sarah. No deal. The man he faced was not your average deputy district attorney: Dennis Conway had pulled himself out of a wayward life torn by seemingly insurmountable tragedy and into law school. He knew all about guys like Namey--and exactly where to find the holes in his story. The verdict: first-degree murder, life sentence. Score one for the good guys.
Includes 16 pages of shocking photos.
The film story of young Sanford Clark and his forced participation in the Wineville Murders was covered in Clint Eastwood's movie, THE CHANGELING, but for answers to the questions Eastwood posed after completing the project, turn to the true story of the Wineville murders: Anthony Flacco's THE ROAD OUT OF HELL. The hell part isn't what makes the story important; it's the road out that does.
From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco—using never-before-heard information from Sanford’s son, Jerry Clark—tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation.
Forced by Northcott to take part in the murders, Sanford carried tremendous guilt all his life. Yet despite his youth and the trauma, he helped gain some justice for the dead and their families by testifying at Northcott’s trial—which led to his conviction and execution. It was a shocking story, but perhaps the most shocking part of all is the extraordinarily ordinary life Clark went on to live as a decorated WWII vet, a devoted husband of 55 years, a loving father, and a productive citizen.
In dramatizing one of the darkest cases in American crime, Flacco constructs a riveting psychological drama about how Sanford was able to detoxify himself from the evil he’d encountered, offering the ultimately redemptive story of one man’s remarkable ability to survive a nightmare and emerge intact.
In 1962, Jerry Sherwood gave up her newborn son, Dennis, for adoption. Twenty years later, she set out to find him—only to discover he had died before his fourth birthday. The immediate cause was peritonitis, but the coroner had never decided the mode of death, writing “deferred” rather than indicate accident, natural causes, or homicide. This he did even though the autopsy photos showed Dennis covered from head to toe in ugly bruises, his clenched fists and twisted facial expression suggesting he had died writhing in pain.
Harold and Lois Jurgens, a middle-class, churchgoing couple in picturesque White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had adopted Dennis and five other foster children. To all appearances, they were a normal midwestern family, but Jerry suspected that something sinister had happened in the Jurgens household. She demanded to know the truth about her son’s death.
Why did authorities dismiss evidence that marked Dennis as an endangered child? Could Lois Jurgens’s brother, a local police lieutenant, have interfered in the investigation? And most disturbing of all, why had so many people who’d witnessed Lois’s brutal treatment of her children stay silent for so long? Determined to find answers, local detectives and prosecutors rebuilt the case brick by brick, finally exposing the shocking truth behind a nightmare in suburbia.
A finalist for the Edgar Award, A Death in White Bear Lake is “a distinguished entry in the annals of crime documentary,” and a vivid portrait of the all-American town that harbored a sadistic killer (The Washington Post).
Soon after his birthmother contacted him for the first time at the age of thirty-nine, adoptee Gary L. Stewart decided to search for his biological father. His quest would lead him to a horrifying truth and force him to reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself and his world.
Written with award-winning author and journalist Susan Mustafa, The Most Dangerous Animal of All tells the story of Stewart's decade-long hunt. While combing through government records and news reports and tracking down relatives and friends, Stewart turns up a host of clues—including forensic evidence—that conclusively identify his father as the Zodiac Killer, one of the most notorious and elusive serial murderers in history.
For decades, the Zodiac Killer has captivated America's imagination. His ability to evade capture while taunting authorities made him infamous. The vicious specificity of his crimes terrified Californians before the Manson murders and after, and shocked a culture enamored with the ideals of the dawning Age of Aquarius. To this day, his ciphers have baffled detectives and amateur sleuths, and his identity remains one of the twentieth century's great unsolved mysteries.
The Most Dangerous Animal of All reveals the name of the Zodiac for the very first time. Mustafa and Stewart construct a chilling psychological profile of Stewart's father: as a boy with disturbing fixations, a frustrated intellectual with pretensions to high culture, and an inappropriate suitor and then jilted lover unable to process his rage. At last, all the questions that have surrounded the case for almost fifty years are answered in this riveting narrative. The result is a singular work of true crime at its finest—a compelling, unbelievable true story told with the pacing of a page-turning novel—as well as a sensational and powerful memoir.
Frank W. Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams, and Robert Monjo, was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was twenty-one.
Known by the police of twenty-six foreign countries and all fifty states as "The Skywayman," Abagnale lived a sumptuous life on the lam--until the law caught up with him. Now recognized as the nation's leading authority on financial foul play, Abagnale is a charming rogue whose hilarious, stranger-than-fiction international escapades, and ingenious escapes-including one from an airplane-make Catch Me If You Can an irresistible tale of deceit.
American Desperado is Roberts’ no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become--at age 22--one of the city’s leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel’s most effective smuggler.
But that’s just half the tale.
The roster of Roberts’ friends and acquaintances reads like a Who’s Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega.
Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6”6” professional wrestler called “The Thing” as his bodyguard. Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party’s leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda.
Scrupulously documented and relentlessly propulsive, this collaboration between a bloodhound journalist and one of the most audacious criminals ever is like no other crime book you’ve ever read.
These were the principles that the greatest Mafia "Boss of Bosses," Joseph Bonnano, lived by. Born in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Bonnano found his future amid the whiskey-running, riotous streets of Prohibition America in 1924, when he illegally entered the United States to pursue his dreams. By the age of only twenty-six, Bonnano became a Don. He would eventually take over the New York underworld, igniting the "Castellammarese War," one of the bloodiest Family battles ever to hit New York City...
Now, in this candid and stunning memoir, Joe Bonanno-likely a model for Don Corleone in the blockbuster movie The Godfather-takes readers inside the world of the real Mafia. He reveals the inner workings of New York's Five Families-Bonanno, Gambino, Profaci, Lucchese, and Genovese-and uncovers how the Mafia not only dominated local businesses, but also influenced national politics. A fascinating glimpse into the world of crime, A Man of Honor is an unforgettable account of one of the most powerful crime figures in America's history.
“A page-turner, as compelling and evocative as the finest novel. The best book on prison I’ve ever read.”—Jonathan Kellerman
The most dreaded facility in the prison system because of its fierce population, Leavenworth is governed by ruthless clans competing for dominance. Among the “star” players in these pages: Carl Cletus Bowles, the sexual predator with a talent for murder; Dallas Scott, a gang member who has spent almost thirty of his forty-two years behind bars; indomitable Warden Robert Matthews, who put his shoulder against his prison’s grim reality; Thomas Silverstein, a sociopath confined in “no human contact” status since 1983; “tough cop” guard Eddie Geouge, the only officer in the penitentiary with the authority to sentence an inmate to “the Hole”; and William Post, a bank robber with a criminal record going back to when he was eight years old—and known as the “Catman” for his devoted care of the cats who live inside the prison walls.
Pete Earley, celebrated reporter and author of Family of Spies, all but lived for nearly two years inside the primordial world of Leavenworth, where he conducted hundreds of interviews. Out of this unique, extraordinary access comes the riveting story of what life is actually like in the oldest maximum-security prison in the country.
Praise for The Hot House
“Reporting at its very finest.”—Los Angeles Times
“The book is a large act of courage, its subject an important one, and . . . Earley does it justice.”—The Washington Post Book World
“[A] riveting, fiercely unsentimental book . . . To [Earley’s] credit, he does not romanticize the keepers or the criminals. His cool and concise prose style serves him well. . . . This is a gutsy book.”—Chicago Tribune
“Harrowing . . . an exceptional work of journalism.”—Detroit Free Press
“If you’re going to read any book about prison, The Hot House is the one. . . . It is the most realistic, unbuffed account of prison anywhere in print.”—Kansas City Star
“A superb piece of reporting.”—Tom Clancy
The revelatory inside story of the trial and final days of New England Patriots superstar Aaron Hernandez, by his attorney and New York Times bestselling author Jose Baez.
When renowned defense attorney Jose Baez received a request for representation from Aaron Hernandez, the disgraced Patriots tight-end was already serving a life sentence for murder. Defending him in a second, double-murder trial seemed like a lost cause--but Baez accepted the challenge, and their partnership culminated in a dramatic courtroom victory, a race to contest his first conviction, and ultimately a tragedy, when Aaron took his own life days after his acquittal.
This riveting, closely-observed account of Aaron's life and final year is the only book based on countless intimate conversations with Aaron, and told from the perspective of a true insider. Written with the support of Hernandez's fiancée, Unnecessary Roughness takes readers inside the high-profile trial, offering a dramatic retelling of the race to obtain key evidence that would exonerate Hernandez, and later play a critical role in appealing his first conviction.
With revelations about Aaron's personal life that weren't shared at trial, and an exploration of the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy diagnosis revealed by his autopsy, Jose Baez's Unnecessary Roughness is a startling courtroom drama and an unexpected portrait of a fallen father, fiancé, and teammate.
Hollywood’s make-believe maniacs like Jason, Freddy, and Hannibal Lecter can’t hold a candle to real life monsters like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and scores of others who have terrorized, tortured, and terminated their way across civilization throughout the ages. Now, from the much-acclaimed author of Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved, comes the ultimate resource on the serial killer phenomenon.
Rigorously researched and packed with the most terrifying, up-to-date information, this innovative and highly compelling compendium covers every aspect of multiple murderers–from psychology to cinema, fetishism to fan clubs, “trophies” to trading cards. Discover:
WHO THEY ARE: Those featured include Ed Gein, the homicidal mama’s boy who inspired fiction’s most famous Psycho, Norman Bates; Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, sex-crazed killer cousins better known as the Hillside Stranglers; and the Beanes, a fifteenth-century cave-dwelling clan with an insatiable appetite for human flesh
HOW THEY KILL: They shoot, stab, and strangle. Butcher, bludgeon, and burn. Drown, dismember, and devour . . . and other methods of massacre too many and monstrous to mention here.
WHY THEY DO IT: For pleasure and for profit. For celebrity and for “companionship.” For the devil and for dinner. For the thrill of it, for the hell of it, and because “such men are monsters, who live . . . beyond the frontiers of madness.”
PLUS: in-depth case studies, classic killers’ nicknames, definitions of every kind of deviance and derangement, and much, much more.
For more than one hundred profiles of lethal loners and killer couples, Bluebeards and black widows, cannibals and copycats– this is an indispensable, spine-tingling, eye-popping investigation into the dark hearts and mad minds of that twisted breed of human whose crimes are the most frightening . . . and fascinating.
The father figure is Leonard, the high-living, recovering coke addict "West Coast Director of a large Italian-American finance firm" (read: mobster) who helped to keep James Frey clean in A Million Little Pieces. The son is, of course, James, damaged perhaps beyond repair by years of crack and alcohol addiction-and by more than a few cruel tricks of fate.
James embarks on his post-rehab existence in Chicago emotionally devastated, broke, and afraid to get close to other people. But then Leonard comes back into his life, and everything changes. Leonard offers his "son" lucrative—if illegal and slightly dangerous—employment. He teaches James to enjoy life, sober, for the first time. He instructs him in the art of "living boldly," pushes him to pursue his passion for writing, and provides a watchful and supportive veil of protection under which James can get his life together. Both Leonard's and James's careers flourish…but then Leonard vanishes. When the reasons behind his mysterious absence are revealed, the book opens up in unexpected emotional ways.
My Friend Leonard showcases a brilliant and energetic young writer rising to important new challenges—displaying surprising warmth, humor, and maturity—without losing his intensity. This book proves that one of the most provocative literary voices of his generation is also one of the most emphatically human.
In Murder, Interrupted, rich, cheating financier Frank Howard wants his wife dead, and he's willing to pay Billie Earl Johnson whatever it takes: $750,000, to be exact. 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 is the story of local celebrity Dee Dee Blancharde. 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 . . .
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 . . .
Colton ("C-Loc") Simpson calls himself the only gang member ever allowed to quite the Crips--and one of the few to survive into his thirties. Simpson--son of a ballplayer for the California Angels and a mother who was relentlessly rough with her sons after their fathers left her--became a gang member at ten. Inside The Crips tells the remarkable--and at the same time, all too common--story of gang life in the 1980s in immediate and descriptive prose that makes this book a gripping true-life read. Inside The Crips covers the rush that comes from participating in gang violence and the years-long wars between the Bloods and Crips. Simpson's story also puts the reader in the middle of the struggle between the Crips and corrections officers in Calipatria prison. It covers gang life from the mid-seventies to the mid-nineties, and introduces characters it's impossible not to care about: Simpson's fellow gangbanger Smile; and Gina, the long-suffering friend and mother of two sons who married Simpson in prison.
The gripping account from an ex-con who went undercover to help the ATF infiltrate three of America's most violent biker gangs
Despite lacking any experience with motorcycle gangs, Charles Falco infiltrated three of America's deadliest biker gangs: the Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws. In separate investigations that spanned years and coasts, Falco risked his life, suffering a fractured neck and a severely torn shoulder, working deep under cover to bring violent sociopaths to justice.
His dedication was profound; Falco spent almost three years infiltrating the Vagos gang and rose to second in command of the Victorville, California chapter. He even served time in San Bernardino's Murder Unit and endured solitary confinement to protect his cover and the investigations. Falco recorded confessions of gangland-style killings and nearly became a target himself before he sought refuge in the Witness Protection Program. But discontent to remain on the sidelines and motivated by a strong sense of duty, Falco eventually left the Program and volunteer his talents again to infiltrate the Mongols and Outlaws, rising in rank to Vice President of the Petersburg, Virginia Outlaws chapter.
His efforts culminated in sixty two arrests of members for various crimes, including assault and murder. Executing one of this country's most successful RICO prosecutions and effectively crippling the criminal enterprise, Falco's engrossing narrative of the dangers of the biker underworld harkens back to Hunter S. Thompson's classic Hell's Angels, vividly recounting a life undercover.
A student at Forest Park High School near Atlanta, Georgia, popular blonde-haired Sharon Marshall was at the top of her class. Serving as a Lt. Colonel in the ROTC, she earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech University to study aerospace engineering. She was the ultimate girl next door, sweet, generous, and well-adjusted. But Sharon had disturbing secrets so shocking and unique, they took more than a decade to unravel...
This is the horrifying true story of a mysterious young woman caught in the violent web of the murderous fugitive she called her father—and a heartrending testament to the profound courage and perseverance of one woman trapped in the grip of extreme evil.
Olivia and Mia Flores are married to the highest level drug traffickers ever to become US informants. Their husbands worked with--and then brought down--El Chapo, as well as dozens of high-level members of the Mexican cartels. They had everything money could buy: luxury cars, huge houses, and expensive jewelry--but they chose to give it all up when they cooperated with the US government. They knew that life was about more than wealth; it was about love, family, and doing what's right. CARTEL WIVES is a love story, a "Married to the Mob" story, an insider's look into the terrifying but high-flying empire of the new world of drugs, and, finally, the story of a major DEA and FBI operation.
More than forty years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person near the scene of the crime was spared.
Manson puts the killer in the context of the turbulent late sixties, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege. Guinn shows us how Manson created and refined his message to fit the times, persuading confused young women (and a few men) that he had the solutions to their problems. At the same time he used them to pursue his long-standing musical ambitions. His frustrated ambitions, combined with his bizarre race-war obsession, would have lethal consequences.
Guinn’s book is a “tour de force of a biography…Manson stands as a definitive work: important for students of criminology, human behavior, popular culture, music, psychopathology, and sociopathology…and compulsively readable” (Ann Rule, The New York Times Book Review).
Gary Heyward’s life changed forever when he received a letter from the New York City Department of Corrections announcing he was accepted into the academy for new recruits. For the Harlem-born ex-Marine, being an officer of the law was the ticket he’d been waiting for to move up from a low-wage security job and out of the Polo Ground Projects in New York City—and take his mother with him.
Heyward was warned of the temptations he’d encounter as a new officer, but when faced with financial hardship, he suddenly found himself unable to resist the income generated from selling contraband to inmates. In his distinctive voice, Heyward takes you on a journey inside the walls of Rikers Island, showing how he teamed up with various inmates and other officers to develop a system that allowed him to profit from selling drugs inside the jail.
Corruption Officer is a jarring exposé of a man having lived on both sides of the law, a rare insider’s look at a corrupt city jail, and a testament to the lengths we’ll go when our backs are against the wall.
Focusing on Chicago bookie Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and his partner, Anthony Spilotro, and drawing on extensive, in-depth interviews, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Mafia classic Wiseguy—basis for the film Goodfellas—Nicholas Pileggi reveals how the pair worked together to oversee Las Vegas casino operations for the mob. He unearths how Teamster pension funds were used to take control of the Stardust and Tropicana and how Spilotro simultaneously ran a crew of jewel thieves nicknamed the “Hole in the Wall Gang.”
For years, these gangsters kept a stranglehold on Sin City’s brightly lit nightspots, skimming millions in cash for their bosses. But the elaborate scheme began to crumble when Rosenthal’s disproportionate ambitions drove him to make mistakes. Spilotro made an error of his own, falling for his partner’s wife, a troubled showgirl named Geri. It would all lead to betrayal, a wide-ranging FBI investigation, multiple convictions, and the end of the Mafia’s longstanding grip on the multibillion-dollar gaming oasis in the midst of the Nevada desert.
Casino is a journey into 1970s Las Vegas and a riveting nonfiction account of the world portrayed in the Martin Scorsese film of the same name, starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. A story of adultery, murder, infighting, and revenge, this “fascinating true-crime Mob history” is a high-stakes page-turner (Booklist).
From “America’s principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers” (The Boston Book Review) comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation—and redefined the meaning of the word “psycho.” The year was 1957. The place was an ordinary farmhouse in America’s heartland, filled with extraordinary evidence of unthinkable depravity. The man behind the massacre was a slight, unassuming Midwesterner with a strange smile—and even stranger attachment to his domineering mother. After her death and a failed attempt to dig up his mother’s body from the local cemetery, Gein turned to other grave robberies and, ultimately, multiple murders. Driven to commit gruesome and bizarre acts beyond all imagining, Ed Gein remains one of the most deranged minds in the annals of American homicide. This is his story—recounted in fascinating and chilling detail by Harold Schechter, one of the most acclaimed true-crime storytellers of our time.
THE INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLER!
Until now, we believed that everything had been said about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, the most infamous drug kingpin of all time, but these versions have always been told from the outside, never from the intimacy of his own home.
More than two decades after the full-fledged manhunt finally caught up with the king of cocaine, Juan Pablo Escobar travels to the past to reveal an unabridged version of his father—a man capable of committing the most extreme acts of cruelty while simultaneously professing infinite love for his family.
This is not the story of a child seeking redemption for his father, but a shocking look at the consequences of violence and the overwhelming need for peace and forgiveness.
Al DeMeo will never forget the day in 1992 when a coworker, a fellow trader at the New York Stock Exchange, taunted him with a copy of the hot new book Murder Machine, chronicling the horrific criminal life of DeMeo's father, Roy, the head of the most deadly gang in organized crime. The moment sent DeMeo into a psychological tailspin: How could he have spent his life looking up to, and loving, a vicious killer?
For the Sins of My Father recounts the chilling rise and fall of the man who led the Gambino family's most fearsome killers and thieves, through the eyes of a son who had never known any other kind of life. Coming of age in an opulent Long Island house where money is abundant but its source is unclear, Al becomes Roy's confidant, sent to call in loans at age fourteen and gradually coming to understand his father's job description--loan shark, car thief, porn purveyor and, above all, murderer. But when Al is seventeen, Roy's body is found in the trunk of a car, a gangland slaying that places Al between federal prosecutors seeking his testimony and a mob crew determined to keep him quiet.
Desperate to abide by the father-son bond, but equally determined to escape his father's dangerous and doomed life, Al Demeo embarks on a courageous quest for the truth, reconciliation, and honor. With the implacable narrative drive of a thriller and the power of a painfully honest memoir, For the Sins of My Father presents a startling and unprecedented perspective on the underworld of organized crime, exposing for the first time the cruel legacy of a Mafia life.
From the Hardcover edition.
“We gotta kill ‘em. They know what we look like.”
On a hot summer night in Houston, two teenage girls—bright, beautiful, success-bound friends—took a shortcut home from a friend’s apartment to make their curfew. They never reached their homes. The next morning, the families of the two girls began a frantic search, organizing friends and neighbors and posting thousands of fliers across the sprawling city. But not until an anonymous 911 call four days later were the bodies of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena finally recovered. Their killers were soon rounded up—a brutal, unrepentant gang of teenage boys whose convictions should have put them behind bars for life. But in the halls of justice, nothing is ever a sure bet . . .
“Corey Mitchell empathized with crime victims in a way unique and personal way. That empathy is evident in every true crime book he wrote and is what makes his books heartfelt, compelling reads.” —Suzy Spencer
“No one faces evil head on like Corey Mitchell.” —Gregg Olsen
INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF HAUNTING PHOTOS
From his blood feud with John Gotti to his dealings with the "Mafia cops," decorated NYPD officers Lou Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, to the Windows case, which marked the beginning of the end for the New York Mob, Gaspipe is Anthony Casso's shocking story—a roller-coaster ride into an exclusive netherworld that reveals the true inner workings of the Mafia, from its inception to the present time.
In Gotti’s Rules, George Anastasia, a prize-winning reporter who spent over thirty years covering crime, offers a shocking and very rare glimpse into the Gotti family, witnessed up-close from former family insider John Alite, John Gotti Jr.’s longtime friend and protector. Until now, no one has given up the kind of personal details about the Gottis—including the legendary “Gotti Rules” of leadership—that Anastasia exposes here. Drawing on extensive FBI files and other documentation, his own knowledge, and exclusive interviews with insiders and experts, including mob-enforcer-turned-government-witness Alite, Anastasia pokes holes in the Gotti legend, demystifying this notorious family and its lucrative and often deadly machinations.
Anastasia offers never-before-heard information about the murders, drug dealing, and extortion that propelled John J. Gotti to the top of the Gambino crime family and the treachery and deceit that allowed John A. “Junior” Gotti to follow in his father’s footsteps. Told from street level and through the eyes of a wiseguy who saw it all firsthand, the result is a riveting look at a family whose hubris, violence, passion, and greed fueled a bloody rise and devastating fall that is still reverberating through the American underworld today.
Gotti’s Rules includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.
James "Whitey" Bulger became one of the most ruthless gangsters in US history, and all because of an unholy deal he made with a childhood friend. John Connolly a rising star in the Boston FBI office, offered Bulger protection in return for helping the Feds eliminate Boston's Italian mafia. But no one offered Boston protection from Whitey Bulger, who, in a blizzard of gangland killings, took over the city's drug trade. Whitey's deal with Connolly's FBI spiraled out of control to become the biggest informant scandal in FBI history.
Black Mass is a New York Times and Boston Globe bestseller, written by two former reporters who were on the case from the beginning. It is an epic story of violence, double-cross, and corruption at the center of which are the black hearts of two old friends whose lives unfolded in the darkness of permanent midnight.
The Classic Account Of One Of The World’s Most Feared Serial Killers
Decades after Richard Ramirez left thirteen dead and paralyzed the city of Los Angeles, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture, and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo’s classic The Night Stalker, based on years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined. From watching his cousin commit murder at age eleven to his nineteen death sentences to the juror who fell in love with him, the story of Ramirez is a bizarre and spellbinding descent into the very heart of human evil.
Incredibly, after The Night Stalker was first published, thousands of women from all over the world contacted Carlo, begging to be put in touch with the killer. Carlo interviewed them and here presents their disturbing stories and the dark sexual desires that would drive them towards a brutal murderer. And in an exclusive death row interview, the killer himself gives his thoughts on the “Ramirez Groupies”—and what he thinks they really want.
“An astonishing portrait of a killer not seen since In Cold Blood.” —New York Daily News
“An exceptionally well-told true crime tale.” —Publishers Weekly16 Pages Of Shocking Photos
Now, award-winning broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell, a veteran of some of the most storied court cases in recent memory, goes behind the scenes of the trial and into the mind of a killer. Using insider accounts from friends who knew Travis and Jodi, Velez-Mitchell turns her sharply-focused lens on Arias and offers her seasoned perspective on the case’s most pressing questions. Separating fact from fiction, she reports on the bizarre and explicit stories that have both shocked and fascinated the American public—from Jodi’s romantic history before meeting Travis, to their torrid sex life together, to the complicated role their Mormon faith played in the relationship’s demise. With unbridled access to the evidence and the case’s key players, Velez-Mitchell unearths Jodi’s contentious life with those closest to her, examining the paranoid and erratic behavior behind each relationship and illustrating the disturbing pattern of a murderer in the making.
Complete with photos from the case and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s fresh insights on the crime, Exposed takes readers behind closed bedroom doors to uncover the truth behind the secret and sordid life of Jodi Arias.
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.