Blood and Money: The Classic True Story of Murder, Passion, and Power

Open Road Media
11
Free sample

New York Times Bestseller: The “gripping” true story of a beautiful Texas socialite, her ambitious husband, and a string of mysterious deaths (Los Angeles Times).

Joan Robinson Hill was a world-class equestrian, a glamorous member of Houston high society, and the wife of Dr. John Hill, a handsome and successful plastic surgeon. Her father, Ash Robinson, was a charismatic oil tycoon obsessed with making his daughter’s every dream come true.
 
Rich, attractive, and reckless, Joan was one of the most celebrated women in a town infatuated with money, power, and fame. Then one morning in 1969, she fell mysteriously ill. The sordid events that followed comprise “what may be the most compelling and complex case in crime annals” (Ann Rule, bestselling author of The Stranger Beside Me).
 
From the elegant mansions of River Oaks, one of America’s most exclusive neighborhoods, to a seedy underworld of prostitution and murder-for-hire, New York Times–bestselling author Thomas Thompson tracks down every bizarre motive and enigmatic clue to weave a fascinating tale of lust and vengeance. Full of colorful characters, shocking twists, and deadly secrets, Blood and Money is “an absolute spellbinder” and true crime masterpiece (Newsweek).
 
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About the author

Thomas Thompson (1933–1982) was a bestselling author and one of the finest investigative journalists of his era. Born in Forth Worth, Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and began his career at the Houston Press. He joined Life as an editor and staff writer in 1961 and covered many major news stories for the magazine, including the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As Paris bureau chief, Thompson reported on the Six-Day War and was held captive by the Egyptian government along with other Western journalists. His first two books—Hearts (1971), about the rivalry between two famous Houston cardiovascular surgeons, and Richie (1973), the account of a Long Island father who killed his drug-addicted son—established Thompson’s reputation as an originator, along with Truman Capote, of the “nonfiction novel.” In 1976, Thompson published Blood and Money, an investigation into the deaths of Texas socialite Joan Robinson Hill and her husband, John Hill. It sold four million copies in fourteen languages and won the Edgar Award and the Texas Institute of Letters prize for best nonfiction book. To research Serpentine (1979), an account of convicted international serial killer Charles Sobhraj, Thompson flew around the world three times and spent two years in Asia. His other books include Lost! (1975), a true story of shipwreck and survival, and the novel Celebrity (1982), a six-month national bestseller. Among numerous other honors, Thompson received the National Headliner Award for investigative reporting and the Sigma Delta Chi medallion for distinguished magazine writing.
 
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4.8
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Dec 13, 2016
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Pages
450
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ISBN
9781504043267
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
History / United States / State & Local / Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX)
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the Edgar Award: The gripping account of a gruesome mass murder in gritty 1980s New York and the relentless hunt for a coldblooded killer.
 
On a warm spring evening in 1982, thirty-seven-year-old accountant Margaret Barbera left work in New York City and walked to the West Side parking lot where she kept her BMW. Finding the lock on the driver’s side door jammed, she went to the passenger’s side and inserted her key. A man leaned through the open window of a van parked in the next spot, pressed a silenced pistol to the back of Margaret’s head, and fired. She was dead before she hit the pavement.
 
It was a professional hit, meticulously planned—but the killer didn’t expect three employees of the nearby CBS television studios to stumble onto the scene of the crime. “You didn’t see nothin’, did you?” he demanded, before shooting the first eyewitness in the head. After chasing down and executing the other two men, the murderer sped out of the parking lot with Margaret’s lifeless body in the back of his van.
 
Thirty minutes later, the first detectives arrived on the scene. Veterans of Midtown North, a sprawling precinct stretching from the exclusive shops of Fifth Avenue to the flophouses of Hell’s Kitchen, they thought they’d seen it all. But a bloodbath in the heart of Manhattan was a shocking new level of depravity, and the investigation would unfold under intense media coverage. Setting out on the trail of an assassin, the NYPD uncovered one of the most diabolical criminal conspiracies in the city’s history.
 
Richard Hammer’s blow-by-blow account of “the CBS Murders” is a thrilling tale of greed, violence, and betrayal, and a fascinating portrait of how a big-city police department solved the toughest of cases.
 
New York Times Bestseller: The “fascinating” true story of John Dale Cavaness, a much-admired Illinois doctor—and the cold-blooded killer of his own son (The Washington Post).

 Fusing the narrative power of an award-winning novelist and the detailed research of an experienced investigator, author Darcy O’Brien unfolds the story of Dr. John Dale Cavaness, the southern Illinois physician and surgeon charged with the murder of his son Sean in December 1984. Outraged by the arrest of the skilled medical practitioner who selflessly attended to their needs, the people of Little Egypt, as the natives call their region, rose to his defense.
But during the subsequent trial, a radically different, disquieting portrait of Dr. Cavaness would emerge. Throughout the three decades that he enjoyed the admiration and respect of his community, Cavaness was privately terrorizing his family, abusing his employees, and making disastrous financial investments. As more and more grisly details of the Cavaness case come to stark Midwestern light in O’Brien’s chilling account, so too does the hidden gothic underside of rural America and its heritage of violence and blood.
 
“A meticulous account . . . An implicit indictment of a culture that condones and encourages violent behavior in men.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“A fascinating story, and Darcy O’Brien does a great job of structuring it for suspense.” —The Washington Post
 
“Riveting.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A terrifying story of family violence and the community that honored the perpetrator.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Stunning material . . . Handled with justice and fastidiousness by a natural storyteller.” —Seamus Heaney, winner of the Nobel Prize
The “powerful and moving” true story of a Long Island family torn apart by drugs, violence, and the unbridgeable divide between generations (Kirkus Reviews).

George Diener, World War II veteran and traveling salesman, and his wife, Carol, had old-fashioned values and ordinary aspirations: a home, a family, the pleasure of watching their two sons grow up. But in February 1972, an unthinkable tragedy occurred in the basement of their Nassau County residence, shattering their hopes and dreams forever.
 
George and Carol doted on their shy eldest son, Richie. But at fifteen, the boy fell into a devastating downward spiral. He started smoking marijuana, shoplifting, and hanging out with drug dealers, and was soon arrested for assault and expelled from school. By the time his parents sought psychiatric counseling for their son, Richie was addicted to barbiturates and given to violent outbursts and threats. The boy George and Carol knew was long gone. Then, one winter evening, Richie came at his father with a steak knife and a suicidal cry of “Shoot!”
 
Edgar Award–winning author Thomas Thompson delivers a “scary, harrowing” account of a turbulent era in American history when the gulf between young and old, bohemian and conservative, felt wider and more dangerous than ever before (The New York Times Book Review). A tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, the devastating account of George and Carol Diener’s nightmare was adapted into The Death of Richie, a television movie starring Ben Gazzara, Eileen Brennan, and Robby Benson as Richie.
 
From the author of Above Suspicion: The “riveting” true story of Charles Stuart, who murdered his pregnant wife and pinned the crime on a black man in 1980s Boston (Kirkus Reviews).
 
On October 23, 1989, affluent businessman Charles Stuart made a frantic 911 call from his car to report that he and his seven-months-pregnant wife, Carol, a lawyer, had been robbed and shot by a black male in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. By the time police arrived, Carol was dead, and the baby was soon lost as well. The attack incited a furor during a time of heightened racial tension in the community.
 
Even more appalling, while the injuries were real, Stuart’s story was a hoax: He was the true killer. But the tragedy would continue with the arrest of Willie Bennett, a young man Stuart identified in a line-up. Stuart’s deception would only be exposed after a shocking revelation from his brother and, finally, his suicide, when he jumped into the freezing waters of the Mystic River.
 
As the story unraveled, police would put together the disturbing pieces of a puzzle that included Stuart’s distress over his wife’s pregnancy, his romantic interest in a coworker, and life insurance fraud. In an account that “builds and grips like a novel” (Kirkus Reviews), New York Times journalist Joe Sharkey delivers “a picture of a man consumed by naked ambition, unwilling to let anyone or anything get in his way” (Library Journal).
 
Revised and updated, this ebook also includes photos and a new epilogue by the author.
Edgar Award Winner: True stories of miscarriages of justice, legal battles, and landmark reversals, by the creator of Perry Mason.
 
In 1945, Erle Stanley Gardner, noted attorney and author of the popular Perry Mason mysteries, was contacted by an overwhelmed California public defender who believed his doomed client was innocent. William Marvin Lindley had been convicted of the rape and murder of a young girl along the banks of the Yuba River, and was awaiting execution at San Quentin. After reviewing the case, Gardner agreed to help—it seemed the fate of the “Red-Headed Killer” hinged on the testimony of a colorblind witness.
 
Gardner’s intervention sparked the Court of Last Resort. The Innocence Project of its day, this ambitious and ultimately successful undertaking was devoted to investigating, reviewing, and reversing wrongful convictions owing to poor legal representation, prosecutorial abuses, biased police activity, bench corruption, unreliable witnesses, and careless forensic-evidence testimony. The crimes: rape, murder, kidnapping, and manslaughter. The prisoners: underprivileged and vulnerable men wrongly convicted and condemned to life sentences or death row with only one hope—the devotion of Erle Stanley Gardner and the Court of Last Resort.
 
Featuring Gardner’s most damning cases of injustice from across the country, The Court of Last Resort won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Originating as a monthly column in Argosy magazine, it was produced as a dramatized court TV show for NBC.
 
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