In the early days of Prohibition, Sankey, then a locomotive engineer, was drawn to the easy money he could make bootlegging. When crime syndicates monopolized the trade and Prohibition’s end was in sight, he turned to the occasional bank robbery and eventually to a ransom scheme. In tracing the life of Sankey—and his demure wife, Fern—Bjorkman depicts a good-natured man, friendly neighbor, and gentleman rumrunner catering to the banker and broker trade. He also explores Sankey’s motivations, his identification as America’s first Public Enemy, and his ultimate descent into oblivion.
Verne Sankey: America’s First Public Enemy is a riveting narrative set amid the Great Depression. Bjorkman’s research painstakingly reveals the life of Verne Sankey and his times, delving into the intriguing story of the family of his kidnapping victim, Charles Boettcher II, and the stark contrast between wealth and poverty during some of America’s most harrowing days.
The first days and weeks after her disappearance saw an almost unparalleled level of media coverage, as the face of a blonde, giggly little girl and her grief-stricken parents made front pages and news bulletins the world over.
However, as opportunities were missed and potential suspects questioned and released, including Gerry and Kate McCann themselves, accusations were levelled on all sides. The competency of the Portuguese police was brought under severe scrutiny, whilst the international media and public has continued to wonder, fairly or not, how a group of parents could leave their young children alone as they dined elsewhere. All the while, Madeleine is still missing and her fate remains unknown.
Spanish-based investigative journalist Danny Collins has returned to Praia da Luz to re-examine the case. This is the story of what happened on that terrible night and what has followed since, piecing together the clues and false leads from the original investigation with the Metropolitan Police's efforts in recent years to find Madeleine and solve one of the most talked about cases of the century.
Scrawny, filthy and wide-eyed with fear when they turn up on foster carer Maggie Hartley's doorstep, these young siblings have hardly set foot outside their own home. They have been prisoners, locked in a terrifying world of abuse and violence.
Maggie soon realises that Evie and Elliot are lacking the basic life skills we all take for granted. The outside world terrifies them; the sound of the doorbell sends them into a panic that takes hours to abate. Gradually unlocking the truth of their heart-breaking upbringing, Maggie tells their shocking true story.
From emotionally scarred and damaged little children, we see how - with warmth and dedication - Maggie transforms their lives. As this moving story unfolds, we share Maggie's joy when these children finally smile again, when they realise they do have a future after all.
Discover why readers have fallen in love with Maggie Hartley
"I absolutely loved this book. It is up there with one of the best. I have laughed and I have cried. I would give it ten stars if I could." - Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
"If you haven't read Maggie's books they are a must read." - Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
"Such a heart-breaking story you just can't put this book down. I have read many books of this genre and this is one of the best. Hard hitting and real... don't miss this one!" - Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars