Not Just Evil: Murder, Hollywood, and California's First Insanity Plea

Diversion Books
4
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In 1927, a schoolgirl’s murder leads to a Hollywood manhunt, a bizarre confession, and a landmark trial in this historical true crime.
 
Twelve-year-old Marion Parker was kidnapped from her Los Angeles school by an unknown assailant on December 15, 1927. The killer dropped her off a few days later, fleeing with the ransom money before Marion’s father discovered she had been brutally murdered. When William Edward Hickman was hunted down and charged with the killing, he admitted to all of it, in terrifying detail, but that was only the start.
 
Hickman’s insanity plea was the first of its kind in California, and it led to a national media frenzy. His lawyers argued that their client lived in a fantasy world, inspired by movies and unable to tell right from wrong. In a year when the first talking picture had just been released, the movie industry scrambled to protect itself from ruinous publicity. As scandals threatened the proceedings from the start, the death of a young girl grew into a referendum on the state of America at the birth of mass media culture.
 
Author and private investigator David Wilson captures the maelstrom surrounding Marion Parker’s death in vivid detail. From the crime itself to the manhunt that followed, the unprecedented trial, and its dramatic aftermath, Wilson draws readers into this fascinating true account of the birth of the celebrity criminal.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Diversion Books
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Published on
Dec 6, 2016
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9781682303269
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Language
English
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Genres
True Crime / Abductions, Kidnappings & Missing Persons
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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From a pair of New York Times bestselling authors with unparalleled access comes an in-depth account of the manhunt for Joran van der Sloot, one of the most reviled accused criminals in the world

In May 2005, Natalee Holloway disappeared from a high school trip to Aruba. Five years to the day later, twenty-one-year-old Stephany Flores was reported missing in Lima, Peru. Implicated in both crimes was one young man: Joran van der Sloot.

A twenty-three-year-old Dutchman, Van der Sloot has become the subject of intense scrutiny by the media and the public in the years since 2005. He was arrested and detained by Aruban authorities in connection with the Holloway disappearance, only to be released after questioning. In 2008, during a Dutch sting operation, he admitted to being present for Holloway's death---but later recanted his statement.

In 2010, on the five-year anniversary of her disappearance, a young business student in Peru named Stephany Flores disappeared, only to be found dead three days later in a hotel room---registered to Van der Sloot. He was arrested for the murder and confessed, but he later claimed he was coerced.

This is the first book to offer a probing look at the man tied to two of the most sensational cases of the decade. It draws from:

• Interviews with members of the families of Joran, Stephany, and Natalee

• Never-before-seen photographs of the crime scene in Peru, fingerprint files, hotel records, and more

• Internal communications between Interpol, the FBI, Aruban officials, and officials in Chile and Peru

• Never-before-seen police files from Chile, Peru, and Aruba

Portrait of a Monster offers an unflinching look into the workings of an international manhunt and a chilling portrait of an alleged killer.

As featured on 60 Minutes, Dateline, Inside Edition, and 48 Hours, the shocking true story of banker Edmond Safra's death and the man wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for the crime.

When billionaire banker Edmond Safra died in the ashes of Monaco’s La Belle Époque on December 3, 1999, the event made international headlines—for many reasons. One, of course, was the sheer wealth of the Lebanese mogul and his formidable presence in the international banking world. But the more seductive reason for the worldwide attention was the strange and intriguing way Safra died—ensconced within the armored walls of his vigilantly secured residence in the “safest city in the world.”
 
At 4:45 in the morning, a firestorm gutted Safra’s opulent Monte Carlo penthouse, trapping—and killing—Safra and one of his nurses, Vivian Torrente. The fire was ruled arson. Safra’s death, the result. The person responsible: ex–Green Beret Ted Maher, another of Safra’s nurses. Or so he stood accused.
 
The true details concerning the bizarre circumstances that led to Safra’s death and the subsequent conviction and imprisonment of Ted Maher are contained within the pages of Framed in Monte Carlo: Why I Spent Eight Years in Prison for a Murder I Did Not Commit. It features play-by-play of the night Edmond Safra died, as well as Maher's sham of a trial and his subsequent imprisonment for seven years and eight months. Dangerous French prisons, prison breaks straight out of The Great Escape, daily strip searches, and more pepper the pages of Framed in Monte Carlo.
After Maher had already served over ninety-five percent of his sentence, the chief investigative judge publicly denounced Maher’s trial as a sham, one the judge himself had participated in. Ted was freed and his name was cleared—at least officially. But his business is unfinished. Now, for the first time ever, hear the facts straight from the source, including never-before-released details. The biggest question remains: who did kill Edmond Safra? With names like Vladimir Putin being legitimately put forth, the authors' conclusions will shock you.
One of the great intellectual battles of modern times is between evolution and religion. Until now, they have been considered completely irreconcilable theories of origin and existence. David Sloan Wilson's Darwin's Cathedral takes the radical step of joining the two, in the process proposing an evolutionary theory of religion that shakes both evolutionary biology and social theory at their foundations.

The key, argues Wilson, is to think of society as an organism, an old idea that has received new life based on recent developments in evolutionary biology. If society is an organism, can we then think of morality and religion as biologically and culturally evolved adaptations that enable human groups to function as single units rather than mere collections of individuals? Wilson brings a variety of evidence to bear on this question, from both the biological and social sciences. From Calvinism in sixteenth-century Geneva to Balinese water temples, from hunter-gatherer societies to urban America, Wilson demonstrates how religions have enabled people to achieve by collective action what they never could do alone. He also includes a chapter considering forgiveness from an evolutionary perspective and concludes by discussing how all social organizations, including science, could benefit by incorporating elements of religion.

Religious believers often compare their communities to single organisms and even to insect colonies. Astoundingly, Wilson shows that they might be literally correct. Intended for any educated reader, Darwin's Cathedral will change forever the way we view the relations among evolution, religion, and human society.
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