An Early Grave: Love, Deceit, and Suspicious Death in the American Desert

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On September 17, 1998, police found Las Vegas gambling magnate Ted Binion lying dead on the floor of his palatial home, an empty bos of Xanax beside him. The police had been called by Binion's live-in lover, Sandra Murphy, 23, a California girl who had been working in a Vegas strip club when Binion had first met her. At first it seemed it was a fatal drug overdose that killed the handsome multi-millionaire. But was it?

A few days later, Binion's "friend" Rick Tabish was arrested for trying to break into a vault where the eccentric millionaire had stored seven million dollars' worth of silver bars and coins. Family members hired ex-homicide detective-turned-private investigator Tom Dillar to start digging into the case. Dillard turned over the evidence he collected to Las Vegas police. What they found led to Binion's death being ruled a homicide and Murphy and Tabish's arrest for murder.

The state said they were greedy lovers who'd conspired to kill Binion before they could strike Murphy out of his will, while the defense claimed that his vengeful family was trying to railroad Murphy to keep her from inheriting her fair share of the estate. The two sides collided in court, amid lurid charges and countercharges of physical abuse, drug use and illicit passion, in what became the Southwest's Murder Trial of the Century!

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About the author

For the last twenty years, GARY C. KING has been one of America's foremost crime writers. Over 400 of his stories have appeared in crime magazines across the United States, Canada, and England, including True Detective, Official Detective, Inside Detective, Front Page Detective, and Master Detective. He is also the author of five true crime books.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Published on
Apr 1, 2011
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781429996846
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Language
English
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Genres
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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For the audience that read Maria Flook's New York Times bestseller, Invisible Eden, this is the extraordinary story of a high-stakes murder case set in the high society world of East Hampton—the playground of New York's superrich.

On October 22, 2001, handsome multimillionaire financier Ted Ammon was found bludgeoned to death in the magnificent East Hampton mansion he'd built with his beautiful—and volatile—wife, Generosa. She stood to make millions, but it wasn't the money that made Ted's friends suspicious: Generosa Ammon had a history of violent outbursts and bizarre obsessions.

A talented decorator, Generosa had fashioned a lavish lifestyle for her husband and their two children, divided between Fifth Avenue, the Long Island estate, and a manor house in England. But when Generosa discovered Ted had a mistress, her demons were unleashed.

She began a very public affair with Danny Pelosi, a strikingly handsome womanizer who was also her electrician. She called him her "tool belt guy." But he was also an ex-con with a mile-long rap sheet who was suspected of playing a pivotal role in Ted's murder and the final destruction of a once-perfect family.

In Almost Paradise, New York Times bestselling author Kieran Crowley, who has covered the Ammon case from the time it broke, recreates the three tumultuous lives that intersected fatally in East Hampton that fall. He tracks Generosa's lonely transformation from angry teenager—orphaned, unwanted and abused—to temperamental Manhattan artist and Society Wife. He follows the rambunctious odyssey that transformed Danny Pelosi from banking executive's privileged son, to street fighter and down-on-his luck alcoholic, to unsuccessful contractor charged with murder. And he chronicles the charmed life and tragic death of Ted Ammon, whose money and status couldn't save him from the machinations of those around him and his ultimate brutal demise.

"You haven't heard the last of us yet..."

These were chilling words on a note left behind by seven armed and dangerous inmates who escaped from the John Connally prison in South Texas on December 13, 2000. Their promise has apparently been fulfilled. The inmates, now known as the Connally Seven, are suspected of having first robbed a Radio Shack in Houston, and then, days later, on Christmas Eve, of having fatally shot and runover a young police officer during an assault on a Dallas sporting-goods store. For six frantic weeks, a massive manhunt with a significant reward had only turned up dead ends...until a tip came in from someone who had seen the gang on Fox-TVs "America's Most Wanted." Authorities arrested four of the seven prisoners, including suspected ringleader George Rivas, in Woodland Park, Colorado, and a fifth inmate shot himself during police negotiations.

Immediately intensifying the search for the last two heavily armed and dangerous prisoners, police and FBI closed in on them at a Holiday Inn in Colorado Springs just two days following the previous arrest. After five hours and a telephone interview with a TV news station in which they expressed their feeling that the breakout was a statement against Texas's judicial system, the two inmates surrendered themselves, putting an end to a long and frightening episode.

The Texas 7 goes behind the scenes to give you a detailed, fascinating account of the events leading up to and after their brazen prison escape--and the exciting chase that ultimately led to their capture.

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