Obsessed with glamour and wealth, she followed her dream to Hollywood, and finally found fame-- in death.
Bonny Lee Bakley's dream was to marry a movie star. Using sex and guts, the ruthless small-town blonde finally struck it rich by wedding Robert Blake, the Emmy Award-winning actor who scored in the hit show "Baretta." When Blake found his bride of six months with a bullet in her head outside a Los Angeles restaurant, he was thrust back into the spotlight, and Bonny Lee was exposed for the manipulative woman she was-- a grifter with a sordid criminal history of sex swindles, credit-card fraud, and Social Security scams. But her specialty was fleecing wealthy men for quick cash-- a lucrative sting that finally brought Bonny Lee Bakley to Hollywood to live-- and die-- among the rich and famous...
But who really murdered Bonny Lee in cold blood? How did it play into Robert and Bonny's turbulent marriage? Was she a victim of her own con-- or something more sinister? What was the truth behind her fears of being stalked? And what secrets were hidden in Bonny's past that she found impossible to outrun?
Now, in this riveting, fascinating account, Gary C. King brings you the inside details of the most talked-about Tinseltown murder in years.
With 8 pages of unforgettable photos!
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. His books Web of Deceit, Driven to Kill (which was nominated for an Anthony Award in the Best True Crime Book category at Bouchercon 25) and Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer were chosen as a featured selection of the True Crime Book Club. He is also the author of Blind Rage and Savage Vengeance, co-written with Don Lasseter. A full-time writer, Mr. King is an active member of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife and two daughters.
In October 2002, the quiet northern California town of Orinda was rocked by murder when Susan Polk, the mother of three teenage boys, was arrested for stabbing her husband and former therapist, Dr. Felix Polk, to death. The arrest and subsequent trial quickly became one of the most talked about murder cases in the country, as spectators and reporters learned the strange history behind this shocking killing.
Now in Seduced by Madness, Carol Pogash—the leading journalist working the case—has written the definitive account of the Polk family saga, offering a rich and textured re-creation of this disturbing and tragic American tale. Examining the decadent culture of California in the 1970s, Pogash looks at how, in this period of drugs and sexual exploration, a fifteen-year-old Susan found herself caught in the grasp of Felix, her therapist—who, like others in the mental health profession, fell for every passing trend in mental health therapy. Culled from years of careful research, Pogash reconstructs the vague beginnings of the couple's sexual relationship in the therapist's office, exploring how Felix's relaxed attitude toward therapy blinded him to the complex nature of Susan's mental state, and how their mutual obsession with each other sealed their fate.
With lyrical prose, Pogash skillfully traces the Polks' story—from their early yearnings for one another through their flawed marriage, which produced three highly intelligent but emotionally divided sons. Weaving a complex narrative of a family who lived in multimillion dollar homes but lingered in the shadow of dysfunction, Pogash reassembles their life in the years and months before Felix's death, intimately describing what led this soft-spoken wife to murder.
Three years after Felix's death, Susan Polk was tried for first degree murder, and here Pogash provides a first-hand account of the wild, media-circus trial in which Susan defended herself and cross-examined two of her sons. Illustrating how the prosecution and the court responded to Susan's volatile behavior, Pogash takes you inside the deliberation room and uncovers how jurors reached their surprising verdict.
Filled with the most complete case facts and interviews available, Seduced by Madness offers an unparalleled look at one of the most captivating murder cases in recent years.
Scott Peterson's behavior had cast a mysterious shadow over the death of his pregnant wife: his alibi on the day of the disappearance was questionable; he admitted to an affair with another woman; and when he was finally charged with capital murder, he had altered his appearance. Almost immediately, the media condemned Scott, even though he maintains his innocence. Is Scott Peterson a victim of circumstantial evidence? Despite the state attorney general's claim of a "slam dunk", the case that has gripped the nation is much more complex, and is yielding even more questions, doubts, accusations, and shocking revelations.
Nanette Johnston's personal ad made it clear: "I know how to take care of my man if he knows how to take care of me." Newport Beach millionaire Bill MacLaughlin made the fatal mistake of responding.
Within months, the gorgeous 28-year-old moved in with the middle-aged entrepreneur. Three years later, she began seeing another man on the side, a former NFL linebacker who took a job at a nearby nightclub. Three weeks later, MacLaughin would be dead.
He was found lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. Nannette had an alibi—and a million-dollar life insurance policy on the victim. Police discovered she'd embezzled a small fortune from MacLaughlin's business—but didn't have enough evidence to charge her with murder. For years, the crime went unsolved—until new evidence brought the golddigger and her boyfriend back to the courtoom—in a sordid case of lust, betrayal, greed, and murder...
A Harvard Law School graduate, Dan manipulated the law to strip Betty of everything she loved: her home, her friends--even her children. When she frantically tried to fight back, he had her committed to a mental hospital. His new wife, Linda, even sent the once-beautiful Betty wrinkle cream ads and weight loss pamphlets.
Consumed by hatred and thoughts of revenge, Betty's rage exploded on the night of November 5, 1989. Before the sun rose the next day, Dan Broderick and his gorgeous new wife were dead--their bullet-riddled bodies wrapped in the blood-soaked sheets of their bed.
Hell Hath No Fury is a shocking story of wealth, passion, revenge, and a woman driven to murder.
The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry.
By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime, and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.
In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate.
A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.
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.