In with the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption

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Featured on Dateline and CNN, the true story of a young man destined for greatness on the football field—until a few wrong turns led him to a ten-year prison sentence. He was offered an impossible mission: Coax a confession out of a fellow inmate, a serial killer, and walk free.

Jimmy Keene grew up outside of Chicago. Although he was the son of a policeman and rubbed shoulders with the city's elite, he ended up on the wrong side of the law and was sentenced to ten years with no chance of parole.

Just a few months into his sentence, Keene was approached by the prosecutor who put him behind bars. He had convicted a man named Larry Hall for abducting and killing a fifteen-year-old. Although Hall was suspected of killing nineteen other young women, there was a chance he could still be released on appeal. If Keene could get him to confess to two murders, there would be no doubt about Hall's guilt. In return, Keene would get an unconditional release from prison. But he could also get killed.

A story that gained national notoriety, this is Keene's powerful tale of peril, violence, and redemption.

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About the author

James Keene was the son of a former police officer who went from high-school football star to convict. Besides working on a book and movie about his life, he is also involved in producing, writing, and consulting for other film and book projects. Hillel Levin has been an investigative reporter for The Nation, New York magazine, Metropolitan Detroit, Playboy, and editor for Chicago magazine. He is the author of Grand Delusions and coauthor of When Corruption Was King.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Sep 28, 2010
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781429965590
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
True Crime / Murder / Mass Murder
True Crime / Murder / Serial Killers
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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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The 1991 abduction and murder of thirteen-year-old Heather Dawn Church baffled police for three agonizing years, and became one of the most infamous murders the quiet and scenic city of Colorado Springs had ever seen. It was legendary homicide detective Lou Smit who finally broke the case, sending Robert Charles Browne, a forty-three-year-old Louisiana drifter and career criminal, to prison for life.

But the savage saga of Robert Browne did not end there. In 2000, Smit, now retired, joined forces with Charlie Hess, an ex-FBI agent and former CIA operative, to reexamine the cold-case murder files of the local Sheriff's Department. With the addition of amateur forensics buff Scott Fischer, the Apple Dumpling Gang was born.

As their volunteer work continued, Smit, Hess, and Fischer came upon a taunting letter written by Browne, hinting that the death of Heather Church was only the tip of the iceberg. What other law enforcement officials had simply ignored, the Apple Dumpling Gang took on with single-minded determination. Charlie Hess began a correspondence with Browne in which, over the course of dozens of letters, the killer teasingly spun out the details of a horrific killing spree spread over thirty years and nine states. The tally, according to Browne: forty-nine deaths, making him one of the most prolific serial murderers in the annals of American crime.

Hess's unique insight into criminal psychology, honed over his years developing informants and working as a polygraph operator, made him uniquely suited to match wits with the cagey and canny killer. But Browne was every bit the retired cop's equal: quickwitted, mercurial, and charismatic, with a penchant for riddles and a lifetime full of grisly secrets.

A riveting account of the complex and chilling cat-and-mouse game Hess and Browne played over five years, Hello Charlie details Browne's bloody swath of murder -- by strangulation, poisoning, and dismemberment -- even as it explores the special bond forged between the cop and the killer, allowing Hess unprecedented access into the mind of a remorseless psychopath.

As compulsively readable as any crime novel, Hello Charlie picks up where The Silence of the Lambs left off, with the incredible true story of one man's search for justice with a murderer as his guide.
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