Secrets Can Be Murder: What America's Most Sensational Crimes Tell Us About Ourselves

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Respected television news journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell asks a probing, disturbing question: Are killers like Scott Peterson and Andrea Yates all that different from the rest of us?

What kind of monster would do this? When journalists break the story of a child who's been kidnapped, a young woman who's been brutally raped, or a family who's been slaughtered, that's the question most of us ask. Secrets Can Be Murder exposes the hidden motivations behind the most sinister acts of recent times, with a behind-closed-doors look at these sensational crimes that will astound you.

After weighing in on high-profile cases for CNN, Fox News, Court TV, and MSNBC, author Jane Velez-Mitchell helps us understand these infamous crimes by unmasking the deceptions that turned toxic, exploding in rage and violence.

People lie every day to protect secrets, big and small. From desperate Hollywood personalities covering up their eccentric lifestyles to Bible Belt mothers who take the lives of their own children, Secrets Can Be Murder probes twenty-one separate cases. Each illustrates how leading a double life can land you in prison, and how failing to spot liars can get you killed.

Secrets Can Be Murder offers the inside story on each horrific case, unlocking the jaw-dropping secrets of the accused and revealing the common, innocent mistakes of the victims. After all, many of us have gone out alone late at night like Imette St. Guillen, or partied while on vacation like George Smith and Natalee Holloway.

From Dan Horowitz, the high-profile lawyer whose wife was brutally murdered by a teenage neighbor while Horowitz was defending a housewife accused of murder, to Neil Entwistle, the British husband who ran out of funds for an extravagant American lifestyle, Velez-Mitchell shows how each of these crimes has its own secrets to spill.

Many of us possess the same trusting nature as victims and carry around the same secrets as criminals -- whether it's debt, infidelity, or fetishes. With fascinating new insights from investigators and psychologists plus the friends and family of both the victims and the perpetrators, Secrets Can Be Murder illustrates just how little separates our so-called normal lives from that of a sociopath -- and how you can stay out of harm's way.
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On June 9, 2008, the butchered body of Travis Alexander was found in his Mesa, Arizona home. The grisly nature of his death made instant headlines: with twenty-nine knife wounds, his throat slit, and a gunshot to the head, Travis was left to die. The prime suspect in the case was Alexander’s ex-girlfriend, the attractive and soft-spoken Jodi Arias. Though Arias initially said that she was nowhere near the scene of the crime, little about this case was as it seemed, and before long she had been caught lying to police. As the investigation progressed, her lies evolved multiple times before finally resting on an appalling claim: she had killed Travis in self-defense.  Along the way, startling details emerged about the Mormon couple’s relationship, and soon graphic stories of their lurid sexual encounters and jealousy-driven blowouts revealed a dark side to their life together. These revelations launched a trial filled with sex and deception but also raised substantial questions about Arias’s deceit, as people from across the country struggled to understand the bizarre world of Jodi Arias.

Now, award-winning broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell, a veteran of some of the most storied court cases in recent memory, goes behind the scenes of the trial and into the mind of a killer.  Using insider accounts from friends who knew Travis and Jodi, Velez-Mitchell turns her sharply-focused lens on Arias and offers her seasoned perspective on the case’s most pressing questions. Separating fact from fiction, she reports on the bizarre and explicit stories that have both shocked and fascinated the American public—from Jodi’s romantic history before meeting Travis, to their torrid sex life together, to the complicated role their Mormon faith played in the relationship’s demise. With unbridled access to the evidence and the case’s key players, Velez-Mitchell unearths Jodi’s contentious life with those closest to her, examining the paranoid and erratic behavior behind each relationship and illustrating the disturbing pattern of a murderer in the making.

Complete with photos from the case and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s fresh insights on the crime, Exposed takes readers behind closed bedroom doors to uncover the truth behind the secret and sordid life of Jodi Arias. 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 3, 2007
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781416546054
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Social Science / General
True Crime / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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On 3 August 2012, as London was gripped by the Olympics, Tia Sharp, a 12-year old schoolgirl, was reported missing from her grandmother's home in New Addington, south London. A call made by her mother, Natalie, alerted police to Tia's disappearance and so began a massive search operation to find the missing girl. Police were seconded from the Olympic village to make house-tohouse enquiries, while locals searched the nearby area.A Twitter campaign began, sparking a nationwide appeal to find Tia. It was reported that Tia had disappeared after being dropped off at a train station to go shopping, but in the days that followed a different story emerged.Only seven days after Tia was reported missing, the terrible news came that the family hoped they would never have to hear; Tia's body, wrapped in bin bags, had been found in her grandmother's attic. The truth that unfolded over the course of the day horrified the public; not only had the police searched the house on three separate occasions before discovering Tia's body, late the following evening, Stuart Hazell - the man who Tia trusted, the man who appealed for her return - was charged with her murder.Tia Sharp: A Family Betrayal examines the appalling case of an evil step-grandfather who betrayed his families trust, deceived friends and neighbours, and cut short the life of a young, well-loved girl. An insight into the facts behind the murder, the court case and the aftermath of one of the most shocking crimes a family should never have to face.
Persistent thieves,criminals who resume committing crimes of burglary, robbery, vehicle theft, and ordinary theft despite previous attempts to stop,are a main focal point of American criminology and criminal justice. Cast as career criminals," they are also one of the principal targets of the war on crime" that American governments have waged for more than two decades.Building on a theoretical interpretation of crime as choice, crime-control policies and programs justified by notions of deterrence and incapacitation have proliferated. America's urban police departments now have repeat offender units," and many of the new state sentencing codes mandate lengthy sentences for defendants with previous convictions. Great Pretenders is based on the author's original studies and previously published research and on more than fifty autobiographies of persistent thieves. Shover uses a crime-as-choice framework and a life-course perspective to make sense of important decisions and changes in the lives of persistent thieves. He shows how the working-class origins of most persistent thieves produce both low legitimate and low criminal aspirations, even as those origins leave them ill equipped to exploit comparatively safe, lucrative, and newer forms of criminal opportunity.In this book Shover describes how many persistent thieves and hustlers identify with crime and pursue a lifestyle of life as party in which their choices alternately are made in contexts of drug-using hedonism or desperation. Their estimates of the likely payoffs from crime are severely distorted, and most give little thought to possible arrest. As they get older, however, persistent thieves make qualitative changes in the crimes they commit, and many eventually stop committing crimes altogether.The author highlights some unintended consequences of harsh crime control measures and raises critical questions about the one-size-fits-all approach to crime of recent decades.
On June 9, 2008, the butchered body of Travis Alexander was found in his Mesa, Arizona home. The grisly nature of his death made instant headlines: with twenty-nine knife wounds, his throat slit, and a gunshot to the head, Travis was left to die. The prime suspect in the case was Alexander’s ex-girlfriend, the attractive and soft-spoken Jodi Arias. Though Arias initially said that she was nowhere near the scene of the crime, little about this case was as it seemed, and before long she had been caught lying to police. As the investigation progressed, her lies evolved multiple times before finally resting on an appalling claim: she had killed Travis in self-defense.  Along the way, startling details emerged about the Mormon couple’s relationship, and soon graphic stories of their lurid sexual encounters and jealousy-driven blowouts revealed a dark side to their life together. These revelations launched a trial filled with sex and deception but also raised substantial questions about Arias’s deceit, as people from across the country struggled to understand the bizarre world of Jodi Arias.

Now, award-winning broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell, a veteran of some of the most storied court cases in recent memory, goes behind the scenes of the trial and into the mind of a killer.  Using insider accounts from friends who knew Travis and Jodi, Velez-Mitchell turns her sharply-focused lens on Arias and offers her seasoned perspective on the case’s most pressing questions. Separating fact from fiction, she reports on the bizarre and explicit stories that have both shocked and fascinated the American public—from Jodi’s romantic history before meeting Travis, to their torrid sex life together, to the complicated role their Mormon faith played in the relationship’s demise. With unbridled access to the evidence and the case’s key players, Velez-Mitchell unearths Jodi’s contentious life with those closest to her, examining the paranoid and erratic behavior behind each relationship and illustrating the disturbing pattern of a murderer in the making.

Complete with photos from the case and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s fresh insights on the crime, Exposed takes readers behind closed bedroom doors to uncover the truth behind the secret and sordid life of Jodi Arias. 

No one knows the story behind the sensational headlines of the Scott Peterson murder trial better than defense attorney Matt Dalton. For six straight months after Peterson's arrest, Dalton was the defense's only full-time investigative attorney on the case. During that time, he lived in Modesto and investigated every element of the case, interviewing scores of witnesses, reviewing more than 35,000 pages of police documents, and meeting almost daily with Scott Peterson in jail.

What he has uncovered will astound even the most informed observers of the Laci Peterson murder case and challenge the most deeply held beliefs about what really happened to Laci Peterson on Christmas Eve, 2002.

This is the first book to go inside the Peterson defense team, and the only book to detail all the evidence that the jury did not hear -- evidence that might have led to Scott Peterson's acquittal, and that will surely play a crucial part in his pending appeals.

Among the revelations in Presumed Guilty:
Reports from numerous witnesses who saw Laci Peterson alive and well the morning of December 24, after the police claim Scott Peterson had already killed her; none of them testified at trial The story of another woman, eight months pregnant, who was harassed by two men the morning of December 24 only five blocks from the Peterson home The burglary that reportedly occurred directly across the street from the Peterson home on the morning of December 24, and the confessed burglars' questionable claims that the burglary happened days later Previously unreported details of the autopsy reports on Laci Peterson and her son, which cast strong doubts on key elements of the prosecution's case The disappearances of six pregnant women, in addition to Laci, reported missing and presumed dead within eighty miles of Modesto between 1999 and 2002

Compelling, provocative, disturbing, Presumed Guilty is the fascinating story of one lawyer's relentless efforts to find the truth behind one of the most complex and notorious murder cases in American history.
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