Mara Leveritt has won several awards for investigative journalism, including Arkansas's Booker Worthen Prize for her book The Boys on the Tracks. A contributing editor to the Arkansas Times, she lives in Little Rock.
From a wide variety of accounts, Babara Smith has selected eight intriguing stories that will astound and amaze you.
Mystery still surrounds the fate of pro golfer Frank Willey who disappeared in 1962. Two men were convicted of his murder, but his body has never been found. No suspect, however, was ever found in the case of MaryAnn Plett. The pretty, young real-estate agent disappeared after going to show a property to a client -- but some skeletal remains were discovered seven months later.
In 1948, a family could hardly have guessed that their newly puchased home would come complete with a corpse; and, in another case, Winnie Wanner's bathroom was found splattered with blood. Although her estranged husband was seen leaving the apartment with a suspiciously large bag, Wnnie vanished from the face of the earth.
These chilling tales, previously little known outside Alberta, also include matters of greed, rum running, shoot-outs, and hostages. They will be every bit as fascinating to the crime buff as those found anywhere.
Perhaps the most compelling murder case of our day, the death of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey galvanized the nation-and years after it occurred, the mystery still endures. Who killed the young beauty queen and why? Who is covering up for whom and who is simply lying? In JonBenet, the most authoritative and comprehensive study of the Ramsey murder, a former lead Boulder Police detective, Steve Thomas, explores the case in vivid and fascinating detail-pointing the way toward an analysis of the evidence some deem too shocking to consider. Here, Thomas raises these and many other provocative questions:
-How was the investigation botched from the beginning-and why did police so carelessly allow the crime scene to be tampered with?
-Why were John and Patsy Ramsey protected from early questioning and any lie-detector tests, even though their stories and behavior were erratic, suspicious and inconsistent?
-Why was crucial evidence ignored, why were certain key witnesses unquestioned by detectives, and why were the Ramseys privy to sensitive information about the case and even police reports?
Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer -- the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew -- Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.
But something about her story was fishy, and detectives began to suspect Diane was lying. Was it possible that she was the shooter? Absolutely not, her supporters insisted. Diane, they said, adored her children. When investigators suggested a motive, Diane was indignant. Not only would she never harm her own children, she certainly would never do it for the reason detectives suggested. Was the attractive blonde the wonderful mother she claimed to be? Or was she a woman so obsessed, she would kill her own young to achieve her goal?
Ann Rule's critically acclaimed SMALL SACRIFICES, was an instant bestseller, and later Farrah Fawcett was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Downs in the TV miniseries based on Rule's book.
In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. A famous actress (and her unborn child), an heiress to a coffee fortune, a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims. A thin trail of circumstances eventually tied the Tate-LeBianca murders to Charles Manson, a would-be pop singer of small talent living in the desert with his "family" of devoted young women and men. What was his hold over them? And what was the motivation behind such savagery? In the public imagination, over time, the case assumed the proportions of myth. The murders marked the end of the sixties and became an immediate symbol of the dark underside of that era.
Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, and this book is his enthralling account of how he built his case from what a defense attorney dismissed as only "two fingerprints and Vince Bugliosi." The meticulous detective work with which the story begins, the prosecutor's view of a complex murder trial, the reconstruction of the philosophy Manson inculcated in his fervent followers…these elements make for a true crime classic. Helter Skelter is not merely a spellbinding murder case and courtroom drama but also, in the words of The New Republic, a "social document of rare importance."Some images in this ebook are not displayed due to permissions issues.