Michael Morton was born in Texas, grew up in California, and moved back to Texas in high school. While living in Austin, Michael was convicted of murdering his wife—a crime he did not commit. He spent almost twenty-five years in prison before being exonerated through the efforts of the Innocence Project, pro bono lawyer John Raley, and advances in DNA technology. Michael is now remarried and lives on a lake in rural East Texas, relishing and appreciating what others may take for granted.
Bobby Cummines was only 28 when he passed through the grim gates of Parkhurst, Britain’s Alcatraz, as a category-A prisoner with a host of crimes to his name. Joining the most notorious gangsters and criminals of the day – from the Krays, the Yorkshire Ripper and Charles Bronson, to high ranking members of the IRA – nothing could have prepared him for the brutal regime, violent convicts, vindictive screws and riots on the inside. It’s the story of Britain’s most hellish prison, from one of its hardest inmates.
“Gorgeous, moody, and evocative . . . half coming-of-age story and half exhaustively researched true crime.” —VANITY FAIR
“Bracingly honest and extremely discomfiting, this book is like a riveting episode of Law & Order: SVU set at a Manhattan prep school with the U.S. Open as a backdrop.”—MARIE CLAIRE
A riveting blend of true crime and coming-of-age memoir— The Stranger Beside Me meets Prep—that presents an intimate and thought-provoking portrait of girlhood within Manhattan’s exclusive private-school scene in the early 1990s, and a thoughtful meditation on adolescent obsession and the vulnerability of youth.
Piper Weiss was fourteen years old when her middle-aged tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, one of New York City’s most prestigious private instructors, killed himself after a failed attempt to kidnap one of his teenage students. In the aftermath, authorities discovered that this well-known figure among the Upper East Side tennis crowd was actually a frightening child predator who had built a secret torture chamber—a "Cabin of Horrors"—in his secluded rental in the Adirondacks.
Before the shocking scandal broke, Piper had been thrilled to be one of "Gary’s Girls." "Grandpa Gary," as he was known among his students, was different from other adults—he treated Piper like a grown-up, taking her to dinners, engaging in long intimate conversations with her, and sending her special valentines. As reporters swarmed her private community in the wake of Wilensky’s death, Piper learned that her mentor was a predator with a sordid history of child stalking and sexual fetish. But why did she still feel protective of Gary, and why was she disappointed that he hadn’t chosen her?
Now, twenty years later, Piper examines the event as both a teenage eyewitness and a dispassionate investigative reporter, hoping to understand and exorcise the childhood memories that haunt her to this day. Combining research, interviews, and personal records, You All Grow Up and Leave Me explores the psychological manipulation by child predators—their ability to charm their way into seemingly protected worlds—and the far-reaching effects their actions have on those who trust them most.
*Finalist, Memoir, 2015 Maine Literary Award*
In this gripping nonfiction account, Robert Reilly provides a look inside America’s prison system unlike any other, and the way that it affects not only the prisoners themselves but also the corrections officers and their families.
After 13 years of struggling in the music business, Robert Reilly found himself broke and on the edge of despair. The specter of success in the music business had become a monster about to ruin his family life. Something had to change, or something was going to break beyond repair.
A chance conversation with a neighbor led him to apply, somewhat half-heartedly, for a job at the county prison. Although he hated the thought of a “real job,” a regular salary of $40,000 with benefits, and paid time off seemed like a small fortune. “Amazingly, I somehow got hired. So, in an effort to do the right thing and put my family first, I left the madness of the music business and entered the insanity of the U.S. prison system.”
Robert Reilly served a seven-year term as a prison guard in Pennsylvania and Maine. Entering America’s industrial prison system in search of a way to support his young family, the struggling musician found himself in a looking-glass world where, often, only the uniforms distinguished guards from prisoners. Life in Prison chronicles the horrors of a place where justice is arbitrary, outcomes are preordained, and the private sector makes big money while the public looks away. This is Reilly’s story of doing time.
To call the experience sobering would be the ultimate understatement: “As time crawls by, I become jealous of the inmates leaving the prison. I start to slip; I start to feel like I’m losing my faith. Any trace of innocence that I thought I still had starts to evaporate. I begin to feel trapped, imprisoned, locked in a dark heartbreaking world, just like an inmate.”
Never having had any contact with criminal justice previously, Sean Bridges' adjustment to life behind bars raised many questions and forced him to confront the daily round of violence and drugs abuse within these maximum-security prisons. His life inside exploded when he witnessed another con being badly beaten by three fellow prisoners. He planned revenge and exacted it in spectacular fashion. Bridges became a problem by challenging the inadequacies of an antiquated system which effectively feeds itself - never to be short of repeat customers.
This is not the story of another white-collar criminal's time inside. It is a shocking personal account of the reasons why the criminal justice system fails society today. That system has changed Sean Bridges forever.
Michael G. Santos, a federal prisoner nearing the end of his second decade of continuous confinement, has dedicated the last eighteen years to shedding light on the lives of the men warehoused in the American prison system. Inside: Life Behind Bars in America, his first book for the general public, takes us behind those bars and into the chaos of the cellblock.
Capturing the voices of his fellow prisoners with perfect pitch, Santos makes the tragic--- and at times inspiring---stories of men from the toughest gang leaders to the richest Wall Street criminals come alive. From drug schemes, murders for hire, and even a prostitution ring that trades on the flesh of female prison guards, this book contains the never-before-seen details of prison life that at last illuminate the varied ways in which men experience life behind bars in America.