Fatal Deceptions: Three True Crime Tales of Passion, Murder, and Deceit

Open Road Media
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This collection by a New York Times journalist gathers three horrifying true accounts of crimes of passion, ambition, and fear.

Author Joe Sharkey delivers three gripping accounts of betrayal and murder in this compelling American true crime collection.
 
Above Suspicion: Soon to be a major motion picture starring Emilia Clarke and Jack Huston, this true account tells the story of the only FBI agent to confess to murder. Assigned to Pikeville, Kentucky, rookie Mike Putnam cultivated paid informants and busted drug rings and bank robbers. But when one informant fell in love with the bureau’s rising star, their passionate affair ended with murder.
 
Deadly Greed: On October 23, 1989, Charles Stuart reported that he and his seven-months-pregnant wife, Carol, had been robbed and shot by a black male. By the time police arrived, Carol was dead, and soon the baby was lost as well. Stuart then identified a suspect: Willie Bennett. The attack incited a furor during a time of heightened racial tension in the community. But even more appalling, Stuart’s story was a hoax—he was the true killer.
 
Death Sentence: John List was working as the vice president of a Jersey City bank and had moved his mother, wife, and three teenage children into a nineteen-room mansion in Westfield, New Jersey when he lost his job and everything changed. Fearing financial ruin and the corruption of his children’s souls by the free-spirited 1970s, he came up with a terrifying solution: He would shoot his entire family and vanish, taking on a new life and a new identity.
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About the author

Joe Sharkey was a weekly columnist for the New York Times for nineteen years. Previously, he was an assistant national editor at the Wall Street Journal and a reporter and columnist with the Philadelphia Inquirer. The author of four books of nonfiction and one novel, Sharkey is currently an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Arizona. He and his wife live in Tucson.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jul 11, 2017
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Pages
1620
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ISBN
9781504047197
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
Biography & Autobiography / Law Enforcement
True Crime / Murder / General
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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 “expertly told” true story of an FBI agent’s affair that leads to murder in Kentucky coal country—soon to be a major motion picture starring Emilia Clarke (Publishers Weekly).

When rookie FBI agent Mark Putnam received his first assignment in 1987, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream, if not the most desirable location. Pikeville, Kentucky, is high in Appalachian coal country, an outpost rife with lawlessness dating back to the Hatfields and McCoys. As a rising star in the bureau, however, Putnam soon was cultivating paid informants and busting drug rings and bank robbers. But when one informant fell in love with him, passion and duty would collide with tragic results.
 
A coal miner’s daughter, Susan Smith was a young, attractive, struggling single mother. She was also a drug user sometimes described as a con artist, thief, and professional liar. Ultimately, Putnam gave in to Smith’s relentless pursuit. But when he ended the affair, she waged a campaign of vengeance that threatened to destroy him. When at last she confronted him with a shocking announcement, a violent scuffle ensued, and Putnam, in a burst of uncontrolled rage, fatally strangled her.
 
Though he had everything necessary to get away with murder—a spotless reputation, a victim with multiple enemies, and the protection of the bureau’s impenetrable shield—his conscience wouldn’t allow it. Tormented by a year of guilt and deception, Putnam finally led authorities to Smith’s remains. This is the story of what happened before, during, and after his startling confession—an account that “should take its place on the dark shelf of the best American true crime” (Newsday).
 
Revised and updated, this ebook also includes photos and a new epilogue by the author.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the 70s and 80s, and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case—which was solved in April 2018.

Introduction by Gillian Flynn • Afterword by Patton Oswalt

“A brilliant genre-buster.... Propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading.”   —Stephen King

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

The true account of the man who murdered his family in their New Jersey mansion—and eluded a nationwide manhunt for eighteen years.

Until 1971, life was good for mild-mannered accountant John List. He was vice president of a Jersey City bank and had moved his mother, wife, and three teenage children into a nineteen-room home in Westfield, New Jersey. But all that changed when he lost his job. Raised by his Lutheran father to believe success meant being a good provider, List saw himself as an utter failure. Straining under financial burdens, the stress of hiding his unemployment, as well as the fear that the free-spirited 1970s would corrupt the souls of his children, List came to a shattering conclusion.
 
“It was my belief that if you kill yourself, you won’t go to heaven,” List told Connie Chung in a television interview. “So eventually I got to the point where I felt that I could kill them. Hopefully they would go to heaven, and then maybe I would have a chance to later confess my sins to God and get forgiveness.”
 
List methodically shot his entire family in their home, managing to conceal the deaths for weeks with a carefully orchestrated plan of deception. Then he vanished and started over as Robert P. Clark. Chronicling List’s life before and after the grisly crime, Death Sentence exposes the truth about the accountant-turned-killer, including his revealing letter to his pastor, his years as a fugitive with a new name—and a new wife—his eventual arrest, and the details of his high-profile trial.
 
Revised and updated, this ebook also includes photos.
 
From the author of Above Suspicion: The “riveting” true story of Charles Stuart, who murdered his pregnant wife and pinned the crime on a black man in 1980s Boston (Kirkus Reviews).
 
On October 23, 1989, affluent businessman Charles Stuart made a frantic 911 call from his car to report that he and his seven-months-pregnant wife, Carol, a lawyer, had been robbed and shot by a black male in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. By the time police arrived, Carol was dead, and the baby was soon lost as well. The attack incited a furor during a time of heightened racial tension in the community.
 
Even more appalling, while the injuries were real, Stuart’s story was a hoax: He was the true killer. But the tragedy would continue with the arrest of Willie Bennett, a young man Stuart identified in a line-up. Stuart’s deception would only be exposed after a shocking revelation from his brother and, finally, his suicide, when he jumped into the freezing waters of the Mystic River.
 
As the story unraveled, police would put together the disturbing pieces of a puzzle that included Stuart’s distress over his wife’s pregnancy, his romantic interest in a coworker, and life insurance fraud. In an account that “builds and grips like a novel” (Kirkus Reviews), New York Times journalist Joe Sharkey delivers “a picture of a man consumed by naked ambition, unwilling to let anyone or anything get in his way” (Library Journal).
 
Revised and updated, this ebook also includes photos and a new epilogue by the author.
The “expertly told” true story of an FBI agent’s affair that leads to murder in Kentucky coal country—soon to be a major motion picture starring Emilia Clarke (Publishers Weekly).

When rookie FBI agent Mark Putnam received his first assignment in 1987, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream, if not the most desirable location. Pikeville, Kentucky, is high in Appalachian coal country, an outpost rife with lawlessness dating back to the Hatfields and McCoys. As a rising star in the bureau, however, Putnam soon was cultivating paid informants and busting drug rings and bank robbers. But when one informant fell in love with him, passion and duty would collide with tragic results.
 
A coal miner’s daughter, Susan Smith was a young, attractive, struggling single mother. She was also a drug user sometimes described as a con artist, thief, and professional liar. Ultimately, Putnam gave in to Smith’s relentless pursuit. But when he ended the affair, she waged a campaign of vengeance that threatened to destroy him. When at last she confronted him with a shocking announcement, a violent scuffle ensued, and Putnam, in a burst of uncontrolled rage, fatally strangled her.
 
Though he had everything necessary to get away with murder—a spotless reputation, a victim with multiple enemies, and the protection of the bureau’s impenetrable shield—his conscience wouldn’t allow it. Tormented by a year of guilt and deception, Putnam finally led authorities to Smith’s remains. This is the story of what happened before, during, and after his startling confession—an account that “should take its place on the dark shelf of the best American true crime” (Newsday).
 
Revised and updated, this ebook also includes photos and a new epilogue by the author.
The true account of the man who murdered his family in their New Jersey mansion—and eluded a nationwide manhunt for eighteen years.

Until 1971, life was good for mild-mannered accountant John List. He was vice president of a Jersey City bank and had moved his mother, wife, and three teenage children into a nineteen-room home in Westfield, New Jersey. But all that changed when he lost his job. Raised by his Lutheran father to believe success meant being a good provider, List saw himself as an utter failure. Straining under financial burdens, the stress of hiding his unemployment, as well as the fear that the free-spirited 1970s would corrupt the souls of his children, List came to a shattering conclusion.
 
“It was my belief that if you kill yourself, you won’t go to heaven,” List told Connie Chung in a television interview. “So eventually I got to the point where I felt that I could kill them. Hopefully they would go to heaven, and then maybe I would have a chance to later confess my sins to God and get forgiveness.”
 
List methodically shot his entire family in their home, managing to conceal the deaths for weeks with a carefully orchestrated plan of deception. Then he vanished and started over as Robert P. Clark. Chronicling List’s life before and after the grisly crime, Death Sentence exposes the truth about the accountant-turned-killer, including his revealing letter to his pastor, his years as a fugitive with a new name—and a new wife—his eventual arrest, and the details of his high-profile trial.
 
Revised and updated, this ebook also includes photos.
 
From the author of Above Suspicion: The “riveting” true story of Charles Stuart, who murdered his pregnant wife and pinned the crime on a black man in 1980s Boston (Kirkus Reviews).
 
On October 23, 1989, affluent businessman Charles Stuart made a frantic 911 call from his car to report that he and his seven-months-pregnant wife, Carol, a lawyer, had been robbed and shot by a black male in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. By the time police arrived, Carol was dead, and the baby was soon lost as well. The attack incited a furor during a time of heightened racial tension in the community.
 
Even more appalling, while the injuries were real, Stuart’s story was a hoax: He was the true killer. But the tragedy would continue with the arrest of Willie Bennett, a young man Stuart identified in a line-up. Stuart’s deception would only be exposed after a shocking revelation from his brother and, finally, his suicide, when he jumped into the freezing waters of the Mystic River.
 
As the story unraveled, police would put together the disturbing pieces of a puzzle that included Stuart’s distress over his wife’s pregnancy, his romantic interest in a coworker, and life insurance fraud. In an account that “builds and grips like a novel” (Kirkus Reviews), New York Times journalist Joe Sharkey delivers “a picture of a man consumed by naked ambition, unwilling to let anyone or anything get in his way” (Library Journal).
 
Revised and updated, this ebook also includes photos and a new epilogue by the author.
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