Book picks similar to
The Most Notorious Crimes in American History by Life Books
Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper
William Swanson - 2014
After her husband, a prominent investment banker, paid a $1 million ransom, an anonymous caller directed the FBI to a thickly wooded section of a northern Minnesota state park. There, two days after her nightmare began, Ginny Piper––chained to a tree, filthy and exhausted, but physically unharmed––awaited her rescuers. The intensely private couple lived through a media firestorm. Both Bobby and Ginny Piper herself—naturally reserved and surprisingly composed in the aftermath of her ordeal—were subject to FBI scrutiny in the largest kidnap-for-ransom case in bureau annals. When two career criminals were finally indicted five years after the abduction, the Pipers again took center stage in two long trials before a jury’s verdict made headlines across the nation. Drawing on closely held government documents and exclusive interviews with family members, investigators, suspects, lawyers, and others intimately connected to the case, William Swanson provides the first comprehensive account of the sensational Piper kidnapping and its long, eventful aftermath––and makes a case for the most plausible explanation for what really happened on that July afternoon. William Swanson is the author of Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson and Black White Blue: The Assassination of Patrolman Sackett.
Breaking the Code: A True Story by a Hells Angel President and the Cop Who Pursued Him
Pat Matter - 2014
An honest, hard-working cop. Both of their lives on totally different paths until their worlds collide..."With no holds barred, Omodt and Matter ripback the curtain of seedy reality and toss you headlongintothecomplex relationships of biker gangs and the cops whose job it is to pursue them. The writing is graphic, truthful, revealing and explores both sides of the law-the right side, and the wrong side-with equal detail. For lovers of true crime writing this is a must-read." - Mark Reps, author, Sheriff Zeb Hanks crime series"The story of an adversarial relationship that turned into one of the most unlikely, remarkable friendships I've ever been exposed to. And, as written by the two protagonists, BREAKING THE CODE is told in the most authentic voice you'll ever read. Beyond the true crime audience, this is a story filled with so much humanity it must be experienced by all readers." - Ali Selim, writer and director of the award-winning film, Sweet Land"Up until BREAKING THE CODE I knew Pat Matter to be a formidable but fair motorcycle drag racer and a competent professional as leader of Minneapolis Custom Cycle. This book fills in the blanks about the other 'dark' side of his life as a Hells Angel-a must-read to get the whole story." - George B. Smith, Executive Chairman and CEO of S&S Motor Company, Viola, WI"BREAKING THE CODE takes you on a real-life crime adventure ... a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Hells Angels, and what it took to take down one of their most prominent leaders." - Tom Chorske, retired NHL player and commentator for FSN Sports
Bloody Lies: A CSI Scandal in the Heartland
John Ferak - 2014
In fact, the little town had gone more than a century without a single homicide. But on the night of Easter 2006, Wayne and Sharmon Stock were brutally murdered in their home. The murders garnered sensational frontpage headlines and drew immediate statewide attention. Practically everybody around Murdock was filled with fear, panic, and outrage. Who killed Wayne and Sharmon Stock? What was the motive? The Stocks were the essence of Nebraska’s all-American farm family, self-made, God-fearing, and of high moral character. Barely a week into this double murder investigation, two arrests brought a sense of relief to the victims’ family and to local residents. The case appeared to fall neatly into place when a tiny speck of murder victim Wayne Stock’s blood appeared in the alleged getaway car. Then, an obscure clue left at the crime scene took the investigation down a totally different path, stretching into Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. By the time this investigation was over, the charges against the original suspects were dismissed and two new individuals emerged from the shadows. Author John Ferak covered the Stock murders from the very beginning, including all of the trial proceedings. When the criminal prosecution finally ended in 2007, he remained puzzled by one nagging question: Why was the blood of victim Wayne Stock in a car that was ultimately proven to have no connection to the murders? Over the next few years, the astonishing “bloody lies” were revealed, culminating in a law enforcement scandal that turned the case on its head and destroyed the career of Nebraska’s celebrated CSI director, David Kofoed.
The FBI Killer
Aphrodite Jones - 1992
When a good-looking, big city FBI agent named Mark Putnam entered her life, Susan thought her prayers had been answered. She was dead wrong.Their relationship began when Susan agreed to be Putnam's paid informant in an investigation of her ex-husband's criminal friends, then quickly grew into an illicit affair that consumed their lives for nearly two years – until she became pregnant and threatened to expose Putnam, ruining his career and his marriage. On June 8, 1989, Putnam took her for a drive into the hills to discuss her demands of marriage. She was never heard from again.The FBI Killer recounts the bizarre events that forced Mark Putnam to confess to brutally killing his lover, then covering up his crime for over one year. The first agent in FBI history to be convicted of homicide, Putnam is now serving sixteen years in a federal prison.
Devils Walking: Klan Murders Along the Mississippi in the 1960s
Stanley Nelson - 2016
Outside his home and shoe shop, standing behind the shattered window, Klansmen tossed a lit match inside the store, now doused in gasoline, and instantly set the building ablaze. A shotgun pointed to Morris s head blocked his escape from the flames. Four days later Morris died, though he managed in his last hours to describe his attackers to the FBI. Frank Morris s death was one of several Klan murders that terrorized residents of northeast Louisiana and Mississippi, as the perpetrators continued to elude prosecution during this brutal era in American history.In Devils Walking: Klan Murders along the Mississippi in the 1960s, Pulitzer Prize finalist and journalist Stanley Nelson details his investigation alongside renewed FBI attention into these cold cases, as he uncovers the names of the Klan s key members as well as systemized corruption and coordinated deception by those charged with protecting all citizens.Devils Walking recounts the little-known facts and haunting stories that came to light from Nelson s hundreds of interviews with both witnesses and suspects. His research points to the development of a particularly virulent local faction of the Klan who used terror and violence to stop integration and end the advancement of civil rights. Secretly led by the savage and cunning factory worker Red Glover, these Klansmen a handpicked group that included local police officers and sheriff s deputies discarded Klan robes for civilian clothes and formed the underground Silver Dollar Group, carrying a silver dollar as a sign of unity. Their eight known victims, mostly African American men, ranged in age from nineteen to sixty-seven and included one Klansman seeking redemption for his past actions.Following the 2007 FBI reopening of unsolved civil rights era cases, Nelson s articles in the Concordia Sentinel prompted the first grand jury hearing for these crimes. By unmasking those responsible for these atrocities and giving a voice to the victims families, Devils Walking demonstrates the importance of confronting and addressing the traumatic legacy of racism."
In the Evil Day: Violence Comes to One Small Town
Richard Adams Carey - 2015
Lawyer Vickie Bunnell had been shot and killed by a local carpenter wielding an assault rifle. By then, three more people were already dead or dying. More mayhem was to ensue in an afternoon of plot twists too improbable for a novel. The roots of the incident stretch back twenty-five years, with tendrils deep in the history of New England’s North Country. These bloody events shocked America and made headlines across the world. Hundreds of local citizens became unwilling players in the drama—friends and colleagues of the dead, men and women who were themselves real or potential targets, along with their neighbors in law enforcement—but the town and its inhabitants were never passive victims. From the first shot fired that day, they remained courageously determined to survive. This is the story of that town, those people, and that day. In the Evil Day is a moving portrait of small-town life and familiar characters forever changed by sudden violence.
The Law Killers
Alexander McGregor - 2009
But only when their rage explodes and unspeakable crimes are committed do we realise we hold them in our midst. Some are unpredictable psychopaths, others achieve notoriety after a moment of madness when a single out-of-character act changes their lives forever. One thing is for certain, homicide comes in many guises - the only thing most have in common is a corpse. In The Law Killers, journalist Alexander McGregor examines some of the people and deeds, which have terrorised Dundonian communities. Having reported on many of them first-hand, he has unique insight into the cases and they are as chilling as they are compelling. The father who wanted to go one better than his double-killer son...and did. The groom who promised to love, honour and cherish both his brides...before he strangled them. The thirteen-year-old who was almost as much a victim as the child she killed. The trail of slaughter that started with a break-in and ended hundreds of miles away after an escaped convict killed again...and again and again.The unsolved murder of the wealthy spinster who led a secret life. The trail of dead women in the life of a social worker who thought he could outwit the police...and nearly did
Seven Million: A Cop, a Priest, a Soldier for the IRA, and the Still-Unsolved Rochester Brink's Heist
Gary Craig - 2017
Suspicion quickly fell on a retired Rochester cop working security for Brinks at the time--as well it might. Officer Tom O'Connor had been previously suspected of everything from robbery to murder to complicity with the IRA. One ex-IRA soldier in particular was indebted to O'Connor for smuggling him and his girlfriend into the United States, and when he was caught in New York City with $2 million in cash from the Brink's heist, prosecutors were certain they finally had enough to nail O'Connor. But they were wrong. In Seven Million, the reporter Gary Craig meticulously unwinds the long skein of leads, half-truths, false starts, and dead ends, taking us from the grim solitary pens of Northern Ireland's Long Kesh prison to the illegal poker rooms of Manhattan to the cold lakeshore on the Canadian border where the body parts began washing up. The story is populated by a colorful cast of characters, including cops and FBI agents, prison snitches, a radical priest of the Melkite order who ran a home for troubled teenagers on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and the IRA rebel who'd spent long years jailed in one of Northern Ireland's most brutal prisons and who was living underground in New York posing as a comics dealer. Finally, Craig investigates the strange, sad fate of Ronnie Gibbons, a down-and-out boxer and muscle-for-hire in illegal New York City card rooms, who was in on the early planning of the heist, and who disappeared one day in 1995 after an ill-advised trip to Rochester to see some men about getting what he felt he was owed. Instead, he got was what was coming to him. Seven Million is a meticulous re-creation of a complicated heist executed by a variegated and unsavory crew, and of its many repercussions. Some of the suspects are now dead, some went to jail; none of them are talking about the robbery or what really happened to Ronnie Gibbons. And the money? Only a fraction was recovered, meaning that most of the $7 million is still out there somewhere.
Deadly Hero: The High Society Murder that Created Hysteria in the Heartland
Jason Lucky Morrow - 2015
Two days later, the son of one of the most powerful men in the state walked into the sheriff's office with his lawyer and surrendered. The killer's name, and who his father was, would shock the entire nation and make news around the world. In a convoluted story, the mentally unstable genius claimed he killed in self-defense and to protect wealthy debutante Virginia Wilcox-the object of his unrequited love. But prosecutors claimed their star prisoner was actually the mastermind of a diabolical plot in which he would emerge as the hero, win Virginia's heart, and gain acceptance into the Wilcox family by her mega-rich father. Tulsa's high-society murder scandalized the Oil Capitol of the World when the investigation churned up unsubstantiated reports of rich kids wildly out of control. Looking out over their Christian, conservative city, adults imagined sex-mad teens driving dangerously over their streets to get to hole-in-the-wall gambling joints and breast-bouncing dance parties where they would plan big crimes-all while high on marijuana and drunk on 3.2 beer. A tornado of rumors and gossip tore through town, stirring up mass hysteria and igniting a moral crusade to save the souls of Tulsa's youth. When a key witness was found dead in his car under similar circumstances, it only confirmed their worst fears. In a notable year for famous criminals, this case from the Oklahoma heartland received nationwide coverage each step of the way. This true story is not a "whodunit," but rather, a "will he get away with it?" The answer to that question is still up for debate after the killer did something only the bravest of men would ever do.
Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the Most Monstrous Murderers
Charlotte Greig - 2018
From perverse acts of cannibalism and dark sexual fantasies to vicious acts motivated by greed and a simple lust for blood, this book reveals the methods and motivations of some of the world's most notorious serial killers, including Juan Corona, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Pee Wee Gaskins, and Ivan Milat.
Darkness Descending: The Murder of Meredith Kercher
Paul Russell - 2010
On 4 December 2009, twenty-two-year-old American, Amanda Knox, and her twenty-five-year-old Italian former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty of murdering British student, Meredith Kercher, and were sentenced to twenty-six and twenty-five years in jail, respectively. Meredith was brutally stabbed to death in November 2007, in the apartment in Perugia that she shared with Amanda and two other girls. The details of the killing caught the world's attention with far-fetched rumour, and cold-hearted butchery, taking centre stage.The subject of intense speculation, 'Foxy Knoxy' was pilloried for her hard-partying, promiscuous lifestyle, while her well-dressed lover, Sollecito, collected knives, and was obsessed with violent comics. But that alone did not make them killers. Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, twenty-two, was found guilty of murder, and sexual assault, in a separate trial in October 2008, and sentenced to 30 years in jail. But evidence shows he could not have acted alone.In Darkness Descending TV producer, Paul Russell, and critically acclaimed crime writer, Graham Johnson, team up with leading Italian forensics expert, General Luciano Garofano, to reveal the full truth behind this sensational murder, and its trial. They skilfully unravel all the details, and study all the personalities, in this case that has stunned the world. Complex, and some say controversial, DNA evidence is explained in simple language and, bit by bit, a story emerges of brutality and jealousy in a university town where all was not what it seemed. Their findings make gripping reading.
Profiling: The Psychology of Catching Killers
David L. Owen - 2010
It begins with an overview of how profiling was first developed as a viable technique, followed by illustrated chapters that describe the specific parts of the profiling process:- The FBI's crime scene analysis procedure- Crime scene facts and evidence- The organized and disorganized classifications of violent serial offenders- Geographical profiling- Types of rape and the clues they leave- A serial killer's crime signature- Identifying child abductors and abusers- Profiling criminals through written documents- How profilers work with other investigators and interrogatorsProfiling focuses on 50 notorious true crimes to explain profiling, describing how crime scene evidence is processed and revealing the psychological clues and how the profilers helped to solve the case. Some of these headline-grabbing cases are:- The Black Dahlia murder investigation- David Carpenter, the Trailside Killer- Robert Hansen, a highly organized killer who abducted prostitutes and left them in the Alaska wilderness so he could hunt them with a rifle- Ted Bundy- Jeffrey DahmerProfiling is the gripping behind-the-scenes story of a topic that has had fans of Criminal Minds and the CSI series glued to their television screens for many years.