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True crime stories

  • Author:
    Mole, Rich
    Summary:

    In 1874, the newly formed North West Mounted Police marched west to shut down unscrupulous liquor traders who had devastated the lives of many First Nations people. The Mounties` famous trek heralded over 50 years of "whisky wars" in the Canadian West. Author Rich Mole traces the turbulent history of alcohol, temperance movements and prohibition between 1870 and the 1920s through the stories of those who suffered and profited from the West`s insatiable thirst for liquor. Before prohibition, young James Gray was one of many Winnipeg children who endured poverty and humiliation due to an alcoholic father. Calgary newspaperman Bob Edwards, known for his witty aphorisms, publicly supported prohibition while waging his own battle with the bottle. Harry Bronfman, "King of the Boozoriums," built a business empire shipping mail-order liquor on both sides of the Canada-US border. Rum-runner "Emperor" Emilio Picariello and his housekeeper, Florence Lassandro, faced the gallows after an Alberta police constable was shot and killed in front of his own children. Mole`s vivid, real-life stories chronicle a tumultuous and fascinating era.

  • Author:
    Olshaker, Mark, Douglas, John E.
    Summary:

    From John Douglas, the legendary FBI criminal profiler, #1 New York Times bestselling author, and inspiration for the Netflix show Mindhunter?comes a chilling journey inside the mind and crimes of Larry Gene Bell, one of the most dangerous serial killers Douglas confronted, and the desperate effort to identify and catch him. On May 31, 1985, two days before her high school graduation, Shari Smith was abducted from the driveway of her family home in South Carolina. Based on the crime scene and the abductor's repeated and taunting calls to the family, law enforcement quickly realized they were dealing with a sophisticated and highly dangerous criminal. A letter arrived the next day entitled "Last Will Testament," in which Shari, knowing she was to be murdered, wrote bravely and achingly of her love for her parents, siblings, and boyfriend, saying that while they would miss her, she knew they would persevere through their faith. The abduction rocked her quiet town, triggering a massive manhunt and bringing in the FBI, which enlisted profiler John Douglas. A few days later, a phone call told the family where they could find Shari's body. Then nine-year-old Debra May Helmick was kidnapped from her yard, confirming the harsh realization that Smith's murder was no random act. A serial killer was evolving, and the only way to stop him would be to use the study of criminal behavior to anticipate his next move before he could kill again. Douglas devised a risky and emotionally fraught strategy to use Shari's lookalike older sister Dawn as bait to draw out the unknown subject. Dawn and her parents courageously agreed. One of the most haunting investigations of Douglas's storied career, this case details how the eerily accurate profile he created?alongside his carefully crafted and stage-managed manipulation of the killer's psychology?combined with dedicated police work and cutting-edge forensic science to end a reign of criminal terror. As Shari's family took incredible personal risks to lure her killer from the shadows, Douglas and the FBI pushed criminal profiling to its limits, culminating in one of his most dramatic and effective confrontations with a sadistic and remorseless killer.

  • Author:
    Arvast, Anita
    Summary:

    The sensational story of a girl's tragic death and the whirlwind of racial prejudices that came in its wake. On Boxing Day 2005, fifteen-year-old Jane Creba was fatally shot on one of the busiest streets in Toronto. Police and journalists reported her death as that of an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of rival gangs. In the months that followed Creba’s death, fifty-six men of colour were arrested in connection with the shooting. Twelve men went to preliminary hearings. One black man pleaded guilty, and another three men, also black, were convicted of her murder. But only one bullet killed Jane. What Killed Jane Creba is not only a story of a true crime, but of the sensationalism and prejudice that clouded the story from the outset. The author guides readers through the incident and its aftermath, revealing that the whole truth can only be known when we set aside judgements and begin to ask questions: who, what, when, where, how, why, and what next?

  • Author:
    McSherry, Peter
    Summary:

    From the mean streets of 1930s Depression-era Toronto comes the gripping tale of a man who became one of the nation’s most notorious criminals. Until the age of 31, Donald McDonald was only "dirty little Mickey from The Corner," the notorious intersection of Toronto’s Jarvis and Dundas Streets in a neighbourhood known in the 1930s as "Gangland." After Mickey was charged with the January 1939 murder of bookmaker Jimmy Windsor, he became a national crime figure. What followed were two murder trials, a liquor-truck hijacking, a sensational three-man escape in 1947 from Kingston Penitentiary, and a $50,000 bank robbery.According to police, as gleaned from underworld informants, Mickey was killed in the 1950s in the United States "by his own criminal associates." Author Peter McSherry presents several versions of McDonald’s demise, one of which he endorses, and tells why it happened, delivering a compelling denouement to the chronicle of a criminal readers will never forget.

  • Author:
    Cooper, Becky
    Summary:

    Forty years after the fact, Becky Cooper, a curious Harvard undergrad, first heard whispers of a murdered student, one bludgeoned to death by a professor to cover up an affair. Though that motive proved false, the story that unfolded, one that Cooper followed for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.

  • Author:
    Van der Leun, Justine
    Summary:

    The story of Amy Biehl is well known in South Africa. The twenty-six-year-old white American was brutally murdered during the final days of apartheid. But the true story of Biehl's death is not only a story of forgiveness but also a reflection of the complicated history of a troubled country.

  • Author:
    Whiteson, Leon, Layton, Aviva, Thibodeau, David
    Summary:

    A survivor of the Waco massacre tells the inside story of Branch Davidians, David Koresh, and what really happened at the religious compound in Texas. Thibodeau explores why so many people believed Koresh was divinely inspired, and dissects the actions of the government that ended in tragedy. The result is a memoir that reads like a thriller, with each page taking us closer to the eventual inferno.

  • Author:
    Renaud, Daniel
    Summary:

    Dans sa cellule du pénitencier à sécurité maximale de Florence au Colorado, où il a été détenu durant plus de cinq ans de l'été 2007 à octobre 2012, l'ancien parrain de la mafia montréalaise Vito Rizzuto ruminait deux desseins : venger le meurtre de son fils Nicolo et reprendre sa place au sommet de la pyramide du crime organisé au Québec. Au coeur de sa vengeance, qu'il a commencé à assouvir avant même son retour à Montréal, à l'automne 2012, une liste de personnes à abattre. Grâce à des informations et des témoignages inédits, LA CHUTE DU DERNIER PARRAIN relate la fin du règne de Vito Rizzuto, de l'enquête Colisée à sa mort soudaine en décembre 2013, en passant par ses craintes envers la justice américaine, sa fuite temporaire à Cuba, son arrestation, son extradition, sa détention aux États-Unis, son retour dans le sang et la reprise éphémère de sa couronne. Cinq ans après son décès, des questions demeurent. Y aura-t-il un autre parrain à Montréal un jour ? Y aura-t-il encore une mafia italienne telle qu'on l'a toujours connue ?.

  • Author:
    Kinder, Gary
    Summary:

    Now a classic of true crime, Victim is a compelling and tragic look at how lives can be changed forever by a random act of violence. During an armed robbery, several hostages were brutally tortured, shot in the head, and left for dead. Victim focuses on the members of one family'including a mother who died after the attack and a son who was left barely alive'as they fought for his survival and struggled to rebuild their lives. Victim was the first book to go beyond the headlines and statistics about violent crime, to tell the victims' dramatic story of love, loss and courage. It remains one of the most influential books in the victims' rights movement and has become required reading in criminology courses across the country. It may be more relevant now than ever. "Victim is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood turned inside out."'Newsweek; "Just as Capote did, Kinder has somehow created a story that is truer than true."'The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Author:
    Hoshowsky, Robert J.
    Summary:

    Despite advances in DNA testing, forensics, and the investigative skills used by police, hundreds of crimes remain unsolved across Canada. With every passing day trails grow colder and decades can pass before a new lead or witness comes forward … if one comes forward. In Unsolved, Robert J. Hoshowsky examines twelve crimes that continue to haunt us. Some cases are well-known, while others have virtually disappeared from the public eye. All of the cases remain open, and many are being re-examined by police using the latest tools and technology. Hoshowsky takes the reader through all aspects of the crimes and how police are trying to solve them using three-dimensional facial reconstructions, DNA testing, age-enhanced drawings, original crime scene photos, and more. None of the individuals profiled in Unsolved deserved their fate, but their stories deserve to be told and their killers need to be brought to justice.

  • Author:
    Shepherd, Richard
    Summary:

    Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Unnatural Causes written and read by Dr Richard Shepherd. The dead do not hide the truth and they never lie. Through me the dead can speak ... 'An absolutely brilliant book. I really recommend it, I don't often say that but it's fascinating' Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2 'One of the most fascinating books I have read in a long time. Engrossing, a haunting page-turner. A book I could not put down' The Times. Meet the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd. He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death. He's a detective in his own right. And he has one, ultimate and pressing question to answer: How did this person die? Unnatural Causes is an unputdownable record of an extraordinary life, a unique insight into a remarkable profession, and above all a powerful and reassuring testament to lives cut short. Dr Shepherd has faced serial killers, natural disaster, 'perfect murders' and freak accidents, all in the pursuit of the truth. And while he's been involved in some of the most high-profile cases of recent times, it's often the less well-known encounters that prove the most perplexing, intriguing and even bizarre. In or out of the public eye, his evidence has put killers behind bars, freed the innocent and turned open-and-shut cases on their heads. But a life in death, bearing witness to some of humanity's darkest corners, exacts a price and Shepherd doesn't flinch from counting the cost to him and his family. The dead do not hide the truth and they never lie. Through me the dead can speak.

  • Author:
    Holes, Paul
    Summary:

    From the detective who found the Golden State Killer, a memoir of investigating America's toughest cold cases and the rewards?and toll?of a life solving crime. I order another bourbon, neat. This is the drink that will flip the switch. I don't even know how I got here, to this place, to this point . Something is happening to me lately. I'm drinking too much. My sheets are soaking wet when I wake up from nightmares of decaying corpses. I order another drink and swig it, trying to forget about the latest case I can't shake. Crime solving for me is more complex than the challenge of the hunt, or the process of piecing together a scientific puzzle. The thought of good people suffering drives me, for better or worse, to the point of obsession. People always ask how I am able to detach from the horrors of my work. Part of it is an innate capacity to compartmentalize; the rest is experience and exposure, and I've had plenty of both. But I have always taken pride in the fact that I can keep my feelings locked up to get the job done. It's only been recently that it feels like all that suppressed darkness is beginning to seep out. When I look back at my long career, there is a lot I am proud of. I have caught some of the most notorious killers of the twenty-first century and brought justice and closure for their victims and families. I want to tell you about a lifetime solving these cold cases, from Laci Peterson to Jaycee Dugard to the Pittsburg homicides to, yes, my twenty-year-long hunt for the Golden State Killer. But a deeper question eats at me as I ask myself, at what cost? I have sacrificed relationships, joy?even fatherhood?because the pursuit of evil always came first. Did I make the right choice? It's something I grapple with every day. Yet as I stand in the spot where a young girl took her last breath, as I look into the eyes of her family, I know that, for me, there has never been a choice. "I don't know if I can solve your case," I whisper. "But I promise I will do my best." It is a promise I know I can keep.

  • Author:
    Peterson, Jr, Ron.
    Summary:

    Under the Trestle is the true story of the most compelling murder case in Virginia history.

  • Author:
    Krakauer, Jon.
    Summary:

    This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America's isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God. At the core of Krakauer's book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America's fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

  • Author:
    Juby, Thomas C.
    Summary:

    On the 2nd of September, 1998, near the small fishing village of Peggys Cove, N.S., a Swissair passenger jet carrying 229 people crashed into the ocean with a complete loss of life. This book is the true story of the crash investigation as told by the RCMPs main crime scene investigator who worked on the investigation from start to finish. For more than four years, he searched for the truth amid the remains of human flesh, and the debris of the aircraft. What he found was not what was presented to the public. Nepotism, deception, intimidation, and lies were tools used by supervisors and managers to overcome this one-person criminal investigation and keep the truth from the public. This is the in-depth story that shows how the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada broke the law, and failed to perform their legal obligations to the Canadian and International public, and to the victims and their families.

  • Author:
    Marquis, Greg
    Summary:

    Truth and Honour explores the 2011 murder of Saint John businessman Richard Oland, of the prominent family that owns Moosehead Breweries, the ensuing police investigation and the arrest, trial, and conviction of the victim's son, Dennis Oland, for second ­degree murder. Oland's trial would be the most publicized in New Brunswick history. What the trial judge called "a family tragedy of Shakespearian proportions," this real­life murder mystery included adultery, family dysfunction, largely circumstantial evidence, allegations of police incompetence, a high-powered legal defence, and a verdict that shocked the community. Today, the Oland family maintains Dennis Oland's innocence. Author Greg Marquis, a professor of Canadian history at the University of New Brunswick Saint John, leads readers through the case, from the discovery of the crime to the conviction and sentencing of the defendant. Offering multiple perspectives, Truth and Honour explores this question: was Dennis Oland responsible for the death of his father? This updated edition features a new chapter following Dennis's imprisonment and successful 2016 appeal, and raises questions about his anticipated retrial.

  • Author:
    Tresniowski, Alex, Fronczak, Paul Joseph
    Summary:

    Paul Fronczk, acting on long-held suspicions, took a DNA test that proved he was not the son born to his family, placing him now at the center of two half-century-old mysteries.

  • Author:
    Murphy, Paul
    Summary:

    "Whether the crimes are lurid, shocking, or downright sad, Murphy provides an unflinching look into sides of Japan that we don't usually see." ,Brian Ashcraft, journalist and author of Arcade Mania! and Japanese Tattoos

  • Author:
    Jessop, Carolyn
    Summary:

    Carolyn Jessop chronicles her harrowing experiences as a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and what she learned since her subsequent escape from its tyranny.

  • Author:
    Miles, Kathryn
    Summary:

    In May 1996, two skilled backcountry leaders, Lollie Winans and Julie Williams, entered Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park for a week-long backcountry camping trip. The free-spirited and remarkable young couple had met and fallen in love the previous summer while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. During their final days in the park, they descended the narrow remnants of a trail and pitched their tent in a hidden spot. After the pair didn’t return home as planned, park rangers found a scene of horror at their campsite, their tent slashed open, their beloved dog missing, and both women dead in their sleeping bags. The unsolved murders of Winans and Williams continue to haunt all who had encountered them or knew their story. When award-winning journalist and outdoors expert Kathryn Miles begins looking into the case, she discovers conflicting evidence, mismatched timelines, and details that just don’t add up. With unprecedented access to crucial crime-scene forensics and key witnesses—and with a growing sense of both mission and obsession—she begins to uncover the truth. An innocent man, Miles is convinced, has been under suspicion for decades, while the true culprit is a known serial killer, if only authorities would take a closer look.

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