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True crime stories

  • Author:
    Dellinger, David T.
    Summary:

    The classic account of one of the most infamous and entertaining trials in recent American history comes thrillingly to life in this multi-voiced presentation of the courtroom transcripts that inspired the Aaron Sorkin film, featuring a full cast of acclaimed narrators led by J.K. Simmons, Jeff Daniels, Chris Jackson, John Hawkes, Chris Chalk, Luke Kirby, Corey Stoll, Norbert Leo Butz, and George Newbern. In the fall of 1969, eight prominent anti-Vietnam War activists were put on trial for conspiring to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. One of the eight, Black Panther cofounder Bobby Seale, was literally bound and gagged in court by order of the judge, Julius Hoffman, and his case was separated from that of the others. The activists, who included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Tom Hayden, and their attorneys, William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass, insisted that the First Amendment was on trial. Their witnesses were a virtual who's who of the 1960s counterculture: Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Norman Mailer, among them. The defendants constantly interrupted to protest what they felt were unfair rulings by the judge. The trial became a circus, all the while receiving intense media coverage. The convictions that resulted were subsequently overturned on appeal, but the trial remained a political and cultural touchstone, a mirror of the deep divisions in the country. The Trial of the Chicago 7 consists of the highlights from trial testimony with a brief epilogue describing what later happened to the principal figures. The courtroom's electrifying proceedings are recreated by an ensemble of acclaimed narrators giving voice to the trial's unforgettable cast of characters. This dynamic audio program brilliantly captures the urgency and unpredictability of the courtroom setting, taking listeners back to a turning point in our nation's history, the outsize personalities at the center of the struggle, and their powerful words that still resonate today. The cast also includes Michael Boatman, Jay O. Sanders, Holter Graham, Jonathan Todd Ross, Corey Brill, Gibson Frazier, Pete Simonelli, Vikas Adam, Angelo Di Loreto, Lisa Flanagan, Kathe Mazur, and Jacques Roy. The book's coauthor Mark L. Levine reads his Preface, and film director Aaron Sorkin reads his Foreword.

  • Author:
    Krasnostein, Sarah
    Summary:

    Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife, but as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

  • Author:
    Taylor, Flint
    Summary:

    With his colleagues at the People's Law Office (PLO), Flint Taylor has argued landmark civil-rights cases that have exposed corruption and cover-ups within the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and throughout the city's corrupt political machine. The Torture Machine takes listeners from the 1969 murders of Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and Panther Mark Clark-and the historic thirteen-years of litigation that followed-through the dogged pursuit of commander Jon Burge, the leader of a torture ring within the CPD that used barbaric methods, including electric shock, to elicit false confessions from suspects.Joining forces with community activists, torture survivors and their families, other lawyers, and local reporters, Taylor and the PLO gathered evidence from multiple cases to bring suit against the CPD officers and the City of Chicago. As the struggle expanded beyond the torture scandal to the ultimately successful campaign to end the death penalty in Illinois, and obtained reparations for many of the torture survivors, it set human-rights precedents that have since been adopted across the United States.

  • Author:
    Joyner, Chris
    Summary:

    The story of Clarence Henderson, a Black sharecropper convicted and sentenced to death three times for a murder he didn't commit, and of Thurgood Marshall's battle against racism and the Communist Party to save him.

  • Author:
    Eisenberg, Emma Copley
    Summary:

    In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering, but never arrived. Using the past and the present, Eisenberg shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves.

  • Author:
    Osborne, Robert
    Summary:

    Based on the provocative film documentary of the same name, The Third Dive investigates the shocking death of a world-renowned conservation activist. When experienced diver and award-winning filmmaker Rob Stewart (Sharkwater and Sharkwater: Extinction) drowned while diving off the coast of the Florida Keys in 2017, it was a shock to the world's environmental movement. Reports suggested that Stewart was encouraged to perform a dangerous and ultimately fatal dive by a reckless Svengali-like instructor named Peter Sotis. Some bloggers went so far as to report that Sotis survived the dive by clawing his way onto the boat first, leaving Stewart to drown. A civil case was launched which directed blame at Horizon Divers, the company that had taken Stewart out on the dive. The allegation was that they had not done their jobs properly and left him to die in the water. Through interviews and investigative reporting, The Third Dive is a compelling read that attempts to uncover the mysterious and disturbing circumstances surrounding Rob Stewart's untimely death.

  • Author:
    Summerscale, Kate
    Summary:

    n June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying, in the process, the career of perhaps the greatest detective in the land, Jonathan Whicher of Scotland Yard.

  • Author:
    Alexander, Kent
    Summary:

    A gripping insider account of the terrorist bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games that captured the world's attention, and the heroic security guard-turned-suspect at the heart of it allOn July 27, 1996, a hapless former cop turned hypervigilant security guard named Richard Jewell spotted a suspicious bag in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park, the town square of the 1996 Summer Games. Inside was a bomb, the largest of its kind in FBI and ATF history. Minutes later, the bomb remotely detonated by the attacker amid a crowd of 50,000 people. But thanks to Jewell, it only killed two and wounded 111, not the hundreds who authorities estimated could have otherwise died. With the eyes of the world on Atlanta, the games continued. But the pressure to find the bomber was intense. Within seventy-two hours, Jewell went from the hero to the FBI's main suspect, a false accusation that forever changed his life and let the true bomber roam free to strike again. In a triumph of reporting and access, Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen's The Suspect is a gripping story of the rise of domestic terrorism in America, the advent of the 24/7 news cycle, and an innocent man's fight to clear his name.

  • Author:
    Hinton, Anthony Ray
    Summary:

    "An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This program includes a forward written and read by Bryan Stevenson, and a bonus author commentary from Anthony Ray Hinton. The Sun Does Shine is an arresting audiobook memoir of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading, written by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence-full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon-transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton's memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man's freedom, but you can't take away his imagination, humor, or joy. More Praise for The Sun Does Shine: "In this intense memoir, Hinton recounts his three-decade nightmare: awaiting execution for crimes he didn't commit...Hinton's life is one of inspiration, which he wonderfully relays here in bitingly honest prose."-Publishers Weekly

  • Author:
    Denson, Bryan
    Summary:

    "A haunting book as fast paced and as exciting as the best spy novel... and it's all true."-Robert Lindsey, author of The Falcon and the Snowman Investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize finalist Bryan Denson tells the riveting story of the Nicholsons-father and son co-conspirators who deceived their country by selling national secrets to Russia. Jim Nicholson was one of the CIA's top veteran case officers. By day, he taught spycraft at the CIA's clandestine training center, The Farm. By night, he was a minivan-driving single father racing home to have dinner with his kids. But Nicholson led a double life. For more than two years, he had met covertly with agents of Russia's foreign intelligence service and turned over troves of classified documents. In 1997, Nicholson became the highest ranking CIA officer ever convicted of espionage. But his duplicity didn't stop there. While behind the bars of a federal prison, the former mole systematically groomed the one person he trusted most to serve as his stand-in: his youngest son, Nathan. When asked to smuggle messages out of prison to Russian contacts, Nathan saw an opportunity to be heroic and to make his father proud.

  • Author:
    Enrich, David
    Summary:

    In 2006, an oddball group of bankers and traders from some of the world's largest financial institutions made a startling realization: LIBOR--the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions of dollars in loans worldwide--was set daily by a small team of easily manipulated functionaries, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled math genius, became the linchpin of a wild alliance that included a French trader nicknamed "Gollum"; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of a financial whiz kid; a Swiss banker with a tendency to drunkenly accost women in bars; a karaoke-loving executive who would falsely boast about his role in a 1990s rock band; and a not-very-bright broker who spent much of his leisure time wiping out on his motorcycle. Hayes' circle would produce the era's most covert and most substantial financial scandal--until it all unraveled in a spectacularly vicious fashion.

  • Author:
    Johnson, Yvette
    Summary:

    Yvette Johnson travels to Mississippi to uncover the true story of her grandfather Booker Wright and why he was murdered.

  • Author:
    Whittaker, M. Sheelagh
    Summary:

    Two sisters conduct a modern-day investigation into a Victorian-era murder of a toddler and discover their grandmother was a key witness. While researching her ancestry on the Internet one gloomy evening, Penny is astonished by what she finds. Urgently, she instructs her sister Sheelagh, "Search ’Slaidburn Suspected Child Murder!’ Now!" So begins a remarkable story within a story spanning more than a century.In 1885 Yorkshire, sisters Grace and Isabella, accused of murdering Grace’s secret illegitimate toddler, were on trial for their lives. A sadly neglected two-year-old boy was dead following a failed attempt to lodge him at a workhouse. A tense and sensational trial followed in Victorian-era Leeds.Sheelagh and Penny began keenly re-investigating these events. They feel personally involved because a prosecution witness at the murder trial, nine-year-old Margaret Isherwood, would later become their grandmother. The book grips us with dramatic events, but also touches us with the abiding loyalty of sisterhood, the desperate power of our need for love, and the crazy things that it can make us do.

  • Author:
    Ginsburg, Philip E.
    Summary:

    In the mid-1980s, someone stabbed six women to death in the Connecticut River Valley on the border between New Hampshire and Vermont. The murderer remains at large and the total number of his victims is unknown. In this brilliant work of true crime reportage, New York Times-bestselling author Philip E. Ginsburg provides fascinating insights into the groundbreaking forensic methods used to track the killer and paints indelible portraits of the lives he cut so tragically short. The Shadow of Death recreates the fear that consumed the idyllic region when young women began to disappear with horrifying regularity. Friends and family of the victims were left to endure the bottomless pain of imagining their loved ones' terrifying last moments. Desperate to stop the slayings, local police and FBI investigators used exotic new techniques to try to unmask the murderer. Ginsburg documents the extraordinary efforts of psychologist John Philpin as he risks his own emotional stability to get inside the mind of a madman. Law enforcement officials identified several suspects and came tantalizingly close to putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, but it was only after a pregnant woman survived a brutal attack that the killings appeared to stop. The question remains: Could they start again?

  • Author:
    Guillen, Tomas
    Summary:

    New York Times Bestseller: From the journalists who covered the story, the shocking crimes of Gary Ridgway, America's most prolific serial murderer. In the 1980s and 1990s, forty-nine women in the Seattle area were brutally murdered, their bodies dumped along the Green River and Pacific Highway South in Washington State. Despite an exhaustive investigation-even serial killer Ted Bundy was consulted to assist with psychological profiling-the sadistic killer continued to elude authorities for nearly twenty years. Then, in 2001, after mounting suspicion and with DNA evidence finally in hand, King County police charged a fifty-two-year-old truck painter, Gary Ridgway, with the murders. His confession and the horrific details of his crimes only added fuel to the notoriety of the Green River Killer. Journalists Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen covered the murders for the Seattle Times from day one, receiving a Pulitzer Prize nomination for their work. They wrote the first edition of this book before the police had their man. Revised after Ridgway's conviction and featuring chilling photographs from the case, The Search for the Green River Killer is the ultimate authoritative account of the Pacific Northwest killing spree that held a nation spellbound-and continues to horrify and fascinate, spawning dramatizations and documentaries of a demented killer who seemed unstoppable for decades.

  • Author:
    Marks, John D.
    Summary:

    A "Manchurian Candidate" is an unwitting assassin brainwashed and programmed to kill. In this book, former State Department officer John Marks tells the explosive story of the CIA's highly secret program of experiments in mind control. His curiosity first aroused by information on a puzzling suicide. Marks worked from thousands of pages of newly released documents as well as interviews and behavioral science studies, producing a book that "accomplished what two Senate committees could not" (Senator Edward Kennedy).

  • Author:
    Berry, Daleen
    Summary:

    New York Times Bestseller Journalist Daleen Berry and investigator Geoffrey Fuller give you the little-known details behind one of the most horrific and shocking murders of our time. One hot July night, three popular, pretty girls snuck out for a midnight joyride. Only two came back. Stabbed so savagely she was almost decapitated, Skylar Neese was left bloody on the side of the road, buried beneath rocks and branches. For six months, people wondered and waited, hoping Skylar would return. Instead, the community was stunned when Rachel Shoaf confessed to Skylar's murder. The budding actress and singer accused the third member of the inseparable trio, Shelia Eddy, of being the ringleader. People were even more shocked to learn the murder was not a crime of sudden rage-but premeditated. Now, friends, family, and the public are left with so many unanswered questions: Why did investigators believe her murder was connected to a rash of bank robberies and an interstate heroin ring' What part did drugs and social media play in Skylar's killing and its aftermath' How did other high school students and even her own mother help discover who killed Skylar' And, if Rachel's confession is true, what would lead two teenage girls to kill their best friend in one of the most horrific crimes in recent years' With firsthand interviews with those close to the case and written in cooperation with the victim's parents, Dave and Mary Neese, The Savage Murder of Skylar Neese is the most comprehensive, detailed and in-depth source on the Skylar Neese murder.

  • Author:
    Guinn, Jeff
    Summary:

    By the New York Times bestselling author of Manson, the comprehensive, authoritative, and tragic story of preacher Jim Jones, who was responsible for the Jonestown Massacre--the largest murder-suicide in American history. In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader. In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones's life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died--including almost three hundred infants and children--after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink. Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones's Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones's orders. The Road to Jonestown is the definitive book about Jim Jones and the events that led to the tragedy at Jonestown.

  • Author:
    Dolnick, Edward
    Summary:

    Traces the theft of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" from Oslo's National Gallery in 1994, recounting the efforts of art detective Charley Hill to recover the painting in an investigation ranging from the estates of aristocrats to the art underworld.

  • Author:
    Shaw, Mark
    Summary:

    Was Dorothy Kilgallen, television star, media icon, investigative reporter, and journalist, murdered for writing a tell-all book about the JFK assassination? Through discovery of never-before-seen videotaped eyewitness interviews with those closest to Kilgallen and secret government documents, journalist Mark Shaw unfolds a murder mystery featuring suspects including Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, Mafia Don Carlos Marcello, and a "mystery man" who may have silenced Kilgallen.

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