Monday, August 15, 2011

True Crime Books Published in August 2011

Shattered Innocence by Robert Scott (Aug 30, 2011)

In 1991, an 11-year-old-girl was abducted in broad daylight. Eighteen years later, a policewoman at UC Berkeley confronted a deranged man accompanied by two young girls. During questioning the next day, the girls' mother blurted: "I am Jaycee Lee Dugard." Her companion was identified as Phillip Craig Garrido—a convicted drug user, rapist and sexual predator. An astonishing story was about to unfold. . .

The Evil That Never Should Have Happened. . .
Now, award-winning author Robert Scott brings to light previously unrevealed information about Garrido's criminal past and manipulation of the legal system. With police and psychologist testimony, this book shows how Garrido managed to get out of a 50-year prison sentence—to shatter the innocence of Jaycee Lee Dugard forever. . .

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Shattered Innocence
All-American Murder: The True Story of Two Virginia Lacrosse Players and a College Romance Turned Fatal by Amber Hunt
(Aug 30, 2011

Yeardley Love was a star athlete and student with her whole life ahead of her. Born into a world of privilege, Yeardley was exceptionally modest and generous. She was adored by many, especially the members of her lacrosse team at the University of Virginia, where she won the heart of another lacrosse player: George Huguely V.
As champion athletes, Yeardley and George were a celebrity couple at UVA. But George’s hard partying, hostile behavior, and jealousy proved too much for Yeardley. Then, just one month before graduation, Yeardley’s lifeless body was found in her campus apartment…
According to an affidavit, George admitted to bashing down her door and hitting her head against a wall. Did he intend to kill her? His lawyer claimed Yeardley’s death was at most an accident. But as investigators uncovered more about George’s past, they learned he was no stranger to violence: He was involved in at least two prior episodes of alcohol-fueled assaults. And despite George’s elite origins and seemingly perfect young life, police insist he was a time bomb about to explode…

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All-American Murder
The Devil's Children: A History of Childhood and Murder by Loretta Loach
(Aug 16, 2011)

The extraordinary and horrifying crime of murder by children, of other children, commands widespread public interest. Focusing on the earliest recorded cases up to present day, this fascinating investigation deftly weaves together social history and groundbreaking depictions of how the legal and medical cultures used such cases to rethink human agency and responsibility.

Loretta Loach: Loretta Loach has an extensive background in television documentaries, as well as a PhD in history.

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The Devil's Children: A History of Childhood and Murder
Better to be Feared by Sean Bridges

Aug 12, 2011

Better To Be Feared is the true story of a 48-year-old businessman who, having pled guilty to perpetrating a fraud involving a fake business contract, was plunged into the dark world of life inside some of Britain's hardest jails. 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.

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Better to be Feared
Murder on Cell Block 9 by L. D. Webb

Aug 3, 2011

Richard Holmes was a small town boy who grew up to be a big time drug dealer. He was a talented man who longed for wealth and respect. He tried his hand at a legitimate business, but when his daughter was injured, he needed a quicker way to make a lot of money to pay for costly surgery. When he discovered how quick and easy it was to earn the money to pay the doctor, Richard decided to stick with selling drugs. Eventually drug dealing caught up with him and Richard ended up in jail. His arrest led to the disappearance of a police informant and charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder. The lead detective in charge of the bust felt such an overwhelming sense of guilt over the woman's disappearance that he became obsessed with finding her. As clues began to surface in the case, people throughout Idaho and across the nation became stunned and outraged. While incarcerated at an Idaho State Penitentiary, Richard was tormented and brutally stabbed to death as guards stood outside watching. One of the men who was convicted of the slaying was Rodney "Shorty" Araiza, who, more than twenty years later, claims that he was set up to take the fall. At times this story story will make you smile, but will mostly make you angry and break your heart. I hope that sharing this tragic story can help others realize the damaging effects drug use can have on them and their loved ones.

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Murder on Cell Block 9
The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox by Nina Burleigh
Aug 2, 2011

The sexually violent murder of twenty-one-year-old British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, on the night of November 1, 2007, became an international sensation when one of Kercher’s housemates, twenty-year-old Seattle native Amanda Knox, as well as her Italian boyfriend and a troubled local man Knox said she “vaguely” knew, was arrested and charged with the murder. The Fatal Gift of Beauty is award-winning author and journalist Nina Burleigh’s mesmerizing literary investigation of the murder, the controversial prosecution, the conviction and twenty-six-year sentence of Knox, the machinations of Italian justice, and the underground depravity and clash of cultures in one of central Italy’s most beloved cities.

When Perugia authorities concluded that the murder was part of a dark, twisted rite—a “sex game”—led by the American with an uncanny resemblance to Perugia’s Madonna, they unleashed a media frenzy from Rome to London to New York and Seattle. The story drew an international cult obsessed with “Foxy Knoxy,” a pretty honor student on a junior year abroad, who either woke up one morning into a nightmare of superstition and misogyny—the dark side of Italy—or participated in something unspeakable.

The investigation begins in the old stone cottage overlooking bucolic olive groves where Kercher’s body was found in her locked bedroom. It winds through the shadowy, arched alleys of Perugia, a city of art that is also a magnet for tens of thousands of students who frequent its bars, clubs, and drug bazaar on the steps of the Duomo. It climaxes in an up-close account of Italy’s dysfunctional legal system, as the trial slowly unfolds at the town’s Tribunale, and the prosecution’s thunderous final appeal to God before the quivering girl defendant resembles a scene from the Inquisition.

To reveal what actually happened on that terrible night after Halloween, Nina Burleigh lived in Perugia, attended the trial, and corresponded with the incarcerated defendants. She also delved deeply into the history, secrets, and customs of Perugia, renowned equally for its Etruscan tunnels, early Christian art, medieval sorcerers, and pagan roots.

The Fatal Gift of Beauty is a thoughtful, compelling examination of an enduring mystery, an ancient, storied place, and a disquieting facet of Italian culture: an obsession with female eroticism. It is also an acute window into the minds and personalities of the accused killers and of the conservative Italian magistrate striving to make sense of an inexplicable act of evil. But at its core is an indelible portrait of Amanda Knox, the strangely childlike, enigmatic beauty, whose photogenic face became the focal point of international speculation about the shadow side of youth and freedom.

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The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox
Seduced by Evil: The True Story of a Gorgeous Stripper-Turned-Subu... Her Secret Past, and a Ruthless Murder by Michael Fleeman
Aug 2, 2011

As an exotic dancer at The Great Alaskan Bush Company in Anchorage, Mechele Hughes Linehan knew how to captivate men. Three of them were convinced she was engaged to them. Then one spring morning in 1996, one man, Kent Leppink, was found in the snow, shot in the head…
Days before his death, Kent had removed Mechele’s name from his million-dollar life insurance policy. He wrote a letter to his family stating that, should he meet foul play, Mechele would likely be among those involved. But she wasn't charged with Kent’s death. She married a doctor, moved to Olympia, Washington, and began a new life.
For years, Mechele’s suburban friends never suspected a thing. She went to school meetings, hosted backyward barbeques, and was beloved by her neighbors. But authorities eventually found enough evidence to mount a case against her and an alleged accomplice. Did Mechele conspire to kill her ex-fiancĂ©? Or is she the innocent victim as she claims? This is the shocking true story about a love triangle that ended in mystery—and murder…

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Seduced by Evil: The True Story of a Gorgeous Stripper-Turned-Suburban-Mom, Her Secret Past, and a Ruthless Murder
John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster by Sam L. Amirante and Danny Broderick
Aug 1, 2011

How do you defend a madman accused of killing 30 young men and teenagers? That is the powerful theme of this book by a retired judge and criminal attorney whose first case was defending John Wayne Gacy. . . . What emerges is a deep probing into Gacy's mind as it unraveled into a "detached, disconnected" madness wrapped in a maze of sexual confusion and murderous intent. . . . Despite Amirante's hearty defense, Gacy got a death sentence (he was executed in 1994) and his account will illuminate the case for anyone fascinated by the inner workings of a serial killer.

For the first time Gacy’s lawyer and confidant tells his chilling tale of how he defended an American serial killer.
"Sam, could you do me a favor?" Thus begins a story that has now become part of America’s true crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga—the story of a young lawyer fresh from the Public Defender’s Office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation’s history.

Sam Amirante had just opened his first law practice when he got a phone call from his friend John Wayne Gacy, a well-known and well-liked community figure. Gacy was upset about what he called “police harassment” and asked Amirante for help. With the police following his every move in connection with the disappearance of a local teenager, Gacy eventually gives a drunken, dramatic, early morning confession—to his new lawyer. Gacy is eventually charged with murder and Amirante suddenly becomes the defense attorney for one of American’s most disturbing serial killers. It is his first case. This is a gripping narrative that reenacts the gruesome killings and the famous trial that shocked a nation.

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John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster
Too Young to Kill by M. William Phelps

Aug 1, 2011

Killing her wasn't enough...Sixteen-year-old Adrianne Reynolds couldn't unravel the twisted tangles of jealousy and domination complicating her new life in East Moline, Illinois. What began as a fresh start after a troubled home life in Texas ended with Adrianne's body charred, stuffed into garbage bags, and scattered. It seemed the work of hardened criminals, but the truth was far more astonishing: her own 'best friends' choked Adrianne to death and cut her up. Now, master crime writer M. William Phelps recounts this horrific saga of teen lust and violence in every gripping detail.

Amazon Link
Too Young to Kill

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