In November 1973, William J. Wright, a former patient and trustee of the Farview State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, brutally murdered two teenage boys, Edmund Keen and Paul Freach, in Lackawanna County, a region that took great pride in not only its history, but its reputation as a friendly, family-oriented, safe place to live. It was a place where families could leave their doors unlocked, and be confident about allowing their children to play and explore outdoors. Yet all that would change in an instant. The brutal murders of these two boys forever altered the way people thought of this region and the safe neighborhoods they had come to take for granted. Kathleen P. Munley and Paul R. Mazzoni tell a story of unbelief, anger, and fear, but also courage and fortitude. They delve deep into the Commonwealth v. William J. Wright trial, looking inside the investigation, the trial, and how the public was impacted by this unthinkable crime. In captivating detail, the authors weave together the events of this devastating crime and remind us that, even in the pleasant light of day, evil can and does exist, and one must always be on guard.
Author: Benjamin Rachlin
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: 2017-08-15
Genre: True Crime
During the last two decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform. When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission-unprecedented at its inception in 2006-remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations. With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.
Interweaving his account of the Steven Avery trial at the heart of Making a Murderer with other high profile cases from his criminal defense career, attorney Jerome F. Buting explains the flaws in America’s criminal justice system and lays out a provocative, persuasive blue-print for reform. Over his career, Jerome F. Buting has spent hundreds of hours in courtrooms representing defendants in criminal trials. When he agreed to join Dean Strang as co-counsel for the defense in Steven A. Avery vs. State of Wisconsin, he knew a tough fight lay ahead. But, as he reveals in Illusion of Justice, no-one could have predicted just how tough and twisted that fight would be—or that it would become the center of the documentary Making a Murderer, which made Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey household names and thrust Buting into the spotlight. Buting’s powerful, riveting boots-on-the-ground narrative of Avery’s and Dassey’s cases becomes a springboard to examine the shaky integrity of law enforcement and justice in the United States, which Buting has witnessed firsthand for more than 35 years. From his early career as a public defender to his success overturning wrongful convictions working with the Innocence Project, his story provides a compelling expert view into the high-stakes arena of criminal defense law; the difficulties of forensic science; and a horrifying reality of biased interrogations, coerced or false confessions, faulty eyewitness testimony, official misconduct, and more. Combining narrative reportage with critical commentary and personal reflection, Buting explores his professional and personal motivations, career-defining cases—including his shocking fifteen-year-long fight to clear the name of another man wrongly accused and convicted of murder—and what must happen if our broken system is to be saved. Taking a place beside Just Mercy and The New Jim Crow, Illusion of Justice is a tour-de-force from a relentless and eloquent advocate for justice who is determined to fulfill his professional responsibility and, in the face of overwhelming odds, make America’s judicial system work as it is designed to do.
Tim Bosma was a happy young father with a promising future when he listed his pickup truck for sale online, went for a test drive with two strangers, and never returned. The story of the Hamilton man’s strange disappearance in May 2013 captured headlines across the country and took over social media, resonating with everyone who had ever taken a test drive or bought and sold goods online. When Dellen Millard and Mark Smich were eventually arrested and charged with Bosma’s murder, the mystery only deepened. Millard was the wealthy heir to an aviation business. Smich was his ne’er-do-well best friend from a middle-class family. There was no obvious reason why the pair had made it their deadly mission to steal a truck, murder its owner, and incinerate the body. Tim Bosma was their randomly chosen “thrill kill” target. Veteran journalist and private investigator Ann Brocklehurst had a front-row seat at Millard’s and Smich’s 2016 trial, where many of the questions about their shocking crime were finally answered. Others still linger, waiting to be further explained at two more murder trials set for 2017. Both Millard and Smich have been charged with the first-degree murder of Laura Babcock, who disappeared in summer 2012. And Millard alone faces murder charges in the death of his father, which previously has been ruled a suicide. Compelling and suspenseful, Dark Ambition chronicles an unfathomable crime and its chilling perpetrators. From the Hardcover edition.
As seen on the Oxygen mini-series The Disappearance of Maura Murray When an eleven year old James Renner fell in love with Amy Mihaljevic, the missing girl seen on posters all over his neighborhood, it was the beginning of a lifelong obsession with true crime. That obsession leads James to a successful career as an investigative journalist. It also gave him PTSD. In 2011, James began researching the strange disappearance of Maura Murray, a UMass student who went missing after wrecking her car in rural New Hampshire in 2004. Over the course of his investigation, he uncovers numerous important and shocking new clues about what may have happened to Maura, but also finds himself in increasingly dangerous situations with little regard for his own well-being. As his quest to find Maura deepens, the case starts taking a toll on his personal life, which begins to spiral out of control. The result is an absorbing dual investigation of the complicated story of the All-American girl who went missing and James's own equally complicated true crime addiction. James Renner's True Crime Addict is the story of his spellbinding investigation of the missing person's case of Maura Murray, which has taken on a life of its own for armchair sleuths across the web. In the spirit of David Fincher's Zodiac, it is a fascinating look at a case that has eluded authorities and one man's obsessive quest for the answers.
Author: Asia McClain Chapman
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Release Date: 2016-06-07
In 1999 Adnan Syed was arrested for murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. But at the same time he was accused of the crime, Asia McClain claims she saw Syed at the local library. When McClain hears of Syed’s arrest, she wrote to him to let him know that she might be his alibi. In spite of the opportunity to have him proven innocent, Syed’s attorney did not take any action. Later, his attorney was disbarred due to numerous health problems including multiple sclerosis. She died in 2004. Over a decade after Syed’s arrest, This American Life’s Sarah Koenig investigates the old case. Her interviews with McClain become the first subject of Koenig’s hugely successful podcast Serial and the story became an international internet phenomenon. Determined to set the record straight and the truth free, McClain reaches out to Syed’s new defense attorney and on November 6, 2015, the court ordered an investigation to determine whether Syed’s case be re-opened "in the interests of justice for all parties.” Finally, McClain can become the key alibi witness that she was always meant to be. Now, in Confessions of a Serial Alibi, Asia McClain tells her story for the very first time.
This is the true story of a woman who prevailed against the most heinous accusations imaginable. Tonya Craft, a Georgia kindergarten teacher and loving mother of two, never expected a knock on her door to change her life forever. But in May 2008, false accusations of child molestation turned her world upside down. The trial that followed dragged her reputation through the mud and lent nationwide notoriety to her name. Tonya’s life spiraled into a witch-trial nightmare in which she was deemed guilty before her innocence could be determined by a jury. Her children were taken away without even a goodbye, and her own daughter was forced to take the stand against her in a courtroom. The situation seemed hopeless, and Tonya was shell-shocked and heartbroken. But that didn’t keep her from finding the strength to fight. Over the course of two terrifying years, Tonya rallied to take charge of her own defense, flying across the country and knocking on doors on a desperate quest for answers, and defying her own lawyers on more than one occasion. Tonya’s goal was not only to avoid conviction; it was to clear her name, and, most of all, regain custody of her children. Accused is about more than Tonya’s shocking trial and fight for justice. It is the story of a mother’s extraordinary love, the faith that sees her through it all, and the forgiveness that sets her free.
Author: Jack Olsen
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-10-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
"For more than two years, a rapist prowled the night streets of the homey, All-American city of Spokane, Washington, terrorizing women, sparking a run on gun stores, and finally causing one newspaper to offer a reward--the calls taken by the distinguished managing editor himself, Gordon Coe. In March 1981, luck and inspired police work at last produced an arrest, and Spokane shuddered. The suspect was clean cut and conservative ... and Gordon Coe's son. For eighteen months, Jack Olsen researched the cases of Fred and Ruth Coe to try to learn not only what happened within that family, but how and why. He interviewed more than 150 people and built up a portrait not only of that extraordinary family, but of the mind of a psychopath. And searching the memories of the women in Fred Coe's life, he unearthed a most horrifying question: What is it like to love and live with a man for years--and then discover he is a psychopathic criminal?"--Provided by publisher.
Author: Erleigh N. Wiley
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
Release Date: 2017-10-03
Genre: True Crime
Murders don't happen in Kaufman County, Texas, a sleepy community where people raise their kids quietly and drive into Dallas for work and entertainment. In 2013, murder came to town when two professional prosecutors were slain in cold blood, simply for doing their jobs: one in broad daylight in plain view of the courthouse, and one in his home, along with his wife. Eric Williams is responsible for all the bloodshed, and he has a list of who to kill next. A Target on My Back is the first-person true story of Erleigh Wiley, an accomplished lawyer who accepted the job as the new district attorney, after the death of her predecessors, which turned her into the next target on the killer's hit list. This is her story of how she and her family endured the storm of the press, the array of Homeland Security agents assigned to protect them 24/7, and the weight of knowing she was someone's prey. Though fearing for her life, she served as the prosecution's final witness against the murderer, sealing his fate on death row. This chilling account of how she survived the hit list is a terrifying cat and mouse tale.
Author: Jim Petro
Release Date: 2014-07-11
Genre: Social Science
Compelling and engagingly written, this book by former Attorney General of Ohio Jim Petro and his wife, writer Nancy Petro, takes the reader inside actual cases, summarizes extensive research on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction, and exposes eight common myths that inspire false confidence in the justice system and undermine reform. Now newly published in paperback with an extensive list of web links to wrongful conviction sources internationally, False Justice is ideal for use in a wide array of criminal justice and criminology courses. Myth 1: Everyone in prison claims innocence. Myth 2: Our system almost never convicts an innocent person. Myth 3: Only the guilty confess. Myth 4: Wrongful conviction is the result of innocent human error. Myth 5: An eyewitness is the best testimony. Myth 6: Conviction errors get corrected on appeal. Myth 7: It dishonors the victim to question a conviction. Myth 8: If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them.
The Identity of America’s Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed Between December 1968 and October 1969 a hooded serial killer called Zodiac terrorized San Francisco. Claiming responsibility for thirty-seven murders, he manipulated the media with warnings, dares, and bizarre cryptograms that baffled FBI code-breakers. Then as suddenly as the murders began, Zodiac disappeared into the Bay Area fog. After painstaking investigation and more than thirty years of research, Robert Graysmith finally exposes Zodiac’s true identity. With overwhelming evidence he reveals the twisted private life that led to the crimes, and provides startling theories as to why they stopped. America’s greatest unsolved mystery has finally been solved. INCLUDES PHOTOS AND A COMPLETE REPRODUCTION OF ZODIAC’S LETTERS
Author: Joaquin 'Jack' Garcia
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-12-11
Genre: True Crime
At 6'4" and 375 pounds, Jack Garcia looked the part of a mobster, and he played his part so perfectly that his Mafia bosses never suspected he was an undercover agent for the FBI. 'Big Jack Falcone', as he was known inside La Cosa Nostra, learned all the inside dirt about the Gambino organized crime syndicate and its illegal activities - from extortion and loan-sharking to assault and murder. The result was a string of busts and a quarter of a million dollar contract put out on his life. A fascinating inside look at the struggle between law enforcement and organized crime, MAKING JACK FALCONE sheds new light on two organizational cultures that continue to exert an unparalled grip on our imagination.
Author: Amanda Howard
Publisher: New Holland Publishing Australia Pty Limited
Release Date: 2016-06-01
There are some incredible stories herein, badly conducted hangings, botched executions like that of Eva Dugan and the hanging of innocent men and women, miraculous survivals and horrific deaths. Writer Amanda Howard has uncovered many relatively unknown stories, delving into case studies of individuals and even entire communities. Rope: A History of the Hanged takes the reader on a journey throughout the history of hanging, detailing the evolution of what was once a common method of capital punishment from the development of the drop to the invention of the gallows by Tyburn Gallows. Readers will be enlightened on the mechanisms of the act of hanging as well as famous executioners like Albert Pierre point and William Calcraft.
Hoewel enorm invloedrijk in Duitstalig Europa, heeft de conceptuele geschiedschrijving (Begriffsgeschichte) tot nu toe weinig aandacht in het Engels gekregen. Dit genre van intellectuele geschiedschrijving verschilt van zowel de Franse geschiedschrijving van mentalités als de Engelstalige geschiedschrijving van verhandelingen door het concept. Aan de hand van practische voorbeelden in de geschiedschrijving wordt deze vorm toegelicht door Bram Kempers, Eddy de Jongh en Rolf Reichardt.
Author: Ann Rule
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-11-25
Genre: True Crime
Ann Rule presents another collection of fascinating and disturbing true-crime stories—drawn from her real-life personal files—in this seventeenth volume in the #1 New York Times bestselling Crime Files series. MOVING IN FOR THE KILL In this all-new collection of investigative accounts from her private archives, “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews) exposes the most frightening aspect of the murderous mind: the waiting game. Trusted family members or strangers, these cold-blooded killers select their unsuspecting prey, wait for the perfect moment to strike, then turn normality into homicidal mayhem in a matter of moments. Ann Rule will have you seeing the people and places around you with heightened caution as you read these shattering cases, including: • New mothers murdered, their infants kidnapped, in an atrocious baby-selling scheme • The man who kept his criminal past hidden from his wife—and his wife from his mistress—until he coldly disposed of one of them • The beautiful daughter of a State Department official ran away from the privileged world she knew and hitched a ride with a man she didn’t . . . with fatal consequences • For months, a vicious, rage-filled serial rapist eluded police and terrorized Seattle’s women—when would he strike next, and how far would his violence escalate? • A criminal known for his Houdini-like escapes is serving time for murder in a botched robbery—now the convict is being served dinner in a civilian’s home, where he has one more trick up his sleeve • A long-lost relative who came home to visit, leaving a bloody trail through Washington and Oregon; no one realized how dangerous he and his ladylove were—until it was far too late. . . . With her ability to translate the most complex cases into storytelling “as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at night” (The New York Times), Rule expertly analyzes the thoughts and deeds of the sociopath, in this seventeenth essential Crime Files volume.