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$5.85 $3.99 list($6.50)
61. No, Daddy, Don'T!: A Father's
$6.29 $4.72 list($6.99)
62. Beware the Night
$15.36 $13.00 list($21.95)
63. Gangsters and Goodfellas: The
$79.95 $67.98
64. Henry Lee's Crime Scene Handbook
$6.99 $4.29
65. Written in Blood
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66. The Want-Ad Killer
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67. The Art of the Steal: Inside the
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68. Honor Killing : How the Infamous
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69. The Serial Killer Files : The
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70. Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through
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71. Murder Machine: A True Story of
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72. Final Accounting : Ambition, Greed
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73. Fatal Vision
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74. Fraud Examination
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75. Helter Skelter: The True Story
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76. Almost Paradise : The East Hampton
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77. Black Mass : The True Story of
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78. A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder
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79. Scene of the Crime : Photographs
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80. Shot in the Heart

61. No, Daddy, Don'T!: A Father's Murderous Act of Revenge
by Irene Pence
list price: $6.50
our price: $5.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786015543
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Pinnacle Books
Sales Rank: 11440
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Family Law Lawyers and ALL Judges MUST read this!
Man abuses wife, wife tries to deal and justify it. Man abuses wife, woman tries to get away. Man abuses wife, woman files protective orders. Man violates orders, woman pays high price. Man remarries and starts over. New wife files protective order, man violates them. Man beats wife, man gets out of jail free. Again and again. Man teaches new wife lesson: takes away the two things she lives for. Forever.

Even his first severely beaten wife, Michelle Ghetti, thought he was a good father. So who would have thought notorious accountant, John Battaglia, would have committed the most devestating and horrendous act possbile? Worse still, little Faith and Liberty, his daughters, KNEW what was coming.

Mary Jean Pearle and Michelle Ghetti, with all their might, share their story with master true crime writer, Irene Pence, of domestic violence, injustices of the so-called-legal system (in place to protect them) and heartbreak.

During the story, if there is a time you are not terrified for Battaglia's wives, you are ensconced in Pence's terrific use of imagry. She shows you the story in such a way, it's as if you are there and living it--yet at a safe distance.

As incredible as the crimes Battaglia committed, is the American "justice" system. Many times, after making bail for one offense or another, the very place meant to keep the public safe--the jail--would actually ASSIST Battaglia stalk and taunt both Michelle and Mary Jean by allowing him to use the phone to taunt and threaten them!

Liberty, Faith, and Laura are the three children in the story. Laura is the lucky one; she survived her dad. But the horror will haunt her forever. Thanks to the courage of Mary Jean to come forward, Michelle for diligently working at changing the laws, and Pence, for making the story known, we just may be able to prevent another true crime from happening.

Don't read this story if you don't like domestic violence stories, because I guarantee, it's a shocker.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hey, my husband isn't so bad after all!
After reading this book I feel truly blessed to have married my dear sweet husband, because not everyone is so fortunate. This was a very good book. I was able to finish it in 2 days, you can't put it down. It is a very fast paced book that makes you keep reading to find out what happens next. You never get bored. Irene Pence did a good job in giving great detail to paint a picture of what happened. This book really showed how violent and troubled the father was and how it affected everyone around him. It also makes you mad about the way how law enforcement handles domestic violence. This takes you through the years of torture the 1st and 2nd wife went through to try to rid themselves of the evil they married. Luckily, the justice system prevailed and a crazy man was brought to justice for killing two little girls. If you are thinking about this book, order it! It was very interesting and I proudly display this book with the rest of my collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars This Book Was Hard to Put Down
This book was very hard to put down. I will never forget Faith's last screams. I can only imagine what it was like to be her mother and hear those screams. I absolutely loved this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Two Stupid Women And The Vengeful, Violent Idiot With Whom
They Chose to Breed. It's very difficult to have any sympathy or respect for Michelle Ghetti, Battaglia's first wife. The author characterizes her as "brilliant" which I find offensive. She dates a man who shows off his violent temper towards strangers. She is delighted to become pregnant by him, even though she is "diligently" taking the pill. She marries him because her mother tells her to. She is then further surprised to find out (when he leaves her for a couple of days) that all while seeing her, he's been dating an old girlfriend and promised to leave his wife and take his child and raise the child with the girlfriend. Apparently Michelle failed to notice these absences while they were dating, and it was a surprise to her, but his infidelity didn't bother her enough to leave him. She continues to stay married to him, even though he abuses her son from her first marriage, and hits her and knocks her down while she's holding his baby daughter. Yes, this is quite a brilliant woman. Even though she is an attorney and makes "great money" she does not do what she should have done long before - pick up and move back to LA to her "supportive" family - until he beats the crap out of her in public. Somehow, the brilliant attorney was outsmarted at every turn - if she even tried, which it appears she did not. She could have moved out of the house they rented (since he kept getting locksmiths to give him the new keys to the locks she changed repeatedly) and moved into a gated community. But no. She didn't want an unlisted number either.

His second wife, Mary Jean, knows full well that he abused his first wife, because he told her. She happily marries him anyway, since this was an isolated incident after all, and produces two little girls. She gets sick of his verbal abuse and kicks him out. She has a protective order against him, however she lets him in her house on Christmas day, because she's afraid if she doesn't, he'll pitch a fit. He proceeds to pummel her black and blue in front of their two kids and Laurie, his daughter by Michelle. Guess Mary Jean didn't take the protective order very seriously, so why should Battaglia? The fatal night, she makes the kids go on their visitation, even though they don't want to, and he's about to be arrested the next day, and he's 25 minutes late anyway. No, they must go.

This book made me sick. And I've worked in a women's shelter. The vast majority of the women there are very poor and uneducated. They do not work. They have low self-esteem. They are dependent on the abuser. They literally have no where else to go. Family will not take them in because they are afraid or because they know that the woman will simply go back the abuser, so why bother risking involvement? And many, many times, the women go from the shelter straight back to the abuser. Because he promises them new clothes, a new TV. Things will be great, for awhile anyway.

The women in this book had money, resources and family support. For them to not use their brains and let this man do as he pleased makes me ill.

The background on John Battaglia was skimpy. His mother killed herself when John was a child. Okay, that's it. The prosecutor brings up the fact that John pulled a gun on his brother. What about that? Who knows? His own father says that John inherited bi-polar and anti-social personality disorder from his mother. Perhaps if the author had done more interviews with the people from John's childhood and adolescence, we would have a better understanding of why Battaglia did the things he did. As the book stands, he's basically a blank. A very bad man, but what made him that way? How can we prevent this? How can we spot this?

Women, you need to watch out! Choose the father of your children carefully! Don't play foolish games with the parenting and protection of your children.

4-0 out of 5 stars True Crime Reader
I thought this book was well written and very vivid. While reading this it made me want to cry at the loss of children and the horriable abuse these woman endured. You need a strong stomache to read this book. ... Read more

62. Beware the Night
by Ralph Sarchie, Lisa Collier Cool
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312977379
Catlog: Book (2001-10-14)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 140358
Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars DEMONS ON THE RUN!
Having had more than a few experiences with shape-shifting "inhuman" demons, (and written about them in my most recent novel, REFLECTIONS OF A VAMIRE) I feel compelled to warn the unwary reader that this book is for real.

I am a little hesitant to encourage the reading of Ralph Sarchie's BEWARE THE NIGHT for those who are prone to be highly suggestive. You might find yourself getting paranoid about the paranormal. As well we all should be.

Be that as it may, BEWARE THE NIGHT is one of the best books I've read on Demonology written by a demonologist to date.

Along with Malachi Martin's HOSTAGE TO THE DEVIL, Ralph Sarchie's book is one of the most informative, cautionary and helpful sources for protecting those who are dealing with the misfortune of being under demonic attack, or know someone who might be... for there are signs of evil infestation. There are stages of diabolic possession. There are incremental degrees of insidious bodily attack and overt physical take-over, including irreversible total possession, where the demon has lured one to willingly give their soul over to the devil.

If these things are of interest to you and you'd like to read the candid experiences of a professional demonologist who also happens to be a NYC cop, pick up this book. Then curl up under the covers in bed and pray if things go bump in the night.

I highly recommend BEWARE THE NIGHT. It accurately represents the dangers inflicted upon us by the invisible dark powers all around us. Read it... and perhaps you too will beware the night!

2-0 out of 5 stars Colloquial, Sensational, but Accurate
Officer Sarchie has undertaken to write a gripping account of evil as he has encountered it in his 'job' with the NYC Police. At the core of his discussion is the concept that, as violent, viscious, and otherwise depraved as it may be, human evil is no comparison to praeternatural evil.

That being said, this is by no means a scholarly work. Sarchie's style is colloquial, conversational at best. There are no serious annotations. And he makes some terrible "professional" mistakes in discussing his experience assisting at formal exorcisms. He reveals information at times in a round-about manner, while other at other times being too direct, (e.g., describing failed exorcism attempts). He himself manages to violate most of the principles he tries to promote in this book.

Informative? Yes? Valid? Most certainly. This is a not-too-bad, somewhat sensationalized, attempt to discuss two distinct but very real issues: human and 'extra-human' evil, and exorcism. All things being equal, I would not encourage spending money on this book when there are more worthwhile -- better written, more comprehensive -- books available on the topic. If you find your curiosity piqued, get ahold of M. Scott Peck's "People of the Lie" for a serious discussion of the nature of praeturnatural evil and its effects on humans, and Malachi Martin's "Hostage to the Devil" for an in-depth look at the (exorcism) rituals used to expell demons.

1-0 out of 5 stars Stay Away!
This book was extremely disappointing. Very conceited, pretentious writer who writes very badly. And way too much self-righteous proselytizing, mumbo jumbo, and flinging of holy water. He believes that every ghost, friendly or otherwise, is a demon in disguise just waiting to possess you. Sorry I wasted my money on this garbage. Don't waste yours.

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm glad this cop doesn't walk my beat
I cannot believe this piece of zealout-fueled tripe ever saw print. What's worse I read it. Worse yet, I paid to read it. The back cover of this book proclaims "HELL IS HIS BEAT" what they should have proclaimed was "HELL IS READING HIS BOOK". There is absolutely nothing about this book that is not dreadful and I mean that in a BAD way.
Ralph Sarchie is a New York City cop as well as being an absurdly gullible "demonologist". This guy writes like he types with his toes. Full of righteous self-indulgence Sargeant Sarchie refers to his career with the NYPD as "the Job" and gallumphing after mystical entities is called "the Work" ad nauseum. When he isn't flexing his machismo at us he's dashing five-gallon jugs of holy water all about, clipping St. Benedict medals to any available animal and mumbling exorcisms at empty closets and surly drunks.
The "EIGHT PAGES OF SPECTACULAR PHOTOS" ? Four of the pages contain only family snapshots. One page is of a church interior and a photo of a bishop. So far, a veritable festival of the non-spectacular. Two pages contain photos of graffiti, a photo of a chicken in recent good health and a fake skull. The last page exhibits a blurry and most unflattering photo of his sister, (think John Lennon needing a shave) and what the author would like us to think is an orb in motion. It also includes a picture of what looks to be a giant white blob of masticated gum photoshopped onto a photo of a sidewalk. You can see more interesting images if you just sit in a dark room and punch yourself hard in the eye.
If masochists had a book club this would be at the top of the reading list.

1-0 out of 5 stars Self-Righteous Garbage
I picked up this book thinking it was going to be a fascinating look into the supernatural by a real NYC cop. Instead, the book is filled with self-righteous ideas of the supernatural and Bible-beating Catholocism (I'm a Catholic, and even I was offended by this book). According to the authors, parapsychologists who do scientific, objective research into the paranormal are wasting their time; the only tools you really need are a Bible and some holy water. Could that rattle in your home have some scientific explanation? Don't bother looking for a "rational" explanation, just throw some holy water around and pray, and the evil devil will be banished! What a joke. Somebody needs to tell the authors that we left the Dark Ages long, long ago. Even if you can get past all this garbage, the book itself seems like it was written by a 14 year-old. I've been interested in and reading about the supernatural for over 20 years, and this is by far one of the worst books I've come across in all that time. Really deserves 0 stars. The only thing I'm praying for is my money back. ... Read more

63. Gangsters and Goodfellas: The Mob, Witness Protection, and Life on the Run
by Henry Hill, Gus Russo
list price: $21.95
our price: $15.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590770293
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: M. Evans and Company
Sales Rank: 10085
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars FUN BOOK -- the Post-Mafia dream --
I liked this book a lot. If you're a big goodfellas buff, and most people are, you're in for some entertainment here. Plenty of good anecdotes about the gangsters, their wives, their kids, Gotti -- the whole nine yards.

The thing to keep in mind is that it's written by Henry Hill -- a guy who has no real formal training in grammar (it's explained early on in the book). If you've heard him on Howard Stern, then you know he never really answers the question you ask him, and that voice comes through here.

His life has been a wild ride to read about.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book but Poorly Written
Being a huge Goodfellas fan, I read Wiseguy and read this book on a recent flight. It is a good book and will help clear up some lingering questions you may have had after Goodfella's. For example your learn , Henry Hill's name in the Witness Protection program was Peter Haines later changed to Martin Todd Lewis and he lived in several states in the mid west before ending up in Washington. You also learn about what he is up to these days. Parts of the book are drawn out with old stories but it doesn't take away from the overall reading experience. Although, it is poorly written with tons of typos and mis-placed words, I got the sense they rushed this book out to beat a deadline (no pun intended) and never proof read it. It looks like they did nothing more than a routine spell check.

All in all if you are a Goodfella's fan you should read this book it will be worth while. I am glad I read it and after the first few chapters the typos and grammar issues are easy to deal with.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the hype
I have recently read "Wiseguy", "Casino", "Donnie Brasco" and am still reading Henry Hill's book "Gangsters & Goodfellas". I was hoping for a lot, but about 2/3 of this book is a rehash of "Wiseguy", only not as well told. There are numerous wrong word/name usages (like it wasn't proofread, just run through a spellchecker). Also, he tells some of the same stories 2 or 3 times in different parts of the book. Overall, it just seems like a vain attempt to revisit the well one too many times. Even the photos could have been much better and captioned better. There's a Christmas photo that's interesting, but Henry doesn't say who's in the picture with him! How about more pictures of the Varios, Burke, and the Lufthansa crew? I could use less pics of the "reformed" Henry with his huge gut and more vintage photos from his "glory days".

There are also statements that say Henry was present at multiple hits, but Henry on Howard Stern claims he never killed anybody. Guess what, Henry? Being at a murder makes you a murderer! You're lucky you got transactional immunity.

This is just a poorly written book. If you're lucky you can eke out a few morsels, but just check it out at the library or wait for the paperback...

5-0 out of 5 stars I had to know...
Even though the events of "Goodfellas/Wiseguy" are re-told, new interesting facts are brought up. I'm biased because I'm a big fan of the previous book done with Nicholas Pileggi. Henry did some bad things but he is very gregarious and even charming. If you enjoyed the previous writing and film done about Henry and his involvement w/ OC. This book is a long awaited dream come true. Thanks a lot to Henry and Gus, and next time don't wait 18 years!

4-0 out of 5 stars enjoyable, interesting (but a bit thin)
While certainly not a Mob masterpiece, this breezy 262 pager can be consumed in one or two sittings and will entertain those interested in the Godfather/Goodfellas/Sopranos culture. Though Henry Hill's morals may be a, he's a good storyteller who has lived a fascinating life, albeit one best viewed from a distance (he describes leaving a trail of ex-wives and business partners in the dust). I like this one quite a bit. ... Read more

64. Henry Lee's Crime Scene Handbook
by Henry C. Lee, Timothy Palmbach, Marilyn T. Miller
list price: $79.95
our price: $79.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0124408303
Catlog: Book (2001-07)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 112774
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Henry Lee's Crime Scene Handbook outlines proven methods to help you collect and process physical evidence correctly, analyze it thoroughly, and understand its relevance to the case involved. It evaluates the newest chemical and instrumental techniques, and covers new areas such as forensic analysis of computers and advanced shooting scene reconstruction methods. This "must-have" guide is enhanced with dozens of color photographs, logic trees, check lists, worksheets, case studies, lists of suppliers, and more.

Henry Lee has consulted on thousands of criminal cases around the world and is highly sought after to help solve difficult cases. Now he and his co-authors share more than 50 years of combined experience in this systematic approach to crime scene processing. It provides the information you need for initial training, to take with you in the field, and to refer to again and again during the course of each investigation.


* Presents a unique, systematic approach to crime scene processing
* Covers in detail how to manage a crime scene, collect information, search for, collect, and preserve physical evidence, conduct field tests, and reconstruct a sequence of events
* Describes how to use the latest chemical and instrumental techniques for each kind of crime scene
* Outlines common problems and provides clear recommendations for overcoming them
* Includes logic trees, checklists, and worksheets that help investigators evaluate the evidence in specific types of crimes

* Presents a unique, systematic approach to crime scene processing
* Covers in detail how to manage a crime scene, collect information, search for, collect, and preserve physical evidence, conduct field tests, and reconstruct a sequence of events
* Describes how to use the latest chemical and instrumental techniques for each kind of crime scene
* Outlines common problems and provides clear recommendations for overcoming them
* Includes logic trees, checklists, and worksheets that help investigators evaluate the evidence in specific types of crimes
... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!
Very informative. Great details. It goes over everything that a person should know.

2-0 out of 5 stars Avoid this book!
I read this book as a required text for a Masters program in Forensic Science. Having read the previous reviews on the book, I was not expecting a particularly good textbook, but I do not believe that the other reviews do justice to how totally worthless this book is. I feel obliged to write a review of my own to balance the scales, as it were.

First off, the comment regarding the numerous typographical and grammatical errors in the book is grossly understated. I cannot believe that this book ever saw an editor's desk. I have randomly opened the book to several pages, and quickly found the following sentences, which I believe should illustrate my point:

- Most importantly [sic] by keeping the suspect away from the scene, any physical evidence found at the scene that originated from the suspect will link the suspect to the scene only at the time of the crime and not from the suspect having been returned to the scene for identification by victims or witnesses. p.53 (grammatical error, poorly written and confusing)

- Access [sic] the type of scene, the boundary of the scene, and the personnel and equipment needed. p 58. (should read, 'assess')

There are others, as well - alas, I have forgotten the sentence I came across while reading for class that contained a minimum of 5 errors. Yes. One sentence.

My most significant complaint, however, is that the book is simply not thorough. This is primarily due to the fact that it appears to have been written for idiots - all the major areas are touched upon, but there appears to be a fear that tackling them in detail would confuse people. So, instead, each technique is mentioned only in passing, leaving the reader with only a very vague overview of what goes on at a crime scene. Any person actually practicing in the field of forensic science is bound to be disappointed by its lack of depth, detail, and 'new' material. This likely also applies to anyone who has read any other books on the subject, whether they are active in the field or not.

For those who are interested in the subject and looking for a much better primer, I would suggest Fisher's 'Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation,' instead. While he does not have the friendly or chatty writing style that Lee has (the only thing going for Lee's book, incidentally), he is significantly more thorough. The book is also more well-regarded in the field, based on everything I have heard. This is not to say that Lee does not have a prominent name in forensics - quite the contrary. But, I would hate to think that anyone would purchase this book on his name alone. He should stick to spoken lectures, at which he is quite excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars amazing
i will like to ricieve a copy of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Response to Review
Response by Marilyn T. Miller. I am compelled to respond to an earlier review. This book was a cooperative work of all three authors but was done under the direct guidance and care of Henry Lee. Crime scene investigation has been one of Dr. Lee's lifetime concerns. This book is the result of that dedication. The other authors owe a hugh amount of graditute to him for their participation in the effort.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good... but not that good.
This book was an exceptional take-home package of crime scene processing information in an easy-to-read format. However, the chosen title for this work is egotistical and arrogant. There are a large number of typographical errors, but the book is actually quite useful. I must say, please wait for the second edition before purchasing this book. ... Read more

65. Written in Blood
by Diane Fanning
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312994036
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 21872
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An army brat-turned-marine, he saw combat in Vietnam, and returned a decorated soldier. An avid reader, his dreams of being an acclaimed novelist came true. His desire to find love was fulfilled when he married brilliant executive Kathleen Atwater, the first female student accepted at Duke University's School of Engineering. The Petersons seemed the ideal academic couple- well-respected, prosperous, and happy.

All that came crashing down in December of 2001, when Kathleen apparently fell to her death in their secluded home in an exclusive area of Durham, North Carolina. But blood spattered evidence and a missing fireplace poker suggested calculated, cold-blooded murder. Her trusted husband stood accused. Prosecutors introduced evidence at trial that sixteen years earlier, Peterson was one of the last people to see his neighbor alive before she was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her home in Germany. A dramatic trial followed in the explosive final chapter of a life that no novelist could ever have conceived...
... Read more

Reviews (15)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not exactly "In Cold Blood"
As an avid true crime reader and someone with advanced degrees in both law and criminal justice, I have found that nonfiction books on murder cases generally fall into one of two categories: investigative journalism or trash novel.It is my humble but educated opinion that this book falls into the latter category.The book is a tabloid-style expose of the minutia of the Peterson's lives, rather than a chronicle of the hard facts of the case.As with many other true crime books today, the author's agenda seems to be to prove that the accused individual is in fact guilty, as opposed to delving into the complexities of the case that make it interesting in the first place.In my experience, murder cases are rarely black-and-white and there is always room for debate.However, given the popularity of networks like "Court TV" and the number of favorable reviews that this book and other like it have gotten from Amazon's readers, apparently the public would rather be told what to think than think for themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars For the evidence not shown in The Staircase
I was one of those people who first became aware of this trial/case through the French docudrama called "The Staircase", which was a riveting and beautifully-made docudrama, but not (and did not claim to be) any kind of comprehensive investigative coverage of the trial or case as a whole. (It is an inside view of the preparation of the defense and a bit of the trial, from the defense viewpoint. It is primarily aportrait of the defendant Michael Peterson and his adult children and the members of the defense team as they deal with trial preparation, etc.) Like many others, after seeing the docudrama I wanted to read up on the actual evidence presented at trial, and the history of the victims, the defendant Michael Peterson, and all the parties concerned. "Written in Blood" was a very well-researched and thorough collection of all or almost all the evidence presented at trial, and went further, interviewing many people who were closely connected with the two victims and Michael Peterson, including family members of both the victims and the defendant, and others who were witness to events surrounding the murders."Written in Blood" is a must read for anyone interested in this tragic case. It's really great reading, too, hard to put down.

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise and well written
I watched the trial for months trying to sort through the smoke, mirrors, and delays put on by the defense. Facts were hard to verify. This book takes the puzzle pieces, puts them in order, and paints a picture of the Peterson case that is clear and easy to understand. The background information brings clarity to the confusing world of Michael Peterson. If you have questions about the people in this case this is the best book to find the anwers.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read - from cover to cover
If true crime is your thing, you need to read this one! If you think that you know everything about the Michael Peterson case, think again - then read this book. It's one of those books that you just cannot put down. I read it in two days.
Living within 15 miles from where this murder took place, I followed it from day one, from daily newspapers to Court TV. But I didn't realizehow much I didn't know about this case until I read Ms. Fanning's book. You really get a sense of who and what the real Michael Peterson is, through his lies, deceit, and manipulation of his friends and his family. From his early days in Viet Nam to his run for Mayor of Durham, NC. It's all there.
Also, I saw on this website where the author has two other books that look pretty interesting: "Through The Window" and "Into The Water". They will be on my next order.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good book
I usually do not read a true crime book so soon after the court trial because by the time the trial is over I am usually burned out on the whole case. This murder, however, is one that I cannot get out of my mind because there is still so much unfinished business. So, I did buy this book as soon as I could find it. I find Ms. Fanning's manner of writing to be very clear and concise and easy to read and understand. The background research on the key characters was complete and it was good to have photographs.

I plan to buy more books by this author. ... Read more

66. The Want-Ad Killer
by Ann Rule
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451166884
Catlog: Book (1995-03-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 11586
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

After his first grisly crime, Harvey Louis Carignan beat a death sentence and continued to manipulate, rape, and bludgeon women to death--using want ads to lure his young female victims.

And time after time, justice was thwarted by a killer whose twisted legal genius was matched only by his sick savagery.

Here, complete with the testimony of women who suffered his unspeakable sexual abuses and barely escaped with their lives, and of the police who at last put him behind bars, is one of the most shattering and thought-provoking true-crime stories of our time.

* Includes 8 pages of photographs
* From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Sacrifices, Lust Killer, The Stranger Beside Me, and The I-5 Killer

* "Rule has an instinct for suspense."--Washington Post Book World

* "Rule springs surprises and revelations with a novelist's skill."--Seattle Times
... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Laura Showalter was my Grandmother
I am the third and youngest grand son of Laura Showalter. Harvy Corignan's should have died in alaska in 1949, but he was to live and kill again. He is now probably dead himself. The last time I spoke to Ann Rule I was told that Harvey was dying of cancer in Minnisota. May he rest in peace, as I know he was never at peace in life on earth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Accurate Depiction
This book is true to form. The former head of the Minneapolis Crime lab is a personal friend who worked on this actual case. He told me about the case before I ever read the book. After I read the book, I could tell how accurate Ann Rule depicted this true case. One attracting aspects of this book is that it fast pace, always on the move. There is never a dull moment because there can't be. This book takes you on a trip through the inner workings of a true diabolical mind. Along the way you travel to numerous parts of the United States where this hanus murder went from Alaska to Washington and finally in Minnesota where this unfortunate story ends. I also has the privelage of meeting Det. Sonnestahl who worked the Minneaoplis end of this case. This is a book that will leave a lasting imprint on your memory.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Early Ann
"The Want Ad Killer" represents good early Ann Rule when, for whatever reason, she wrote as Andy Stack. It is the frightening tale of Harvey Carignan, a serial killer who terrorized young women in both the Seattle and Twin Cities during the late '70s. The all too apt title refers to a teenage girl who was abducted after answering a "planted" classified ad. "WAK" is short, concise, no nonsense true crime. It is told as a police story, with little courtroom drama or legal maneuvering. There are also none of the longer, more involved sub plots of the authoress' later stories such as "And Never Let Her Go" or "Everything She Ever Wanted", making this a good choice for readers unfamiliar with her work. For the few Ann fans that have yet to read "WAK", don't think twice. A word of warning: The Ann Rule rule is in effect. Do not look at the centerfold photos or the book's cover. Far too much is revealed therein. Keep yourself in suspense for as long as possible. Parents of teenage girls will keep their daughters locked up after reading this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars First time Ann Rule reader
My first adventure into reading true crime, certainly not my last. It seemed as though Ann must have been an eyewitness to Harvey Carnigan's life of crime. It was very well told, easy to follow, difficult to put down. Eight more Ann Rule books sitting on the shelf for me to read - and more to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars Want-Ad Killer Holds Interest
Ann Rule wrote this book in 1983. My only complaint is there is no update on the case since 1983. Otherwise, the book is excellent of course, since Ann Rule is a genius at crime writing. In 1972 Laura Leslie Brock disappeared while hitchhiking in Washington state. Her body was later found. Mary Miller read the newspaper story to her 15 year old daughter because they always talked about these kind of things so the daughter would know about the world. How horrible when in 1973 the daughter read a want ad for a job and agreed to meet someone, who turned out to be involved in the Laura Leslie Brock murder! You won't be able to put this book down. And it doesn't get too involved in the court case either. Ann Rule's later books might be more well crafted but this one has genius written all over it too. ... Read more

67. The Art of the Steal: Inside the Sotheby's-Christie's Auction House Scandal
by Christopher Mason
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.98
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Asin: 0399150935
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 6200
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The definitive book on the price-fixing scandal that roiled the art world, from the reporter who Dominick Dunne says "knows more about the ins and outs of this story than anyone else" (Vanity Fair).

The Art of the Steal is the explosive inside story-the only book to tell the whole truth and dish the dirt-of one of the most fascinating big-business trials of the new century-the price-fixing scandal that rocked the auction world and put one of the richest men in America behind bars.

Brilliantly written and reported, it tells the story of larger-than-life figures-the billionaire tycoon Alfred Taubman; the most powerful woman in the art world, Diana "DeDe" Brooks; and the wily British executive Christopher Davidge-who quaffed champagne and dined on caviar while conspiring to cheat clients out of millions of dollars. The book also offers an unprecedented look inside this secretive, gold-plated industry, describing just how Sotheby's and Christie's grew from clubby, aristocratic businesses into slick, international corporations and showing how the groundwork for the most recent illegal activities was laid decades before the perpetrators were caught by federal prosecutors.

Christopher Mason is the only reporter who has persuaded all the key figures (and hundreds more) to spill the beans. He has followed the trail of this story wherever it has led-from galleries and boardrooms in London, Paris, and New York to parties in Palm Beach and courtrooms in lower Manhattan.

Evoking the best-known investigative narratives like Barbarians at the Gate and Den of Thieves, the hidden lives of the very rich described in Philistines at the Hedgerow, and the crime-and-high-society reporting of Dominick Dunne, The Art of the Steal is destined to become the hottest-and most entertaining-gossip-starter of the season.
... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Read
This book is a real page turner and yet is packed with fascinating and well researched details of both the art world in general and the auction house scandal in particular. Mason manages to give fascinating character descriptions of all the main players laying out both their qualities as well as their, sometimes fatal, flaws. While reading like a thriller, The Art of the Steal is both a social and economic commentary on our times and a historical document. I would recommend this book highly.

1-0 out of 5 stars Confusing, boring -- and biased?
After reading nearly 500 pages, I was still confused over who the author thought was the real criminal in the conspiracy, I just knew he wanted to clear Al Taubman (who went to jail after being -- rightly -- convicted of price-fixing.) He points a lot of fingers at other people who may not deserve it, but never gets to the bottom of the whole matter.
If you're not Taubman's best friend, skip this, because Mason appears to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Art World Gone Mad!
Christopher Mason reveals the ins and outs of the complex and deceptive art world in London and New York. He has the inside scoop of what really happened. Sure makes the courtroom drama seem like only part of the story was told on the stand. The careers that were destroyed were not only Mr. Taubman's and Mrs. Brooks's. The reputation of these two premier huoses in thrown into question forever. A good read, and a quick one. The writer brings you along and you are hanging on the side of your seat to see who does what. I recommend it without question.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and True
A riveting read about personal and corporate greed, ambition and manipulation in the high-stakes business of art auctions. The book is a fascinating insider's view of the worlds of fine art, international jet-set society, corporate finance and the law.

A cautionary tale. And while some of the wrong doers are punished for their hubris and their criminal activities, unlike fiction others equally or more guilty continue to flourish in spectacular ways.

It's got everything: sex, money, religion, politics, royalty, foreign travel, the media, gossip, jealousy, spite, comedy, tragedy, and of course crime and punishment. What a story!

4-0 out of 5 stars Tar and Feather Her!!!!!
Dede Brooks is portrayed as a brilliant but flawed individual who is a Meglomaniac, with a capital M. Those of us who knew her well would agree! She denied her involvement in a commission fixing scheme for several years and finally woke up and realized what she did. The reputation of both Sotheby's and Christie's are ruined forever in my eyes. What a sad story of power, greed and mental illness. The anonymous sources tell the real secrets of what happened. A trail of damage was left in her wake...and now she sits in her Manhattan apartment or in her Hobe Sound $4 million getaway, alone and without friends. She made her own grave and she sound be tarred and feathered! Why didn't she go to jail? Thank you to Christopher Mason for uncovering a true mystery. ... Read more

68. Honor Killing : How the Infamous "Massie Affair" Transformed Hawai'i
by DavidStannard
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670033995
Catlog: Book (2005-04-07)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Sales Rank: 10068
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the fall of 1931, Thalia Massie, the bored, aristocratic wife of a young naval officer stationed inHonolulu, accused six nonwhite islanders of gang rape. The ensuing trial let loose a storm ofracial and sexual hysteria, but the case against the suspects was scant and the trial ended in ahung jury. Outraged, Thalia’s socialite mother arranged the kidnapping and murder of one of thesuspects. In the spectacularly publicized trial that followed, Clarence Darrow came to Hawai’i todefend Thalia’s mother, a sorry epitaph to a noble career.

It is one of the most sensational criminal cases in American History, Stannard has renderedmore than a lurid tale.One hundred and fifty years of oppression came to a head in thosesweltering courtrooms.In the face of overwhelming intimidation from a cabal of corruptmilitary leaders and businessmen, various people involved with the case--the judge, thedefense team, the jurors, a newspaper editor, and the accused themselves-refused to becowed. Their moral courage united the disparate elements of the non-white community andgalvanized Hawai’i’s rapid transformation from an oppressive white-run oligarchy to theharmonic, multicultural American state it became.

Honor Killing is a great true crime story worthy of Dominick Dunne-both a sensational readand an important work of social history. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful Account of Race in Hawaii...and the U.S.
David Stannard's "Honor Killing: How the Infamous 'Massie Affair' Transformed Hawaii" is a powerfully written narrative about an event that has been largely forgotten in both Hawaii and the U.S. Stannard painstakingly recounts the story of Thalia Massie and her alleged rape by four local Hawaiians. Joseph Kahahawai, one of the four accused, was subsequently murdered at the hands of Thalia's vengeful mother and husband after the trial ended in a hung jury. This set the stage for a classic courtroom battle between the renown criminal defense attorney Clarence Darrow and relatively unknown prosecutor John Kelley. Stannard places the Massie Affair within the historical context of the Great Depression and prevalent racial attitudes in both Hawaii and the U.S. Mainland. His poignant conclusion alludes to the tremendous social changes that have made Hawaii into one of the most diverse and accepting States in the U.S. The Massie Affair, like the Sacco-Vanzetti trial and the murder of Emmett Till, were cases whose significance extends far beyond the courtroom or detective novel.

Throughout his account, Stannard makes references to the discrimination and lynching of African Americans in the South. The connection seems difficult to make at first, considering that African Americans were legally prohibited from using the same schools and restrooms as whites, forced to sit at the back of the bus, and the constant target of harassment by rich and poor white alike.

The Hawaiian and Asian populations may not have experienced this degree of overt discrimination, but they were still seen as a major threat, especially by the white oligarchy that had ruled Hawaii since its annexation in 1898. Sugar planters exploited ethnic tensions between their Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese laborers to keep wages low and discontent from shifting towards them. As more and more plantation workers settled into crowded shantytowns on the outskirts of Honolulu, they joined disenfranchised native Hawaiians and began to forge a culture that transcended racial barriers. The Massie Affair united these formerly disparate groups against the white oligarchy, who was increasingly seen as the source of their repression.

The charges against the three surviving accused rapists were dropped. Thalia's mother and husband, along with two sailors, were convicted by a mixed-race jury, but had their sentences commuted after intense pressure on the local governor. The Massie Affair was soon obscured by the Great Depression, the Lindbergh Kidnapping, and the rise of Hitler. For the people of Hawaii, however, the Massie Affair marked the beginning of a twenty-year long struggle to overturn the dominant white oligarchic elite. Contemporary Hawaii was forged in the courtrooms of the Hale Ali'iolani.

Stannard's concise yet incredibly detailed account of the Massie Affair is a must-read for anyone interested in learning about Hawaii beyond Pearl Harbor, beach boys, or luaus. "Honor Killing" is an invaluable contribution to the story of Race in modern America. It is also a reminder that vigilance, more than ever, is needed to ensure that Justice and the rule of Law are not sacrificed to the fleeting demands of today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Trial of the Century - Iron Chef
Neearly everyone in Hawaii knows about the Massie trial.Virtually no one on the continent is aware of the trial and its legacy of racism and white privilege.Although there are several journalistic accounts of the alleged rape of Thalia Massie and the lynching of Joe Kahahawaii, Honor Killing now stands as definitive.

Local reader who think they know something about this case will be surprised at the level of detail and nuance that Stannard brings to this well worn tale.A scrupulous andintreprid researcher, Stannard has combed through new sources and re-intepreted old ones, shedding new light on this story locals are already familiar with.

Mainland audiences will be surprised by the twists and turns in this case which in 1931 was the crime of the century. (The case enjoyed an unprecedented level of publicity and press which very nearly set the stage for the next "crime of the century- the Lindbergh kidnapping.)Admirers of Clarence Darrow, defender of the downtrodden, may be chagrined at Darrow's apparent lack of scruples in taking on these clients who readily admitted their guilt.And most Americans will be surprised to learn that the island paradise of Hawaii came close to being a police state.

This book is a page turner, but also reflects a scholarly attention to historical nuance and detail.You may want to read it on the beach, but maybe not a beach in Hawaii.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honor Killing:How the infamous "Massie Affair" transformed
This is an excellent book for anyone into Hawaiian history. Stannard keeps it fast paced, weaving in background,historical fact and insights into all the persons involved.
Once you get started you find it hard to put down. Stannard carefully crafts all the main characters and ties them together.
He show cases a case that changed the islands of Hawaii forever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read
I picked up Honor Killing to read on the beach, and I got so engrossed that I ended up with a terrible sunburn. It's like 2 books wrapped into 1. On the one hand, it's a true-crime page-turner--with rape, murder, colorful characters, unexpected plot twists, and two nail-biting trials. On the other, it transports you back to a Hawaii you never knew existed. I learned about U.S. swashbuckling in the Pacific, the dispossession of Native Hawaiians, slavery-like sugar plantations, and a seething cauldron of race relations. By the end, I had not only been entertained but inspired. I came to think about Hawaii, civil rights, and even American democracy in new ways. Honor Killing is an exceptionally compelling book. ... Read more

69. The Serial Killer Files : The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345465660
Catlog: Book (2003-12-30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 3554
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


Hollywood’s make-believe maniacs like Jason, Freddy, and Hannibal Lecter can’t hold a candle to real life monsters like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and scores of others who have terrorized, tortured, and terminated their way across civilization throughout the ages. Now, from the much-acclaimed author of Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved, comes the ultimate resource on the serial killer phenomenon.

Rigorously researched and packed with the most terrifying, up-to-date information, this innovative and highly compelling compendium covers every aspect of multiple murderers—from psychology to cinema, fetishism to fan clubs, “trophies” to trading cards. Discover:

WHO THEY ARE: Those featured include Ed Gein, the homicidal mama’s boy who inspired fiction’s most famous Psycho, Norman Bates; Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, sex-crazed killer cousins better known as the Hillside Stranglers; and the Beanes, a fifteenth-century cave-dwelling clan with an insatiable appetite for human flesh

HOW THEY KILL: They shoot, stab, and strangle. Butcher, bludgeon, and burn. Drown, dismember, and devour . . . and other methods of massacre too many and monstrous to mention here.

WHY THEY DO IT: For pleasure and for profit. For celebrity and for “companionship.” For the devil and for dinner. For the thrill of it, for the hell of it, and because “such men are monsters, who live . . .
beyond the frontiers of madness.”

PLUS: in-depth case studies, classic killers’ nicknames, definitions of every kind of deviance and derangement, and much, much more.

For more than one hundred profiles of lethal loners and killer couples, Bluebeards and black widows, cannibals and copycats— this is an indispensable, spine-tingling, eye-popping investigation into the dark hearts and mad minds of that twisted breed of human whose crimes are the most frightening . . . and fascinating.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but indespensible.
For those interested in serial killers or in understanding the human condition in some of its darkest forms, this book offers a number of wonderful insights. Details from interviews with many notorious killers including John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and Karl "Kropsey" Morgan, make this book both a fascinating and truly repulsive read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Verdict: Terrific
I have been a reader of Mr. Schechter's non fiction for three or four years now. One of my first books on serial killers in general (as opposed to books on individual serial killers) was A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, so I didn't know about this book. But, well, the subject matter is too tantalizing, so I went for it. Was I glad I did. The most valuable thing about this book for me were the updates. We get the Green River Killer update, The Railway Killer, and the Beltway Snipers, to mention only a few. The format here is interesting, and while I read it from page one all the way straight to the end, with its terrific index, its a reference or a "snack" of infomation, however you wish to use it. It has a place of honor on my shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
This book included everything i ever wanted to know about serial Killers. Fasinating, intriging, and led me to read more and research more on certain killers after having read the case studies on certain killers. I recommend to everyone who has the guts to deal with that tiny part of them that is fasinated with this kind of stuff.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thorough, fun, fascinating
It's a reference book but reads well cover-to-cover, or you can just look up the specific topics you're interested in. But you'll end up reading the whole thing. Covers all the basics (Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer. . . . and the difference between serial killers and mass murderers) plus a hundred other things I'd never heard of (African American serial killers, or weirdest ways of dumping the bodies). . . . also has a whole comic book about a serial killer named Panzram.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent--a necessity
I have been an enthusiast of serial killer literature for years and years, and I can confidently say that this book will now be the singular resource on serial killers. It is comprehensive, well-written, and perfectly executed. It satisfied all of the questions I have had about serial killers. Full of informations, interesting, engaging--anyone with an interest similar to mine should definitely buy this book!! ... Read more

70. Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
by Clifford Stoll
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743411463
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 8000
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cliff Stoll was an astronomer turned systems manager at Lawrence Berkeley Lab when a 75-cent accounting error alerted him to the presence of an unauthorized user on his system. The hacker's code name was "Hunter" -- a mystery invader hiding inside a twisting electronic labyrinth, breaking into U.S. computer systems and stealing sensitive military and security information. Stoll began a one-man hunt of his own, spying on the spy -- and plunged into an incredible international probe that finally gained the attention of top U.S. counterintelligence agents. The Cuckoo's Egg is his wild and suspenseful true story -- a year of deception, broken codes, satellites, missile bases, and the ultimate sting operation -- and how one ingenious American trapped a spy ring paid in cash and cocaine, and reporting to the KGB. ... Read more

Reviews (124)

4-0 out of 5 stars A tell tale title, The Cuckoo's Egg!!
I read this after I had finished reading Takedown by Shimomura. I found that even though the core objective was the same, i.e. tracking cyber criminals, Stoll delves much deeper into the technical aspects of hacking. A lot of net-working concepts would not be understandable by lay people. I guess non-IT guys would find it pretty boring. Once again the Unix OS has been discussed in fine detail in some chapters. Overall a very good read for the those who breath and sleep computer networks.

Thanks Gauri dear, for this neat Book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book for people interested in computer networks
This is an exciting and gripping story of a system administrator's life. One day, he discovers a hacker who is constantly breaking in into computer systems. When he begins to chase the hacker, he eventually finds out that it's not just some youth having fun reading other people's files. And you are going to hold your breath while following the administrator's every move.

The book's well written and funny. Its philosophy is somewhat anarchist, as is usual for computer freaks, and pretty ironical towards the US government institutions. I'm glad to say that the hero, looking like just another leftist jerk in the beginning, goes through a significant attitude change when he realizes that there are countries much more evil than the United States of America.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Case of the Hannover Hacker
This tells of Cliff Stoll's involvement in reconciling a 75 cent bookkeeping discrepancy that led to an intruder who broke into the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in order to break into classified military systems. Cliff writes with a 'stream of consciousness' style that used over 350 pages where maybe 86 pages would be used in a more concise style. [Is using many pages a mark of bureaucratic style?] Cliff describes his lifestyle as a university serf: eating a lot of pizza, bicycling around, living with friends, sewing quilts. His big event of the year is dressing up for a Halloween parade in San Francisco. This book lacks a Table of Contents and an Index (not intended for reference?). I don't expect a sequel.

This is worth reading as a slow-paced detective or mystery story. But it is unlike a Hammett or Chandler or other detective authors. One lesson is the care needed when talking over a phone line (the "F" entity). Cliff's comments on an uncaring Federal bureaucracy were echoed in the aftermath of 9/11/2001. The personal activities of Cliff and his friends show them to be dedicated followers of fashion who imagine themselves to be radically original. American telephones are computer controlled so they are easy to trace.

Cliff is asked about the "adiabatic lapse rate on Jupiter". This wasn't "by chance", but a test of his bona fides (Chapter 45). Chapter 47 explains how to decrypt Unix passwords from words. Plodding through this book is like running on a dry sandy beach. He could have been more specific. Cliff claims the problem with viruses is they destroy trust (naive?). My advice is: trust no one.

4-0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable surprise.
I bought this book at the suggestion of a friend. I did not really expect it to be entertaining since most books on the subject are tough to get through. Instead it is as compelling as any good thriller. It is one of those books that are tough to put down once started, and I found myself staying up late to make it through just "a few more pages".
Try it and you're in for a treat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stoll hatches a good story
Here's a great nerd's-eye view of Cliff Stoll's practically one-man stand to capture a 'Cracker' (aka a Malicious Hacker for the non-geeks). There's enough technical detail to get the point across without losing an audience. Mr Stoll has a great ability to write that doesn't alienate the non-computer savvy folk, yet keep us fellow geeks enthralled. ... Read more

71. Murder Machine: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and the Mafia
by Gene Mustain
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451403878
Catlog: Book (1993-07-01)
Publisher: Onyx Books
Sales Rank: 15082
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (70)

4-0 out of 5 stars Awesome detail to reality of the mob.The only downside...
Right around the end of the book,they had an extreme fixation on the cops and the "demeo task force".COMPLETELY relieving any mention of the demeo crew,paul,nino,or even dominick (the main mob associated characters)Around the end the whole deal with the cops lives the half assed comparisons of the mafia members and the fbi agents lives.
These were the things that cut my attention down to that of a 2 year old.

More or less i was angered by the last chapter of the book not delivering what the rest had.Excitement, morbidity,hard times of wanna be soldiers,vivid detail,and most importantly the mafia
slayings it was just such a good read!

Well to make a long story short...
Buy the book its worth your time and your money.BUT dont be suprised when the progressive fall of the demeo crew means the progressive fall in your interest in the book.

Thank you for reading my review.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awsome
Murder Machine is a book that you will read over and over again, The reason- you wont believe how brutal the DeMeo crew was. This is the crew that made the mafia tremble. They were the ones who invented the unique method of "desmemberment". Since Roy who was in charge of the crew was a butcher years ago, He had a method of getting rid of bodies(oh about 200 or so). First they would shot the victum in the head, then stab him in the heart a few times to stop the bleeding, Then hang the body up-side down in the bathroom to coagulate the blood, so as not to make a mess. While the body is hanging, they sometimes would order up food and eat while the coagulation was taking place. Sometimes with boold on their hands. After the blood coagulated they would then chop up the body into 6 pieces. Put the parts into bags, the rest is history. Want to learn all about this murderous crew, then buy this MUST READ BOOK.

4-0 out of 5 stars Straight from home
In response to many of your reviews, thumbs up to those smart enough to determine fact from fiction. For those of you who believe this "thriller" and comment as if you know the characters, all I can say is "poor judgement!" I am one of the fortunate to know many of these men, and all I can say is that this book is extremely exciting to read, but full of nonsense. I only wish today's generation was filled with more of these men. Maybe we should look deeper into the people behind this story, such as Dominic. Another weak and screwed up drug user crying poor me and looking for a pity party. This creature told many lies all to try to make himself look like a hero. As for Roys son, another pity party. Poor thing; so it wasn't drugs but booze, lets blame it on dad.

So go on and enjoy the story, but if you are all that interested, try looking up the actual cases involved and see the real truth. It is then that we might learn a thing or two about what we call justice. A perfect example would be Henry Borelli serving 150 years in a maximum security prison far away from his family, and all for 15 stolen cars; nothing more. God, I have heard of lighter sentences for murder and rape.

Maybe more people should take the time to look deeper into our justice system, before they comment on a book such as this.

3-0 out of 5 stars Didn't flow
This book just didn't flow smoothly for me. I did find it interesting but also got lost a few times and had to backtrack. Some readers thought it was more fiction than fact. I have no idea since I have no facts to compare to. There obviously is a mafia, crime associated with it, hit men, etc. but I have no reason to dispute the facts I read here. The murder business now seems a lot more brutal than I once thought it was. I am from Philadelphia and travel often on business to New York especially thru Brooklyn. Now I can't drive thru Brooklyn without thinking about the carnage that went on. Overall it's a good book and I would recommend reading it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Human Butcha shop
You will learn that by reading this book, the most ordinary people can be the biggest scumbags around. Not this Sopranos crap with these idiots with there "look at me" outfits and flashy jewelry. That's just hollywoods image of mobsters. If you look at real mobsters most you don't even know what they look like. For example look at richard kuklinski, murderer of hundreds (hitman) had wife kids, nobody suspected.
Roy Demeo, Murderer killer of at least 100 people (butchered with boning knives) had a wife, kids, and kids went to good schools. nobody suspected.
The real scumbags killers aren't the sopranos type of guys, thats hollywood crap again.

Mafia people are not harvard grads, with great educations, like we seems to think they are, they are really criminals and thugs from the streets of brooklyn and elsewhere, drug dealers,car theifs, loansharks.
The guys who are the most vicious never really get the credit for being that way, people like john gotti do who was a total dope thats why he ended up in jail unlike carlo gambino. same with john gotti's dope son john jr. who he put in charge the guy was like 28 or something and went to prison for years, he's still serving time.

The sad part was roy demeo, it just confuses me because at some points he was a nice guy who felt sympathy (read his son's book) and others he just murdered with no feelings like they were bugs being squished. he killed his own best friend, and his other friends participated they were friends since youth. can you believe these scum? They kill they're own friends!

mafia life is far from romantic, it's sick ... Read more

72. Final Accounting : Ambition, Greed and the Fall of Arthur Andersen
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767913825
Catlog: Book (2003-03-04)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 48417
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A withering exposé of the unethical practices that triggered the indictment and collapse of the legendary accounting firm.

Arthur Andersen's conviction on obstruction of justice charges related to the Enron debacle spelled the abrupt end of the 88-year-old accounting firm.Until recently, the venerable firm had been regarded as the accounting profession's conscience.In Final Accounting, Barbara Ley Toffler, former Andersen partner-in-charge of Andersen's Ethics & Responsible Business Practices consulting services, reveals that the symptoms of Andersen's fatal disease were evident long before Enron. Drawing on her expertise as a social scientist and her experience as an Andersen insider, Toffler chronicles how a culture of arrogance and greed infected her company and led to enormous lapses in judgment among her peers.Final Accounting exposes the slow deterioration of values that led not only to Enron but also to the earlier financial scandals of other Andersen clients, including Sunbeam and Waste Management, and illustrates the practices that paved the way for the accounting fiascos at WorldCom and other major companies.

Chronicling the inner workings of Andersen at the height of its success, Toffler reveals "the making of an Android," the peculiar process of employee indoctrination into the Andersen culture; how Androids—both accountants and consultants--lived the mantra "keep the client happy"; and how internal infighting and "billing your brains out" rather than quality work became the all-important goals.Toffler was in a position to know when something was wrong. In her earlier role as ethics consultant, she worked with over 60 major companies and was an internationally renowned expert at spotting and correcting ethical lapses. Toffler traces the roots of Andersen's ethical missteps, and shows the gradual decay of a once-proud culture.

Uniquely qualified to discuss the personalities and principles behind one of the greatest shake-ups in United States history, Toffler delivers a chilling report with important ramifications for CEOs and individual investors alike.
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Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written explanation of the fall...a unique perspective
Ms. Toffler and Ms. Reingold capture the essence of a once-great Firm struggling through the tumult of a changing business environment, poor management, and individual greed.

Ms. Toffler was head of a specialized group of consultants within Arthur Andersen offering advice to clients on Ethics and related business issues. She laments the situation she and the Firm were in, offering advice to clients, while having no in-house ethics program ... "The Cobblers Child" as noted in a later chapter.

As an ex-Android, I read this book with a mixture of fascination, fond memories, and sadness. Ms. Toffler provides an excellent explanation of the "fees generated" and "fees supervised" measures which drove partners and managers toward goals at odds with the best interests of the client. The results were, unfortunately, predictable.

With her previous experience at the Harvard Business School and with her own consulting business, Ms. Toffler provides wonderful insight into the issues which ultimately led to the "suicide" of Arthur Andersen.

This is a book of definite interest to any ex-AA or ex-AC employees and to anyone with an interest in the ethical basis for this sad chapter of American business.

2-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware: Toffler was not an Andersen Insider
I just completed this book and I am not impressed. Toffler adds few insights that are not tainted by her obvious disdain for everything (and everyone) Andersen. She spent only 4 years in the firm and was never in any significant leadership role. There are literally thousands of former Andersen partners & employees that could have provided better insight.

This book comes off as very self-serving, a trend that comes to a head on about page 200 as Toffler describes how if only management had listened, she could have saved the day. It is obvious Toffler never earned the respect of her peers. This is not surprising - when I read the decription of the work she did prior to Andersen, I equated it to a senior level role at a Big 5 firm (conducting interviews, documenting issues, etc.). Clearly Toffler was in way over her head as a Big 5 partner.

What she does not mention is that, after being hired as a national partner, she fails to make a name for herself or the consulting service she led. I worked in the same division (BRCA) as Toffler for nearly all of her AA career and never once heard her name or even of her group - she was not exactly a trailblazer. Further, it appears that she left AA after 4 years as a national partner (typically only 2 years are spent at that level) after growing her service line to a total of 8 professionals - a group too small to support Toffler's salary. No wonder she felt intense pressure to sell, though for all her complaining about the pressure and high fees, she never suggests that her salary and lack of success might have caused the pressure, at least in part.

Although interesting at times, this book is not written by a true Andersen insider and better insights were available in the Wall Street Journal when this story was news.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Description of the Fall of an American Icon
Very good book overall. As someone in the accounting profession, I found the book to be very interesting. Many defenders of Andersen do not realize that Enron was only one of many reasons that caused Andersen's demise. A string of other audit failures and a culture turned greedy also contributed to the demise. Former Andersen employees will give this book a poor rating, call it garbage, and point out that the author has it all wrong. However, a lot of what she mentions regarding the Andersen culture, Andersen's mad scramble for fees, and infighting within the firm are very well documented in many business articles. As someone who did not work at Andersen, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a good business book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nasty and vindictive
I read this book as a recommendation from a friend who called it 'interesting'. I thought it was awful! The author sounded like a child who was left out of the 'in' group and therefor, nothing went her way. The writing was horrible and kept skipping around by years which was confusing. I believe the only accuracy was found in some of the historical events. Unfortunately, she then added her spin and negativism to the events to distribute blame. I have known many people associated with the firm and they are recognized as outstanding and ethical. I have heard stories over the years of clients quitting or 'being fired' because an Andersen accountant would not comply with their wishes. While I don't doubt that every company has some rotten people and it was that situation that brought down the firm, that certainly wasn't the case with the majority of the fine people that ended up suffering. Most the the Andersen partners I have asked about the book describe it as 'junk'. Don't waste your time!

3-0 out of 5 stars Physician, heal thyself...
This is an odd book, because it's actually two separate books in one cover. The first book, which is essentially a short history of the rise and fall of Arthur Andersen, was no doubt written by the ghostwriter, Jennifer Reingold, and is actually fairly informative. This is the part that gets the three stars - not great by any means, but at least informative.

The second book is interspersed with the first, and purports to be a scathing indictment of the culture of Arthur Andersen, a respected American institution that was subverted and destroyed by arrogance and greed. It's easy to read a lot into this story, since it's really just the current American business ethic in microcosm. Nothing matters here but greed and taking pleasure in stepping in the other guy's face.

What's interesting here is the fact that Barbara Toffler, who clearly considers herself to be an "ethics expert", openly confesses that she was just as ruthless and greedy as everyone else at Andersen. But the reader is left wondering if she ever really quite gets it - does she understand she's just as morally culpable as the Andersen partners she eviscerates? She certainly doesn't seem to be too troubled by her own long list of questionable actions, in any case. The old joke about the definition of "chutzpah" being a person who murders his parents and then pleads for mercy because he's an orphan gets an update here: an unethical peddlar of "ethical services" who turns a quick buck by selling her story. You might feel like taking a shower after you finish this one. ... Read more

73. Fatal Vision
by Joe McGinniss
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0451165667
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 93305
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (58)

4-0 out of 5 stars What the doctor didn't order
Many years ago, I read "Fatal Vision" with an open mind on the subject. The key elements in this book are keenly subjective, wavering in favor and disfavor of the author's client: Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald. Much has been made of the current effort to free MacDonald on DNA technicalities, with a cadre of trial lawyers, laboring under the altruistic term "Pro Bono", meaning "without charge"...(As if a trillion dollar civil damage suit won't be filed nanoseconds after MacDonald is sprung) presenting their "newly discovered" evidence, which is thoroughly outlined in the book "Fatal Justice". What HAS come to light in the wake of this tragedy is the fallability of military justice, which the book clearly exposes in paragraphs devoted to errors and prosecutorial misconduct made by Army investigative authorities, security personnel, hospital forensic evidence technicians, and command level jurists. There is no doubt in my mind that the prima facia evidence refutes MacDonald's sworn testimony. Blood type evidence, in addition to the pajama top theory, clearly shows MacDonald's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. What irks me is the fact that the Army's investigation errors were instrumental in delaying justice for two young girls, and their pregnant mother.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the book that got me hooked on True Crime
Utterly compelling, Fatal Vision is one of the top five all-time masterpieces of the "True Crime" genre. (Only Truman Capote and Ann Rule are capable of giving McGinnis a run for his money as masters of this genre.) I read it years before the "Fatal Justice" controversy, and since then have read practically every notable True Crime novel out there, examining all different types of cases. I remain convinced of MacDonald's guilt. Why? His case parellels too many other "family-murder" style crimes I've read about. Amateur criminals tend to think they are being very clever when they do things like inflict wounds on themselves and then invent tales of an attack by "bushy haired strangers" and "drug-crazed hippies." Actually, they are just doing the same things that numerous others have done before them -- and the authorities know it. Jeff MacDonald's case very closely and creepily resembles those of Diane Downs and Darlie Routier (women convicted of murdering their children). In all three instances, the lone "surviving witness" of the family massacre had suspicious, minor wounds that were most likely self-inflicted, while their victims suffered massive trauma. In all three instances, the "surviving witnesses" claimed that they and their families were attacked by "mysterious", crazed strangers of whom no real trace could be found. In all three instances, the "surviving witnesses" displayed peculiar emotional affects inconsistent with grief. In all three instances, the "surviving witnesses" were physically attractive, manipulative narcissists who had problems with empathy. The list of similarities goes on and on from there.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the classics of the true crime genre
This is one of the most sobering of true crime tales, and one of the most intriguing. Former Green Beret officer Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald (still in prison last time I checked) called the police early one morning to report that his pregnant wife and two young daughters had been murdered by a marauding gang of hippies shouting "Kill the pigs, acid is groovy" while he received some superficial wounds trying to fight them off.

Joe McGinniss who at the time was best known for his Nixon campaign book (The Selling of the President 1968) jumped on the case and made arrangements with MacDonald to follow him around and interview him. McGinniss has said that initially he believed MacDonald was innocent, but as he grew to know MacDonald, and as he sifted through the evidence he began to change his mind until in the end he believed along with the prosecution and the jurors that MacDonald had murdered his family. McGinniss reports all this in such a compelling manner that the reader is lead step by step to the same horrific conclusion (or at least most readers are). Also changing their minds about MacDonald were the wife's parents who at first refused to believe that he could have done something like this. Yet in the end they too were convinced.

Not convinced however were MacDonald's many supports including as I recall members of the Long Beach, California police department, many of MacDonald's co-workers, and a number of women who found the doctor very attractive.

All of this is interesting but what I think most fascinated McGinniss and what most fascinates me is an answer to the questions of Why did he do it? and How could any human being do something like that?

The most plausible theory (this is basically McGinniss's theory as well) to explain why he did it goes something like this: In a rage (possibly induced in part by amphetamine use) MacDonald badly or fatally injured one of his family. Rather than own up to this and face the consequences he had the "fatal vision" (thought to have been conjured up in part from an Esquire Magazine article or in remembrance of the Mason family murders) of acid-crazed hippies breaking into his home and attacking his family with him in heroic defense. To make this work he would have to kill everybody except himself and construct a crime scene that would support his story. The prosecution and McGinniss careful show how MacDonald's crime scene construction failed. Readers interested in forensic science will find this aspect of the book absolutely fascinating, even if not entirely convincing.

But to convict a man of murdering his family based on circumstantial evidence especially when the motive is not another woman, or money, but is instead merely a desire to hide what at worse would be manslaughter, seems quite a stretch for any jury, or so MacDonald apparently figured. But what went wrong was not only the evidence, but his personality.

As McGinniss spent time with MacDonald he came to realize that Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald was not like other people. He was charming and very bright but there was a cold aspect to his personality, what in autism is called a "lack of affect." Obviously he was not autistic, or perhaps his is a form of autism. Anyway, according to the current psychiatric wisdom, such a person is called a psychopath or a sociopath. The words mean approximately the same thing, that is, a person who values only his or her own life and welfare, a person who has no real feelings of warmth for others, a person who has no compunction about taking the life of another if he or she can gain from it and get away with it.

The compelling psychological argument for me (and perhaps for the jury that convicted him) is that ONLY such a husband and father could have done that. The fact that he fit the psychopathic personality type was what led to his conviction as much as the forensic evidence. I should add that even though over the years there have been tips about, and bizarre manifestations of, possible hippy suspects, MacDonald has remained the only real suspect.

But did he do it? This book makes a powerful case that he did. Followers of sensational crimes such as the Jon Benet Ramsey case or the current case of Scott Peterson (reported as "laughing and joking" with his attorneys in court today as I write this) will see similarities here. In the Jon Benet case there is the sense of an attempt to cover up some violence inflicted on a member of the family because somebody (probably the mother) lost her temper, while in the Scott Peterson case there is the phenomenon of the sociopathic personality to explain an otherwise unthinkable crime.

I originally thought that MacDonald was guilty and I still do, but I admit there is some doubt. Whether that doubt is "reasonable" is for you to decide. The jury has already decided. Someday there may be another trial. If so, that jury will decide. You might also want to read the "answer" to this book, Fatal Justice: Reinvestigating the MacDonald Murders (1992) by Jerry Allen Potter. Or go to the various Websites. I think you'll discover, as I did, why we have trials by jury in which both sides present their arguments. Just hearing one side seems so convincing until you hear the other side.

Bottom line: one of the very best true crime reads, the book that made McGinniss's career and helped to end MacDonald's: one of the classics of the genre.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible, Not factual at all
If I could have given this book a -5 star rating I would have. This book is nothing but garbage. Please visit Court TV's web site and go to the Crime Library - Not Guilty? section and read the unbiased report that Court TV presents. Then come back here and buy Fatal Justice instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Guy Did It. Period.
Certainly it's valid to question whether the legal aspects of this case were conducted properly, whether the government behaved inappropriately or incompetently, and/or whether the prosecutors actually proved to a jury the defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. However, it's also valid to observe that the guy did it -- he murdered his wife and two children, he was a sociopathic, drug-stimulated monster who lost his temper one night and killed them all. Fortunately for society, the chips fell against the killer in this case (unlike that episode in Brentwood), and he is in prison for life. Good. ... Read more

74. Fraud Examination
by W. Steve Albrecht, Chad O. Albrecht
list price: $119.95
our price: $119.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0324162960
Catlog: Book (2002-07-30)
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
Sales Rank: 186443
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This provocative text is designed to prepare readers to identify, detect, and prevent financial fraud. It outlines the nature of fraud and the different types of fraud, including the unique e-business fraud that is now possible in today's technological world. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Conan
W. Steve Albrecht is the author of the book.
Chad O. Albrecht is the contributing editor.

Contrary to Amazon's listing, Conan Albrecht is not listed in the book as an author or editor. ... Read more

75. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders
by Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0393322238
Catlog: Book (2001-12)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 18608
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A national bestseller—7 million copies sold. Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Here is the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime. 50 pages of b/w photographs.

Both Helter Skelter and Vincent Bugliosi's subsequent Till Death Us Do Part won Edgar Allan Poe Awards for best true-crime book of the year. Bugliosi is also the author of Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder (Norton, 1996) and other books. Curt Gentry, an Edgar winner, is the author of J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets (available in Norton paperback) and Frame-Up: The Incredible Case of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings. ... Read more

Reviews (132)

4-0 out of 5 stars a thundering good read
This is the definitive account of the longest trial in American legal history wherein four persons: Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, were sentenced to death for the murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Stephen Parent, Leno La Bianca and Rosemary La Bianca. The crimes, collectively known as the Tate/La Bianca murders took place in Los Angeles in August 1969. Vincent Bugliosi's work is both focussed and orderly and he scores highly in bringing a convoluted and at times incompetent enquiry to the reader in a totally believable account. Stretching to 664 pages, some might consider the work too long winded but the story certainly licks along at a good pace. The lion's share of the time is given over to a day by day, blow by blow account detailing the court proceedings. These accounts are so good that in places you can believe yourself to be in the public gallery and can feel the tension and horror as this macabre tale unfolds.
The crimes, which rocked America in the late 60's and early 70's, are truly horrific. Bugliosi does not shy away from revealing the cold, callous and detached nature of each defendant; none of whom show the slightest remorse for their barbaric actions. Neither too are we sheltered from the abundant stabbings, shootings, hangings, and mutilations. There are ample official statements, legal examinations, cross-examinations and personal conversations to satisfy even the most curious. The reader's inclusion 'in the court' so to speak, might for some readers prove too much, but by a combination of thoroughness, attention to detail and style the author takes us into the bizarre world of Charles Manson.
He is a 'wannabe' but unsuccessful musician, drug user and, for more than half of his life, a frequenter of numerous penitentiaries. He is the self-styled guru of 'The Family' where most of the members are young, impressionable runaways. Lost, lonely and anti-establishment they, by numerous avenues end up at Manson's door. Most are female, most claim to be in love with Manson, most claim he possesses special power or is the embodiment of Christ or Satan (terms Manson uses of himself). The late 60's mix of sex, free love and drugs are used to full effect and, more often than not, the girls are used to attract new recruits. In turn, through a dangerous cocktail of charisma, fear and violence, added to delusionary interpretations brought on by 'hidden' meaning in a number of the Beatles songs, Manson creates a dependency upon himself and his words. In short - he controls their thoughts, actions and lives. He, Manson, plays the pipe, they dance in time until they kill to order, but as Bugliosi shows they too are willing participants in this 'game'.
Crucial to the prosecution's case is the motive for the murders - Helter Skelter. Bugliosi shows that through his interpretation of the Beatles lyrics, his predisposition to violence, his anti-establishment and racism, Manson attempts to kick-start a race war in America. BR>If the book has a down side it would be that the real comparisons between Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler are pretty tenuous; Bugliosi's frequent portrayal of himself in the, 'I'm always right' camp when comparing himself to his opponents in defence counsel, gets a bit irritating and the use of aliases with some of the main players in the 'Family' can get confusing at times. That said, for any true crime buffs out there who like their reading material to be a real mix of the gruesome and the legal, this book is a must.
This review covers the 1974 paperback edition.

I highly suggest that everybody read this book. It is, without hesitation, a genuine masterpiece in real life horror.

The first page on the book reads: "The Story in Which You Are About to Read Will Scare the Hell Out of You". That is not an understatement. This book literally kept me up at night fearing that someone could just simply walk into my living room at any minute. It was so vividly described that it put the fear of God in me when I could literally picture the entire array of murders accurately inside my head. It is such a horrifying aspect, a sea of thoughts that will forever remain inside your subconsciousness. I guarantee that when you read the passages describing the horrendous Tate/LaBianca murders, you will gradually build the entire picture inside your brain, to the point where you will feel like you are there, looking down on an excruciating scene of human barbarity. Not ONE detail is left to the imagination.

You will feel like you are inside the investigation, working with Bugliosi to pinpoint these motives, journeying with the killers step by step as they act out there darkest fantasies. You will begin to second guess "The White Album" and be disturbed by Manson's seemingly psychotic interpretation of it. (Make a point to listen to this album afterwards, and you will feel transported back to the Spahn Ranch where the madness soon ensued) You will feel yourself singing crazy ballads with the Family, you will become ancy inside Susan Atkins' jail cell. You will be scared alongside Linda Kasabian on the long night ride to the Tate house. All these feelings and more will incorporate your senses whilst reading this horrifying story.

All I can do to recommend this book enough to you is to say that it stayed with me and disturbed me for years to come. Every time I read this novel, I become obsessed with the events, haunted when I'm lounging around "in the dead of night". Trust me, reading this book is like surviving the events yourself. With its graphic detail and play by play analyzation of every possible occurence, "Helter Skelter" is one of the best true crime novels ever written. I can't suggest a better title for you to read. Be warned, however: Only immerse yourself in this world if you have a desire to be constantly frightened and possess a strong tolerance for graphic descriptions of violence. Not a book for the kiddies!

Reviewed by J.C. Hoyt

Only the absolute BEST pieces of art recieve the highest rating on the universal scale of stars. Hint, hint.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most harrowing crime stories ever...
I first read "Helter Skelter" the same summer I read "In Cold Blood." Both books left indelible images in my psyche and ensured I would never look at the world of crime and investigation the same again.

I've never read a book quite like HS since. Bugliosi and Gentry have written a taught and gripping blow-by-blow account of the two seemingly unconnected streams of events, the Tate/La Bianca murders and Manson's cult, how they horribly intersected and the breathtaking resolution.

Bugliosi's reminiscences provide both the personal anguish that the investigation caused him and his family and the urgent immediacy that gripped him and the community to see that justice was finally done.

Unforgettable and unflinching, "Helter Skelter" forces us to look into the eyes of evil and learn more about ourselves.

See also my reviews of the "Helter Skelter" TV movie and the audio book version.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for facts and court, but...
If what you want is an avalanche of factual detail about the Tate/LaBianca/Hinman murders, the investigation surrounding those murders, and the trials of Manson and some of his Family members, this is the book for you. It's clear that Bugliosi is a gifted prosecutor with a keen eye for detail and organizational abilities worthy of an Army quartermaster on campaign. The guy didn't miss a trick, and his version of events is compelling.

The book, however, would be more compelling by far if Bugliosi understood the meaning of the word "humble." In every facet of the investigation, in every recorded moment of the trial, he is right, and anyone who didn't have his ability with details and organization is wrong. I suppose the problem with exceptionally gifted people is that they often have little patience for those who operate at lesser levels.

Bugliosi's descriptions of the trial and the Everest-like proportions of evidence that needed to be sifted through, make it clear that it all he could do--with the help of LAPD, LASO, and other jurisdictions' police departments--to get his fact investigation taken care of. Certainly, had he not had different police detectives working for him, he never would have been able to present the case as he did. Yet he seems to think that the Manson Family defense attorneys should have been able to keep up with him and realize the significance of everything just as he did. He gives barely a nod to the fact that it was one's first trial, another had never won a trial before, all of them were working hard in a situation where they were probably under threat of their lives, and *none* of them were getting paid much if anything for their work.

Bugliosi had police protection, a guaranteed salary, and information that trickled in over a period of months, leaving him time to assess it for worth. The defense attorneys had clients whose friends just might do more than threaten them if things went bad, wre making little if any money while expending much of their own, and were given information in huge batches that likely overwhelmed them and likely dimmed the significance of any one particular thing. The prosecutor, regardless of discovery rules, has far more of an advantage over the defense than Bugliosi seems willing to admit.

If you take the book at face value, you will probably come to the conclusion that everyone involved in the Manson prosecution and defense, except for Bugliosi, is either foolish, lazy, or stupid. However, if you read it with the intention of picking up the facts of the case and the details of the trial, you will come out of the experience with a great deal of knowledge and the opinion that Bugliosi, maybe, just can't help coming off sounding like a tool.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this 20 years ago
I think that the previous reviews are correct in the fact that this book is very vivid with details and frightening, to say the least. My 14 year old son mentioned wanting to read this book and I instantly recalled my horror while reading this about 20 years ago. I have been told that the cover is the only big change in the editions since it was first printed. I can see why many readers had a hard time sleeping after putting down this book. I read constantly and love to read non-fiction but I have never had a book consume me as this one did. You are truly transported back in time and to the depths of evil while reading this engrossing, true account. After reading so many books over the years, I usually have to have some prompting to remember exactly which book someone is referring to. That will never be the case with this book. It will stay with you forever. I no longer have my older version and am still considering whether my son is mature enough to read this but I recommend this book to anyone who wants an in depth look at these events. ... Read more

76. Almost Paradise : The East Hampton Murder of Ted Ammon
by Kieran Crowley
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312340230
Catlog: Book (2005-02-19)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 195166
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!
This book grabs you from the first page and just doesn't let go. In fact, it gets better and better as the story progresses. Even though you have an idea where you're going, there is so much drama that you can never be sure exactly how or when you are going to get there, and you keep on reading because you just have to know. I found myself thinking about the characters, their lifestyles, and their behaviors, even when I was not actually reading the book - it really stays with you. Mr. Crowley is brilliant in his ability to weave thousands of details, culled from hundreds of hours spent interviewing dozens of people, into a story that is not only cohesive and easy to follow, but totally engrossing. As a previous reviewer stated, this book is just about impossible to put down. I think I lost about two hours of sleep every night before I was done reading it. Well worth it though!

5-0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
Even though I basically knew what would happen in the book, as soon as I started it I couldn't put this book down.The background information on the main characters was so interesting and I really got to "know" them.The author does not influence your opinion, as he writes objectively and obviously based on legitimate sources, not conjecture or opinion--just as a good news reporter should.The court scenes are just as interesting as the rest of the book.

I highly recommend the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Detail
This book held my attention with its carefully researched details and inside peek at the Ammon murder case.I could not put it down!

4-0 out of 5 stars We Thought We Knew Everything About The Ammons-Not!
I pre-ordered this book a few months ago and tore into it when it arrived yesterday.I stayed up all night reading it and went to work exhausted this morning.Once you start reading this book you won't put it down.Unless you absolutely have to.While I followed the murder from Day 1 (I live in NYC)to the recent sentencing of Danny Pelosi for the murder, after reading Mr. Crowley's book, I realize I knew nothing about the people involved.

He has thoroughly researched Ted and Generosa Ammon, as well as Danny Pelosi and other people connected with the case.At first you get a real sense of what Generosa must have endured as a child.However, as you turn each page, she becomes less and less sympathetic.By the end of the book you wish Ted had killed HER.I know that sounds cruel, but read the book!If she had lived, would she have been arrested and tried as an accomplice to her husband's murder.Probably.

I will surely be re-reading this book over the weeks to come to perhaps pick up something I missed the first time.Did Danny Pelosi really kill him?Believe it or not, I still have serious doubts he did it.In a CBS 48 HOURS interview recently, he said if he had been the murderer it would have taken only four blows to kill Ammon.Ammon received numerous hits with both a stun gun and a fire poker.I think more than one person was involved in this murder.However, we will never know since we weren't there that night when Mr. Ammon died.

I do remember when the new, beautiful Jazz At Lincoln Center opened, I thought about Ted Ammon and felt sad he wasn't there to enjoy something he had a hand in bringing about.By the time you get to the middle of the book you will wish he had divorced Generosa years before.He didn't.He died.I just wonder what on earth is going to happen to those poor children.Will they ever be able to live a normal, happy and productive life?I sincerely hope so.Only when they make their mark on the world in a positive way will this story have a happy ending.

It's a great read.Mr. Crowley should be very proud of this book. ... Read more

77. Black Mass : The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob
by Dick Lehr, Gerard O'Neill
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0060959258
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 12439
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

John Connoly and James "Whitey" Bulger grew up together on the streets of South Boston. Decades later, in the mid 1970's, they would meet again.  By then, Connolly was a major figure in the FBI's Boston office and Whitey had become godfather of the Irish Mob.  What happened next -- a dirty deal to being down the Italian mob in exchange for protection for Bulger -- would spiral out of control, leading to murders, drug dealing, racketeering indictments, and, ultimately, the biggest informant scandal in the history of the FBI.

Compellingly told by two Boston Globe reporters who were on the case from the beginning, Black Mass is at once a riveting crime story, a cautionary tale about the abuse of power, and a penetrating look at Boston and its Irish population.

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Reviews (175)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Incredible Journey
In this case we see how a covert operation can be carried out and its participants dispensed with when the job is done. The government is shredding Flemmi's family apart, turning relatives against one another. It seems plausible a number of players now prevalent in the Bulger case are in fact long term plants held in abeyance until the time is right, such as with Martorano and Weeks.

An acquaintance who has been totally destroyed since Bulger fled in 1995 has been approached by individuals claiming family ties to the upper tiers of local and national FBI managementwhile having been misled by the Justice Management Division of the Department of Justice. These approaches usually involve intimidation or extortion with the deliverers claiming FBI affiliation in the Merrimack Valley region of northern Massachusetts which includes a regional FBI office outside of the Boston office.

Has the Defense Investigative Service and FBI teamed up to squeeze a child of Bulger or a close friend of Bulger's to keep Bulger away?

Are Whitey Bulger and Flemmi's names being smeared to bringclosure to their roles in a covert operation?

3-0 out of 5 stars Leaves a lot out
O'Neill & Lehr have a history with the Bulger brothers as does Jeremiah O'Sullivan. O'Neill & Lehr interviewed William Bulger about misconstrued dealings with 75 State Street. Whitey had an advocate in former Speaker of the House John McCormack, who believed Whitey could do quite well if given half a chance. Whitey also worked for a short time as a custodian at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. William Bulger is heavily connected, having ties to Jackie Birmingham, Thomas Birmingham's father, Senator John Kerry who has indirect ties to the extended Kennedy clan and many other notables. In his book William Bulger details how thorough FBI scrutiny can be and it is likely the FBI has extensively monitored the entire family. What might have happened in this case is that drastic measures were taken to mediate the escalating violence of the Mclean-Mclaughlin wars which claimed many more lives than what Bulger and Flemmi have been accused of taking. It is unlikely that action against Connolly, Flemmi and Bulger will effect any long term solution, as the system their organization perpetuated has strong buy in at the highest levels of government. Going after these 3 is like a company firing an executive to quench the public thirst for vengeance, but the organization itself perpetuates with new players. There are many many more individuals such as Flemmi and Bulger in the area and which have not gotten anywhere near the heat these guys have. They have been listed in local newspapers.And there has been a much stronger link between organized crime and law enforcement than one might suspect. Organized crime may actually help law enforcement by breaking down geographical regions into empires of control and holding those organized crime groups accountable, thus minimizing random crime.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can i have more please?
This is a study in how informants are made and maintained... Here is an example of how one man, probably linked to this case without his knowledge, was approached..

The man worked for a government contractor and shortly after weird things began happening. He suddenly lost a good civilian job,began getting routine IRS audits, had phone and email problems, and was approached by a number of women who befriended the man, rejected overtures for dates, then reported back the man was gay--falsely. Friends speculated NSA,the CIA or FBI was involved because all of these have a role in this Bulger case. Then the man became unemployable and had evidence of continuous bank record monitoring. When new 'friends' appeared and the man began noting checks on money being used to help them, those bank records suddenly became tampered with and the records unavailable, as if referring to a classified employee.

4-0 out of 5 stars Depressing but fascinating
Written by two veteran Boston reporters, "Black Mass" is a story of crime and corruption that turns into a gripping tale of good intentions gone awry. Taking place on the mean streets of South Boston, a mere twenty miles or so from where I've lived my whole life, this book tells of a violent intersection of cultures: the tribal culture of Irish America, the often-closed culture of the Federal Bureau of investigation, and the violent culture of organized crime. And unfortunately, it's all true. At bottom, "Black Mass" presents a haze of divided allegiances and moral ambiguity, that may well shake your faith in our government-appointed protectors.

Looming large over the whole story is the imposing figure of James J. Bulger Jr., or "Whitey Buljah" as he is more commonly known around these parts. Long before the Bloods and Crips were household names, Bulger emerged from a culture where street gangs were omnipresent and career options for adults were mostly restricted to the Armed services, politics, factory and police work, or crime. Unfortunately, Whitey Bulger never quite outgrew the gang culture of his youth, and he proved exceedingly skilled at the crime profession. As intelligent as he was soulless, Bulger graduated from street enforcer to bank robber (with a stint in Alactraz along the way) to organized crime kingpin with his hand in all things illegal as the head of the vicious Winter Hill Gang. Along for the ride was the aptly nicknamed Stevie "The Rifleman" Flemmi, a barbaric killer whose Mafia connections made him a perfect stoolie in the Boston FBI's war against the Mafia.

It was in 1975 against the backdrop of the FBI's battle with La Cosa Nostra that FBI agent John Connolly, who emerged from the same projects as Bulger, crafted a plan to bring Whitey and Flemmi into the Bureau's fold as informants. It sounded like a sweet deal for all those concerned: Bulger and Flemmi got to take out the Winter Hill Gang's competition, and the FBI got a well-placed ally in its effort to bring down Boston's ruling Angiulo family. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way. The FBI did manage to bring down the Angiulos, due largely to its now-legendary wiretapping operation at Gennaro Angiulo's headquarters, but Bulger and Flemmi remained connected to the FBI long after they had outlived their usefulness. In fact, as this book makes clear, the two gangsters greatly enlarged their stature in Boston's underworld during the 1980's, and they did it with the full knowledge and even collaboration of the FBI.

As O'Neill and Lehr explain, the shared South Boston origins of Bulger and Connolly, which seemed like such an asset back in 1975 when Connolly was recruiting Whitey, ultimately became a liability. Coming from a tight-knit, tribal culture like Southie, Connolly couldn't exactly be counted on to maintain his objectivity in dealing with Bulger, whom he even came to refer to as a "good bad guy." An even deeper problem, though, was John Connolly himself: a smooth-talking lady's man who liked the high life a bit too much, Connolly eventually became virtually indistinguishable from his prized informants. Hanging out with Bulger and Flemmi and accepting their gifts, Connolly didn't just look the other way while Bulger, Flemmi & Co. enlarged their empire and the bodies piled up; he was an active assistant in their operation. Although they were frequently pursued by the Massachusetts State Police, local detectives, and even the DEA, the two gangsters were virtually untouchable.

Perhaps even worse, O'Neill and Lehr make it clear that the FBI's mishandling of its two prized informants went beyond John Connolly's corruption to encompass a massive institutional failure. With Connolly corrupted and a series of supervisors compromised, the Bureau's guidelines for oversight of informants became essentially null and void. Falsified reports that exaggerated Bulger and Flemmi's usefulness while understating their criminal activities became the norm, and even those in other law enforcement agencies who suspected something amiss had their efforts blocked. One painful lesson to be drawn from this book is that the law is only as strong as those who enforce it. When those charged with stopping crime drift to the other side, where do we turn then?

4-0 out of 5 stars Into the shredder
This is a captivating account of government methods,psychology and ethics. But ask yourself this:
Say Whitey or Flemmi or any other informants has children, does the government lay claim to those children to replace their parents in these roles? Will the government destroy such people if they do not want this kind of life? Take an example of one man who is said to have a father unknown to him but is alleged to have been a friend of Whitey unknown to the boy...
Before Bulger fled the man worked for a company with defense contracts and was told he was being cleared for a basic security clearance. The process took over a year and a half and required the man to sign an affidavit with the alleged defense official claiming never to file for bankruptcy again after being advised it was the only way to get the clearance and keep the job at the time after a lengthy unemployment. About a year after this process, the man was featured in a local Massachusetts newspaper looking for answers to his long last father. The paper changed ownership shortly after and the editor and reporter were unknown to the new editor and reporters. Shortly after Whitey fled the man was suddenly fired but not before being told by an alleged government official that he was to be monitored for an indeterminate amount of time and with no definitive scope to the monitoring or reason why. After being fired, the man had an IRS levy with no notice, annual IRS audits,missing money from his bank account in which the IRS had an account with the same national bank and threatening calls. Progressively the man was financially strangled and it became apparent the goal was to ruin him financially and monitor his communications and parties to which he was communicating.The end result was to bankrupt the man, make him unemployable, and to ultimately make him homeless and without a means to maintain a phone. The man was sequestered with a group of 10 people(which number matches a group of 10 alleged witnesses sequestered and announced as witnesses against Bulger in 1999 but which has never come to pass)who tormented the man for being responsible for the Bulger fiasco whil staging photos,etc. to make it look like the man was happily working with such a group.
New "friends" entered the man's life and as the man grew to like and trust them,they announced a friend or family member in the FBI just before the man was screwed in one form or another.This was a man with no criminal past.
Why has the government reform committee and now the Massachusetts state police given up on investigating this whole thing and why would the U.S. government target and destroy a person for a past unknown to them? Does Flemmi,Bulger or some other principal in the Bulger case have a child that is being used as a whipping boy to force cooperation or to keep perhaps Bulger in hiding? ... Read more

78. A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath
by Jeanine Cummins
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0451210530
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: New American Library
Sales Rank: 24683
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When my parents packed my brother, sister and me into the family van and drove us to Missouri for Spring Break, we brought our entirely imagined city-hardness with us. The hard truth that we were about to learn was that, in fact, we weren't tough kids at all. Our life in the city had not prepared us for anything. Nothing could prepare us for this.

A Rip in Heaven is Jeanine Cummins's story of a night in April 1991, when her two cousins, Julie and Robin Kerry, and her brother, Tom, were assaulted on the Chain of Rocks Bridge that spans the Mississippi River just outside of St. Louis. When, after a harrowing ordeal, Tom managed to escape the attackers and flag down help, he thought the nightmare would soon be over. He couldn't have been more wrong. Tom, his sister Jeanine, and their entire family were just at the beginning of a horrific odyssey through the aftermath of a violent crime, a world of shocking betrayal, endless heartbreak, and utter disillusionment. It was a trial by fire from which no one would emerge unscathed.

This is one family's intimate, immediate, and unforgettable story of what victims can suffer long after they should be safe.
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Taking the Story Back
So much of what we see in the media today sensationalizes the brutality of crime and in some sense celebrates the monsters who commit them. The stories become about them, and the victims and their families are all too quickly forgotten.

Thanks to Jeanine Cummins, we get an insightful look into one family's ordeal, their struggle to come to terms with the sensation that rose up around the case and how the media focuses all too often on the criminals.

But at its heart, this is a loving tribute to her lost cousins, Robin and Julie. This book serves, beautifully, in taking their story and remembering truly what has been lost. For over a decade, the focus has been on the bad guys who she portrays quite evenly given her closeness to the subject matter. Now the story has been take back as a fitting memoir to her cousins, told with an insight into what it means to be victimized that we could all stand to learn from.

4-0 out of 5 stars Riveting
I too read this book quickly, staying up one night until 2 or 3 in the morning, and I was riveted. I agree that the account of the aftermath was drawn out and took away from the description of the crime itself, but I can appreciate the relief that came from sharing that experience.

A couple of weeks after reading the book I had a chance encounter with Jeanine and Tom Cummins' mother - it was a complete coincidence that I came to realize who she was. The book had quite an impact on me, and meeting someone face to face who was so intimately involved forever etched this story in my mind.

It's a stark reminder that evil does exist, that chance encounters can change your life forever, that you should trust your instincts and listen to your mother, and that only the good die young.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Story!
I read this book in one day. That's a big deal for me. I thought the author did a fantastic job.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tell the tale, then stop....
The heart of this book is chapters 4 through 11, where we are given a taut, detailed account of the brutal attacks and of the hours of abuse suffered by the surviving victim at the hands of St. Louis homocide detectives.

Chapters 12 through 15 (about 60 pages) cover the investigation, apprehension, and trials of the vermin responsible. Unfortunately, the author goes on to tell us all about parole hearings and execution stays and Ricki Lake and Court TV and thus manages to actually drain away some of the disturbing power of the tale she has so skillfully told.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a Powerful Tribute
Not being from that part of the country, I was unfamiliar with the crime and had never heard of the Kerry sisters until I picked up this book. Now I feel like I've been privileged enough to get to know them in a small way. What a wonderful tribute to these girls, and what an amazing thing the author did for her cousins and brother by writing this book to give them a voice. If anything ever happened to me or one of my loved ones, I could only hope that we would have a champion like Ms. Cummins to make sure we were not forgotten. The book also made me examine my own thoughts and feelings on the justice system and capital punishment. Very thought-provoking. I've been recommending it to all my friends. ... Read more

79. Scene of the Crime : Photographs from the LAPD Archive
by Tim Wride, James Ellroy, William J. Bratton
list price: $35.00
our price: $22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810950022
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 6881
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Book Description

Los Angeles in the decades after the Depression was a smoldering powder keg of vice, corruption, violence, and some of the most sensational crimes in American history. The Black Dahlia slaying, the Onion Field murder, film star Thelma Todd's mysterious death, the killing of Kansas City gangsters "The Two Tonys" by Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratiano: these are but a few of the cases that once riveted the nation's attention and were captured in striking crime-scene and forensic photographs for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Long forgotten in a warehouse, these recently discovered photographs from the LAPD archive form a powerful visual history of the underbelly of Los Angeles from the 1930s to the 1960s. Although disquieting and often brutal, the images have an atmospheric, eerie beauty that belies their documentary purpose. They are accompanied here by captions from police logs and original newspaper accounts, along with an introduction by James Ellroy, the leading practitioner of the Los Angeles noir genre, and an essay by curator Tim B. Wride discussing the archive's importance to social history and the history of photography. AUTHOR BIO: William J. Bratton is the 55th chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and has also served as police commissioner for both the Boston and the New York City police departments. James Ellroy's books include the international best-sellers The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz, and American Tabloid. Tim B. Wride is associate curator of photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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80. Shot in the Heart
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 0385422938
Catlog: Book (1994-05-01)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 429339
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Gary Gilmore, the infamous murderer immortalizedby Norman Mailer in The Executioner's Song, campaigned for his own death and wasexecuted by firing squad in 1977. Writer Mikal Gilmore is his younger brother. In Shot in the Heart, he tells the stunning story oftheir wildly dysfunctional family: their mother, ablacksheep daughter of unforgiving Mormon farmers;their father, a drunk, thief, and con man. It wasa family destroyed by a multigenerational historyof child abuse, alcoholism, crime, adultery, andmurder. Mikal, burdened with the guilt of being hisfather's favorite and the shame of being Gary'sbrother, gracefully and painfully relates a murdertale "from inside the house where murder isborn... a house that, in some ways, [he has] neverbeen able to leave." Shot in theHeart is the history of an American familyinextricably tied up with violence, and the storyof how the children of this family committed murderand murdered themselves in payment for a longlineage of ruin. Haunting, harrowing, and profoundlyaffecting, Shot in the Heart exposes and explores a dark vein of American lifethat most of us would rather ignore. It is a bookthat will leave no reader unchanged. ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Still powerful years after putting it down
As someone who grew up in Provo, Utah, the site of one of Gary Gilmore's murders, I was aware of his infamy during my youth in that staunch Mormon community. I faintly remember the hype surrounding his execution, as well as the premiere of "The Executioner's Song" years later. Perhaps it is emblematic of one's youth, but I don't think I took his crimes or emotional composition seriously. In fact, after watching "The Executioner's Song" on television, my friends and I took a drive to the motel where Gilmore murdered a desk clerk; we did it more for the sensation of being at the scene of the past crime than to commemorate the victim or to ponder the mind of the killer.

Fortunately, years later, I was able to read "Shot in the Heart," which still carries a strong emotional impact many years after the reading. Mikal Gilmore's recollections, insight, and unflinching writing create one of the most powerful books I've ever read.

Gilmore opens the door to a home that transcends the labels "dysfunctional" or "abusive." He takes us inside the house--and sometimes the heads--of those who lived a nightmare, and shows, among other things, how that experience caused one of his brothers to bury his emotions and become a lonely wanderer while it pushed another into a life of delinquency, crime, and murder. The book is a fascinating, first-hand study of the impact of the family dynamic, social and religious judgement, and civic injustice on the lives of an unassuming American family.

I sometimes scoff at the preponderance of five-star reviews on Amazon, but I cannot recommend this title more.

5-0 out of 5 stars No black and white, just shades of grey...
I don't know that I've ever been so moved reading a book. It begins with a look at the Mormon world in which the Gilmores' mother grew up, and the somewhat murky past of the older father - both backgrounds laced with violence, physical and of the emotions - going on to relate the tragic unfolding of events for the whole family. It is written throughout with grace and exquisite sensitivity: Mikal Gilmore does not fail to notice a softened tone or a distressed look and, by his acute observations, bares some of the multiple strands of humanity and brutality and goodness and "evil" impulses in all around him (and himself). If one reads this book and still clings to a black/white view of human behaviour, then I give up hope. A powerful, deeply touching read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still My All Time Favorite Book
When I bought this book I was at an age where I had no time to think about others, only myself, plus I was never much of a reader. But from the very first page I could not put it down. Mikal Gilmore is a wonderful writer -- and to this day, my favorite author. The honesty in this book spoke to my heart. It finally showed me that not all our pasts are the same, that some carry infinitely more pain than others, and that we should try our best to see and understand that in all that we meet.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Chilling,compelling story that can't be put down!
It took many years for writer Mikal Gilmore,youngest brother of Gary Gilmore,to decide to tell the story of the Gilmore family.Grappling with haunting ghosts of his past to try to dig deep to unravel the mystery of the crimes within his family,starting with his father,brothers Gaylen,& Gary;he tells a compelling story,that makes the reader hunger for more.
The book starts out with Mikal delving into the history of the Mormon religion to illustrate some points about his Mother's background,& the practice of blood atonement being the ultimate forgiveness of sins.The rest of the book is a chronicle of lives of his family members beginning with his mother's roots & upbringing,her meeting Frank Gilmore Sr.,& the events that unfurled during their marriage & as their boys came to be: Frank Jr.,Gary,Gaylen,& Mikal.It's a haunting story of crime,family violence,distance,& Mikal's eventual coming to terms with his roots.
A good majority of the story is about Mikal's brother Gary.Eleven years senior from Mikal,hence the distanced relationship as Gary spent many years in a reform school for boys,& lengthy periods in jail,before his release in April 1976.It was the summer of 1976 that Gary came unglued - following the breakup of his girlfriend Nicole, in a killing spree,on two subsequent nights that took the lives of two young Mormon men.Gary was captured the next day,& sentenced in October of that year to the death penalty which he refused all appeals for & lobbied for the expediency of the sentence,following a 16 year moratorium of the death penalty which was reinstated that year.
Mikal opens a pandoras box as he goes back to that time to talk about the murders,& his visits with Gary on death row.
This book was beautifully written,sensitive,& compelling.It was difficult for me to put it down.It explained a great deal about how a negative, violent family environment can play a role in criminal behaviour.Gary once called himself 'The Eternal Recidivist',& after reading about some of the goings on in that house,it was easy to see how he & his brother Gaylen got mixed up in criminal activity,especially with a criminal father.
After reading 'The Executioner's Song' by Norman Mailer,the chronicle of the events of the summer of 1976 to the execution of Gilmore in 1977,I thought this book was a good follow up & a must read.Mikal also extolts the virtues of Mailers book & recommend it as reading,as the book was a factual non judgemental account of his brother.
I give this book 2 thumbs up & highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for ALL readers
I read this book last year as a freshman in high school and it remains one of the best books that I have ever read. The story is exciting and interesting and once I started, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend it to everyone, especially teenagers. It is not often that teachers choose books for their students to read that the students really enjoy. All of my classmates that chose to read this book enjoyed it. If you are looking for a genuinely enjoyable book, no matter who you are, try this one. You'll definately be satisfied with it. ... Read more

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