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21. I Was a Killer for the Hells Angels
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22. The Art of the Steal : How to
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23. Wiseguy
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24. Party Monster : A Fabulous But
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25. The Hoax
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26. Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life
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27. Scene of the Crime : Photographs
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28. A Mind for Murder: The Real-Life
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31. Honor Killing : How the Infamous
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32. Beware the Night
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34. The Art of the Steal: Inside the
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36. Fraud Examination
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37. Final Accounting : Ambition, Greed
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38. Doctor Dealer: The Rise and Fall
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39. Black Mass : The True Story of
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40. Deadly American Beauty: A True

21. I Was a Killer for the Hells Angels : The Story of Serge Quesnal
by PIERRE MARTINEAU
list price: $7.95
our price: $7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771054920
Catlog: Book (2003-10-07)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Sales Rank: 48334
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The shocking confession of a five-time murderer

When I arrived at the restaurant, my boss gave me a wad of $20 bills, which amounted to some $2,000. He was acting as though money was burning a hole in his pockets. But this suited me fine. Melou often acted that way. He didn’t want me to run out of money. A happy killer is a productive killer.

When he was fifteen years old, Serge Quesnel started hanging out in strip bars and committing minor thefts and burglaries. He soon became known to the police. He learned more about crime when he served time, first in a detention centre, and then later in the infamous Donnacona federal penitentiary. On his release, he was ready to realize his true ambition, to become a confederate of the Hells Angels.

To achieve this ambition, he set out to prove that he could hurt, maim, and kill people efficiently and without a qualm. His first murder victim was a drug dealer who was giving the local Angels chapter trouble. He and a friend beat the dealer to a pulp and then calmly wiped the crime scene clean of fingerprints. The Angels were impressed. He moved to Trois-Rivières and became a full-time enforcer.

Quesnel, having now “sold out” to the authorities and assumed a new identity, tells his story of violence and betrayal in chilling detail to Quebec journalist, Pierre Martineau. The resulting chronicle is a modern crime classic.
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Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars I was a killer for the Hells Angels: The Story of Serge
Not a very good or entertaining book. More of a ramblimg egomaniac's diary. The book did not contain much detail on the events and jumped around way too much. He tries to make himself into a heavy and when it got hot he turned.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I just finished reading this book yesterday. It's a great book, not much detail in regards to the angels, it's just a biography on one of it's members. Good story, very easy read. ... Read more


22. The Art of the Steal : How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Fraud, America's #1 Crime
by FRANK W. ABAGNALE
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0767906845
Catlog: Book (2002-11-12)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 25014
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The world--famous former con artist and bestselling author of Catch Me if You Can now reveals the mind--boggling tricks of the scam trade--with advice that has made him one of America's most sought--after fraud--prevention experts.

"I had as much knowledge as any man alive concerning the mechanics of forgery, check swindling, counterfeiting, and other similar crimes. Ever since I'd been released from prison, I'd often felt that if I directed this knowledge into the right channels, I could help people a great deal. Every time I went to the store and wrote a check, I would see two or three mistakes made on the part of the clerk or cashier, mistakes that a flimflam artist would take advantage of. . . . In a certain sense, I'm still a con artist. I'm just putting down a positive con these days, as opposed to the negative con I used in the past. I've merely redirected the talents I've always possessed. I've applied the same relentless attention to working on stopping fraud that I once applied to perpetuating fraud."

In Catch Me if You Can, Frank W. Abagnale recounted his youthful career as a master imposter and forger. In The Art of the Steal, Abagnale tells the remarkable story of how he parlayed his knowledge of cons and scams into a successful career as a consultant on preventing financial foul play--while showing you how to identify and outsmart perpetrators of fraud.

Technology may have made it easier to track down criminals, but cyberspace has spawned a skyrocketing number of ways to commit crime--much of it untraceable. Businesses are estimated to lose an unprecedented $400 billion a year from fraud of one sort or another. If we were able to do away with fraud for just two years, we'd erase the national debt and pay Social Security for the next one hundred years. However, Abagnale has discovered that punishment for committing fraud, much less recovery of stolen funds, seldom happens: Once you're a victim, you won't get your money back. Prevention is the best form of protection.

Drawn from his twenty-five years of experience as an ingenious con artist (whose check scams alone mounted to more than $2 million in stolen funds), Abagnale's The Art of the Steal provides eye-opening stories of true scams, with tips on how they can be prevented. Abagnale takes you deep inside the world and mind of the con artist, showing you just how he pulled off his scams and what you can do to avoid becoming the next victim. You'll hear the stories of notorious swindles, like the mustard squirter trick and the "rock in the box" ploy, and meet the criminals like the famous Vickers Gang who perpetrated them.You'll find out why crooks wash checks and iron credit cards and why a thief brings glue with him to the ATM. And finally, you'll learn how to recognize a bogus check or a counterfeit bill, and why you shouldn't write your grocery list on a deposit slip.
A revealing look inside the predatory criminal mind from a former master of the con, The Art of the Steal is the ultimate defense against even the craftiest crook.
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative follow-up to "Catch Me If You Can"
"Art of the Steal" is an informative book from master confidence man Frank Abagnale. It begins as a sequel to Abagnale's "Catch Me If You Can" (filling in the years between the end of the first book and Abagnale's reinvention as a fraud-prevention guru), and quickly becomes a sort of reference book and strategy guide, enumerating numerous prevalent financial scams, and describing sensible techniques for preventing fraud. Abagnale speaks at length about check, credit-card and ATM fraud, counterfeit designer apparel and consumer goods, Internet-based fraud, and security features of modern U.S. currency. The book is well-organized, with plenty of anecdotes throughout (the most entertaining is a phone scam in which somebody uses a 1-900 area code to achieve dubious results). Overall, "Art of the Steal" is not quite as much fun as "Catch Me If You Can", but it's an admirable effort nonetheless. This is a more business-minded book, where you'll find lots of good information, if it's the sort of information you're looking for.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for everyone, including digital security pros
I typically read and review books on digital security. I bought "The Art of the Steal" (TAOTS) after being captivated by "Catch Me If You Can." TAOTS is an incredible book, but not because it is a masterpiece of English literature. Rather, TAOTS is an amazing and personalized tour of a seedy underworld where ingenuity serves evil purposes. In this dark economy, criminals prey on the ignorance, greed, or benevolence of their victims. It's worth taking the time to read TAOTS, because it can help prevent you becoming a victim.

I simply couldn't imagine some of the scams Abagnale explains. The audacity of the criminal mind cannot be underestimated. The author's discussions of check fraud, embezzlement, and creative ways to cheat retailers astounded me. His explanation of counterfeiting currency was especially prescient, as this week the US Treasury announced multicolor $20 bills. I wonder if Abagnale was consulted?

Although I really enjoyed the book, I gave it four stars. Abagnale should have included citations for his fraud stories. Otherwise, how can one be sure the tales are fact and not fiction? I would have also like a "lessons learned" or "best practices" summary at the end of each chapter. Nevertheless, I echo Tom Hank's recommend that everyone who has money should read TAOTS.

4-0 out of 5 stars The beginner's guide to understanding fraud.
This is the beginner's guide to understanding the sinister world of fraud in the United States and throughout the world. Mr. Abagnale describes some of the techniques confidence men use to further their malicious aims -- and what we can do to stop it. Perhaps one of the most interesting chapters is the one on counterfeiting. Here, we tend to think of those crazy characters who think they can create a $20 bill from their laser printer. Instead, all sorts of things are counterfeited, unfortunately. Those who counterfeit very detailed, expensive, and highly technical products, such as airline parts, are malicious individuals who have absolutely no regard for the welfare of those who they are subjecting to this abuse.

Thankfully, as Mr. Abagnale points out, many of us are capable of preventing ourselves from being victims. We do not have to be victims. If we heed the advice of Mr. Abagnale--formerly a confidence man himself--perhaps we can prevent further abuses. We'll never stop fraud, he tells us. Of course. But if we read his and other books on stopping it, at least we won't be the victims.

4-0 out of 5 stars comprehensive and pretty up-to-date
This is a very easy-to-read and useful compendium of information about common forms of fraud
and how to protect yourself from them. I've read numerous books of this type, and this is
the one I would recommend most highly today for being up-to-date and comprehensive. Abagnale
often gives unsourced anecdotes, but there are several that I recognize from newspaper or
other accounts I've read. My only real complaints with the book were that Abagnale says he uses
his children's birthdays for his PIN numbers (p. 149) which is bad advice given the ease
of obtaining birth certificates, his account of being the victim of credit card theft
over the Internet (pp. 151-153) doesn't seem entirely accurate unless he really did submit
his credit card number, and his statement about viruses arising from mere copying of legitimate
software (p. 176) is incorrect. He also missed an opportunity to warn about fake escrow
sites (p. 162). Apart from this, however, I think the book contains very valuable warnings
and advice.

4-0 out of 5 stars This book changed my view on the world
I picked a book - "Catch me if you can" on the counter at the grocery store. It's been two-three month since I see the movie. So I decide to check how book would be different from the motion picture. Needless to say I was eating this book by the hour, by the end of the second day I was over and I were still hungry. I went to the store and bought "The Art of Steal". I probably will never forget this book experience. It changed my view on the world, it changed me. I would joins Tom Hanks and everybody else who would advice this book as something everybody should read.

I gave this book 4 start just because I think that Frank Abagnail has not picture the world of Internet fraud quite correctly. As IT specialist I felt that Frank sometimes oversimplifies or making the problems bigger then they really are. The book is not a story like and it's contains a lot tips, facts, etc., which might get tiresome to read, so I had sometimes to force myself through chapters. ... Read more


23. Wiseguy
by Nicholas Pileggi
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671723227
Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 7686
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"At the age of twelve my ambition was to become a gangster. To be a wiseguy. Being a wiseguy was better than being President of the United States. To be a wiseguy was to own the world." -- Henry Hill

Wiseguy is Nicholas Pileggi's remarkable bestseller, the most intimate account ever printed of life inside the deadly high-stakes world of what some people call the Mafia. Wiseguy is Henry Hill's story, in fascinating, brutal detail, the never-before-revealed day-to-day life of a working mobster -- his violence, his wild spending sprees, his wife, his mistresses, his code of honor.

Henry Hill knows where a lot of bodies are buried, and he turned Federal witness to save his own life. The mob is still hunting him for what he reveals in Wiseguy: hundreds of crimes including arson, extortion, hijacking, and the $6 million Lufthansa heist, the biggest successful cash robbery in U.S. history, which led to ten murders. A firsthand account of the secret world of the mob,

Wiseguy is more compelling than any novel. ... Read more

Reviews (82)

5-0 out of 5 stars Readable and Gripping
Pileggi's gripping narrative gives an inside view of life in the New York crime syndicate. Ex-mobster Henry Hill describes his 25-year career as a hijacker, arsonist, and thief. Hill and his associates operated via a combination of bribes, intimidation, crooked cops, and greedy businessmen eager for stolen merchandise (swag). Lest readers be misinformed, Hill's associates (if not Hill) murdered not just renegade mobsters, but ordinary citizens who got in the way. This book both glamorizes and attacks the swaggering, fast-money Mafia lifestyle. Hill entered FBI witness protection in 1980 after his bust for narcotics distribution left him a marked man for having violated syndicate rules against drug trafficking. Director Martin Scorsese turned this book into the superb 1990 movie "Goodfellows." Pileggi followed with "Casino," another fine narrative (and Scorsese movie) that investigates Midwest mob influence in Las Vegas. "Wiseguy" is a very absorbing and informative read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of its Type
Anyone who may have seen the movie Godfellas, might have thought the movie too fast paced to follow. That is not the case for this book from which the movie was made. This non-fiction tale of Henry Hill, a soldier in one of the smaller New York crime families is very easy to follow as well as extremely difficult to put down once you start. You actually develop a liking for the main character, who is way more passive then his two partners who kill without compunction or remorse. Though none of them ever becomes a 'made' man, they seem to be right on the cusp of a lot of big Mafia related events that happened in the 1970's and 80's. Having read The Valachi Papers and Sammy Gravanno's autobiography, I find this book the best of the bunch.

5-0 out of 5 stars Memoir of a "Frontline" mafioso
Wiseguy is the story of Henry Hill, a relatively minor associate member of the Luchese crime family of New York. Henry Hill is a half-Irish, half-Sicilian boy, who knew from a very early age that he wanted to be a wiseguy, a gangster. The movie "Goofellas", starring Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, is a rather good adaptation of this book. The book tells the story of Henry Hill, how he eventually becomes an errand boy for the Varios, a family of mafioso under the umbrella of the Lucheses (one of the Five Families in New York) and works his way up the ladder, making bigger heists, bigger scores, and loving every minute of it. Only when his involvement as a drug dealer and his subsequent arrest threaten to put him away for a long time does Hill finally make the decision to rat out his friends of 25 years and enter the Witness Protection Program in exchange for information leading to the conviction of bigger fish.

The book also takes down the recollections of Henry Hill's wife, Karen, who, despite an upper-crust upbringing, is irresistably drawn to the danger and excitement Henry brings into her otherwise humdrum, yet comfortable life.

Overall, this book paints an interesting portrait of life as a career criminal, where larceny, armed robbery, and intimidation are all in a day's work. This is in stark contrast to those familiar with "The Godfather" which is more about the lives of Mafia "royalty" and how the problems of wealthy, pwerful people are similar, whether they are kings, heads of state, or leaders of crime syndicates.

4-0 out of 5 stars great book
I admit that this book is really good, but "life inside a mafia famiy" is a stretch considering Hill wasn't even a made man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, better movie.
This of course is the all time classic that the best movie of the 90's was based on - Yes Im talking about Goodfellas. A lot of the exact quotes and dialogue of this book can be found in the movie. I loved the book and I have read it a few times in the past 10 years or so but I have probably seen Goodfellas no fewer than 50 times. Real life events make better stories than fiction sometimes and this proves it. Check out Henry Hills website. I think its called www.GoodfellaHenry.com or something like that. He has "threat of the week" on there and everyone emails him calling him a rat. Fun stuff. ... Read more


24. Party Monster : A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland
by James St. James
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743259823
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 10614
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Murder Was Never So Much Fun!


When Disco Bloodbath was first published, it created a storm of controversy for its startlingly vivid, strikingly fresh, and outrageously funny depiction of the hedonistic world of the New York City club kids, for whom nothing was too outré -- including murder. Nominated for the Edgar Award for best true-crime book of the year, it also marked the debut of an audaciously talented writer, James St. James, who himself had been a club kid and close friend and confidant of Michael Alig, the young man convicted of killing the drug dealer known as Angel.

Now the book has been brought to the screen as Party Monster, with Macaulay Culkin playing killer Michael Alig and Seth Green as author/celebutante James St. James. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars An adventure
I had no idea what world I was about to enter when I started this adventure with James St. James. His use of storytelling is absolutly fabulous, at times I felt like I was right there in NYC with the rest of the club kids. Prior to reading this book I knew nothing of the New York City club life St. James writes about, but his story of Michael Alig doesn't just tell of the murder of Angel Melendez, but instead tells you of their lives, and lifestyles. I was absolutly amazed, and couldn't put the story down. A must read, but may be only for the open-minded.

4-0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Any Hipster or Wannabe
How funny that other reviewers have been surprised or even disappointed at how self-indulgent James St. James is in this book. He's a DRAG QUEEN! Drag queens are all about self-indulgence or maybe you've never known one. The story-telling is good, if not all over the place. It's an entertaining read, to be sure. Of course, the subjects aren't what society would call "entertaining" (you know... murder, drugs, etc), but it's very real for a lot of people. JSJ's southern upbrining shines through in his story-telling. Sure, he says he's from Michigan but the dear old thing spent plenty of time with his wealthy and quite southern father in South Florida. (Yes, there are VERY southern southerners in South Florida... maybe just not plopped in a club in South Beach). Something tells me James will be out with a book about this highly entertaining southern family... or at least he should. And being the self-indulgent queen he is, I'm sure he reads every last review of his books and if he's reading this one, James, please get on with writing the fabulous story of Broward County kin. In the meantime, anyone else should absolutely buy this book. It's just a shame that beautiful shoe no longer graces the cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars Skrod-la-da!
After seeing the movie Party Monster, I decided to pick up a copy of the book Disco Bloodbath, which was featured near the end of the movie. The paperback edition has been renamed Party Monster, which I think is unfortunate, since this book is really more than just a paperback version of the movie. A quick, highly entertaining romp, this book is certainly not for everyone. It takes a certain amount of openminded acceptance to be able to read a book detailing the rise and fall of clubkid-turned-murderer, Michael Alig; however, if you can stomach the descriptions of rampant drug use and its aftermath, then what you find is a wholly engaging and addictive read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Tasty Appetizer
This book is a breezy, entertaining read, full of dishy giddiness. St. James definitely has mastered the art of queeny commentary, rendering 'Disco Bloodbath/Party Monster' as enjoyable and decadent as cream puff with chocolate sauce.

If, however, you are looking for a meatier account of the Alig/Melendez fiasco, don't expect Disco Bloodbath to furnish it. This is an insider's glib take on the events, not a factual accounting, and for those who want to twist their minds around the 'why/how?' of the events leading up to the grisly murder, this book will prove unsatisfying. My advice is to treat it as the deliciously entertaining literary profiterole that it is.

I've just ordered Frank Owen's 'Clubland', which I understand is the yang to St. James' yin; clinical, factual, and stripped of glamour - I'm still out on this one until I read it. One wonders if one will ever be able to get to the bottom of the debacle - perhaps because there IS no bottom?

In any case, YOU ARE TOO MUCH, JAMES ST. JAMES! I concur with the reviewer who encouraged you to write about those Southern family roots, and I expect you could be a master of Southern Gothic with an acid twist. Fabulous!

5-0 out of 5 stars Crazy!!!
This based on a true story book is AMAZING!!
From murder, disco, drugs, love, hate...this book has it all!!!
If you like the book you should defintley check out the shockumentry film as well as the new film starring Mac Culkin and Seth Green.
Warning: when you pick up this book you wont be able to put it down!! ... Read more


25. The Hoax
by Clifford Irving
list price: $22.00
our price: $22.00
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Asin: 0932966144
Catlog: Book (1981-06-01)
Publisher: Permanent Press (NY)
Sales Rank: 151264
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The ultimate caper story, novelist Clifford Irving's no-holds-barred account of the literary hoax of our time--his "autobiography" of Howard Hughes--was published in Great Britain in 1997, where it became a bestseller.But no American hardcover house would touch THE HOAX until now. One major publisher offered a $500,000 advance when the book was nearing completion, drew up the contract?then abruptly bowed out.Why?The answer is implicit in this classic tale of daring, treachery, and corruption. As fast-paced and exciting as any spy novel, it involves the reader at every devilish twist and turn. In this first U.S. hardcover edition, Clifford Irving tells how the hoax developed, like a Chinese puzzle, from its madcap beginning to the final startling confession--a witty and nail-biting story of international intrigue and beautiful women, of powerful corporate executives and jet-set rogues, of cover-ups and headlines. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truth is more Complex than Falsity
This book has the ring of truth to it, and that is unmistakeable. It's the story of a writer who hoodwinked the world by writing the hoax autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes, and paid the price by going to prison. It reads like a novel, in the sense that it's thrilling, and you understand Clifford Irving to the bone. It's well-paced, filled with memorable characters and incidents, and if there were ever a book to nail down the sin of greed in both individuals and corporations, this is it. I loved it.

2-0 out of 5 stars At Least This One was (Maybe) Honest
This is a good read, a good read about a master forger and a man who refuses to repent. A sociopath in action. Mr Irving claims this book is honest, the truth, but since he is writing about a giant lie, it's hard to believe this is as honest as he would have us believe. If you are are interested in the mind of a sick man, then this book is for you. ... Read more


26. Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia
by Joseph D. Pistone
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451192575
Catlog: Book (1997-02-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 15306
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In Donnie Brasco, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone tells the story of working so deep undercover in the Mafia that the truth of his identity became blurry even for him. For six years, Pistone posed as jewel thief Donnie Brasco in order to pull off one of the most audacious sting operations ever.Because any small detail could blow his cover, Pistone adjusted his personality and habits to earn the trust of Mafia soldiers, connected guys, captains, and godfathers. He was so successful that many FBI surveillance teams assumed that he was yet another Mafia guy. This memoir paints a vivid portrait of the underworld of wise guys by revealing their code of honor, their treacherous dealings, their relationships with their wives and mistresses, and their lavish money habits. The suspense in Pistone's story builds as he unfurls his experience of life on the edge of good and evil and on the verge of death. ... Read more

Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars A day to day life of a mob guy
Joe D. Pistone an FBI agent by the code name Donnie Brasco goes deep down in the mafia's inner circle. This is one of the best mafia books's written. Brasco goes so deep in the Bonnano family with his partner in crime Lefty Guns and how Brasco contributed to bringing down mafia members not only in New York but in Florida and Chicago as well. He also tells how his real family dealt with this. Know Bonnano living in hiding with his wife and childern under different names and a 500,000 dollar contract on his life.

4-0 out of 5 stars From Family Man to Mafia Man
I am not really a reader but Donnie Brasco is a book that really caught my eyes from the first page. I was stuck to it like glue. 3 hours had gone by and I did not notice it because it was so in interesting, but one fault that it has is that it takes too long to get to the point and to the action. Being that it is based on a true story in the 70's is has a realistic view.

The most interesting part to me in the beginning was the way he had to change his life from a standard F.B.I agent to Mafia man. He has to find a new place to live and take time off from his family. Also the way he has to set his mood and become someone else. He is no longer Joe Pistone (F.B.I agent) he is now Donnie Brasco (jewel thief) and he has to live of, and become, a Mafia man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Non-fiction
I just finished reading this book and it was worth it. I love non-fiction, and this is a great true story of an FBI agent who successfully infiltrated the Mob for 6 years in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Joseph Pistone aka Donnie Brasco, took his time, and slowly but surely, got to know characters in organized crime and moved up in the hierarchy. He had some close calls along the way, and it amazes me that he never got whacked (mob term). Pistone even took the mobsters on a nice boat ride on a boat owned by the FBI - his partner Lefty later found out about the boat - and yet Pistone/Brasco was able to talk his way out of it! Amazing. This guy was so quick on his feet. Talk about guts - this guy was something else. But also, Lefty and Sonny Black, another mobster, really liked Donnie Brasco. Reading this book showed me that being well liked by at least two influential mobsters could go a long way to save you from being whacked.

Even though I know what these guys were, thieves, liars, killers, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Sonny when he tells Donnie Brasco how much he trusts him - trust him more than anyone in his crew - how much he liked him. The reader knows Brasco is the last person Sonny can trust. Maybe I shouldn't care, but if you really trust and like someone, it hurts so much to be betrayed. And Sonny, who Pistone/Brasco really liked in spite of everything, doesn't have a pretty ending.

As a woman, I couldn't help but notice that Pistone never talks about women he saw or dated. In reality, he was married with children, but he was pretending to be a swinging bachelor. Lefty even accused him of wanting to lie on a beach and be a playboy. Hello! Playboy - that's a red flag word if I ever heard it. From what I can see of him in pictures, he was not a bad looking man, but from his book, you would think the mobsters never saw him (except here and there at first) with another woman. He would just say he was going to New Jersey to see his girl. I can understand keeping anything about other women out of the book since he was/is a married man, and his wife read this book I'm sure. But do I think he went six years without getting involved with another woman - and Lefty calls him a playboy? Oh well, if he pretended to be a mobster, I guess he could just pretend to be a playboy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Look at a True American Hero
In this gripping read, Joe Pistone's story reminds us that there are still true heroes in our society, and that he is one of them. In the past two and a half years, the FBI has come under unrelenting scrutiny, mostly concerning the 9/11 attacks (with everyone looking to blame solely the big bad FBI). While there is no doubt that there are some structural problems that need the be resolved, I feel that the Bureau has been unfairly portrayed as a completely corrupt and ineffectual organization. Donnie Brasco reminds us that these people are, for the most part, true heroes, who only took on this dangerous job having the best interests of the country at heart. Not to mention this is an amazingly entertaining and fasciniating read, a wonderful foray into the life of an undercover agent. It also effectively destroys any notion that the mob is glamorous, revealing the mob for what they really are: greedy, pathetic losers. I was constantly amazed by Mr. Pistone's wit, courage, and fast-thinking in the face of emergencies. A must-read for anyone and everyone interested in the Mafia, the world of undercover agents, or simply the story of a hero. 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Real, Genuine, True Look At The Mafia
This book is valuable because it does not glorify those who engage in organized crime. Unlike the Godfather series and, to lesser extent, The Sopranos, Donnie Brasco paints these people for what they really are: criminals, hoods, bums, evil people. And, for the most part, dumber than a red brick.

A great story, enjoyable tale, terrific reading. Just don't go out and whack anybody afterward! ... Read more


27. 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.
... Read more


28. A Mind for Murder: The Real-Life Files of a Psychic Investigator
by NaomiLucks, NoreenRenier
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425202895
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Berkley
Sales Rank: 8675
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The real-life files of the only psychic to lecture at the FBI Academy.

Noreen Renier shares her strange and startling experiences and the methods that helped her solve more than 130 criminal cases. Included are how she "becomes" the victim or perpetrator by touching an object they held, her ability to "read" prisoners, the court battle over her abilities, the New York Zodiac Killer case, and much more.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a book you won't want to put down. A wonderful read.
I don't feel like I need to say much about Noreen's talent. She's one of the top police psychics in the business, highly experienced and with a long track record of success. This is one woman whose gift is genuine. Perhaps the real surprise here is that she's also a highly talented writer.

There are a lot of reasons to like this book. If you like a gripping story, this is full of them! Case after case of psychic readings she has done over the years -- many of them murders Noreen Renier has 'experienced' psychically (from the viewpoints of the murderers as well as the victims) while helping the police, FBI, and concerned family members solve a crime. If you're a policeman (or like me, a parapsychologist), it gives you useful tips for how to work with a professional psychic and get the most out of him or her. Lastly, if you're a psychic, it teaches you some handy tips for how to approach your craft, including the advantages of information sheets (detailed in the book) to guide those who seek your help.

I've read a number of autobiographical accounts by psychics over the years. This is the best of them. Not only is the material fascinating -- you won't want to put the book down until you're done -- but it's well-organized (a trait that few psychics have) and told in a casual style which makes you feel like you're relaxing with Noreen over a cup of coffee, listening to her talk about her life. She comes across as a smart, shrewd, funny woman, one who is fun to be around and a pleasure to read about.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. Buy it. Then settle down and prepare for a really good read!

5-0 out of 5 stars First person accounts by afamous psychic detective
The author, Noreen Renier, a psychic who has frequently appeared on Court TV ,offersfascinating " you are there" accounts of some widely diversedcriminalcases in which she worked in an interactive role with various police agenciesto providepreviously missing pieces of the puzzle forthese forensic investigators to assemble in a new way. She is the only psychic who haslectured at the FBI Academyand who has won libel damages in court from a critical skeptic who publically said she was making fraudulentclaims .This book was riveting in the wayit held my attention asshe traces outhow each challenging case unfolded. ... Read more


29. 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


30. 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 bit...uh....limited, 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


31. 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


32. 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


33. 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


34. 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.
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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


35. The Serial Killer Files : The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers
by HAROLD SCHECHTER
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

THE DEFINITIVE DOSSIER ON HISTORY’S MOST HEINOUS!

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.
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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


36. 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


37. Final Accounting : Ambition, Greed and the Fall of Arthur Andersen
by BARBARA LEY TOFFLER, JENNIFER REINGOLD
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


38. Doctor Dealer: The Rise and Fall of an All-American Boy and His Multimillion-Dollar Cocaine Empire
by Mark Bowden
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802137571
Catlog: Book (2000-11-30)
Publisher: Grove Press
Sales Rank: 35657
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Doctor Dealer is the story of Larry Lavin, a bright, charismatic young man who rose from his working-class upbringing to win a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, earn Ivy League college and dental degrees, and buy his family a house in one of Philadelphia's most exclusive suburbs. But behind the facade of his success was a dark secret -- at every step of the way he was building the foundation for a cocaine empire that would grow to generate over $60 million in annual sales. Award-winning journalist Mark Bowden tells the saga of Lavin's rise and fall with the gripping, novelistic narrative style that won him international acclaim as the author of the New York Times best-seller Black Hawk Down. "Immensely readable . . . eye-popping . . . a smoothly crafted, exciting, can't-put-it-down book." -- Louisville New Voice ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Companion Piece With "Killing Pablo"
If you have never read a book my Mark Bowden, start right now. This guy is to current events what Ken Burns is to documentaries; he can take any subject, dig into it, and narrate in a compelling way that few people can.

I highly recommend reading "Dr Dealer" and then follow it up with "Killing Pablo." Originally written in 1987 (this edition has a 2001 epilogue), Bowden follows an unlikely cocaine dealer in Larry Lavin, a preppy dental student who loves the maverick thrill of coke dealing, yet also enjoys the high-scale suburban American lifestyle. This book emphasizes Lavin's naive rationale that while cocaine is illegal, it is a high society party drug that was accepted by a wide variety of socialites (remember when it was called the "Champagne of Drugs?"), and figured that he wasn't hurting anybody by supplying it to people who sought it out. And that seems to be the consensus of his fellow upscale dealers and clients, up until their arrests. "Who are we hurting" seems to be the dealers' key question.

Which is why "Killing Pablo" is a great companion piece to "Doctor Dealer." The story of the hunt for Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar paints a polar opposite portrayal of the cocaine trade. There are no preppy dentists, no white-collar style arrests; you see a multitude of Colombian citizens, from police to politicians to everyday folks from every walk of life, murdered by Colombian drug cartels. It is a brutal answer to the "Who are we hurting?" question, and Bowden does that very well.

Larry Lavin is a fascinating character, but not to the point that you feel sympathy for him. The more he succeeds in the illegal drug trade, the more arrogant he becomes, and the more risks he takes. On the other hand, he is not a ruthless Pablo Escobar who executes every "John Q Citizen" that he thinks might dislike him. In fact, he never kills anyone, nor even roughs anybody up. There are segments where you see some very likable and sincerely charitable sides of Larry Lavin, but they are overshadowed by the con that he truly is.

Bowden very successfully illustrates all of Lavin's fellow dealers, family and underlings, and which ones had a hand in his undoing and why. You see eccentric socialite Mark Stewart con the cons, and you will shake your head in disbelief and frustration when reading about Lavin's wife Marcia, how she stands by her man.

If it weren't for a few of the key players' fumbles, one might wonder if Larry Lavin would have eventually walked away from the cocaine trade unscathed. And while covered only minutely, you will see what role Frankie Smith played in exposing Larry Lavin and Co. to the IRS (yes, the same Frankie Smith who recorded "The Double Dutch Bus!")Mark Bowden even talks about his own personal opportunity to deal marijuana in college (which is how Larry Lavin started) and the temptation to make that quick money, but wisely deciding against it, leaving him years later to wonder if he could have stumbled into the same dangerous trap Larry Lavin thrust himself into.

This is just one of Mark Bowden's great works, and a good place to start if you want to add them to your library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not the Typical Drug Dealer Book
This book was the first drug related book I ever read, it initially got me interested in the subject about two years ago. The original book was called Dr. Snow, which was about a doctor who became a marijuana dealer while in college to pay his way through school, but soon evolved into a multi-million dollar paranoid cocaine dealer. It's an informative book with lots of details, just what I like, on how he did he business (I think it really brings out the true life guy next door image). It tells how evaded the authorities and set up a whole new life with his family, only to be brought down by a snitching best friend. If there's one thing I've learned throughout my reading it's not to trust anyone, because they will turn. As close as you may be, as long as you have known them, when they're looking jail time square in the eyes, they're going to roll over to knock off a few precious years. Enjoy the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Mark Bowden - Highly recommended.
If you're a fan of Mark Bowden's, add this book to your collection. I was hooked from page 1 until the end. I believe this book was even better then Black Hawk Down (if you can believe that!). I thought the length of the book would provide tiring details about unimportant aspects of the story. Not true. This was a very focused book and I had no trouble keeping high interest througout.

5-0 out of 5 stars Larry Lavin's Old Neighbor
When we moved into Larry's Virginia Beach Neighborhood we wondered how could a man who piddles in his garage all day could afford to live in such a nice house. Well a couple months later the house was wrapped in crime scene tape and we found out how he could afford to handout full sized Snicker bars on Halloween!
Mark described him accurately during his Va Beach days. He was a good-guy and even helped my friend Kevin and I unhinge the jaws of a snapper turtle, which was trying to eat another turtle we had caught in the marshes.
Bowden scores again, with readable interesting non-fiction

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic !
Bowden does it again, this story is irresistible!
Dr. Larry Lavin, a charismatic fellow from humble beginnings becomes the largest cocaine dealer of Philadelphia. A family man in an affluent suburb that could easily be mistaken as your neighbor was the head of complex network of YUPPIE cocaine suppliers. His charisma and industrious caution couldn't save him from arrest and defeat. When I finished this book, I admired and pitied Larry Lavin. Bowden is one of the finest authors of our time. ... Read more


39. 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
(price subject to change: see help)
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


40. Deadly American Beauty: A True Story of Passion, Adultery, and Murder (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
by John Glatt
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312984197
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 42906
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Greg DeVillers was a top biotech executive, and Kristen Rossum was embarking on a career in toxicology at the San Diego Medical Examiner's office. They seemed to be happily married, living the American dream. But only months shy of their second anniversary, Kristen found her handsome husband dead from a drug overdose-his corpse sprinkled with rose petals. By his side was their wedding photo. The scene was reminiscent of American Beauty, one of Kristen's favorite movies. Authorities deemed it a suicide.

Until they discovered that the rare poison found in Greg's body was the same poison missing from Kristen's office. Until they discovered the truth about Kristen's lurid affair, about her own long-time drug addiction, and about the personal and professional secrets she would kill to keep hidden-secrets that would ultimately expose the beautiful blonde as the deadly beauty she really was...a Deadly American Beauty
... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Felt Something Was Missing
I don't know if it was the content, the writing, or Kristen Rossum's soul, but this book just didn't come across to me as very memorable. I saw the story on Dateline or some other show, and that's why I bought the book. I wanted to get the rest of the story, but there really wasn't much more there. I found the book overall to be unsatisfying.

2-0 out of 5 stars B O R I N G
Being a fan of true crime, I picked up this book thinking "this should be an interesting read" however, it was the exact opposite. The Author never really gave much depth to the characters.....maybe they just didn't have any depth. We never find out the reason for Kristen Rossum's raging drug abuse (although it was hinted that an injury ending her chances at becoming a ballerina did it). So what she comes off as, is a spoiled child (which is probably the real reason for her drug abuse)who marries a man, who helps her (for awhile), get off drugs -- which she repays by killing him -- so she could be with her married lover. Sounds like a soap opera....a bad one. If you really want to read a good true crime try "Dead and Buried", "Lethal Intent" or "Scream at the Sky"....definately interesting reads.

5-0 out of 5 stars You Won't Sleep
Kristin Rossum will be in my nightmares!
Not since Nurse Jones murdered the children of San Antonio have I come across an equally heartless female professional. However, Jones could be understood as an unappreciated ego trapped in an average body as opposed to a blonde bombshell and summa cum laude graduate of San Diego State's chemistry program.
Perhaps the author exaggerated a few points such as calling UCSD and San Diego State prestigious and playing up Mike Robertson's star status but he mastered the craft of writing true crime.
Ann Rule, Jack Olson, and now John Glatt put true crime in a league with science fiction, mystery, and horror.

4-0 out of 5 stars This one's for you, Greg de Villers...may you rest in peace.
If ever a book served as proof that drugs do terrible things to people--and potentially far worse to those innocent victims closest to them--then this is the one. It also serves as a vivid example of why you should "never judge a book by its cover." Physically beautiful though she may be, Kristin Rossum is exactly the opposite inside.

Glatt paints a portrait of Kristin as a stunningly lovely, highly intelligent toxicologist, with a dark side that clearly takes over completely once she begins using drugs. We are led to believe that an injury suffered years earlier, which prevented her from pursuing her promising ballet career, was the impetus for her descent into drug abuse. Perhaps...

Yet, as I read this book I got the uncomfortable feeling that the only real "excuse" for her actions is the fact that something is missing in her very soul. She reminds me of sociopathic Pam Smart, the murderess from NH who enticed students into doing her bidding by killing her husband (also named Gregg). Both "Gregs" were very good guys, yet both of their pretty wives appeared to have ice cold blood in their veins. In Rossum's case, drugs joined that ice water, setting the stage for a real tragedy.

How terribly sad that Ms. Rossum would end up murdering Greg de Villers, the one man who truly cared enough to forgive her for past transgressions (of which there were many) and go above and beyond to save her. Depicted as heartbreakingly kind, extremely handsome, talented, and a rising young star in the business world, this was a young man who most women would have been only too proud to marry.

His biggest "flaw" seemed to be giving someone like Kristin endless chances to redeem herself, much as she didn't deserve them. He did everything in his power to bring out her good side and help her leave her drug habit--and the shocking behavior that went along with the substance abuse. He offered her the wonderful gift of unconditional love--if only she had embraced it. Probably fully realizing she couldn't, though, I wish she had refused it and allowed him to move on to someone else--a young lady worthy of him and appreciative of his good character.

Instead, Kristin reluctantly goes through with the marriage despite 2nd thoughts, thereby dooming Greg to a short and miserable life with her.

As much as it is a mystery why she would even WANT to cheat on Greg, it is also a mystery to me why she picked Michael Robertson to do it with! In every possible way, he seemed far beneath Greg de Villers. Gambling her entire future to murder for THIS CAD defies belief. And sure enough, in the end he was not by her side in any way, but back home in Australia.

Yet another mysterious aspect of the entire sequence of events is the behavior of Rossum's parents. I was frankly ashamed of Ralph and Constance Rossum. Understandably, no parent wants to think their own child is a murderer. However, even if they could not accept what I consider a foregone conclusion--that their daughter did commit this horrible deed--the least they could have done is show even a cursory display of sympathy for Greg's suffering family, and not tell outright lies about their dead son, simply to save their daughter's duplicitous neck. Instead, they engage in outrageous pettiness, like quibbling with Marie DeVillers about whether she had the "right" to use wedding photos Constance paid for. It's as if image and money are the "end all and be all" for these people--all they care about is twisting the truth to spare their daughter the prison fate she deserves, looking good to the public, and making money off the story. For such a "respectable" couple, I personally found their integrity sadly lacking.

Meanwhile, single Mom Marie de Villers kept her dignity, and sons Bertrand and Jerome loyally defended their brother Greg's memory to the end. It was equally obvious that Greg's colleagues at Orbigen deeply cared for him. Their concern was touching, and a more fitting tribute to him than the insincere displays of grief from the Rossum's. It was nice to know that amidst all of the evil, there were still some heroes here.

As painful as it is to read Glatt's well researched book and realize that the story is true, I am glad I read it, if only to be able to join Greg de Viller's family and friends in expressing deep regret for the loss of such an exemplary young man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Page-turner; couldn't put it down
Kristin Rossum is a textbook sociopath and a spoiled brat of the worst kind. She sits there in her parents' multi-million dollar home and speaks badly of the homeless and the poor while she steals money from her boyfriend and later drugs from her job to support her meth habit. Incidentally, her parents had no problems with putting on the poor mouth and having a Public Defender take up the cause of their precious daughter when it came time for her to pay the piper!

And Ralph and Constance Rossum - how pathetic - ultra-right wingers for whom everything was about appearances. They would have done Greg deVillers a huge favor by allowing their oh so wonderful daughter to pull out of the wedding when she expressed doubts. But, hey, what would the folks at the country club think?

I can't believe that she would cheat on this handsome, caring young man with a serial adulterer who took off for Australia and left her to face the music alone.

I didn't think much of Greg's father, Yves, either. Dr. deVillers walked out on his wife and three sons, stopped supporting them and refused to pay for his sons' schooling. Then he thinks he can just show up at his son's wedding as if nothing happened, as if he'd never abandoned his family. After Greg's murder, he acts as though he's Father Of the Decade - oh, so concerned! Where was he when his sons were growing up?

I felt so badly for Marie, Greg's mother. The strain of her son's murder eventually helped kill her so Kristin Rossum is responsible for her death as well.

I've enjoyed all of John Glatt's books and this was the best so far! ... Read more


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