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81. Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's
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82. Shallow Grave in Trinity County
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83. Scream at the Sky (St. Martin's
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84. And the Sea Will Tell
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85. In Cold Blood
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86. Marching Powder : A True Story
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87. Corruption and the Global Economy
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88. Snake Oil: Life's Calculations,
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89. A Goodfella's Guide to New York
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100. Race Against Evil: The Secret

81. Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia
by Peter Maas
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061096644
Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
Publisher: HarperTorch
Sales Rank: 79712
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

What makes this account of the Mafia life and times of Sammy Gravano so seductive is Peter Maas's skillful editing of interview material. From his opening line--"Yeah, you could say I came from a pretty tough neighborhood"--to his final poignant comment on having gotten all his tattoos removed except a head of Christ that resists being eliminated--"I guess God still wants me"--Gravano is nothing if not a compelling storyteller. He talks about his years in a youth gang, his robberies and shylocking, his murders, his lack of remorse (about which he is "not happy"), the ceremony of becoming a "made guy," his mentors, his "crew," his preference for gangsters over racketeers, his fascination with the Godfather films, his many business ventures, and his final years of disillusionment as the Cosa Nostra code he had passionately admired was breaking down, so that he chose to testify against his last boss, John Gotti. ... Read more

Reviews (106)

5-0 out of 5 stars best book on cosa nostra i've ever read
When I first decided to get this book and read it, I had my doubts.. because of my contempt for anyone who becomes a rat, but once I started reading it I really couldn't put it down. I LOVE this book. I have read it many times, and I'm still not sick of it. The beauty of this book is it is all told in Gravano's own words, quoted. Hearing Sammy tell the story word for word is just great. This book isn't just about the Gotti era, and that's good.. theres enough books that focus only on that... this is Sammy's life story. No matter how much you dislike rats, it's hard to dislike Sammy after reading this. It seems really honest, he doesn't try to seem like a good guy, he says how he really feels about things (usually after whacking someone out, 'it's cosa nostra, what can you do' haha).. and you gotta respect that. After reading this, you don't feel as sorry for Gotti. Sammy stayed loyal to this close to him, he refused to testify against anyone in his old crew. Interestinly enough (this isn't in the book, it's recent news) the government recently indicted someone from Sammy's old crew on charges of conspiring to murder Sammy.. What does Sammy do? He testifies on the defenses behalf, saying that Toddo would never try to kill him! Truely a man's man! Still, though, you gotta keep in mind how many people the guy brought down other than Gotti... I think it's a shame he testified against Vicent "The Chin" Gigante, boss of the Genovese family. The Chin was a much more interesting boss than Gotti.. the difference is he didn't have the same pathetic affection for the media that Gotti had. Anywy, I don't think Sammy was the one who brought Gotti down.. Gotti's ego brought Gotti down, Sammy may have just helped speed up the process. Read this book, it's better than wiseguy 5++ stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you loved "GoodFellas"...
Many reviewers have compared this work to Nicholas Pileggi's fine book "Wiseguy" (which was the basis for the movie "GoodFellas"). And rightfully so. "Wiseguy" concerned real life crime figure Henry Hill and how he eventually turned government informant against the mob. "Underboss" likewise tells the tale of a mobster turned informant, except this time the stool pigeon, Sammy Gravano, is a capo (and later a consigliere) in the Gambino crime family, and the mafioso he fingers is none other than John Gotti himself.

As you might expect, "Underboss" is a fascinating read. (Author Peter Maas previously wrote the books "Serpico" and "The Valachi Papers", among others, so he knows how to tell a good crime story). Gravano does not portray himself as a saint. He candidly reveals in horrifying (though not gory) detail crimes he committed in the mob, including some nineteen murders and literally hundreds of burglaries, armed robberies, and kickback/extortion plots. All the major New York crime bosses of the time (Carlo Gambino, Joe Columbo, Paul Castellano, Vincent Gigante, and of course Gotti) figure in the proceedings, as Gavano had dealings with them and others, as well.

Unlike some true crime books where you end up skipping chapters to get to the "good stuff", this book was gripping every step of the way. So much so that I ended reading it cover to cover, all 301 pages, in less than a week. If you're looking for a good insider's book on the Mafia, this is it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A LOOK INTO THE DARK WOLD OF ORGANIZED CRIME
I enjoyed reading the book not just for the entertainment value, but also for the things it taught me about life in the mob. Some of the things I learned are the organization structure, codes of conduct, methods of intimidation, sources of mob income, and the absolute ruthlessness of the lifestyle.

I like reading these kinds of books not because I think this life these people like Sammy Gravano lead was somehow cool or glamorous. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It's a dangerous, deceptive, wicked lifestyle. I enjoy reading mob books like this because I get a look into a different world I am rarely if ever exposed to. And of course this book, being a true story and interview of a former high-level mob underboss made it a very interesting read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe the last chapter of La Cosa Nostra, & it's a great one
This really is an amazing insider account of arguably the most famous Italian Mafia family in American history, and the book more than lives up to its billing. The most dramatic thought that I came away with after reading "Underboss" is that Sammy the Bull didn't bring down Gotti and the Gambinos - Gotti did that. Sammy just put the final nail in the coffin.

Gotti's arrogant, publicity seeking ways were ultimately what brought down the Gambino family. Had Gotti been a little more humble and knew the art of "laying low" after several acquittals, he very well may never have been convicted, or at least he would have been out of jail and in power much longer. AND, had he not stabbed Gravano in the back, as Sammy heard on the tapes in a courtroom, Sammy may never have testified against Gotti in the first place.

But, the truth is, Sammy is no model citizen, as he readily attests to in the book. He kills his brother-in-law and performs a number of other murders for seemingly minor Mafia indiscretions. To his credit, though, he doesn't pretend portray himself as a victim, either. Since he's currently doing a 20-year stretch for running an E ring, that's poetic justice in the eyes of the many he betrayed to avoid prison for his underworld doings. Sammy's lived quite a life, and this book let's the curious in on the action. It's probably one of the best Mafia books I've ever read. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Account
This is for sure one of the best book on the subject ever written. Peter Maas comes really close and describes the life of a mobster in great captivating detail. There is a tendency to put Gravano up to be a bit of a star with morals and ethics above and beyond what the rest of the gangsters have. Perhaps he is, but it still took him an enormous amount of killing and torturing to decide on a better way to use his talent. In any case the book is a fantastic read. ... Read more


82. Shallow Grave in Trinity County
by Harry Farrell
list price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312170092
Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Sales Rank: 283409
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Harry Farrell worked as a newspaper journalist for 40 years in San Jose, California. His first book, Swift Justice, about a 1930s kidnap-murder case that ended in a lynching of the perpetrators, won the Edgar Award for best fact crime of 1992. Shallow Grave in Trinity County is equally brilliant. In steady prose that is rich with details, Farrell describes how a weak-minded and repellent UC-Berkeley student was apprehended and convicted of the kidnap-murder of a 14-year-old girl, in the comparatively peaceful times of the 1950s. Shallow Grave is a model of how a true crime book should be written: the text is clear, chronological, compassionate, unembellished, and quietly gripping. Farrell not only gives readers all the facts of the case, both relevant and irrelevant, he also provides three maps of the region on which the exact sequence of the killer's actual movements (vs. those he alleged in his testimony) can be traced. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Shallow members of an Unholy Trinity
Rule No. 1 when reading a "true crime" story where you don't already know the ending and want to be surprised is to avoid the photos and captions inset in the middle of the book, until you've already finished it.

The photos and captions will give the ending away every time if you don't wait to look at 'em.I learned that the hard way when I first read the Joe McGinness book on Jeffrey MacDonald ("Fatal Vision").

As far as this book goes, it's not quite clear what author Harry Farrell hoped to accomplish in writing it.The story is about the arrest of Burton Abbott for the brutal abduction and murder of 14-year old Stephanie Bryant in mid-1955 from an enclosed thicket of shrubbery near her home in Berkeley, California and also about Abbott`s subsequent trial.Did Farrell simply mean to tell this story in a way that would intrigue his readers?

Then I'd say that he succeeded.This was a very interesting read.

But I also suspect that what Farrell really meant to do was to write a "did-he-or-didn't-he" story; that is, to create suspense as to the accused's guilt or innocence and as to the outcome of the trial.And I'd say that he got no better than mixed results there.

I faithfully AVOIDED the photo section in the middle of the book, but any sense of suspense that I might have experienced was a sham.I kept waiting in vain for the revelation that would cause me to consider the case in a new light.But the evidence as it is shown here remained quite one-sided throughout, and the outcome was inevitable.

In fact, I'm not quite sure that I trust Farrell entirely.Even if this was a capital case, his presentation of it makes one wonder what exactly the jury deliberated about for seven days.Unless, of course, Farrell left out one or more things that might have given pause to a responsible jury.

What I found particularly interesting was not how much the criminal justice system has changed over the intervening half century but how much it hasn't changed.

The same cast of characters showed up for this high-profile case that have shown up in so many others.

There is, of course, first and foremost, The State with seemingly infinite resources at its command to grind into powder any criminal defendant that comes within its maw - whether or not justice is really served thereby.

"Resources" don't just mean the money to foot expenses that only the wealthiest of defendants could assume, such as a dossier of personal information on many of the prospective jurors.

"Resources" also include The State's lengthy tentacles in the form of spies and stool-pigeons, judiciously placed in the trusting presence of the accused and his associates in order to inform.And the County of Alameda, it seems, had no shortage of talkative infantry working for it in order to ensnare Burton Abbott.

Yes, The State has a remarkable propensity for bringing out the best in human nature, and any legal beagle can tell you that if the accused is TRICKED, instead of coerced into disclosing damning information - why, his right to avoid self-incrimination isn't being compromised at all.

The cast also includes The Defense Team, which makes up in gall for what it lacks in resources and authority by utilizing what capital it has to gather dirt on all adverse witnesses and by using back-alley tactics in the courtroom that a seasoned gang-banger wouldn't be ashamed to own, in order to ensure that it is the witnesses themselves, and not the accused, who are put on trial.

But most prominent are Saint Unfortunates; that is, the members of the family of the murder victim, always haughtily assuming the Mantle of Victimhood Itself, always stoically and courageously bearing up in the presence of the press under the horrible tragedy, and ALWAYS appearing, of course, at the right hand of The State when called upon.

In the annals of true crime, has any Saint Unfortunate ever refused to ally himself or herself as a partner of The State?Has any Saint Unfortunate ever expressed disapproval of The State's tactics?Let alone express uncertainty about the case made by The State against the accused?

As far as I know, this has never happened; otherwise, the public from whom the prospective jurors are drawn might actually feel that it's sometimes necessary to draw a distinction between "Justice for the Victim's Family" and rubber-stamping The State's case against the accused.

In this story, the arrogantly-aggrieved parents of Stephanie Bryant do indeed play to the hilt their roles as martyrs and State suck-ups.

And, of course, gazing down from her perch in Heaven on this scene enacted by the Unholy Trinity, her wings still flapping and her halo perfectly adjusted - is The Victim Herself and, as tearfully invoked by The State, the legacy of what she would now never have the opportunity to become.

Indeed, Alameda County D.A. Frank Coakley piously reads an unfinished letter composed by The Victim Herself and, with presumably perfect timing, sobs into his handkerchief at its conclusion.

All cast members are present and accounted for in this saga, but setting aside my suspicions, Farrell does as good a job as any of weaving the same old story in a uniquely entertaining way.

It must be acknowledged, of course, though Farrell fails to, that the post-1955 advent of Miranda, the public defender industry, and the exclusionary rule have given criminal defense attorneys similar license to abuse authority and pervert justice.

But what of the accused in this case, Burton Abbott?If he was innocent, then he was a victim of the machinations of the Unholy Trinity.And if he was guilty, his motives, for all of their baseness, actually seem more pure than the motives of those who fought over his life.Let that be a salvageable remnant of HIS legacy.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of The Leading San Francisco Bay Area Murder Stories.
Not only did I buy this book by Mr. Farrell, but I also bought another book on this case by Keith Walker, A Trail of Corn (Selling at Bill & Kathy's Restaurant, none the less), because the Burton Abbott case is very much like one I'm writing myself, the Theodore Durrant case of 1895.

I greatly appreciate authors who provide addresses, maps, and photos, and Mr. Farrell was generous on all counts. As I live in the Bay Area, and have written two unrelated self-guided walking tours, I like to visit all the sites associated with any story that touches me emotionally. Mr. Farrell certainly succeeded with his central task.

In fact, his narrative is so riveting that I soon drove over to Berkeley and retraced the route Stephanie Bryan walked before her kidnapping. One of the strengths of this book is that the reader gets a sense of knowing the victim, her parents, the accused kidnapper, and even a comprehension of how most of the people central to this story had their lives ruined.

Those who are familiar with this famous case may also appreciate knowing, even though this murder happened in 1955, that Willard Junior High, the library, Dream Fluff Donut shop, the suspected ambush path, tunnel road, the Bryan's former residence, the Abbott family's former residence in Alameda, the court house in Oakland, and San Quentin Prison are all still there to be seen!

Imagine seeing those sites for a moment. And if you want any help finding them just e-mail me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and eerie documentary.
"Shallow Grave" is true-crime reporting at it's best. This is a compelling and emotional story, packed with details. I was particularly impressed with the author's gift for explaining the minute details of theunfolding criminal case in a clear and interesting way. The book neithersensationalizes nor sugar-coats the horrific details of the crime. Highlyrecommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A vivid account of murder in 1950's California.
If you like true crime noir, this is one of the best in a long time!Harry Farrell has done a thorough job of researching this case, the result of which is a carefully detailed account of the northern California murderof a young girl, and a killer swiftly brought to justice. I highlyrecommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly researched, well written; reads like fiction!
Farrell beautifully captures the flavor of the the Bay Area in thefifties, and gives us an extraordinarily well researched and suspensefullywritten account of a criminal case that dominated the news in NorthernCalifornia at that time.His book reads like the best of crime fiction. ... Read more


83. Scream at the Sky (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
by Carlton Stowers
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312998198
Catlog: Book (2004-08-16)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 87637
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An unsolved murder spree that left a town frozen in fear...
In rural Texas, just before Christmas in 1984, a young nurse was found raped and murdered in her Wichita Falls home. Within weeks, a second woman was found-her brutalized body dumped in the frozen Texas plains. Over the next seventeen months three more women would fall victim to a faceless evil, fueling the city's fears and baffling authorities whose every lead came to a dead end. For one haunted man the case would never die.

A fight for justice as cunning and relentless as the killer himself...
Almost fourteen years to the day of the first murder, ambitious investigator John Little reopened the cold-case files determined to deliver closure to the victims' friends and families, and bring a killer to justice. Working on his instincts, following every imaginable clue, Little embarked on an ingeniously clever and exhaustive cat-and-mouse game to trap an elusive serial killer whose sick fantasies would finally be silenced forever.
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Leave it to the bricklayer
There's not a whole lot of suspense in SCREAM AT THE SKY. If you're like me, you'll look at the pictures first and the first person you'll see is the murderer. This doesn't really ruin the story however because the people involved in these serial killings are so stimulating. Stowers takes us through each of the four Wichita Falls murders, introduces us to the suspects and the police officers involved, and occasionally lets us in on the killer's thoughts. We get to know Terry Sims, Toni Gibbs, Ellen Blau, and finally college student, Tina Kimbrew, whose murder is totally incomprehensible, since she treated the murderer better than any other woman had in his entire lifetime. Apparently he realized this, too, as he gave himself up after her murder (But never confessed to the other murders). Incredibly he only spends eleven years in jail due to good behavior.
This is where former bricklayer, John Little, enters the fray. He's an investigator for the Wichita County DA. It has been fourteen years since the murders and Little has been given the cold case by his boss, Barry Machak. Incredibly, he finds a telling clue immediately. This isn't so hard to believe since it was right there all along, and the other detectives just never followed up on it. And, of course, they didn't have DNA analysis.
Another riveting part of the book was when the Kimbrews agree to try to come to terms with the murderer of their daughter. They go to the prison to talk to him. He's become a Born Again Christian and he assures them that he never really meant to hurt their daughter, that he's never harmed anyone else before or since. The wife forgives him and the husband is about to until John Little begins to make connections between the four murders.
I was a little upset at first that Stowers spilled the beans so early but once I got to know the victims, their families and various law officers I was totally into this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars You won't want to put it down
"Scream at the Sky" is the perfect book for true crime buffs. You have 5 young victims brutally murdered and remaining unsolved for years until a dedicated Investigator finds the killer. While I do believe giving the reader more insight into what made Faryion Wardrip tick, the book was nonetheless a page turner from start to finish. I don't believe however, that Wardrip just went off on these women. I believe he stalked them, knew their habits and when he could catch them off guard. It's a shame that the mousey faced Wardrip caused so much pain for so many people and was able to escape justice for so long. The world needs more people like Investigator Little. Read the book, you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Xcellent Book,Could Not Put Down!!
Carlton Stowers does it once again. This book is facinating from start to finish. Frankly I think this book is one of the best books i've read in quite awhile. My hubby is now reading. Daughter will read it after him. Why would someone say he commited crimes when he did'nt is beyond my comprehension. He is as sick as the real killer is.This is A MUST READ BOOK.. YOU WONT BE DISSAPPOINTED!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat incomplete
I've read a few of Carlton Stower's previous books and found them in general to be well-researched and well-written. Scream at the Sky felt somewhat incomplete because I don't think that the life and motives of Faryion Waldrip was explored enough. I just didn't get a good understanding of what pushed him to commit these murders. The sections dealing with the victims and the criminal investigation were first-rate, however. I noticed several typos in the book and , while these things happen, it shows that the editing should have been a bit tighter.

4-0 out of 5 stars Justice Delayed and almost Denied
Carlton Stowers is one of the best writers in the "True Crime" genre. This is his spellbinding tale of "the mountain of misery created by one misguided and darkly evil person" and how "Texas Justice" (some might nominate that phrase as a definitive oxymoron) almost got the wrong guy. It is very important here to obey the Ann Rule rule of True Crime reading: Do Not Look At the Pictures Until Law Enforcement has Got Their Guy - or Gal (in the case of Carla Faye Tucker and some other notorious ladies) - unless you are the kind of reader who always reads the last chapter of a murder mystery first! ... Read more


84. And the Sea Will Tell
by VINCENT BUGLIOSI, BRUCE HENDERSON
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804109176
Catlog: Book (1991-12-22)
Publisher: Ivy Books
Sales Rank: 27008
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

And the Sea Will Tell spins a rivetingstory--a story that could havebeen the backbone fora classic novel by Herman Melville or Joseph Conrad. Twocouples--one wealthy and married, the other an ex-conand his hippie girlfriend-- separately set sail for a remote South Pacific island, each hoping to play "AdamandEve" in paradise. Instead of getting awayfrom it all, they take it with them-- their pasts and prejudices, and the pettybattles over status and material goods that arisefrom their different social classes.Only two people out of the original four live throughthe experience. One of them has the extraordinary good luck to be defended in court bymaster attorney VincentBugliosi (author of Helter Skelter). As theLos Angeles Times writes, "Thebook succeeds on all counts.The finalpages are some of the most suspenseful in trial literature." ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bugliosi is awesome!
The book makes a great read as a crime story. One can only hope there are lawyers around who are reading this book and following Bugliosi's example. As for the crime itself, generally speaking I was convinced of Buck's guilt and Jennifer's innocense. However I did find it puzzling that Buck would have the patience to hang around and participate in the search for his victims for two or three days. Since several other boats had dropped in during their stay at Palmyra another unexpected visitor was a definite possibility. It would have been very difficult to explain the presence of the two ships without stating that the couple had disappeared. This in turn would have made it difficult for Buck to leave with the ship of the murdered couple. Yet Jennifer states she had no idea Buck was involved. So we have the murderer patiently spending days searching for his victims instead of fleeing immediately with his prize. This detail could been further explored. Even in retrospect Jennifer never notes any untoward haste in Buck?

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting and Tragic
The first half of the book is one of the best told stories I've read. The second half is complete ego of Bugliosi. Bruce Henderson, the co author and author of a great book Trace Evidence, probably wrote the first half. I almost felt like I was on the island or had met the murdered couple. I was disappointed in Bugliosi's blind faith in his client's innocence. It's as if he did not read the first half himself. All in all, one of my favorite true crime books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tremendous true-crime writing
Once upon a time Vincent Bugliosi was a star student at UCLA. After that he became a famous star district attorney then went on to private practice where he became a star defense lawyer. Then he became entrapped in that morrass which seems to call with a siren-like persuasion: politics. There was that awful book about JFK (the Warren Commission was right), then an angry defense of Clinton (Paula Jones, et al and 2000 where he wrote that Gore was robbed by the [Democratic] courts of Florida.

Thankfully, this was in an earlier incarnation (plain lawyer) where he takes an unthankful case that doesn't seem to have a prayer. A murder at sea and the person on board is not guilty? The difficulty was compounded by the unwillingness of the defendent to "tell all". Despite this, he worked 100 hours/wk (once he had convinced himself of her innocence) and eventually was vindicated.

Great story, great writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Engrossing read, but heavy on the ego
I enjoyed this book overall. The first half sets up the murder mystery, while the second is devoted to Mr. Bugliosi's defense of his client. Both halves were engrossing, although I found, as other readers did, Mr. Bugliosi's ego comes through loud and clear and made for offputting reading at times in his description of the trials.

Still, his summation makes for a fascinating study in how great defense attorneys work (I thought he was especially clever in insinuating that those who took issues with Jennifer's behavior were "strict Puritans," thus indirectly shaming those jurors who might think ill of her). I can see how they were swayed by his arguments and appreciate the care he took to make them (and explain them in the book).

This book also shows, as in the Simpson case, the difficulties state prosecutors face in squaring off against high-profile defense attorneys. I couldn't help but get the impression that many jurors were taken with Bugliosi's persona and celebrity status thanks to the Manson case. I also wonder why the prosecutors didn't exploit his contradictory argument that Jennifer acted independently of Buck while on the island, yet "her reality became his reality" when she was lying to cover up the theft when they were back in Hawaii. You can't have it both ways, which is why I still believe she bears guilt for this crime.

All in all, it was a great read, not quite as gripping as Helter Skelter, but nearly so. I highly recommend this book and hope someday another author will take a look at this fascinating case.

3-0 out of 5 stars A lawyer justifies getting a guilty client off.
Although this is a pretty good summary of the crime, the courtroom portion of the book is tainted by the author's involvement. He glorifies his own rhetoric at great length. Also, it should not be surprising that a lawyer can slant the truth very subtly. This book is about the murder of two people who sailed to a deserted island and had the great misfortune to meet there the author's client and her boyfriend, who were hanging out in a dilapidated sailboat with little food or fuel. The murderers then proceeded to take the victims' sailboat and sail to Hawaii, where they repainted it. The murders came to light only because of the near-miraculous discovery, long after, of bones of a victim in the deserted island's lagoon. After reading this book to the end, it doesn't take much thought to reach the inescapable conclusion that the author's client, whom he got off, was obviously a full participant in the murders. The author, however, makes it seem that her acquittal was some sort of triumph of justice. He and Johnny Cochran must get along well. ... Read more


85. In Cold Blood
by TRUMAN CAPOTE
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375507906
Catlog: Book (2002-03-05)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 40266
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces.There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

Five years, four months and twenty-nine days later, on April 14, 1965, Richard Eugene Hickock, aged thirty-three, and Perry Edward Smith, aged thirty-six, were hanged from the crime on a gallows in a warehouse in the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansa.

In Cold Blood is the story of the lives and deaths of these six people.It has already been hailed as a masterpiece.
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Reviews (204)

5-0 out of 5 stars Capote Offers Much in an Amazingly Detailed Account
While Capote's work offers a deep and involving plot to any reader in search of a entertaining yet thought-provoking story, it is the lengths to which Capote goes which leave In Cold Blood a few steps ahead of a simple account of crime and its consequences. Other than offering the simple story, the author went beyond my expectations in delivering an amazingly comprehensive psycological analysis of the killers, explaining the possible reasons behind such an appalling crime.

I heard that the author spend around six years researching the Clutter case in order to write the account, and it definitely shows. Capote incorportates massive amounts of detail, yet this added information does prove to be too much for the reader. The author skillfuly informs while simultaniously drawing the reader's attention further into the grip of the story. Also to be commended is Capote's inclusion of the trial and punishment of the two men. I would recommend to anyone this book before he or she forms a truly concrete opinion of capital punishment, as the author sheds a detracted, yet sympathetic, but also somewhat vengeful light upon the operation of our capital punishment system. This harrowing account of American crime is definitely a must.

4-0 out of 5 stars In Cold Blood
In the story "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote, I found that this man's version of the story was quite interesting to me. He was very descriptive in detail of all the characters of the book by being very meticulous in his writing style. He also performed such extensive research of Holcomb by describing every little detail about the town. This book was unique because of how Truman would talk about Perry Smith and Dick Hickock in one paragraph and then the next paragraph he would switch over to the Clutter family and what they were doing. He had so much information about the Clutters that he even described how the daughter Nancy was helping a little girl learn to bake a pie. By explaining in detail of what happened the day of the murder made this book so interesting that I could not put it down until I read the whole thing. When a writer explains all of the details in this way, someone who reads this book can understand what must have happened and how surprised the town was to have this happen to such a nice family in the community. I was very impressed with how Truman was so particular in his details of the murder itself. Truman identified every piece of the murder and by doing this, I felt like I got to know every character in the book. I know that with forensics today some murders do not take as long to solve, but back in 1959 murders were very rare. This murder case was so intriguing because the police did not have all of the technology of today to help solve this murder. The murder was solved with simple police tactics and this is partially what made the book so interesting for me to read. I would recommend that anyone who likes to read books of this nature, "Cold Blood" would be of interest to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just perfect!
There are only a handful of "perfect" books out in the world. You know what I mean: Books that have a great dramatic arc; books that make "sense;" Books that bring everything together; Books that seem "Classic" even though they might have been written only a few years ago. A few come to mind. Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN is one. McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD is another. And, yes, IN COLD BLOOD is yet a third. There are a few more, but then, everyone has their opinion, so I'll leave it at that. Suffice it to say that this Capote book will NOT disappoint you with its great yet disturbing story. And lest you think that we're (as a society) numb to murder, violence, and the workings of a sick mind, think again, for Capote's brilliant work will still make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It sounds cliche to say "Classic" but that's just what it is.

5-0 out of 5 stars In Cold Blood, an undeniable classic.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a celebrated meld of fact and inference. In it Capote pioneered the genre of the nonfiction novel. Using the real-life murder of the Clutter family in 1959 Holcomb Kansas, Capote spins a story that impresses and engages everyone who reads it. The original way Capote uses scenes creates a specific and lasting impression. His take on the Clutter murders is all-encompassing. It's informative, accurate and saturated with details. Capote transforms a news article into a creative work and makes history doing it.

I thoroughly enjoyed In Cold Blood. Even though the Clutter family was murdered 50 years ago, when I read it the story it felt immediate and pertinent. The psychological insights Capote made in the book, especially when looking at the killers, were phenomenal and ahead of his time. In Cold Blood read like a romance novel with the added intensity of knowing that the content was real; that it actually happened. The connection Capote makes to the Perry is so deep that it left me feeling that Perry was almost the good guy, and although it was inevitable, he wouldn't end up being executed. I suppose that is the real difference between fiction and nonfiction: in nonfiction that author can't twist the plot to create a happy ending.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the five all-time great reads
This book is still holding its own after all these years, and with good reason: It's a well-crafted piece of literature by one of the last century's great American writers. Without a doubt, this is one of the top five books that everyone should read and keep. Not only did Capote develop a new hybrid of book, but he managed to couch the tale in such wonderful prose that it's still haunting and harrowing, even today after all we've seen and been through. But this is the essence of Capote--his ability to get down to the bones of the story, yet give us enough details that make the telling come alive with a fresh horror. And as if this book were not enough of a legacy for him to leave, consider how he changed all literature that came after "In Cold Blood." So many writers have taken their cue from Capote with regard to hybridizing genres (think Berendt's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," or Jackson McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood") that it is impossible to ignore the contributions this brilliant and damaged man has made to the cannon of American literature. But don't be put off by the fact that "Blood" is now a classic--read it for the brilliant story it is. On another note, the movie is equally as harrowing, shot in black and white, with Robert Blake. The scenes in which the Clutter family is killed are some of the most disturbing footage ever to be seen on film. Bottomline: Great book, great movie, great writer. ... Read more


86. Marching Powder : A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail
by Thomas McFadden, Rusty Young
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312330340
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 53112
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Book Description

Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalisted went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time.The result is Marching Powder.

This book establishes that San Pedro is not your average prison.Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation. Violence is a constant threat, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories by night. In San Pedro, cocaine--"Bolivian marching powder"--makes life bearable. Even the prison cat is addicted.

Yet Marching Powder is also the tale of friendship, a place where horror is countered by humor and cruelty and compassion can inhabit the same cell. This is cutting-edge travel-writing and a fascinating account ofinfiltration into the South American drug culture.
... Read more

87. Corruption and the Global Economy
by Kimberly Ann Elliott, Institute for International Economics
list price: $25.00
our price: $21.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881322334
Catlog: Book (1997-06-01)
Publisher: Institute for International Economics
Sales Rank: 59019
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88. Snake Oil: Life's Calculations, Misdirections, And Manipulations
by Jim Rose
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0910155593
Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
Publisher: Bartleby Press
Sales Rank: 31927
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The gyp, hoodwink, shuck, sandbag: An artform that has been passed down through generations of hustlers, con men, and freaks. Selling snake oil is the ultimate con, and readers will find within these pages everything from classic deceptions to the most recent of ruses. From fooling your friends to dangerous stage stunts, Jim Rose, snake oil salesman extraordinaire, provides new angles to old tricks. Those who dare to explore these pages will find themselved enticed by this special brand of snake oil. Step right up: it's all here. There's nothing it won't cure! ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Master work by the circus master
I'd have given this book five stars but for the fact the book was shorter than I'd have liked and some of the info doubles up in subsiquent chapters.However having gotten my very small beef out of the way this book is fascinating.If you ever fantisize about joining the circus or becoming a con man then you'll love this book!!!From mentalism to sword swallowing, from pimping to card sharping.More scams than you can shake a stick at. ... Read more


89. A Goodfella's Guide to New York : Your Personal Tour Through the Mob's Notorious Haunts, Hair-RaisingCrime Scenes, and Infamous Hot Spots
by HENRY HILL, BRYON SCHRECKENGOST
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0761515380
Catlog: Book (2003-04-22)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 35904
Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Quick Fun Read
This book is great. Henry Hill takes the reader on an entertaining trip around NYC. He exposes some of the unknown places and gives a whole new look on other famous places.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pathetic
As the other reviewers point out, this is another shameless attempt by Henry Hill to profit from the hard work of others, namely Martin Scorsese, Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, and Joe Pesci. Any one with a minimal knowledge of organized crime could have written this book. Henry Hill makes the following insightful comments, "New York has four seasons and five crime families." "The worst trip to NYC is if you don't come back (alive)." "If you mispronounce Houston Street, you'll get whacked." Oh yes, Mr. Hill, the SoHo and Village residents will definitely kill when a tourist thrusts such a heinous indignity upon them. Complementing stories that aren't even up to New York Post standards are quite possibly the worst photographs I have ever seen. Photographs include the following: nightclubs at 10am with the shutters closed, an abandoned factor that could be anywhere in the US, a chain link fence at the end of a road, and surveillance shots of fatuously inflated lowlifes hanging around a junkyard. The unfortunate thing about this book is that it could be good. A serious book about the mob by one of its members could very possibly give insight to the rest of us. This is not that book. In Hill speak, other mobsters should have him 'whacked' for embarrassing them since readers may assume the average mob mind is as weak as his.

2-0 out of 5 stars HENRY HILL LIKES TO TELL STORIES
This book contains some interesting stuff but most of it is recycled from wiseguy and the wiseguy cookbook. In addition to being extremely fluffy some of the stuff he says is flat out wrong. He says that Vito Genovese somehow posthumously blew the door off of Frank Costellos crypt. Genovese died in 1969 and Costello died in 1973. Most crackheads can see the problem with this little tidbit. Save your money and read it at the store, it should only take about 15 minutes. By the way, I made the oven penitentiary sauce from his cookbook and it sucked.

5-0 out of 5 stars Through a mobster's eyes
I didn't expect much from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. There's quite a bit of humor AND information, not just one or the other. I especially like the chapter on STAYING IN. When you read it and you'll understand why.

There's plenty to do in New York city of course, but it's nice to veer off the beaten path.

2-0 out of 5 stars Witness Profiteering Program
Henry Hill is, of course, the basis of Ray Liotta's character in Scorsese's Goodfellas. He ratted his buddies out, went into FBI hiding, then left the program. Now he plagues the rest of society by shamelessly appearing on the radio (calling into Howard Stern), in bookstores (Wiseguy, this, a cookbook, and another upcoming crime book), movies (basis), and naturally the Internet, with his own website.

Hill comes off as a complete lowlife in Wiseguy, and he still does. As if we're supposed to be endeared toward a loveable wiseguy who has gone straight, he brings us this, his 'guide' to New York.

This is nothing more than another 'inside' book about the New York mob. It basically lists addresses of Mafia hangouts--restaurants, bars, social clubs, etc, etc. He advises you that this place was where so-and-so got whacked, or never, ever look for this one social club, or such a place had great clams, or Gino is buried here, etc, etc. It's so tired, he's so tired, you wish he'd go away.

Henry Hill was not even a made man, and the people he ratted out are mostly dead or in jail, so there is a notable irony in his expose. He's giving you an inside tour of the Mob's New York, yet he's flat out admitting he was so low down the totem pole he's not even worthy of attention from real gangsters. Talk about credibility issues. That Goodfellas is such a great movie is testament to Scorsese's talent as filmmaker. Henry Hill was the subject not because he was interesting (he's basically a lite goon and a weasel) but because he was willing to blab about it.

Don't waste your $ on this one. You can read the juicy parts in a bookstore. ... Read more


90. The Camorra
by Tom Behan
list price: $125.00
our price: $125.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415099870
Catlog: Book (1996-01-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 648920
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Book Description

The Camorra is the Neopolitan version of the Mafia. It has existed since the 19th century and has grown substantially since the 1980 earthquake in Naples, when it took a major role in rebuilding the city and hence becoming the city's dominant economic power. This book charts the rise of the Camorra through drugs, brutality, poverty and its future and how it might be combated. ... Read more


91. Our Guys
by BERNARD LEFKOWITZ
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375702695
Catlog: Book (1998-04-28)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 173054
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In March 1989 a group of teenage boys lured a retarded girl into a basement in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and gang-raped her. Glen Ridge was the kind of peaceful, affluent suburb many Americans dream about. The rapists were its most popular high school athletes. And although rumors of the crime quickly spread through the town, weeks passed before anyone saw fit to report it to the police. What made these boys capable of brutalizing a girl that some of them had known since childhood? Why did so many of their elders deny the rape and rally around its perpetrators? To solve this riddle, the Edgar award-winning author Bernard Lefkowitz conducted years of research and more than two hundred interviews. The result is not just a wrenching story of crime and punishment, but a hauntingly nuanced portrait of America's jock culture and the hidden world of unrestrained adolescent sexuality.

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Los Angeles Times Prize Finalist
An Edgar Finalist
... Read more

Reviews (63)

5-0 out of 5 stars How true
I have seen some reviewers complain that this book stereotypes the rich or panders to stereotypes against athletes. Let me say that those stereotypes exist for a reason, and that this author is dead on. The high school portrayed in the novel and its predatory athletes reminded me so much of my school that I couldn't put it down. The boys in the book were allowed to get away with everything their entire lives, thanks to their doting parents who spoiled them rotten, their teachers who sucked up to them because their trophies and awards made the school look good, and the girls that fawned over them because of their looks. They knew they could do whatever they wanted, which is why they decided to sadistically rape a mentally retarded girl. This kind of stuff goes on in many perfect suburban communities, featuring "All-American guys", except most of the time it doesn't make the news. An excellent book on a disturbing topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Tragedy of Lionizing High School and College Sports
This is a tragically true story of a young retarded woman in New Jersey who is raped by the "stars" of the town's football team. Some place in every high school curriculum, this book should be on a required reading list and it should be followed up by some serious discussion of the ethical issues presented in this true account of tragedy. If there is truth to the notion of teachable moments in life, there are many to be found in this book that could benefit every educator, student, parent and community member in this country.I would like to say that Bernard Lefkowitz did an outstanding job researching and preparing to write this compellingly true story. Six stars for Lefkowitz' courage and hard work!!! I well imagine he has received death threats as a result of this outstanding and socially significant book. As far as the reality of this documentary, it is a sad indictment of how we "talk the talk" of the ideals of secondary school athletics (and seemingly even worse, intercollegiate athletics), yet, we frequently fail to "walk the walk" to make sure that sports are complementary to the educational process and not of primary importance "in and of themselves" in an individual high school, college or community as a whole.We can look anywhere in this country -- certainly not just in New Jersey where this tragedy takes place and we can observe a twisted and sometimes seeminly pathologically sub-conscious agenda in the support of athletics. Sadly, I have witnessed this most often in the parents of athletes.At the end of this book, I couldn't help but feeling angry and sad about the whole story -- for the victim especially but also for the "star" rapists who had been misguided and used by their parents and their community.Probably more disgusting than the crime itself is the manner in which many members of this New Jersey community tried to minimize what occured by trying to avoid facing the truth about the dangers we create in the idolization of "high school jocks". While so many efforts have been made to improve athletics in the context of academics, there are still some sports that I believe tend to ultimately endanger the physical and emotional well being of kids because of some need their schools and towns have for winning teams and high school "heros."Typical American communities seem to have a tremendous need for winning teams -- most often in Football, increasingly Hockey and of course, Basketball. I mention these three because in my observation, they are often the sports that seem to bring out some of the worst traits in young people.In order of objectified and sanctioned "violence," I have to indict the first two, football and hockey, as among the worst.They are among the most finacially costly for schools to offer and beyond the violence, seem to demand the largest slice of the athletic department's funding. From equipment, to stadiums and rinks, they also have the highest liability insurance rates -- because more kids get physically hurt participating in these two sports than in any other sports that schools can offer. These "costs" don't even measure the potential for "emotional damage" that lots of former athletes suffer after their "stardom" ends.Yes, I understand the ideals of team play, of self discipline and all of the supposed positives of these two sports, I just don't buy it!I have observed first hand too much sanctioned violence on the field and in the stands to believe these sports stands the test of their supposed value. Most sadly, parents are often those screaming loudest for blood -- encouraging their sons and now their daughters to "hurt" the opposition. Supposedly there is no "checking" allowed in women's hockey. Watch a game; they'll take the two minute penalty over the regulation!The more violence, the more excited the fans seem to grow -- Is this something we want to encourage in the young men and women of our society? Some parents seem to be living out their own unmet dreams for themselves now somehow attainable only through their kids' victories. And to what end?The winners get to be "untouchable stars" that basically can do no wrong. That's the case I believe Lefkowitz makes most clearly in this outrageous documentary of violence permitted because of adolescent celebrity. Yes, the perpetrators finally received some consequences but in my estimation, far too little was done, far too late! And, I wonder whether anything has changed in that town?This book is a tremendous companion to one which Buzz Bizzinger wrote called "Friday Night Lights", about a town in Odessa, Texas where the entire community comes out for Football like zealots. While nothing as tragic takes place in ... Lights, as in "Our Guys", what is really clear in both books is how much we cheat kids by making them believe in themselves as "heros" at 16, 17 and 18 years of age -- only for them yet to realize that there's lots left to learn about life and at the end of high school, the star fades when they have outlived their "usefulness" and they're just an ordinary Joe or Jane who can't figure out what happened.Too often some of these "stars" never get over it and have lots of trouble comprehending how to move on in life in a positive manner. Lefkowitz has presented an outstanding work which documents a serious issue every parent, community member and educator needs to think a lot about. Without some lessons taken from Bernard Lefkowitz'tragic story, our society will certainly continue to fail our kids in helping them to develop a healthy, realistic and balanced sense of themselves and their place and tremendous potential for the greater good of our world. Let's not lose kids in early or late adolescence to the despair many now seem to experience when they realize the sun has set on their "stardom"!

5-0 out of 5 stars unforgettable coverage of a surbuban scandal
Sports is famously said to build character and school spirit, and help young people mature into admirable adults. But it can also promote violence against women and help young people cement an offputting sense of entitlement. Parents, teachers and other influential adults who look the other way with a "boys will boys" attitude can, in fact, do a great deal of harm, and this book shows just how.

The author's interest in the Glen Ridge scandal was first piqued when he realized that most of the town apparently supported the boys who sodomized a retarded girl. The girl herself was "asking for trouble." The boys would be scarred for life, it was said, having to undergo a trial.

The author's investigation uncovered a long history on the boys' part of deviant and inappropriate sexual behavior and bullying to peers and even adults. Despite sporadic attempts at discipline, the jocks were mainly permitted to do as they pleased. Until the trial, that is.

The author's sympathies are clearly with the girl, and the reader comes to realize that she is far from the Lolita portrayed by the opposing side's lawyer. In addition, the author uncovers statistics on the correlation between violence and male athletes, even breaking it down by sport. Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Author's Bias Mars Good Account
I bought this book after hearing the author on a talk show. I recalled the case and the author's allusions to masculinity intrigued me enough to purchase and read the book. I even gave the book to others to read. I found it very interesting. It's a riveting account of a rape, really a story about the strong taking advantage of the weak. The perpetrators were a group of athletes. The victim was a retarded girl. However, as time has passed and I reflect upon this book, I share alot of the views of those that have given the book negative reviews. I think alot of what's in the book is just plain unfair, plays on people's stereotypes about athletes and reflects the author's resentments against privilege. For instance, the party that trashed the girl's house didn't even involve the perpetrators. Instead, its suppose to reflect something about the callousness of an affluent suburb. I can't help but think that this author is using this terrible event as an indictment against socio-economic privilege. The perpetrators were from a privileged class: they lived in an affluent area and were part of a popular group, highschool athletes. They did reflect the town's values of materialism and athlete worship. However, it's just unfair to paint a whole town or class for the acts of a few. There are countless examples of less privileged people behaving badly. There are plenty of examples of evil acts by every socio-economic group. These hierarchies in our society reflect material wealth, not moral uprightness or moral turpitude (There may be some individuals who believe that material wealth is a reflection of one's moral superiority but their beliefs are just as wrong as the author's). Moreover, it seems to me that the author really resents the accolades the high school athletes receive and this resentment informs his narrative. For the author, it's the town of Glen Ridge or society which celebrates athleteism and materialism which appears to be as equally guilty as the perpetrators of a rape. Come on! Not only is that a huge leap in logic, but it's pandering to a resentment some feel against those who are more privileged or more popular. If the author dropped this underlying agenda, he would have had a more accurate account - but maybe not a sensational one.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Tale Ironically Repeating Itself on Long Island in 2003!
This is a very worthy real as the trial begins for boys who were members of a Varsity Football Squad of a Long Island High School who allegedly "hazed" the Freshman team by sexually abusing some of them with broomksticks, pine cones and golf balls during Summer Football Camp held in Pennsylvania in August 2003. A community stands divided over the whole incident; broomsticks are being thrown at the victims in the parking lot of school; the football season was cancelled and coaches have been terminated. Yet, the healing hasn't even started. Another high school sports tragedy makes its indelible mark on the lives of many!

When high school and college sports have horror stories like the more recent one in 2003 and the earlier one, which Our Guys considers, there is something wrong! When parents and community members try to minimize it because the team's "shining lights" are involved, that's all the more tragic.

Our Guys is the true story of a young retarded woman in New Jersey who is raped by the "stars" of the town's football team. Some place in every high school curriculum, this book should be on a required reading list and it should be followed up by some serious discussion of the ethical issues presented in this true account of tragedy. If there is truth to the notion of teachable moments in life, there are many to be found in this book that could benefit every educator, student, parent and community member in this country. I would like to say that Bernard Lefkowitz did an outstanding job researching and preparing to write this compellingly true story. Six stars for Lefkowitz' courage and hard work!!! I well imagine he has received death threats as a result of this outstanding and socially significant book. As far as the reality of this documentary, it is a sad indictment of how we "talk the talk" of the ideals of secondary school athletics (and seemingly even worse, intercollegiate athletics), yet, we frequently fail to "walk the walk" to make sure that sports are complementary to the educational process and not of primary importance "in and of themselves" in an individual high school, college or community as a whole. We can look anywhere in this country -- certainly not just in New Jersey where this tragedy takes place and we can observe a twisted and sometimes seemingly pathologically sub-conscious agenda in the support of athletics. Sadly, I have witnessed this most often in the parents of athletes. At the end of this book, I couldn't help but feeling angry and sad about the whole story -- for the victim especially but also for the "star" rapists who had been misguided and used by their parents and their community. Probably more disgusting than the crime itself is the manner in which many members of this New Jersey community tried to minimize what occurred by trying to avoid facing the truth about the dangers we create in the idolization of "high school jocks". While so many efforts have been made to improve athletics in the context of academics, there are still some sports that I believe tend to ultimately endanger the physical and emotional well being of kids because of some need their schools and towns have for winning teams and high school "heroes." Typical American communities seem to have a tremendous need for winning teams -- most often in Football, increasingly Hockey and of course, Basketball. I mention these three because in my observation, they are often the sports that seem to bring out some of the worst traits in young people. In order of objectified and sanctioned "violence," I have to indict the first two, football and hockey, as among the worst. They are among the most financially costly for schools to offer and beyond the violence, seem to demand the largest slice of the athletic department's funding. From equipment, to stadiums and rinks, they also have the highest liability insurance rates -- because more kids get physically hurt participating in these two sports than in any other sports that schools can offer. These "costs" don't even measure the potential for "emotional damage" that lots of former athletes suffer after their "stardom" ends. Yes, I understand the ideals of team play, of self-discipline and all of the supposed positives of these two sports, I just don't buy it! I have observed first hand too much sanctioned violence on the field and in the stands to believe these sports stands the test of their supposed value. Most sadly, parents are often those screaming loudest for blood -- encouraging their sons and now their daughters to "hurt" the opposition. Supposedly there is no "checking" allowed in women's hockey. Watch a game; they'll take the two-minute penalty over the regulation! The more violence, the more excited the fans seem to grow -- Is this something we want to encourage in the young men and women of our society? Some parents seem to be living out their own unmet dreams for themselves now somehow attainable only through their kids' victories. And to what end? The winners get to be "untouchable stars" that basically can do no wrong. That's the case I believe Lefkowitz makes most clearly in this outrageous documentary of violence permitted because of adolescent celebrity. Yes, the perpetrator finally received some consequences but in my estimation, far too little was done, far too late! And, I wonder whether anything has changed in that town? This book is a tremendous companion to one that Buzz Bissinger wrote called "Friday Night Lights", about a town in Odessa, Texas where the entire community comes out for Football like zealots. While nothing as tragic takes place in ... Lights, as in "Our Guys", what is really clear in both books is how much we cheat kids by making them believe in themselves as "heroes" at 16, 17 and 18 years of age -- only for them yet to realize that there's lots left to learn about life and at the end of high school, the star fades when they have outlived their "usefulness" and they're just an ordinary Joe or Jane who can't figure out what happened. Too often some of these "stars" never get over it and have lots of trouble comprehending how to move on in life in a positive manner. Lefkowitz has presented an outstanding work which documents a serious issue every parent, community member and educator needs to think a lot about. Without some lessons taken from Bernard Lefkowitz' tragic story, our society will certainly continue to fail our kids in helping them to develop a healthy, realistic and balanced sense of themselves and their place and tremendous potential for the greater good of our world. Let's not lose kids in early or late adolescence to the despair many now seem to experience when they realize the sun has set on their "stardom"!

Daniel J. Maloney
Saint Paul, MN USA ... Read more


92. The Outfit
by Gus Russo
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582342792
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Sales Rank: 232571
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The never-before-told story of the great Chicago crime family called The Outfit.

It is a common misperception that all the true-life organized crime stories have been written. Yet perhaps the most compelling gangster tale is one that has been, until now, too well-hidden. This is the story of the Outfit: the secretive organized crime cartel that began its reign in prohibition-era Chicago before becoming the real puppet master of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C.

The Outfit recounts the adventures and exploits of its bosses, Tony 'Joe Batters' Accardo (the real Godfather), Murray 'The Camel' or 'Curly' Humphreys (one of the greatest political fixers and union organizers this country has ever known), Paul 'The Waiter' Ricca, and Johnny Rosselli (the liaison between the shadowy world and the outside world). Their invisibility was their strength, and what kept their leader from ever spending a single night in jail. The Outfit bosses were the epitome of style and grace, moving effortlessly among national political figures and Hollywood studio heads-until their world started to crumble in the 1970s.

With extensive research including recently released FBI files, the Chicago Crime files of entertainer Steve Allen, first-ever access to the voluminous working papers of the Kefauver Committee, original interviews with the members of the Fourth Estate who pursued the Outfit for forty years, and exclusive access to the journals of Humphrey's widow, veteran journalist Gus Russo uncovers sixty years of corruption and influence, and examines the shadow history of the United States.
... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars I hope the Pulitzer people read this book.....
This is the first book that I have recommended for the Pulitzer, and this book richly deserves the honor and many more to be heaped upon it.
This book is a fascinating and well researched book, but it is much more than that. It is funny, smartly written and so entertaining that the book is actually a real page turner. The book is a real eye opener to the inner workings of the Chicago mafia and their dealings with the upperworld and political figures spanning 50 years. This book is shocking! The Outfit describes in great detail the association between the mafia and Truman, Lyndon Johnson, The Kennedy's, and numerous state and federal officials.
The book also details the life of Curly Humphreys, the most important mob figure, Tony Accardo, Paul Ricca, Johnny Rosselli, Sam "Momo" Giancana, and Al Capone. The book is rich in details of their lives, it tells of all their exploits and describes their murders, rackets, and other operations. The book breaks down myths and realities regarding certain aspects of their businesses. They talk about the control of unions, the fixing of the Kennedy election, Las Vegas, and various other well known mob exploits that are often surrounded in modern day folklore.
This book is absolutely excellent and it will give you straight facts, which is the most amazing aspect. While entertaining, it is extensively researched which is the best part of the book.

I highly recommend this book, you will not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling Look at the Chicago Mob After Capone
"The Outfit" is a well written, thoroughly comprehensive look at the post-Capone history of organized crime in the city of Chicago. Gus Russo does an excellent job of leaving no stone unturned as he chronicles the Outfit's activity from the jailing of Capone to its decline in the 90s. Along the way we meet the gangsters who made the Chicago mob rich and famous: Tony "Joe Batters" Accardo, Paul "the Waiter" Ricca, "Curly" Humphries, Johnny Roselli,Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik, and Sam "Mooney" Giancana. Russo discusses the role of each in making the Chicago Syndicate the power it was in the world of organized crime.

Russo's breezy style makes "The Outfit" an absolute joy to read, deftly mixing facts and ancedotes like a master chef. Read about the takeover of IATSE, the Hollywood union, and the infiltration of the mob into the world of the Hollywood studios; the Mob's entry and takeover of Las Vegas; the infiltration into the Teamsters and the scheming of the Outfit to fix the 1960 presidential election and what happened when they were doublecrossed. It was by no means a smooth ride - along the way Russo details the eforts of law enforcement to balance the books, so to speak, with the result that the Outfit always had to keep scheming, keep looking, for new rackets and businesses to infiltrate. Russo keeps the pages turning with a compelling style that makes the book's 550 pages seem like 100 when you hit the end.

Few books even attempt to cover the history of the Chicago Mob after Al Capone left the scene. Fewer still are this enjoyuable. A must for crime historians and those just interested in a good book.

2-0 out of 5 stars overrated author
I found alot of the authors references extremely dubious. For example, if Murray Humphries was such a smart mobster I find it hard to believe that he would allow his wife to keep a written journal detailing how the Kennedy election was fixed. The author also left out details of references to bolster his case that with the death of Tony Accordo the Outfit died also. When he cites an article called "Mob Lite" stating that there are only 50 outfit members remaining, he left out the part stating that there are at 700-1200 associates remaining and how they are more sophisticated than ever. I only wonder what else he left out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sets a New Standard
This is about as good as it gets in terms of criminal history. I agree with others that some of the secondary sources Russo cites are questionable (my eyes crossed when he cited the discredited "Last Testament of Lucky Luciano"), but Russo does an excellent job of placing the Outfit in historical context and telling their tale. Much previous writing on American organized crime has focused on the fractious and colorful New York families, but after you do a certain amount of reading, it begins to occur to you that the guys in Chicago seem to have a finger in every pie, but (after Capone) a knack for staying out of the papers. Russo makes the argument that the Outfit was actually much more powerful and cohesive than the New York families and had a much greater influence on American politics and culture. He convinced me.

I am also convinced by Russo's basic thesis -- that "upperworld crime" utterly dwarfs underworld crime, both in terms of dollar volume and its affect on society. For example, it would take a thousand Outfits a thousand years to steal as much money as Wall Street did during the dotcom bubble.

Thorough, well-organized, but never dry, this book will probably stand as the best work on the subject for many years to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars The web of power
Russo has finally written the book that begged to be written: detailing the close interaction sociologically, politically, etc., between the "underworld" as he so aptly calls it and the "upperworld" of nominally respectable business, politics, etc. Michel Foucault would be proud of him. As Al Capone put it: "Everyone is on the take." This book demolishes many stereotypes and cherished myths about both the "mob" and "respectable" business and politics. A sociological bombshell - not for the faint of intellect. ... Read more


93. Cowboy Mafia
by Roy Graham
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970961405
Catlog: Book (2001-03)
Publisher: The Grove Pub
Sales Rank: 42071
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A facinating true story.The largest marijuana smuggling operation in U.S.history and subsequently the largest forfeiture of attachable assets under the arcane laws of (RICO)u.s.c-18.Racketeer influenced corrupt organization act.Oilman,rancher,banker and civic leader Rex Cauble a well known Texas multi-millionare forfeited $90 million dollars in attachable assets:ranches,banks,''Cutterbill'' western wear stores in Dallas and Houston in a highly controversial jury verdict out of Tyler,Tx.The fact that Muscles Foster,former all-around rodeo cowboy world champion and trainer of six-time AQHA,NQHA world champion cutting horse ''Cutterbill''and foreman of Rex Caubles' four thousand acre ranches along with cowboy capos Les Fuller(first ''Marlboro Man''),Ray Hawkins,Dayton Bud Evans,Harry''the hat'' Hannon and others had used Caubles vast ranches for coast to coast distribution of huge quantities of Columbian Red Bud marijuana(unbeknownst to Cauble) enabled the largest forfeiture of attachable assets in U.S. history.The ''COWBOY MAFIA'' smuggled more than 750,000 pounds of premium grade Columbian Red Bud marijuana from the Columbian coastal town of Santa Marta,Columbia to the Texas Gulf coast town of High Island,TX.which is a peninsula community between Galveston,Tx. and Beaumont,Tx.(Texas gulf coast).Each voyage spanned 18-days at sea and 7,500 miles on 80-ft. shrimpboats at an average speed of 10-15 mph,average seas 10-15ft.Columbian!pirates were guaranteed once the American shrimpboats entered Columbian waters.The 80ft. shrimpboats however were anything but average as these trawlers were rigged with saddle fuel tanks for the trans-atlantic trip,(Loran)ship to shore radios and 50-caliber guns for Columbian guerilla as there are no rules of engagement in Columbian waters.These American shrimpboats were sitting ducks or so the Columbian pirates/terrorists thought.On several occasions the horse trainers and rodeo cowboys had to rodeo with the would-be Columbian terrorists unloading 50-caliber rounds into the 20-ft.dingys.The cowboys always got the long end of the rope in these terrorists attacks.These cowboys routinely carried $1.5-2.0 million in cash stuffed in the bottom of scuba tanks as it was cash on delivery in Santa Marta,Columbia.On the return trip they carried 40,000 pounds of Columbian Red Bud marijuana.The ''COWBOY MAFIA'' operated a fleet of 80ft.shrimpboats all named after their pocket personalities(escorts).These shrimpboats were operated along the eastern seaboard with headquarters in High Island,Tx.The front was Thompson seafood(shrimp distributor with no refridgeration).The smuggling operations began in Tampa,St.Petersburg Florida prior to moving the base operation to Texas to operate in wide open space(Caubles vast ranches).As Muscles Foster was the foreman of Caubles' ranches he had the perfect solution to the tightening on smuggling in South Florida.Muscles had the keys to the ranches.Best-selling author Roy Graham tells a fascinating,powerful story that is destined to be a block-buster at the box-office.Oilman Rex cauble was a best friend of Cowboy actor John Wayne and former Texas Governor and presidential candidate John B.Conally.''Oil brothers''they were called.The trio had several oil-drilling projects in partnership.The ''Perfect storm'' pales in comparison to ''COWBOY MAFIA''.''COWBOY MAFIA'' is a registered trademark,all rights reserved. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

2-0 out of 5 stars Poorly Written
I remember this story well from the late 70's and early 80's and this book has some interesting information. However, it is obvious the book was written by someone whose talents do not include writing books. It is full of gross grammatical errors, misspellings, and a general lack of knowledge of our criminal justice system. And to make matters worse, Mr. Graham continually repeats himself. If these small details do not detract from your reading pleasure, the book is a quick, decent read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story.
This is a fabulous story that leaves you wanting more.The idea of these cowboys being on the cusp of a phenomenal move in
technology is absolutely accurate.A few years ahead and these brave souls couldn't have utilized American shrimpboats some 3,000 miles back and forth without being detected.Today,the technology clearly would have detected these shrimpboats before
they cleared the Gulf of Mexico.I remember the news however vaguely of this Cowboy marijuana smuggling operation.This could never happen again.Great read. Glenn Baker

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book
These cowboys were at the watershed of technology.From 1984 to
present technology has advanced dramatically.No GPS tracking systems,satellite technology,etc.These cowboys would certainly be
caught quickly attempting 3,000 miles to Columbia and back.The feat of these cowboys is astonishing.Carrying millions of dollars
in the shrimpboat one-way and 40,000 pounds of Red Bud on the return trip.American Shrimpboats into Santa Marta,Columbia scoring 40,000 pounds....now that's an once in a lifetime true story.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crazy cowboys
This is a great story.I could'nt put it down.I do
recommend this one for sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good one
This great story leaves you wanting more...which is
a good thing. ... Read more


94. Your Evil Twin : Behind the Identity Theft Epidemic
by B.Sullivan
list price: $27.95
our price: $17.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471648108
Catlog: Book (2004-08-20)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 48522
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Book Description

"Your Evil Twin is an unsettling look into a dark corner of the Information Age. It will make you want to put a lock and key on your wallet. Then you’ll realize that’s not enough."
–Robert O’Harrow Jr., staff writer, Washington Post

"This book will make you want to cancel your credit cards–immediately! Sullivan weaves together compelling stories of fraudsters and their victims with thoughtful insights into how public and private systems routinely fail to protect our privacy."
–Rachel Ross, technology reporter, Toronto Star

"Identity theft is one of those crimes people don’t think about until they get hit, and then it’s too late. Bob Sullivan uses potent storytelling, goes easy on the technobaloney, and points readers toward vital precautions and prevention."
–Beau Brendler, consumer investigative editor and former editorial director, ABC News.com

"The Internet is the best thing that’s ever happened to con artists. They can rob you blind or stealyour identity before you suspect anything is wrong. Bob Sullivan is always looking to expose new scams–to warn readers about them and how they can protect themselves. For years, hisinvestigative reporting has led the way in this area. Bob doesn’t try to sound like a tech writer. His writing is easy to read and simple to understand."
–Herb Weisbaum, a Today show consumer specialist

"Perhaps no one in America is more intimately acquainted with the frightening face of the global identity-theft epidemic than Bob Sullivan. Years of conversations with the victims, the thieves, and their pursuers in law enforcement have given him an unrivalled view of a spiraling problem–and an ability to tell a tale that is just as readable and fascinating as it is maddening and horrifying."
–Emory Thomas, former Wall Street Journal reporter and editor, MSN Money

"Only an investigative reporter like Bob Sullivan could reveal the full depth of this creepy phenomenon. His book reads like an exciting detective story, but this surreal and frightening problem is bigger than most people realize. This book is going to open people’s eyes to a problem that has become even more dangerous given the rise in international terrorism. In short, this book is a wake-up call–and a call to action–for the leaders of government and business, especially the credit-card industry."
–Jon Sorensen, New York State Consumer Protection Board ... Read more


95. Bitter Harvest
by Ann Rule
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671868691
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 68696
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

GIFTED WITH A BRILLIANT MIND, BLESSED WITH A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY -- AND CURSED WITH A DESTRUCTIVE MADNESS

In this harrowing New York Times bestseller, Ann Rule is at her masterful best as she winnows horrific truths from the ashes of what seemed like paradise in Prairie Village, Kansas. Rule probes the case of Debora Green, a doctor and a loving mother who seemed to epitomize the dreams of the American heartland. A small-town girl with a genius IQ, she achieved an enviable life: her own medical practice, a handsome physician husband, three perfect children, and an opulent home in an exclusive Kansas City suburb. But when a raging fire destroyed that home and took two lives, the trail of clues led investigators to a stunning conclusion. Piece by piece, Ann Rule digs beneath this placid Midwestern facade to unveil a disturbing portrait of strangely troubled marriages, infidelity, desperation, suicide, and escalating acts of revenge that forever changed dozens of lives. ... Read more

Reviews (104)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bitter Harvest leaves a bitter taste
I read true crime basically, to try and understand what makes people do what they do. I still don't know if I will ever understand this Mother/Doctor. I suppose what makes this story all the more horrifying is that she had been a practicing physician. Ann Rule is at her best with this shocking, horrifying tale. Each time I remebered that this was fact not fiction, I was filled to revulsion, at times, totally anguished. The book is riveting. My heart bled for those poor, innocent children. All I can say is that their Mother was truly a mad woman. Obviously, Dr. Green should be buried underneath the prison which she sits in--alive! The sad thing about it, is that I don't even know if this woman was actually "sick." I don't think she deserves that much benefit of a doubt. Anne does a great job depicting this nightmare.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ann Rule writes brilliantly on an unremarkable subject..
Bitter Harvest is the true story of a very disturbed woman accused of setting her home alight while her children sleep inside, and of attempting to poison her husband. True to form, Ann Rule expertly "peels the onion" of this story starting with a thorough examination of this woman's background, her family life, the events leading up to the tragedy, the tragedy itself, the trial, and finally the outcome of the trial. But surprisingly this winning formula which worked so well in her other books failed to ignite this reader. Why?...

Ann Rule's books succeed when the main villian is either a dangerous, violent psychopath (as in her wonderful Stranger Beside Me), or a manipulative, evil yet clever monster who almost gets away with murder (as in her superb If You Really Loved Me). But in Bitter Harvest the villian is just a very depressed, somewhat deranged substance abuser who ultimately commits an irrational crime which she (and her family) will always regret. Interesting yet not exactly enthralling stuff.

Bottom line: expertly written, balanced journalism by Ann Rule. Too bad she didn't select a better true crime story to write about.

4-0 out of 5 stars To Bookworm
Out of curiosity, how are we supposed to e-mail you without an address?

1-0 out of 5 stars I lived the story
Debora Green and her surviving child are vary close friends of my family and have been for many, many years. You notice I leave Mike Farrar out of the equation. There are reasons, and for those of you bright enough to spot the overwhelming bias in this book, bravo for you.

I am a huge Ann Rule fan, mostly because I have always found her to be fair and unbiased when she writes these horrific tales, however, upon reading Bitter Harvest, I found myself disturbed, yes, but not just because of the terrors in the lives of these people. My disturbance came from the fact that it leans so heavily to Dr. Farrar being Mr. Wonderful and completely innocent.Anyone around knows the real story.

I'm not saying Debora was, by any stretch of the imagination, perfect. Yes, Debora was a raging alcoholic. That is not a fact that she has ever denied. Yes, there were many problems in that family, but to Debora, her children always came first and formost, however, alcoholism is a serious disease and there were times she was ill-equiped to handle motherhood. That didn't mean she wanted her children dead.

There are many things I could say about that night, the night of the fire, and how the investigation was handled. There was a disturbing lack of evidence in this case, and Debora is now serving a "hard 40" which in Kansas, is considered life.

But the big thing I will say is, if you read this book, if you waste your time on this biased and completely unfair story, while you read of "Lissa," who is my friend, think of this...Lissa loves her mom dearly. She still does and always has. She visits her almost weekly, making the hour-and-a-half each way drive to spend just a few hours talking with her. She still has many demons to overcome and has had a hard road to trsvel. But she supports and stands by her mother steadfastly.

I believe Ann Rule usually gets to know the people she writes of, but in this case, she has no idea about these people, Debora or Lissa, and she only knows of Mike the fascade he put on for her.

Keep your eye on this case. There are new developments in arson investigation and some of the top experts in the world are interested in Debora.

If you want to know, please feel free to email me. It is my hope that the truth of this story gets out someday.

3-0 out of 5 stars Riveting but disturbing
This was a difficult book to rate - it was riveting and fascinating to read, but Rule's one-sided sympathy with Mike was hard to take. Frankly, I think he may have been guilty. He clearly is a user - he married Deborah in large part because he was impressed with her earnings and achievements, and then he expected her to transform herself to suit him - ie, he valued neatness, order and schedules, so she was a bad person because she did not. Clearly, her fall from confidence and sanity during the marriage had something to do with having a husband who conveyed that she was not ok as is, but needed to change to meet his standards to be acceptable to receive his love. He was an adulterer who used both Deborah and Celeste, and seemed more concerned about his own feelings and problems than any danger to his children. Which makes me wonder, like other reviewers, if he didn't set Deborah up for a fall because he was tired of being married to her, especially based upon his reaction at the time of the fire. Also, all the emphasis on handsome v. ugly bugged me, since I didn't think Mike was handsome, on the inside or the out.
It would be fascinating to know the real story - which I feel is still hidden beneath the facts in the book. ... Read more


96. Signature Killers
by Robert Keppel
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671001302
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 100565
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Signature Killers is a peculiar yet valuable book--repetitious, brilliant, turgid, passionate, and indispensable for understanding serial killers. Those who persevere through the prolix writing style will be rewarded by compelling insights into the psychological needs, and evolution over time, of a specific type of murderer, one whose key characteristic is not so much that he kills multiple people, but that he leaves a signature behind at every crime scene. Robert Keppel knows what he's talking about: He's been involved in more than 2,000 murder investigations, including 50 high-profile serial cases. The topics he covers in exhaustive and harrowing detail (Signature Killers is not for the faint of heart) include "the essence of torture," "the anger-retaliation signature," "the picquerism signature," "the psychological imprint of a sadist," "the retaliation-to-excitation continuum," and why Jeffrey Dahmer is "the black hole at the end of the continuum." ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterwork
Bob Keppel cut his teeth working the Ted Bundy murders in Washington State in the mid-1970s. He later went on to work the infamous "Green River" investigation, as well as consulting on other high-profile serial murder cases like the Atlanta child murders in 1979-1981. He has worked with leading law enforcement professionals on the state and federal levels. As such, Keppel is well-positioned to discuss serial murder.

Signature Killers focuses on sexual offenders who leave "signatures" at their crime scenes. These individuals are compulsively forced to commit certain acts that will not vary from crime to crime. So while a murderer may change his modus operandi -- climbing in a window one time, picking a lock the next -- his signature will not change. Perhaps even more interesting is Keppel's theory on the "arc" of violence that murderers move through. Included are discussions on sadism, picquerism, and even cannibalism.

Many reviewers have complained that Keppel's writing style leaves something to be desired. While this is probably true, I think it should be pointed out that this book almost certainly derives from Keppel's dissertation in pursuit of his Ph.D. Keppel appears to have taken sections from his thesis and added commentary to form a book. The discerning reader can see where the structured style of the dissertation leaves off and the conversational, casual style begins. I don't consider this a fault; I'm glad to have this accessible book to read instead of a dry, stuffy doctoral dissertation. Keppel should be commended for making this material available to a wider audience.

Anyone interested in the motives of serial offenders can hardly do better than to turn to Dr. Bob Keppel. Others have said, and I agree, that Keppel's last chapter -- regarding the cause(s) of increasing violence in our society -- leaves a bit to be desired. But Keppel is entitled to his opinion (which, in this case, cannot be proved or disproved with ease) and it certainly doesn't diminish the comprehensive knowledge on serial sexual offenders that Keppel makes available to readers in Signature Killers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read but can get redundant
As a lover of true-crime books, I appreciated Keppel's detailed explanation of how a signature differs from an MO. Keppel does a wonderful job of explaining the process of determining a serial killer's signature, and exactly what these signatures tell the investigator about the killer. He also uses real cases and the details of the crimes to walk the lay-person through the actual apprehension.

As previous reviewers have already stated, and I would agree, Keppel isn't truly a "great" writer. His style does tend to be very factual and rather dry. This probably stems from having to give just hard facts when writing reports but translates to often dry data for an average reader. Moreover, Keppel has an annoying habit of repeating the same thing over and over and over and over... well, you get the idea. Sometimes, it actually felt insulting, as though he thought the reader wasn't smart enough to remember what he had explained a few paragraphs before.

Finally, as another reader already stated, the final chapter was truly annoying. Instead of using the opportunity to summarize on the info gained from the book, or to bring out final thoughts for the reader; instead Keppel used this to soapbox his views of the American Family Structure. While much of this may or may not be right on target, I was not interested in Mr. Keppel's opinion on the state of Family Values. I would and have read sociology books to garter that type of information.

Overall, however, I would recommend this book. It is a quick and easy read and a wealth of good information for true-crime readers. Just bare in mind that you may find yourself reading the same information over and over at parts. Just bare in mind that you may find yourself reading the same information over and over in parts. LOL. ---Kathryn White-Fidram

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Study of Serial Killers & Serial Abusers
.
Dr. Keppel presents his concept of diphasic personality formation of people who become serial killers. He believes it is a mistake to believe there is a fundamental gap between serial killers and serial abusers, those who stop short of actually killing their victims. Serial killers and serial abusers, according to Keppel's are childhood victims of neglect, often by an absent parent, who displace their anger onto others whom they perceive to be at a disadvantage.

For instance, the serial abuser can be the neglected child of a calculatingly cruel prominent surgeon, whose cruelties to his own families are not apparent to outsiders, yet which child acts out his own anger towards his own father [or mother] by methodically and cunningly gaining psychological control over other neighborhood children [males and/or females] and torturing them through continual [sexual] humiliation.

The serial abuser can be the therapist who gains control over his/her patients by placing them into an emotional bondage, grafitying himself/herself through exploiting them, and even acting out a necrophilic scenario with a drugged patient, stories we hear about only when they make the evening news.

Many people are walking victims of serial abusers, who are abused even further by the professionals they turn to for help.

Keppel's book is an invaluable tool for parents, behaviorists and those working in the criminal justice system and mental health system.

(...)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I am the Director of Justice Studies at dodge city community college in dodge city, kansas. I teach a class on serial killers. Keppels book is excellent! He does an excellent job of explaining the difference between an MO and a signature. I encourage my students to read Keppels books and John Douglas's.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good investigator, not such a good writer
Keppel is obviously a very intelligent man with vast experience in serial murder investigation, and at the forefront of his field. The book explores some very interesting concepts through the use of many famous investigations. However, Keppel seems to write with a real lack of emotion, which I guess is necessary in his job. Which is why he should stick with that job instead of trying to be a writer. The lack of emotion made it feel like I was reading a calculus textbook. Keppel also seems to repeat himself over and over throughout the different chapters. This only adds to the boredom. ... Read more


97. The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro
by Kenn Thomas, Jim Keith
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0922915911
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Feral House
Sales Rank: 44675
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Investigator Danny Casolaro's 1991 death in a Martinsburg, West Virginia hotel opened the door to a world of conspiracy and intrigue that continues to haunt today's headlines. This fully revised and updated edition unveils the hidden political and technological realities behind the culture of contemporary global warfare. It contains photographs, illustrations, and new chapters on conspiracy in the death of Princess Diana, the suspicious death of coauthor Jim Keith, and the events of 9/11. A timely book, The Octopus is as harrowing as the best spy fiction — only it's real and it's happening now. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Well Researched, but missing something
I was interested in this topic and read the two reviews below. I decided to pick this book up, I was amazed by the depth and breadth of the research that went into this book. The only complaint I have is that I would be reading the book and forget what I had just read. The prose is occasionally awkward and caused me to have to go back and re-read the previous paragraph or page just to see what or who the authors were discussing.

All in all I'm glad I read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Frightening Indictment
Kenn and Jim's magnum opus. (RIP, beloved friend to humankind.) This book is as scary as they come, and stranger than fiction. As a conspiracy writer, I found myself shaking while reading it. THEY are real, and THEY can do and have done horrifying things. The Octopus is the Matrix vivified.

This book is especially important for anyone who still naively believes "there are no conspiracies." The word "conspiracy" means "to breathe together." Only two people are needed to make a conspiracy, and this book will leave you breathless.

Danny Casolaro is a heroic figure who bravely and, perhaps, foolhardily attempted to foil the Octopus, whose tendons reach into the most intimate parts of all our lives. He should never be forgotten. Thank goodness for the valiant likes of Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith for telling his story. Movie studios should be clamoring for this highly untold story - but they are no doubt part of the Octopus. Danny, Kenn and Jim should be lauded for their audacity and courage in bringing forth this treacherous tale of murder and mayhem. Such valor is akin to that of Gary Webb in his expose of CIA drug-dealing.

Carry on, fellow warriors for truth.

Acharya S; Archaeologist, Historian, Mythologist, Linguist; Member, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece; Associate Director, Institute for Historical Accuracy; Director, Center of the Research and Study of Theology; Author, "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold"

4-0 out of 5 stars A Vitally Important Read for Citizens Worldwide
This delves into Danny Casolaro's investigation of the U.S. Justice Department's apparent crooked dealings with Inslaw, the software company that developed the spy software, PROMIS, for Justice under an agreement in which Inslaw apparently retained all proprietary rights to PROMIS. Justice reneged on paying Inslaw, yet PROMIS turned up illegally at other government agencies and foreign governments. This opened a Pandora's Box involving what Sir Winston Churchill called the High Cabal and Casolaro dubbed the Octopus; a handful of arrogant self-appointed aristocrats who are determined to force upon mankind the New World Order that madmen like Adolf Hitler and George H.W. Bush have raved about for centuries; a world government controlled by these elitists; one without constitutional rights. These murderous zealots stop at nothing to achieve their objectives. Aside from very few inaccuracies (like the time of George deMohrenschildt's death) this is well researched and written. ... Read more


98. The Oligarchs: Wealth & Power in the New Russia
by David E. Hoffman, David Hoffman
list price: $30.00
our price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586480014
Catlog: Book (2002-02)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 367115
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A brilliant investigative marrative: How six average Soviet men rose to the pinnacle of Russia's battered economy.

David Hoffman, former Moscow bureau chief for The Washington Post, sheds light onto the hidden lives of Russia's most feared power brokers: the oligarchs. Focusing on six of these ruthless men Hoffman reveals how a few players managed to take over Russia's cash-strapped economy and then divvy it up in loans-for-shares deals.

Before perestroika, these men were normal Soviet citizens, stuck in a dead-end system, claustrophobic apartments, and long bread lines. But as Communism loosened, they found gaps in the economy and reaped huge fortunes by getting their hands on fast money. They were entrepreneurs. As the government weakened and their businesses flourished, they grew greedier. Now the stakes were higher. The state was auctioning off its own assets to the highest bidder. The tycoons go on wild borrowing sprees, taking billions of dollars from gullible western lenders. Meanwhile, Russia is building up a debt bomb. When the ruble finally collapses and Russia defaults, the tycoons try to save themselves by hiding their assets and running for cover. They turn against each other as each one faces a stark choice-annihilate or be annihilated.

The story of the old Russia was spies, dissidents, and missiles. This is the new Russia, where civil society and the rule of law have little or no meaning. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Job!
Much better than I expected, a serious work with a great deal of research invovled. It avoided the typical lurid embellishments of the genre, and also made the point of the important period of transistion in the Gorbachev period, where nascent Russian capitalism started. It lacks somewhat in that it focuses on only six men, and they are of varying importance in the post-Yeltsin period. As Putin reportedly said when asked about Berezovsky--"Who?" Nevertheless, a good job, an interesting read and thankfully avoids falling into the tabloid style of so much of the literature on the topic.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Six
David Hoffman's "The Oligarchs" documents in great detail the rise of 6 businessmen--Aleksandr Smolensky, Yuri Luzhkov, anatoly Chubais, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky--who became the "oligarchs" who shaped the political and economic landscape of the New Russia. They were merely ordinary Russians until the Soviet Union collapsed. So how did a mere handful Russians end up controlling such an epic proportion of Russia's economy and have such great influence in its politics? And how did they manage to rise at Russia's decline? Hoffman's book will answer these questions by piecing together extensive research and interview to create a well-balanced, serious but at the same time, a downright fun and readable book. "The Oligarchs" is a landmark. ... Read more


99. The Warren Commission Report : Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
by President's Commission On The Assassinat, United States
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0312082576
Catlog: Book (1992-02-15)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 150569
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

President Lyndon B. Johnson, by Executive Order No. 11130 dated November 29, 1963, created this Commission to investigate the assassination on November 22,1963, of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. The President directed the Commission to evaluate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination and the subsequent killing of the alleged assassin and to report its findings and conclusions to him.

The subject of the Commission's inquiry was a chain of events which saddened and shocked the people of the United States and of the world. The assassination of President Kennedy and the simultaneous wounding of John B. Connally, Jr., Governor of Texas, has been followed within an hour by the slaying of Patrolman J.D. Tippit of the Dallas Police Department. In the United States and abroad, these events evoked universal demands for and explanation. --from the Foreward

Since its release in 1964, the Warren Commission Report has been at the heart of an ever-growing debate on the events surrounding the assassination of JFK. Long unavailable, this is perhaps one of the most important and controversial documents of the twentieth century. Now available again-complete and unabridged-this is the essential document of the Kennedy assassination.
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Was there a conspiracy? (40th Anniversary review)
The Warren Report is the basic starting point for anybody who is even remotely interested in researching the JFK assassination. The book is massive - nearly 2 inches thick, 9 inches in length and 6 inches in width and clocks in at 888 pages. There are many illustrations and photographs to help break the monotony and they are helpful in understanding the text.

Be forewarned. This report is not to be taken at face value. It promotes itself while at the same time laying blame on everybody from Oswald to the Secret Service and the Dallas County Police. You have every right to be critical of this book because of its omissions. One of the most important pieces of evidence - the autopsy photographs - have been completely omitted. Not because they would serve as only disturbing the American people and the Kennedy family but because they where deliberately HOAXED when revealed to the public through the media. There is no excuse for providing the American people with autopsy photographs of another dead man who was not President Kennedy. The original autopsy photographs have since come to light and these shed new information on the case. The report does not even touch on that topic. These photographs alone should warrant deep consideration by the even the most hardened lone-gunman supporters. How can the Warren Report expound on the wrongness of the Dallas Police revealing inaccurate case information when itself is staying shut-mouthed on the deliberately hoaxed autopsy photographs? This kind of hypocrisy is mind shattering and only serves to drive home the most important item of interest of the whole affair - that the US government is knowingly and deliberately hiding evidence and information to protect some interest. You must read more elsewhere to learn the full facts of the case and the other host of omissions that where deliberately kept aside from this report.

The warren commission report starts with its summary and conclusions - that Oswald acted alone in killing President Kennedy and that there was no conspiracy. It then gives a brief synopsis of the assassination and the circumstances surrounding the events on November 22nd 1963. The report continues by developing the scenario in the Texas School Book Depository including the evidence gained from witnesses at the scene and the recovery of the riffle, spent shells and prints. Connections are established between Oswald and the riffle and the School Book Depository building before moving on to the motive and Oswalds background.

The report then deals with Oswalds detention, the media, Oswalds murder and his assassin - Jack Ruby. The next chapter deals with investigating a possible conspiracy before laying out Oswalds background in detail. Next up the Warren report deals with the protection of the President and concludes the entire events on page 468. The remainder of the book goes in-depth with expert witness testimony with several recommendations and more background on Oswald.

In the end you are left feeling that Oswald was involved in the assassination one way or another and certainly the slaying of Officer J.D Tippit by Oswald is the clincher. The murder of patrolman Tippit is a key event which shows that Oswald was capable of murder and was also on a killing frenzy at the time of the assassination. He also tried to shoot officers when he was apprehended in the film theatre. Did Oswald shoot President Kennedy? Probably Yes. Could the Magic bullet theory work? It is possible. Did Jack Ruby kill Oswald on the spur of the moment? The facts surrounding this are vague. Did Oswald act alone? It is possible but unlikely. Does the Warren report do justice for the American people and the people of the world? Absolutely not. Does the Warren report deliberately neglect important and relevant information? Absolutely. Would an impartial jury convict Oswald on the assassination of President Kennedy based on the evidence? Probably not because there is too much doubt at large to deal with. Would an impartial jury convict Oswald of the murder J.D Tippit? Yes. Is there a cover-up and if so why?

The truth is that there is probably a cover-up involved and the Warren report as it stands today is absolute proof that the US government at the time was knee-deep in a conspiracy of some kind simply based on its omissions and neglect to deal with highly important and relevant evidence. Was there a government conspiracy to assassinate the President? Probably not, but there was a cover-up of a conspiracy of some kind and this is what is at the heart of the whole assassination and the follow up events including this report. A blind eye has probably been turned to the truth surrounding the assassination because President Kennedy was considered an obstacle to many important people. In fact the Warren Commission report has all the hallmarks of a new administration that just wants to sweep everything under the carpet.

All in all this is a five star book, not because of the quality of the report, but because its contents when compared to what we now know only serve as a reminder that even the administrators of what is supposed to be a leading democratic and free nation can act in such a wreckful and manipulative manner.

In short Oswald was definitely firing shots from the Dallas School Book Depository building. He owned the gun that shot at the president. He murdered a police officer and tried to kill more. He also tried to assassinate Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker but failed. The chances that Oswald was the only one firing shots at President Kennedy that fateful day in Dallas are slim. When you add an extra shooter the whole thing falls into place. To quote Occams Razor - When explaining a thing, no more assumptions should be made than are necessary.

Magic Bullet vs more than one assassin? - The extra assassin is simply the more logical conclusion easily.

5-0 out of 5 stars This rating should be for importance, not content
Whether a steadfast believer that Oswald acted alone, a staunch conspiracy theorist, or an undecided observer of the John F. Kennedy assassination, this book should be your starting point for research into making an informed judgement. Virtually every book on this subject references the Warren Report, either for support or to point out flaws, inconsistencies, and omissions. The Warren Report can be argued as wrought with errors or even completely false, but one has the responsibility of reading it before passing any judgement, since it was indeed the first official stance taken by the U.S. government regarding the murder of JFK. I give the Warren Report a five star rating not because I purport to stand behind its conclusions, but because I view it as the quintessential starting point on this subject. Far too many opinions have already been cast by individuals who trash this work outright without ever having read it. Judge for yourself, and then move on to enlightened works that either support its findings or take great exception. Regardless of your opinion, it will be an informed one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get a Clue
Oswald. From the Texas School Book Depository. With the rifle.

4-0 out of 5 stars Deficient at points, but still good
The Warren Report is deficient on some points, but on the whole it is quite good. The evidence collected in such a short period of time is stunning and the conclusions drawn are good. Read this and Posners Case Closed for the truth on this subject.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Seven Stooges
I have just started to read this book and am up to page 135, it has crossed my mind on many occasions should I continue to read this book of fiction. How could a group of seven so called intelligent men put their signatures to such a report, they should be ashamed of themselves. The short sighted cartoon character Mr Magoo could have done a better job, a waste of tax payers money. ... Read more


100. Race Against Evil: The Secret Missions of the Interpol Agent Who Tracked the World's Most Sinister Criminals
by David Race Bannon
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0882822314
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: New Horizon Press
Sales Rank: 68396
Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This electric narrative of suspense and intrigue delivers a firsthand account of heinous criminals and stern justice from the insider's view of David Race Bannon. At age 18, the American youth is recruited by Interpol after he is caught in a deadly riot in South Korea.

Over the next 15 years, Bannon is trained to work in the darkest regions of humanity, to deny societal inhibitors against killing and embrace the agency's role as deliverer of grim justice to evildoers beyond the reach of the law. His missions take him from investigating the bombing of KAL 858 and infiltrating prisons in Korea to the disappearance of London's most notorious child pornographer and searching out terrorists and criminals in the United States.

Disclosing the tactics, teamwork, weapons and combat techniques the world's secretive agency uses, he shares the joys and pains of victims and officers; the thrill of love under fire which ends when his fiancee, a French DST agent, dies in his arms during a savage confrontation with terrorist cells; and Interpol's role in capturing and punishing kidnappers and enslavers who traffic in human beings. Here also is the very personal, true story of a man on the front lines of international justice who struggles to reconcile his search for inner peace with the violence required to protect innocents. In his journey to reach the redemption he seeks, he is led to his ultimate encounter with his own destiny. ... Read more

Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put this book down
It wouldn't be quite accurate to say I enjoyed this book, due to its sad subject matter and the many tragedies described. But I couldn't put it down, read it in two sittings, and will keep it to possibly read again. I work for a magazine that reviews books, and I found Race Against Evil in the stack of hundreds of reviewer's copies in our office. I like to read about espionage so I picked it up because the word "Interpol" was on the cover, thinking it was about the political kind of espionage. It's actually about the struggle to end international trafficking in children and child pornography. After reading it, I have nothing but admiration for Mr. Bannon. He endured a great deal of personal tragedy, and subjected himself to the kind of horrible crimes most of us would rather not think about, in order to rid the world of the wicked people who murder and torture children. Often he posted as a pedophile in order to get close to the criminals targeted by Interpol. There are some who would say that he, and Interpol, were wrong to assassinate these kinds of criminals, yet the alternative would be that they would escape justice, and continue to murder and abuse children. It's worth noting that there was one American child molester that he did not kill, but left him injured with the evidence of his crime around him, hoping that the US justice system would give him his due. But most of the assinations took place in other countries, such as Romania and Thailand, where these criminals would escape prosecution.Rather than being shocked at the executions of these vile criminals, I felt glad as I read about them. In the course of the book, many children are rescued from hideous nightmares, and how many other innocent lives would have been ruined if Interpol hadn't stopped these criminals in the only way possible? Sometimes you have to look at life in terms of choices. The ideal solution would be to bring the criminals to justice, but since they purposely took refuge in countries where they could not be prosecuted, the choices were allowing them to continue to their vile crimes, or to kill them and to prevent any further murder and torture of children. Personally, I'm not shedding any tears that these child abusers were killed without mercy, and I respect and admire Mr. Bannon for his role in the effort to stop this hideous crime. It's also a well-written and fascinating read, although the subject matter is often disturbing, it's an important and necessary book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seeking Bannon
Race Against Evil is a fascinating, highly readable and weighty addition to the relatively small number of worthwhile books about Interpol. It is a remarkable achievement that any student of the intelligence community should read.

Often regarded as a mystery, Interpol (the world association of national police forces for mutual assistance in the fight against international crimes and criminal conspiracies) is analysed and exposed in this book by a retired officer of the organisation, and its inner workings scrutinized. Untold tales of undercover work, conspiracies and outstanding bravery constitute Bannon's personal account, in which he avoids more than a brief description of Interpol in the 1930s and the murky years when it fell into the hands of the Gestapo, focusing instead on its renaissance in the 1980s.

Interpol is one of the world's most elusive organisations. Its operations remain veiled from scrutiny and to write about Interpol risks harassment and prosecution, as former members and current commentators know to their cost. Like Britain's most celebrated spymaster, William Stephenson (known by the telegraphic address, Intrepid, used for the British Security Coordination (BSC) office he ran in New York), David Bannon has been taking flak for his autobiography, Race Against Evil. But the life of the professional spy is by nature one of secret accomplishment and shadowy triumph. Trying to shine a light into this world, especially twenty years on, is a daunting exercise. If it accomplishes nothing else, it should serve to remind us of the dark world faced by such individuals.

Like so many Interpol agents, Bannon contributed silently, exercising his skills behind the scenes. The nature of the business is that he and his colleagues went largely unsung. It's part of the mythology. Efforts to emerge from the shadows naturally engender scepticism. Large, reliable news services have validated many of the facts presented in the book. Only one source - a small weekly (circ. 9,000) in the southern United States - questioned Bannon's intelligence adventures, doing so without interviews, research or qualified reportage and therefore it is irrelevant to an educated discussion of the verifiable facts presented in the book.

There is little question that Bannon has an honourable record and that he served Interpol admirably. His publications in Asian affairs and many translations - he read history at Seoul National University - are easy for any competent researcher to confirm. The larger question relates to the substance of his clandestine career. In this, the enigmatic nature of Interpol has pretty well doomed Bannon from the start. The fact that Interpol is still shrouded in public contradictions and official secrecy makes for a challenging research environment. To this day, many of the people from Bannon's Interpol circle cling tenaciously to their code of secrecy. It is very difficult to pry information from them.

Of great interest are Bannon's personal details of French-born master spy Jacques H. Defferre, to whom Interpol gave the code name Archie, who died this year at age 67 in Marseilles, France. Protean in his exploits, Defferre served as a commissioner in Interpol. During the Vietnam War, Jacques Defferre set up Interpol's spy operations in Asia and coordinated the exchange of intelligence between France and South Korea. In this capacity, he also served as a trusted and confidential intermediary between South Korea's President Park Chunghee and Interpol. Defferre's influence extended to helping shape Interpol intelligence and special operations capabilities, namely the investigative branch Rosetta and its enforcement arm, Archangel, both assigned to investigate international child traffic. Among the operations undertaken by Defferre as head of the Rosetta Division at his La Verpillere based operation was assassination of slavers. Accounts of his division's successes helped inspire awareness of the child sex trade at international conferences. A full accounting of Defferre's service has proven elusive: a reflection of the trade of intelligence and the personality of those with a vocation for it. I suspect Defferre was amused by all the controversy surrounding him. That he seems to have taken many of his secrets safely to the grave is the spy's ultimate achievement.

Epitomised in the public imagination by James Bond, Interpol's svelte and glamorous image has been peeled away by Bannon's searching revelations to reveal a less savoury truth. Here is the story of Interpol's recruitment of former criminals during the 1980s; campaigns against child sex rings in Europe and Asia; Operation Archangel; and many other little-known operations. The dealings of the Belgian Beast Marc Dutroux, the Wonderland Club, and North Korean labour camps, among others, are also fully explained, as are the many tensions that have existed and to some extent still exist between Interpol and its sister intelligence organisations especially in contentious areas such as Thailand and South Korea.

It is impossible, under the laws presently shielding Interpol, to write about its daily activities. But Interpol has a history, and this book reveals a great deal. Here for the first time is an operational history of Interpol's activities and attitudes. Bannon's is a searching story of the characters and situations in which the games have been played, and of twenty years of international political intriguing, spying and thuggery - all in the name of intelligence.

By Geoffrey Ries, a former intelligence officer.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unreadable and Implausible
This is without a doubt the most unreadable book I have ever read. Not a single paragraph rings true. It is inconceivable that Amazon's 5-star rating is legit. Everything and everyone Bannon writes about is lifeless. The reader is never given any sense of how this young man supposedly transitioned from Mormon missionary to hitman. The confusing and disjointed narrative is made even more irritating by the dozens of names he stirs into his story. These are names of people that are complete ciphers and often seem to be included for no reason other than to add to the reader's general confusion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vivid
This is one of those memoirs of a difficult, violent life, that makes riveting reading. Clearly the author, David Bannon, felt he had something to tell, and he tells it vividly. Bannon offers an unforgettable evocation of the bitter crimes against children hidden in the world's dark undergrounds and each page seems steeped in the blood of his plea: "We as citizens of the world must band together to stop it." Bannon's words are gaunt and lined, marked with mortality. Places are strongly evoked: a small, isolated, squalid village or a towering city. Sometimes, though, Bannon's tale is vague and indeed he acknowledges this freely. He changes names of victims and active officers, but never wavers from his rallying cry: "We're here because they're out there." It is the nature of this underground that shocks us. This weird sense of anachronism makes this a riveting if sometimes uncomfortable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic
This book concentrates a lot on Bannon's past training for Interpol, carrying on from early days. Essential readiong for all die hard crime fans, and recommended to all. ... Read more


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