True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Cri

True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Cri

United States

Every week host Dan Zupansky will interview the authors that have written about the most shocking killers of all time.

Episodes

WHO KILLED BOB CRANE?-John Hook  

  The 1978 murder of actor and American icon Bob Crane remains one of the most high-profile unsolved celebrity murders of all time. Thirty-eight years after his brutal murder in Scottsdale, Arizona, millions around the world still want answers. Was John Carpenter the killer? Or did police arrest an innocent man? For nearly 40 years, police remained convinced of Carpenter’s guilt. Early DNA testing, decades ago, was unable to positively link Carpenter to the crime. The two friends lived on the edge, sharing a dark obsession—videotaping women during their sexual encounters. In an unprecedented investigation, reporter John Hook retests the original blood evidence using modern DNA science in a final search for answers. Scientists believe this is the last chance to test DNA from the crime scene— the final close-up—in identifying Bob Crane’s killer. Hook has exhausted all remaining avenues to unearth answers in this intriguing and haunting cold case. Will he close the book on the Crane murder once and for alll. Who Killed Bob Crane? is Hook’s first-hand account of a two-year investigation and search for the truth. It’s seen though the eyes of the people who were there—witnesses, detectives, prosecutors, jurors, and family members. John Hook takes readers on an incredible reporter’s journey for an inside look at the sensational physical evidence in a final attempt to learn the truth in Who Killed Bob Crane?: The Final Close-Up-John Hook

WOLF BOYS-Dan Slater  

The story of two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel, and their pursuit by a Mexican-American detective.  At first glance, Gabriel Cardona is the poster boy American teenager: great athlete, bright, handsome, and charismatic. But the streets of his border town of Laredo, Texas, are poor and dangerous, and it isn’t long before Gabriel abandons his promising future for the allure of the Zetas, a drug cartel with roots in the Mexican military. His younger friend Bart, as well as others from Gabriel’s childhood, join him in working for the Zetas, boosting cars and smuggling drugs, eventually catching the eye of the cartel’s leadership. Meanwhile, Mexican-born Detective Robert Garcia has worked hard all his life and is now struggling to raise his family in America. As violence spills over the border, Detective Garcia’s pursuit of the boys, and their cartel leaders, puts him face to face with the urgent consequences of a war he sees as unwinnable. In Wolf Boys Dan Slater shares their stories, taking us from the Sierra Madre mountaintops to the,dark alleys of Laredo, Texas, on a harrowing journey into the heart of the Mexican drug trade and Gabriel’s evolution from good-natured teenager into a feared assassin. Wolf Boys depicts more than just Gabriel, Bart, and the officers who took them down. It shows the way in which the border itself is changing, disappearing, and posing new, terrifying, and yet largely unseen threats to American security. Ultimately though, Wolf Boys is the intimate story of the “lobos” themselves: boys turned into pawns for cartels. Their stories show how poverty, ideas about identity, and government ignorance have warped the definition of the American dream. WOLF BOYS: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel-Dan Slater

YOU GOTTA BE DIRTY-Michael Grogan  

In 1964, a band of motorcyclists mysteriously appeared in Milwaukee. Over the course of the next decade, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club (OMC) became synonymous with acts of intimidation and violence. In the ruthless world of renegade bikers, the OMC’s Milwaukee chapter became known as the “Wrecking Crew.” You Gotta Be Dirty: The Outlaws Motorcycle Club in & Around Wisconsin, examines the evolution of outlaw motorcycle clubs in the United States. From 1947 to the early 1960s, the influence of rogue riders, the one-percent of motorcyclists living outside the law — spread from the west coast and in to America’s heartland. In Wisconsin, investigators linked members of the Outlaws to at least eleven murders. Four of the innocent persons killed were women and two were elderly. Three children also lost their lives: A fifteen-year-old boy was killed by an explosive device; an infant perished in an arson fire; and a ten-year-old boy was executed vis-à-vis a gunshot to the head. During the tumultuous 1990s, the Outlaws orchestrated a guerrilla-style offensive in a quest to beat back the expansion of the world’s largest one-percent motorcycle club — the Hells Angels (HAMC). During this period, the HAMC began courting the Hell’s Henchmen Motorcycle Club, a group with chapters in Chicago, Rockford, and South Bend, Indiana. The Hells Angels’ bold move into northern Illinois touched-off a seven-year conflict that was exacerbated by beatings, bombings, and shootings. "As a former outlaw biker investigator,” wrote author and retired Milwaukee Police Department Detective Larry Powalisz, “I participated in the investigations of several of the incidents documented in this well-researched book. This history of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club shines a bright light on the one-percent motorcycle subculture." YOU GOTTA BE DIRTY:The Outlaws Motorcycle Club in and around Wisconsin-Michael Grogan

A DAUGHTER'S DEADLY DECEPTION-Jeremy Grimaldi  

From the outside looking in, Jennifer Pan seemed like a model daughter living a perfect life. The ideal child, the one her immigrant parents saw, was studying to become a pharmacist at the University of Toronto. But there was a dark, deceptive side to the angelic young woman. In reality, Jennifer spent her days in the arms of her high school sweetheart, Daniel. In an attempt to lead the life she dreamed of, she would do almost anything: lie about her whereabouts, forge school documents, and invent fake jobs and a fictitious apartment. For many years she led this double life. But when her father discovered her web of lies, his ultimatum was severe. And so, too, was her revenge: a plan that culminated in cold-blooded murder. And it almost worked, except for one bad shot. The story of Jennifer Pan is one of all-consuming love and devious betrayal that led to a cold-hearted plan hatched by a group of youths who thought they could pull off the perfect crime. A DAUGHTER'S DEADLY DECEPTION: The Jennifer Pan Story-Jeremy Grimaldi    

AT THE END OF THE WORLD-Lawrence Millman  

At the End of the World is the remarkable story of a series of murders that occurred in an extremely remote corner of the Arctic in 1941. Those murders show that senseless violence in the name of religion is not only a contemporary phenomenon, and that a people as seemingly peaceful as the Inuit can become unpeaceful at the drop of a hat or, in this instance, a meteor shower. At the same time, the book is a warning cry against the destruction of what’s left of our culture’s humanity, along the destruction of the natural world. Has technology deprived us of our eyes? the author asks. Has it deprived the world of birds, beasts, and flowers? Lawrence Millman's At the End of the World is a brilliant and original book by one of the boldest writers of our era.  AT THE END OF THE WORLD: A True Story of Murder in the Artic-Lawrence Millman

POLITICS OF MURDER-Margo Nash  

On a hot night in July 1995, Janet Downing, a 42-year-old mother of four, was brutally stabbed 98 times in her home in Somerville, a city two miles northwest of Boston. Within hours, a suspect was identified: 15-year-old Eddie O’Brien, the best friend of one of Janet’s sons. But why Eddie? He had no prior history of criminal behavior. He was not mentally ill. He had neither motive nor opportunity to commit the crime. Yet none of that mattered because powers beyond his Somerville neighborhood decided that Eddie needed to be guilty. The timing of this case did not bode well for Eddie. A movement hoping to stop the supposed rise of young “superpredators” was sweeping the nation, and juvenile offenders were the targets. Both the Massachusetts governor and an elected district attorney who personally litigated this case supported juvenile justice reform, and both aspired to higher offices. Eddie O’Brien’s case garnered both local and national publicity: He was the youthful Irish Catholic boy next door. His grandfather was the retired chief of the Somerville Police Department. Court TV covered the trial in adult court gavel to gavel, calling it the altar boy murder case. His highly publicized case changed the juvenile laws in Massachusetts. Other states began to follow suit. But did the justice system fail Eddie? That’s the contention of author-attorney Margo Nash in her explosive expose, THE POLITICS OF MURDER. Appointed Eddie’s guardian ad litem, Nash attended every court session and eventually gained access to all his files. Now after painstaking research and examination of each step of the investigation, trial transcripts and the forensic evidence, Nash makes the case that Eddie could not have committed the crime and that other viable suspects were never properly considered. THE POLITICS OF MURDER-Margo Nash. Nash.

DEPRAVED-Harold Schechter  

The heinous bloodlust of Dr. H.H. Holmes is notorious -- but only Harold Schechter's Depraved tells the complete story of the killer whose evil acts of torture and murder flourished within miles of the Chicago World's Fair. "Destined to be a true crime classic" (Flint Journal, MI), this authoritative account chronicles the methods and madness of a monster who slipped easily into a bright, affluent Midwestern suburb, where no one suspected the dapper, charming Holmes -- who alternately posed as doctor, druggist, and inventor to snare his prey -- was the architect of a labyrinthine "Castle of Horrors." Holmes admitted to twenty-seven murders by the time his madhouse of trapdoors, asphyxiation devices, body chutes, and acid vats was exposed. The seminal profile of a homegrown madman in the era of Jack the Ripper, Depraved is also a mesmerizing tale of true detection long before the age of technological wizardry. DEPRAVED: The Definitive True Story of H.H. Holmes, Whose Grotesque  Crimes Shattered Turn-of-the-Century Chicago-Harold Schechter

THE MURDER OF SONNY LISTON-Shaun Assael  

    On January 5, 1971, Sonny Liston was found dead in his home—of an apparent heroin overdose. But no one close to Liston believed that his death was acci­dental. Digging deep into a life that Liston tried hard to hide, investigative journalist Shaun Assael treats the boxer’s death as a cold case. The result ia page-turning who­dunit about a glorious and grimy era of Las Vegas.    Middle America was flocking to the Strip, transforming it from an exclusive playground for the mob to a mecca for corporate dollars. But the city was also rotting from within. Heroin was pouring over the border from Mexico, and the segregated Westside was on the cusp of a race war. The cops, brutally violent, were barely holding it together.    Driving through town with the top of his pink Cadillac down, Sonny Liston was the one celebrity who was unafraid to bridge the two sides of Las Vegas. Cashing in on his fading notoriety in the casinos, he was dealing drugs, working for a crime syndicate, and trying to break into Hollywood—all with a boxer’s faith that he could duck any threat, slip any punch. Heroin addiction was the only knockout blow he didn’t see coming. THE MURDER OF SONNY LISTON: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights-Shaun Assael

POSSESSED-Kathryn Casey  

The officer responding to a 911 call at one of Houston’s hippest high-rises expected the worst. After all, domestic violence situations can be unpredictable. But nothing could’ve prepared him for what he found: a beautiful woman drenched in blood . . . an older man lying dead on the floor . . . and a cobalt blue suede stiletto with tufts of white hair stuck to its five-and-a-half-inch heel.   With her stunning looks, magnetic personality, and erratic behavior, Ana Trujillo had a notorious reputation on the downtown Houston scene. She spoke often of occult powers, though few knew how deeply she believed such boasts. Stefan Andersson was a gentle soul, a Swedish transplant with a good career and trusted friends, who was desperate to find someone special. Theirs is a story of obsession, madness, and tragedy. Because once Stefan fell head over heels for Ana, he was under her control—and he didn’t have a chance in hell. POSSESSED: The Infamous Texas Stilletto Murder-Kathryn Casey

THE SPIRAL NOTEBOOK-Joyce and Stephen Singular  

On July 20, 2012, twelve people were killed and fifty-eight wounded at a mass shooting in a movie theater in Colorado. In 1999, thirteen kids at Columbine High School were murdered by their peers. In 2012, twenty children and seven adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Thirty-two were killed at Virginia Tech. Twelve killed at the Washington Navy Yard. In May 2014, after posting a YouTube video of ‘retribution” and lamenting a life of “loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires,” a lone gunman killed six and wounded seven in Isla Vista. All of these acts of violence were committed by young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Mass violence committed by young people is now an epidemic. In the first fourteen school days of 2014, there were seven school shootings, compared to twenty-eight school shootings in all of 2013.  New York Times-bestselling author Stephen Singular has often examined violence in America in his critically-acclaimed books. Here he has teamed with his wife Joyce for their most important work yet — one that investigates why America keeps producing twenty-something mass killers. Their reporting has produced the most comprehensive look at the Aurora shooting yet and draws upon the one group left out of the discussion of violence in America: the twenty-somethings themselves. While following the legal proceedings in the Aurora shooting, The Spiral Notebook is full of interviews with Generation Z, a group dogged by big pharma and anti-depressants and ADHD drugs, by a doomsday/apocalyptic mentality present since birth, and by an entertainment industry that has turned violence into parlor games. THE SPIRAL NOTEBOOK: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence by American Youth-Joyce and Stephen Singular.

NOT JUST EVIL-David Wilson  

For readers of true crime sagas like Tinseltown and Little Demon in the City of Light comes a chilling account of a murder that captivated the United States in the 1920s. Twelve-year-old Marion Parker was kidnapped from her Los Angeles school by an unknown assailant on December 15, 1927. Her body appeared days later, delivered to her father by the killer, who fled with the ransom money. When William Hickman was hunted down and charged with the killing, he admitted to all of it, in terrifying detail, but that was only the start…. Hickman’s insanity plea was the first of its kind in the history of California, and the nature of the crime led to a media frenzy unlike any the country had seen. His lawyers argued that their client lived in a fantasy world, inspired by movies and unable to tell right from wrong. The movie industry scrambled to protect its exploding popularity (and profits) from ruinous publicity. Outside the courtroom, the country craved every awful detail, and the media happily fed that hunger. As scandals threatened the proceedings from the start, the death of a young girl grew into a referendum on the state of America at the birth of mass media culture. David Wilson, a private investigator for over thirty years, captures the maelstrom of Marion Parker's death in vivid detail. From the crime itself to the manhunt that followed, from the unprecedented trial to its aftermath, Wilson draws readers in to the birth of the celebrity criminal. NOT JUST EVIL: David Wilson

DID THEY REALLY DO IT?-Fred Rosen  

Nine of the most controversial violent crimes in America's history are reexamined in these compelling stories of true crime. Dr. Samuel Mudd set John Wilkes Booth's broken ankle, but was he actually part of the larger conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln? Did Lizzie Borden brutally murder her own parents in Massachusetts? Was admitted jihadist Zacarias Moussaoui really involved in the terrorist plot to destroy the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001? In a series of provocative and eye-opening true crime investigations, author Fred Rosen revisits some of the most shocking and notorious crimes in America over the past two centuries to determine once and for all...did they really do it? Applying logic and techniques of modern criminology while reexamining the crime scenes, official police records, and the original courtroom testimonies of witnesses and the accused, Rosen explores nine infamous crimes that rocked the nation and the verdicts that were ultimately handed down. From Ethel and Julius Rosenberg's execution for treason to the kidnapping and killing of the Lindbergh baby to the Ku Klux Klan slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi to 9/11, the alleged perpetrators get another day in court as Rosen calls into question the circumstantial evidence and cultural context that may have determined guilt or innocence in each case. DID THEY REALLY DO IT? -Fred Rosen

BETRAYAL IN BLUE-Burl Barer, Frank C. Girardot Jr. and Ken Eurell  

NYPD officers Mike Dowd and Kenny Eurell knew there were two ways to get rich quick in Brooklyn's Lower East Side. You either became drug dealers, or you robbed drug dealers. They decided to do both.  Dowd and Eurell ran the most powerful gang in New York’s dangerous 75th Precinct, the crack cocaine capitol of 1980s America. These “ Cocaine Cops” formed a lucrative alliance with Adam Diaz, the kingpin of an ever-expanding Dominican drug cartel. Soon Mike and Ken were buying fancy cars no cop could afford, and treating their wives to levels of luxury not associated with a patrol officer's salary. They Were Daring, Dangerous and Untouchable Until ...Then “ the biggest police scandal in New York history” exploded into the headlines with the arrest of Mike, Ken, and their fellow crooked cops. Released on bail, Mike offered Ken a long shot at escape to Central America—a bizarre plan involving robbery, kidnapping, and murder—forcing Ken to choose between two forms of betrayal.  Adapted from Ken Eurell's shocking personal memoir, plus hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with the major players, including former international drug lord, Adam Diaz, and Dori Eurell, revealing the truth behind what you won't see in the hit documentary THE SEVEN FIVE. Edgar Award winner Burl Barer once again teams with award-winning journalist Frank C. Girardot, Jr, and Eurell to bring you an astonishing story of greed and betrayal. BETRAYAL IN BLUE: The Shocking Memoir of the Scandal That Rocked the NYPD-Burl Barer, Frank C. Girardot Jr. and Ken Eurell

CORPSEWOOD-Daniel Ellis  

On December 12th, 1982, a strange house in the remote mountains of North West Georgia became a bloody slaughterhouse for two men and their dogs. One of the victims—an accomplished scientist and university professor—experimented with the occult. A self-portrait found at the crime scene appeared to depict the professor gagged with gunshot wounds to his head, exactly as his body was discovered by investigators. Had he gazed into the future and witnessed his own death—or had the painting inspired the murder? The case became a media sensation with allegations of satanic cults, supernatural curses, and mind control experiments. The only thing stranger than the murders themselves was the legal odyssey that followed, resulting in four Supreme Court decisions and revelations that would stun the judicial system. After years of research involving court transcripts, audio recordings, and interviews with the participants in the case—including the murderers themselves—author Daniel Ellis peels back the layers of legend to reveal the truth behind one of the most bizarre true crime cases ever to emerge from the dark Southern woods—CORPSEWOOD: A True Crime Like No Other-Daniel Ellis

SIMILAR TRANSACTIONS-S.R. Reynolds  

Former social-worker S.R. Reynolds has never forgotten the mishandled case of fifteen-year-old Michelle Anderson, a vibrant beauty who went missing from Reynold's Knoxville, Tennessee, neighborhood years earlier. Aided by her old professor, famed forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass-founder of the University of Tennessee's 'Body Farm'-Reynolds picks up the trail of this cold case. As she presses neglected pieces of the puzzle into place, Reynolds unearths a string of heinous kidnappings and rapes across the South, crimes that span decades. A picture begins to form. Patterns appear. And all that evidence points to one man: convicted sex offender Larry Lee Smith. As a result of Reynold's efforts, the Knoxville Police Department reopen the cold case of Michelle's disappearance, but Larry Lee is about to be released from a Georgia prison, where he served time for a related crime-a 'similar transaction'. SIMILAR TRANSACTIONS: A True Story-S.R. Reynolds

THE LONG SHADOW OF SMALL GHOSTS-Laura Tillman  

On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas—one of America’s poorest cities—John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building in which the brutal crimes took place was already rundown, and in their aftermath a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbors felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer. In 2008, journalist Laura Tillman covered the story for The Brownsville Herald. The questions it raised haunted her, particularly one asked by the sole member of the city’s Heritage Council to oppose demolition: is there any such thing as an evil building? Her investigation took her far beyond that question, revealing the nature of the toll that the crime exacted on a city already wracked with poverty. It sprawled into a six-year inquiry into the larger significance of such acts, ones so difficult to imagine or explain that their perpetrators are often dismissed as monsters alien to humanity. With meticulous attention and stunning compassion, Tillman surveyed those surrounding the crimes, speaking with the lawyers who tried the case, the family’s neighbors and relatives and teachers, even one of the murderers: John Allen Rubio himself, whom she corresponded with for years and ultimately met in person. The result is a brilliant exploration of some of our age’s most important social issues, from poverty to mental illness to the death penalty, and a beautiful, profound meditation on the truly human forces that drive them. It is disturbing, insightful, and mesmerizing in equal measure. THE LONG SHADOW OF SMALL GHOSTS: Murder and Memory in an American City-Laura Tillman

IN COLDER BLOOD-J.T. Hunter  

Two families, mysteriously murdered under similar circumstances, just a month apart. One was memorialized in Truman Capote’s classic novel, In Cold Blood. The other was all but forgotten. Dick Hickock and Perry Smith confessed to the first: the November 15, 1959 murder of a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. Despite remarkable coincidences between the two crimes, they denied committing the second: the December 19 murder of a family of four in Osprey, Florida. Over half a century later, a determined Florida detective undertakes exceptional efforts to try to bring closure to the long-cold case. IN COLDER BLOOD: The True Story of the Walker Family Murder-J.T. Hunter

PRESUMED GUILTY-Stephen Singular  

The 20th anniversary of the death of JonBenet Ramsey is in December 2016. Stephen’s 1999 book about the murder of JonBenet explored the realm of child exploitation and its connection to the crime. In August 2016 Singular released an updated edition of Presumed Guilty: An Investigation of the JonBenet Ramsey case, the Media, and the Culture of ography on Amazon Kindle. It examines why the case still hasn’t been solved and the most important developments over the past seventeen years.  Stephen will be interviewed by Sharp Entertainment for a Lifetime documentary on the murder to be aired on Saturday evening, November 5, 2016. This program will immediately follow a Lifetime docudrama on the case. The 1999 examination of the JonBenet Ramsey case was the only book to suggest something other than the two conventional scenarios: one of the Ramseys killed the child or an intruder did it. "Presumed Guilty" broadened the discussion to include the involvement of child ography/child exploitation around the murder. “The case remains a world-class conundrum. The murder of JonBenet is the only example in the annals of American homicide where a body and a ransom note were found in the same location. 'In the world of true crime, there is “absolute truth” and there is “effective truth.” Since 1999, enough has happened to give us a much fuller sense of the effective truth of JonBenet’s death and a much clearer idea of why the case hasn’t been solved.' PRESUMED GUILTY: An Investigation of the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media and the Culture of ography-Stephen Singular

SUBURBAN NIGHTMARE-Emily Webb  

Think nothing ever happens where you live?  Suburban Nightmare is a collection of stories that are hard to believe, except they really happened – and all in the streets and homes of the Australia many of us know and live. The suburbs. These cases range from recent murders to some historical stories that will shock and surprise. One of Australia’s best young true crime writers, Emily Webb probes the black underbelly of our towns and suburbs, and exposes the darkness at the heart of Australian life. SUSBURBAN NIGHTMARE: Australian True Crime Stories-Emily Webb

THE KILLING SEASON-Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills  

A&E Network has set a November premiere for The Killing Season docuseries, from Oscar-winning executive producer Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief). The eight-episode series follows documentarians Joshua Zeman (Cropsey) and Rachel Mills as they investigate one of the most bizarre unsolved serial killer cases of our time – the deaths of ten sex workers discovered on Gilgo Beach, Long Island. Authorities believe these killings are the work of the Long Island Serial Killer, who after five years remains at large. Forging relationships with cyber-sleuths, journalists and victims’ families, Zeman and Mills uncover connections that suggest Long Island is just the beginning. Through their investigation, the pair discover connections to unsolved murders from Atlantic City to Daytona Beach and beyond, revealing that serial killers are targeting sex workers in record numbers, while using the internet as their virtual hunting ground. The Killing Season will premiere with back-to-back episodes November 12th. THE KILLING SEASON-Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills

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