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

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

ROUGH TRADE-Steve Jackson  

One day in May 1997, a young couple on their way to work off a dirt road in the mountains of Colorado spotted a man dragging a woman’s body up a trail. The man fled, leaving behind a bloodied, dying woman. The beautiful, wooded area seemed such an incongruous place for a violent crime that the couple had a hard time believing what they were seeing. Indeed the investigation into the death of young street walker Anita Paley would lead from that idyllic spot to the seamy underbelly of Denver and a world of prostitution, drug dealers and violent criminals. And it would expose the lives of two of that world’s inhabitants, the suspect, Robert Riggan, and Anita’s friend, Joanne Cordova, a former cop-turned-crack addict and hooker. In the past, Cordova had submitted to violent sex with Riggan in exchange for drugs; it was just part of her life on the mean streets. But when her friend Anita was murdered, Joanne had to make a choice. She could go to her former colleagues on the police department and tell them what she suspected, and put her life in danger as “a snitch.” Or she could look the other way, and let a suspected killer walk free and continue his attacks on women. ROUGH TRADE is more than the recounting of a murder, investigation, and prosecution. It’s also the story of two people from the seething criminal underworld of Denver, Colorado and how their paths crossed on the streets and in the courtroom. There’s Riggan, who was raised in his own private hell that included rape, incest and extreme abuse to become a violent sexual predator. And there’s Cordova, who had to summon the courage, and suffer the humiliation, in order to pull herself out of the abyss into which she'd fallen to testify against the man she believed killed her friend. And in doing so, find her own personal redemption. ROUGH TRADE-A Shocking True Story of Prostitution, Murder and Redemption-Steve Jackson

LOVE GONE WRONG-Caitlin Rother  

New York Times bestselling crime authors Caitlin Rother and Gregg Olsen have joined up to release this compilation of incredible murder cases from Florida, South Carolina and Georgia.  In Florida a former flight attendant murders her multimillionaire boyfriend of eighteen years, using a gun, a knife, a hammer (and possibly poisoned gin), claiming he was abusive for years and put a loaded gun to her head. A woman with a history of violent, drug-addicted boyfriends kills her latest lover after only a few weeks together, alleging that he forced a gun into her mouth in a drug-induced rage. A 15-year-old girl falls in love and wants to have a baby with a boyfriend who is four years older. Her mother, who wants to end the relationship, ends up dead after being stabbed, choked, and injected with a syringe loaded with bleach. A 16-year-old girl and her 20-year-old boyfriend conspire to fatally bludgeon her disapproving father with a baseball bat.  In Georgia a socialite wife of a multimillionaire is fatally shot by a flower delivery man on the day of a key divorce hearing. A crooked businessman trying to go straight is shot in his driveway by a hit man wearing a ski mask and camouflage gear—a contract-for-hire murder, advertised in Soldier of Fortune magazine.  A Gulf War veteran and father of three is kidnapped, beaten and stabbed by the lover of his on-and-off-again wife, who wants to collect life insurance benefits and pay off her house. In South Carolina a woman goes to the electric chair after a vengeful feud over a dead calf turns fatal; the state's most prolific serial killer manages to kill a fellow prisoner while on death row; and a young white man tries to incite a race war by fatally shooting nine African-Americans during Bible study in a historic church. LOVE GONE WRONG: Notorious U.S.A.-Caitlin Rother

CONFESSION OF A SERIAL KILLER-Katherine Ramsland  

In 1974, Dennis Lynn Rader stalked and murdered a family of four in Wichita, Kansas. Since adolescence, he had read about serial killers and imagined becoming one. Soon after killing the family, he murdered a young woman and then another, until he had ten victims. He named himself “B.T.K.” (bind, torture, kill) and wrote notes that terrorized the city. He remained on the loose for thirty years. No one who knew him guessed his dark secret. He nearly got away with his crimes, but in 2004, he began to play risky games with the police. He made a mistake. When he was arrested, Rader’s family, friends, and coworkers were shocked to discover that B.T.K. had been among them, going to work, raising his children, and acting normal. This case stands out both for the brutal treatment of victims and for the ordinary public face that Rader, a church council president, had shown to the outside world. Through jailhouse visits, telephone calls, and written correspondence, Katherine Ramsland worked with Rader himself to analyze the layers of his psyche. Using his drawings, letters, interviews, and Rader’s unique codes, she presents in meticulous detail the childhood roots and development of one man’s motivation to stalk, torture, and kill. She reveals aspects of the dark motivations of this most famous of living serial killers that have never before been revealed. In this book Katherine Ramsland presents an intelligent, original, and rare glimpse into the making of a serial killer and the potential darkness that lives next door. CONFESSION OF A SERIAL KILLER: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer-Katherine Ramsland

BADGE 387-Robert Sberna  

For nearly 40 years, Jim Simone patrolled Cleveland's 2nd District, a drug-plagued area with one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S. Nicknamed "Supercop," Simone generated headlines and public interest on a scale not seen since Eliot Ness searched for Cleveland's "Torso Murderer" in the 1930s. Simone entered police work after serving in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne, where he earned two bronze stars and two purple hearts. As a cop, he never shied from danger. He was involved in numerous gun battles, and killed five people in the line of duty (all ruled justifiable). Notoriously equitable as a cop, Simone was more interested in doing the right thing than honoring the "blue code."  Badge 387 recounts the brave exploits that earned Simone hundreds of commendations. In 1983, while searching a church basement for a gunman, he was shot in the face. Despite his wounds, he managed to shoot his assailant, saving himself and two other cops. And in 2009, he plunged into a frigid river to save a woman. Simone was Cleveland's "Patrolmen of the Year" in 1980 and 2009, the only officer in the city's history to receive the award twice. BADGE 387: The Story of Jim Simone, America's Most Decorated Cop-Robert Sberna

I SURVIVED TED BUNDY-Rhonda Stapley  

She was an innocent Mormon girl. He was America's most notorious serial killer. When their paths crossed on a quiet autumn afternoon, he planned to kill her. But this victim had an incredible will to survive and would live to tell her story nearly three decades after he met death in a Florida electric chair. Ted Bundy brutally attacked Rhonda Stapley in a secluded Utah canyon in 1974. She miraculously escaped and hid her dark secret until now. This compelling real story of triumph over tragedy is both shocking and inspiring and told with the true courage of a victim turned survivor. (Foreword by Ann Rule).  I SURVIVED TED BUNDY: The Attack, Escape and PTSD That Changed My Life-Rhonda Stapley  

CALIFORNIA'S DEADLIEST WOMEN-David Kulczyk  

We like to think of women as nurturers, not murderers, but women do kill.California’s Deadliest Women is the definitive guide to the murderesses of the Golden State, a horrifying compendium of women driven to kill by jealousy, greed, desperation, or their own inner demons. From Brynn Hartman, who killed her husband, comedian Phil Hartman, to chemist Larissa Shuster, who dissolved her husband in acid, to dominatrix Omaima Aree Nelson, who cooked and ate her husband, the 28 women profiled in California’s Deadliest Women show that the fairer sex can be as evil?and as deadly?as any man. CALIFORNIA'S DEADLIEST WOMEN-Dangerous Dames and Murderous Moms-David Kulczyk.

ALTAMONT-Joel Selvin  

In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s. In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock—the day that shattered the Sixties’ promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now. Altamont explores rock’s darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show—from the Stones’ hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening—to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead’s role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band’s behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security. The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade. ALTAMONT: The Rolling Stones, The Hell's Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day-Joel Selvin

THE JOLLY ROGER SOCIAL CLUB-Nick Foster  

In the remote Bocas del Toro, Panama, William Dathan Holbert, aka "Wild Bill," is awaiting trial for the murder of five fellow American ex-patriots. Holbert's first victims were the Brown family, who lived on a remote island in the area's Darklands. There, Holbert turned their home into the "Jolly Roger Social Club," using drink- and drug-fueled parties to get to know other ex-pats. The club's tagline was: "Over 90% of our members survive." Those odds were not in his victims' favor. The Jolly Roger Social Club is not just a book about what Holbert did and the complex financial and real estate motives behind the killings; it is about why Bocas del Toro turned out to be his perfect hunting ground, and why the community tolerated-even accepted-him for a time. Told through the fascinating history of the country of Panama, a paradise with sinister ties to the political and economic interests of the United States, journalist Nick Foster brings this uniquely bizarre place to life; shedding light on a community where many live under assumed names, desperate to leave their old lives behind-and sometimes people just disappear. THE JOLLY ROGER SOCIAL CLUB: A True Story of a KIller in Paradise-Nick Foster

MURDERING THE PRESIDENT-Fred Rosen and Hank Garfield  

Shortly after being elected president of the United States, James Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau. But contrary to what is written in most history books, Garfield didn’t linger and die. He survived. Alexander Graham Bell raced against time to invent the world’s first metal detector to locate the bullet in Garfield’s body so that doctors could safely operate. Despite Bell’s efforts to save Garfield, however, and as never before fully revealed, the interventions of Garfield’s friend and doctor, Dr. D. W. Bliss, brought about the demise of the nation’s twentieth president.   But why would a medical doctor engage in such monstrous behavior? Did politics, petty jealousy, or failed aspirations spark the fire inside Bliss that led him down the path of homicide? Rosen proves how depraved indifference to human life—second-degree murder—rather than ineptitude led to Garfield’s drawn-out and painful death. Now, more than one hundred years later, historian and homicide investigator Fred Rosen reveals through newly accessed documents and Bell’s own correspondence the long list of Bliss’s criminal acts and malevolent motives that led to his murder of the president. MURDERING THE PRESIDENT: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield-Fred Rosen and Hank Garfield.    

FAILURE OF JUSTICE-John Ferak  

Everyone felt the same way: small-town Nebraska widow Helen Wilson didn’t have an ounce of meanness inside her body. Then on February 5, 1985, one of the coldest nights on record, the unthinkable happened. The sixty-eight-year-old resident was murdered inside her second-floor apartment, but why? Local residents were floored. What type of monster would target a vulnerable widow to fulfill his homicidal sexual fantasies? The crime scene was eerily ritualistic. The trail of evidence turned frustratingly cold until an astonishing breakthrough occurred four years later. A torn scrap of money recovered at the crime scene became the presumed smoking gun that helped solve the hideous crime. The news of six arrests was absolutely stunning to the locals in this easy-going, blue-collar community of 12,000 residents. But why were six loosely connected misfits who lived as far away as Alabama, Colorado and North Carolina being linked to the rape and murder of a beloved Nebraska widow?  As they sat in jail, the constant threat of Nebraska’s barbaric electric chair scared the daylights out of these troubled souls, except for one of them. Joseph White remained defiant in his fight to prove his innocence. It didn’t matter. All six of the condemned were convicted of murder and sent away to prison for the ghastly crime. The town moved on, convinced that justice was served. For more than twenty-five years, the Beatrice 6 rotted in prison, until the unthinkable occurred in 2008. Now, the red state in America’s Heartland faced a real quandary that could only mean one thing: Nebraska had a colossal FAILURE OF JUSTICE on its hands.  FAILURE OF JUSTICE: A Brutal Murder, An Obsessed Cop and Six Wrongful Convictions-John Ferak.  

HUNTED: THE ZODIAC MURDERS-Mark Hewitt  

The Zodiac occupies a special place among serial killers. Claiming the lives of at least 5 young victims and taunting the police in telephone calls and cryptic letters, he terrorized Northern California from 1966 to 1974 and beyond. Despite his appalling acts of violence, he was never arrested—he has never even been identified. Thousands of men have been accused; nearly 2,500 have been investigated. The police lack only the name of the perpetrator. Never has there been more passionate interest in the Zodiac serial killer. Never has there been more FOIA-released information on his crime spree and the subsequent law enforcement investigation. Yet, never before has a carefully-researched scholarly treatment of this otherwise eminently solvable riddle been attempted. That is, until now. In this painstakingly-researched and meticulously-detailed account by true crime author Mark G. Hewitt, the reader is offered unprecedented access to the case facts. HUNTEDreveals recent interviews, some of which have never before been made public, as well as all available FBI and local police reports and contemporary press accounts of the day to create a comprehensive narration of the facts, including various sides of the many disputed issues within the case. In three volumes, Mark Hewitt will recount the murders, examine the evidence, and narrow down the possibilities of the suspects who could have possibly been the Zodiac serial killer. HUNTED: The Zodiac Murders-book 1-Mark Hewitt

DEVIL IN THE DARKNESS-J.T. Hunter  

He was a hard-working small business owner, an Army veteran, an attentive lover, and a doting father. But he was also something more, something sinister. A master of deception, he was a rapist, arsonist, and bank robber, and a new breed of serial killer, one who studied other killers to perfect his craft. He methodically buried kill-kits containing his tools of murder years before returning to reclaim them. Viewing the entire country as his hunting grounds, he often flew across the country to distant locations where he would rent a car and drive hundreds or even thousands of miles before randomly selecting his victims. Such were the methods and madness of serial killer Israel Keyes. Such were the demands of the 'Devil in the Darkness'. DEVIL IN THE DARKNESS: The True Story of Serial Killer Israel Keyes-J.T. Hunter  

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