A relentless detective and an amateur genealogist solve a haunting cold case—and launch a crime-fighting revolution that tests the fragile line between justice and privacy.
In November 1987, a young couple on an overnight trip to Seattle vanished without a trace. A week later, the bodies of Tanya Van Cuylenborg and her boyfriend Jay Cook were found in rural Washington. It was a brutal crime, and it was the perfect crime: With few clues and no witnesses, an international manhunt turned up empty, and the sensational case that shocked the Pacific Northwest gradually slipped from the headlines.
In deep-freeze, long-term storage, biological evidence from the crime sat waiting, as Detective Jim Scharf poured over old case files looking for clues his predecessors missed. Meanwhile, 1,200 miles away in California, CeCe Moore began her lifelong fascination with genetic genealogy, a powerful forensic tool that emerged not from the crime lab, but through the wildly popular home DNA ancestry tests purchased by more than 40 million Americans. When Scharf decided to send the cold case’s decades-old DNA to Parabon NanoLabs, he hoped he would finally bring closure to the Van Cuylenborg and Cook families. He didn’t know that he and Moore would make history.
Genetic genealogy, long the province of family tree hobbyists and adoptees seeking their birth families, has made headlines as a cold case solution machine, capable of exposing the darkest secrets of seemingly upstanding citizens. In the hands of a tenacious detective like Scharf, genetic genealogy has solved one baffling killing after another. But as this crime-fighting technique spreads, its sheer power has sparked a national debate: Can we use DNA to catch the murderers among us, yet still protect our last shred of privacy in the digital age—the right to the very blueprint of who we are? THE FOREVER WITNESS: How DNA and Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder-Edward Humes
Much is known about American and European serial killers, but did you know that more than 150 homicidal maniacs have plagued the former Soviet Union during the last 100 years? Nicknamed “The Night Creature”, “The Urals Strangler” or “The Balashikha Ripper” in their native motherland, these sex fiends have committed some of the most heinous series of murders in the history of modern criminology.This book follows the stories of 25 maniacs: unable to control their dark fantasies, they savagely tortured, strangled, stabbed and defiled their victims in unspeakable ways.
Illustrated with more than 200 photographs unearthed from the secret archives of retired police colonels and forensic psychiatrists, Russian Serial Killers – Volume 1: Maniacs takes you on a true crime journey from the suburbs of Moscow to the frozen wastelands of Siberia. RUSSIAN SERIAL KILLERS-Volume 1: Maniacs-Nico Claux
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Brad Hunter has spent over thirty years writing about some of America's most horrific crimes. In this new book he enters the mind of John Wayne Gacy, the real-life 'Killer Clown', often said to be the inspiration for Stephen King's evil Pennywise in It. Gacy lured victims to his home with the promise of work or a warm bed and then duped them into putting on handcuffs, claiming he wanted to show them a magic trick. He would then rape and torture his victims before killing them by suffocating or strangling them.
Twenty-six were buried in the crawl space beneath his home; others were buried elsewhere on his property, while a handful were dumped in the Des Plaines River. Gacy was executed for his crimes in 1994, but many questions remain unanswered. How many victims were there? Did Gacy act alone? And what drove John Wayne Gacy to murder? What caused the seemingly normal Gacy to sexually assault, torture and murder at least thirty-three young men and boys?
Drawing on his many years' experience investigating and interviewing perpetrators of terrible crimes, Hunter seeks to understand what drove Gacy to unleash a reign of terror in suburban Chicago. INSIDE THE MIND OF JOHN WAYNE GACY: The Real-Life Killer Clown-Brad Hunter
Although featured nationally on 48 Hours, Dateline, and the Oxygen Network, the detailed, complete, and totally unbelievable story of the case of DAVID CAMM has never been fully revealed as police, prosecutors, forensic scientists, and judges either sought or facilitated the convictions of an innocent man while ignoring a mountain of exculpatory evidence.
While David was being pursued, persecuted, and incarcerated, Kim, Brad, and Jill Camm’s true killer, a devil-worshiping, sexually obsessed, 11-time convicted violent psychopath was left free to roam the streets of metropolitan Louisville, Kentucky. Once identified by his DNA, but only through the efforts of David’s uncle and defense team, that same cold-blooded murderer was treated, incredibly, first as a victim and then shockingly as an accomplice of David.
Their Bloody Lies & Persecution of DAVID CAMM is a chilling, reprehensible, yet very tragic and true American crime story, leaving readers demanding, “How did this case happen and why was this travesty allowed to continue?”
Sam Lockhart knew, absolutely knew, his nephew couldn’t have killed his wife and children, for he was with David and ten other people at the time of the murders. For 13 years and at an enormous personal and financial cost, Sam, his family, and business suffered the disdain of those in the local community, but Sam never lost focus of his ultimate goal: the exoneration of David and justice for Kim, Brad, and Jill.
Gary M. Dunn was a 27-year veteran Agent with the FBI in Miami, Chicago, Gary, Indiana, and Southern Indiana, with a wide array of experience investigating corruption, terrorism, white collar, and violent crimes while often dealing with true psychopaths. After becoming the private investigator for David’s second defense team, he was stunned by the incompetent, biased investigations; lack of a fair, impartial justice system; and those who claimed to be forensic scientists. Follow his and the defense team’s investigative path in a case you won’t soon forget. THEIR BLOODY LIES AND PERSECUTION OF DAVID CAMM: Part 1-Gary M. Dunn
“SARGE!” is a fascinating memoir by the late Chicago Police Detective Sergeant John A. DiMaggio, one of the most decorated officers on the force during a career that spanned the years 1957 to 1991. Among his awards are two Superintendent’s Awards of Valor, Mayor Richard J. Daley’s Praiseworthy Acknowledgment Plaque for Exceptional Act of Bravery Involving Risk of Life, a Presidential Citation of Appreciation, the Illinois Police Association Award of Valor, and many more.Upon his retirement in 1991, DiMaggio wrote a fascinating account of his work as a cop. The manuscript languished among his personal effects until after his death in 2008, after which his family decided to resurrect it, spruce it up, and submit it for publication. It turns out that he was an excellent word craftsman and storyteller; in fact, he was no stranger to writing—for many years he wrote the “Ask Sarge” column for the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter newsletter.Told in a conversational, “regular guy” voice in episodic fashion, “SARGE!” reveals to the reader what it was really like to be a cop. The manuscript in many ways takes the form of a prose treatment of a weekly television police drama. A large selection of PHOTOS is included.DiMaggio takes the reader back to the decades such as the turbulent 1960s, when the police department was making a painful transition from “old school” to modernization. The author describes firsthand the legendary riots that occurred in Chicago after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He illustrates the integration of minorities into the department and how that played out. He also goes into famous cases of corruption and the politics of navigating such a large department. One of the “set pieces” of the book is the story of how DiMaggio, as part of the “Three Musketeers”—a trio that included two detectives who were close friends—investigated a series of terrifying slasher attacks on women that occurred in the city in the mid-70s. The case became one of the police department’s most memorable. Among the other cases detailed in the book include how DiMaggio found himself entering the home of a crazed young man holding hostages with a shotgun; the investigation of the discovery of a headless corpse; the take-down of the Chicago “Mad Bomber”; how an anonymous audio tape provided clues to the identities of armed robbers; and the manhunt for a cop killer. SARGE: Cases of a Chicago Police Detective Sergeant in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s-Debra DiMaggio
January 14, 1927 — A.J. Mathis, a wealthy, elderly chicken rancher, is missing. One of the last of the cowboy sheriffs, Jim McDonald, is convinced A.J. is dead. Murdered. And McDonald says he knows who did it and vows to “prove it on her.”
McDonald’s leading and only suspect is a former saloon singer and prostitute, Eva Dugan. Short, stocky, and plain, Eva takes off with a younger man in A.J.’s Dodge Coupe. They drive from Arizona to Texas before Eva makes her way to White Plains, New York.
While on the run, her young friend, Jack, vanishes. And A.J.’s skeleton is discovered buried in a shallow grave.
After she’s captured, Eva proclaims her innocence but is convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Eva says if she was more attractive and a “flapper,” she would not have been convicted nor sentenced to death by hanging.
A movement grows among people opposed to capital punishment to spare Eva’s life. They fail, and Eva walks to the gallows, proclaiming her innocence.
What follows changes how Arizona treats those sentenced to death for capital crimes. Never again will anyone hang for murder in Arizona because of what happened the day Eva Dugan died. Was justice done? KILL. BURY. FORGET: A Shocking True Crime Story-Rod Kackley
In the early hours of March 22, 1989, two friends – career criminals with violent felony convictions - drove around the eastern Kansas City area in a stolen car committing a series of crimes. The weather was mild for late March in Kansas City; the sky was clear, and there was the pale remnant of a Full Moon that bore the dubious name of Death Moon, the last full moon of winter.
A little before 7 a.m., 15-year-old Ann Harrison walked to the end of her driveway on Kansas City’s east side to wait for the bus to take her to Raytown South High School. Ten minutes later, she disappeared but no one saw what happened. As if waiting for her return, her belongings were still stacked carefully by the side of the road.
BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD is the true crime story of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Ann Harrison and the long journey forced upon her family who had to wait nearly three decades to see her killers brought to final justice. BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD: The True Story of the Abduction and Murder of Ann Harrison-Marla Bernard
Sheree Warren left her job in Salt Lake City on a mild October evening in 1985. She told a coworker she was headed to meet her estranged husband, Charles Warren, at a car dealership. But she never made it, Sheree vanished. When her car mysteriously surfaced weeks later, hundreds of miles away in Las Vegas, no one could say how it got there.
When a young mother disappears under unexplained circumstances, police always turn suspicious eyes towards the husband. And although there was distrust around Charles Warren, he wasn’t the only suspect when Sheree went missing. She also had a boyfriend, a former cop named Cary Hartmann, who lived a sinister double life.
Season three follows two suspects– men who both raised suspicion for investigators. But with two strong persons of interest with competing facts and evidence, it muddied the murder investigation. This season, host Dave Cawley, digs into the lives of these two men, the details of the case and examines the intersections between domestic abuse and sexual violence. The COLD team seeks to answer the question: what really happened to Sheree Warren?
Hey Prime Members, listen to the Amazon Music exclusive podcast, COLD, in the Amazon Music App. Download the app today: www.amazon.com/COLD_us_pfd_AA_110122.
LaDonna Humphrey gains a new ally in her effort to find justice in the 1994 unsolved murder case of Melissa Ann Witt when Alecia Lockhart reveals a dark and troubling secret from her past. Together, Humphrey and Lockhart must delve inside a dangerous and twisted world known as the "dark web" to unlock a series of mysteries, including Alecia's haunting connection to Melissa Witt's murder.
Strangled is the shocking and suspenseful account of the war Humphrey and Lockhart wage on a warped and depraved online community set on destruction, murder and mayhem. The stakes are high. Their safety is compromised. Evil lurks with every click. Just how far are they willing to go to find the answers they need? STRANGLED: Who Killed Melissa Witt?- LaDonna Humphrey and Alecia Lockhart
A devoted father. One of the most accomplished criminal law scholars in the country. Someone wanted him dead. But why?
On the morning of July 18, 2014, 41-year-old Florida State law professor Dan Markel dropped his boys off at preschool, hit the gym, and headed home to his quiet, tree-canopied neighborhood. Within seconds of pulling into his garage, two .38-caliber bullets fired from point-blank range were lodged in his brain.
His brutal slaying defied explanation. The case went stone cold for nearly two years before dogged pursuit by the Tallahassee Police and the FBI resulted in the arrest of two life-long criminals who had driven 10 hours from Miami with one singular purpose: to murder the esteemed professor. Were his ex-wife Wendi Adelson and her South Florida family the masterminds behind this horrific crime?
EXTREME PUNISHMENT is the riveting story of a divorce between two law professors that spiraled out of control, wealthy in-laws hell-bent on revenge, an unlikely love triangle, and the relentless quest to bring Dan’s killers—all of them—to justice. EXTREME PUNISHMENT: The Chilling True Story of Acclaimed Law Professor Dan Markel's Murder-Steven B. Epstein
Deborah Sue Williamson was a newly married young woman living in Lubbock Texas on Aug. 24, 1975. One night while her husband was away at work, she was brutally stabbed 17 times in the carport of their home. Many suspects were investigated, but no one was charged. The case went cold until the mid-1980s when Henry Lee Lucas, a man notorious for admitting to murders he didn't commit confessed to her murder. It was profiled in the Netflix doc series The Confession Killer. There was only one problem. He didn't kill her. Her mother and stepfather proved Lucas didn't end Debbie's life and the case went cold once more.
True Crime Author and investigative journalist George Jared teamed with his friend and former Army counterintelligence officer and university professor Jennifer Bucholtz to study the case in-depth. The two became acquainted while trying to solve the unsolved murder of Rebekah Gould. In that case they were able to lure the man, now charged with the 22-year-old woman's slaying, onto a Facebook page. Their interactions with him prior to his arrest garnered national attention. Their goal was to do the same in this case.
Follow their year-long journey that took them from the mountains of Colorado to the deserts of West Texas. Their investigation led them through row crop fields of the Mississippi Delta and into the rolling Ozark hills in Missouri. The tandem was able to track down nearly every witness, person of interest, and suspect in the case.
Along the way they created a massive team of citizen detectives that have brought resources to bear on a case that is now 47 years old. The team created an investigative file many times larger than the original police file. The goal was to create a web that the killer could not escape.
Silent Silhouette is an in-depth look into the work that was done, complete with full interviews of every key player in this real life tragedy. One thing became clear as the investigation unfolded. This case is solvable and it's only a matter of time before this killer is behind bars. SILENT SILHOUETTE...WHO KILLED DEBORAH SUE?-George Jared
The solution to the Zodiac serial killer case is as clear as it is controversial. One man, a letter writer, bomb maker, and code creator, was living in the area at the time of the Zodiac murders, had easy access to all the crime scenes, and had had a psychotic break at the time the Zodiac began his heinous murder campaign. A genius-level mathematician, he was clever enough to disguise his handwriting, avoid leaving evidence like fingerprints, and produce diabolically difficult ciphers to taunt the police and the public with his identity that lurked just on the other side of his impossibly difficult codes. That man is Theodore J. Kaczynski.
A product of the MK Ultra project at Harvard University, Kaczynski was one of the youngest mathematics professors in UC Berkeley history, a position he despised. Kaczynski committed his first murder as the Zodiac over winter break, 1968, and his second just after resigning his post as professor in July 1969. His criminal signature, letter writing and code making, continued unabated across both of his criminal careers as the Zodiac and Unabomber.
EXPOSED takes the reader through all the evidence presented in the first two books, HUNTED and PROFILED, and systematically connects the Zodiac and Unabomber cases through handwriting, codes, locations, literature, cultural references, and other unexpected details. EXPOSED makes it impossible to dismiss Kaczynski as the Zodiac, one of the most evil serial killers of all time. EXPOSED: The Zodiac Revealed (The Zodiac Serial Killer)-Dr. Mark Hewitt
Unsolved crimes, unanswered questions. Crimes are meant to be solved. But what happens when they’re not? For the individuals involved—from the victims and their families to police investigators—this is the most frustrating part of all. For them there’s no resolution, no justice, no tidy boxes in which to pack away all the bits and pieces of a puzzle that finally links together. Instead, they are only left with questions that may never get answered.
Chilling cold cases & unexplained mysteries. The Best New True Crime Stories examines a fascinating assortment of unsolved murders, unsolved crimes, serial killers, and mysterious stories from around the world, from the past to the contemporary. Like the previous anthologies in The Best New True Crime Stories series, this volume contains all-new and original nonfiction accounts penned by international writers from across the literary spectrum, from true crime and crime fiction to journalism. Contributors include Dean Jobb, Joan Renner, Cathy Pickens, Lindsey Danis, Anya Wassenberg, and many others.
Inside, you’ll find a varied assortment of unsolved crimes and mysterious murders. Murder cases to solve, told by writers from around the world, such as France’s “Valley of Hell” mystery and the story of Austria’s most wanted. THE BEST NEW TRUE CRIME STORIES: Unsolved Crimes & Mysteries-Mitzi Szereto
Acclaimed crime historian, podcaster, and author of American Sherlock Kate Winkler Dawson tells the thrilling story of Edward Rulloff—a serial murderer who was called “too intelligent to be killed”—and the array of 19th century investigators who were convinced his brain held the key to finally understanding the criminal mind.
Edward Rulloff was a brilliant yet utterly amoral murderer—some have called him a “Victorian-era Hannibal Lecter”—whose crimes spanned decades and whose victims were chosen out of revenge, out of envy, and sometimes out of necessity. From his humble beginnings in upstate New York to the dazzling salons and social life he established in New York City, at every turn Rulloff used his intelligence and regal bearing to evade detection and avoid punishment. He could talk his way out of any crime...until one day, Rulloff's luck ran out.
By 1871 Rulloff sat chained in his cell—a psychopath holding court while curious 19th-century "mindhunters" tried to understand what made him tick. From alienists (early psychiatrists who tried to analyze the source of his madness) to neurologists (who wanted to dissect his brain) to phrenologists (who analyzed the bumps on his head to determine his character), each one thought he held the key to understanding the essential question: is evil born or made? Eventually, Rulloff’s brain would be placed in a jar at Cornell University as the prize specimen of their anatomy collection...where it still sits today, slowly moldering in a dusty jar. But his story—and its implications for the emerging field of criminal psychology—were just beginning.
Expanded from season one of her hit podcast on the Exactly Right network (7 million downloads and growing), in All That Is Wicked Kate Winkler Dawson draws on hundreds of source materials and never-before-shared historical documents to present one of the first glimpses into the mind of a serial killer—a century before the term was coined—through the scientists whose work would come to influence criminal justice for decades to come. ALL THAT IS WICKED: A Gilded-Age Story of Murder and the Race to Decode the Criminal Mind-Kate Winkler Dawson
The Generation Why Podcast released its first episode in 2012 and pioneered the true crime genre in the podcasting world. Two friends, Aaron & Justin, break down theories and give their opinions on unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries and conspiracies. One of the longest running true crime podcasts out there, Generation Why has a little something for every true crime listener. Follow The Generation Why Podcast on Amazon Music, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Or you can listen ad-free by joining Wondery Plus in the Wondery app. wondery.fm/TM_GenWhy
Nearly a hundred years ago, two wealthy and privileged teenagers―Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb―were charged and convicted in a gruesome crime that would lead to the original “Trial of the Century”. Even in Jazz Age Chicago, the murder was uniquely shocking for the motive of the killers: well-to-do Jewish scions, full of promise, had killed fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks for the thrill of it. The trial was made even more sensational by the revelation of a love affair between the defendants and by defense attorney Clarence Darrow, who delivered one of the most famous defense summations of all time to save the boys from the death penalty. The story of their mad folie à deux, with Loeb portrayed as the psychopathic mastermind and Leopold as his infatuated disciple, has been endlessly repeated and accepted by history as fact. And none of it is true.
Using twenty-first century investigative tools, forensics, and a modern understanding of the psychology of these infamous killers, Nothing but the Night turns history on its head. While Loeb has long been viewed as the architect behind the murders, King and Wilson’s new research points to Leopold as the dominant partner in the deadly relationship, uncovering a dark obsession with violence and sex. Nothing but the Night pulls readers into the troubled world of Leopold and Loeb, revealing a more horrifying tale of passion, obsession, and betrayal than history ever imagined. NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT: Leopold & Loeb and the Truth Behind the Murder That Rocked 1920's America-Greg King and Penny Wilson.
Boston had its Strangler. California had the Zodiac Killer. And in the depths of the Great Depression, Cleveland had the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run.
On September 5th, 1934, a young beachcomber made a gruesome discovery on the shores of Cleveland’s Lake Erie: the lower half of a female torso, neatly severed at the waist. The victim, dubbed “The Lady of the Lake,” was only the first of a butcher’s dozen. Over the next four years, twelve more bodies would be scattered across the city. The bodies were dismembered with surgical precision and drained of blood. Some were beheaded while still alive.
Terror gripped the city. Amid the growing uproar, Cleveland’s besieged mayor turned to his newly-appointed director of public safety: Eliot Ness. Ness had come to Cleveland fresh from his headline-grabbing exploits in Chicago, where he and his band of “Untouchables” led the frontline assault on Al Capone’s bootlegging empire. Now he would confront a case that would redefine his storied career.
Award-winning author Daniel Stashower shines a fresh light on one of the most notorious puzzles in the annals of crime, and uncovers the gripping story of Ness’s hunt for a sadistic killer who was as brilliant as he was cool and composed, a mastermind who was able to hide in plain sight. American Demon reconstructs this ultimate battle of wits between a hero and a madman. AMERICAN DEMON: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America's Jack The Ripper-Daniel Stashower
On September 16, 1922, the bodies of Reverend Edward Hall and Eleanor Mills were found beneath a crabapple tree on an abandoned farm outside of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The killer had arranged the bodies in a pose conveying intimacy. The murder of Hall, a prominent clergyman whose wife, Frances Hall, was a proud heiress with illustrious ancestors and ties to the Johnson & Johnson dynasty, would have made headlines on its own. But when authorities identified Eleanor Mills as a choir singer from his church married to the church sexton, the story shocked locals and sent the scandal ricocheting around the country, fueling the nascent tabloid industry. This provincial double murder on a lonely lover’s lane would soon become one of the most famous killings in American history—a veritable crime of the century. The bumbling local authorities failed to secure any indictments, however, and it took a swashbuckling crusade by the editor of a circulation-hungry Hearst tabloid to revive the case and bring it to trial at last.Blood & Ink freshly chronicles what remains one of the most electrifying but forgotten murder mysteries in U.S. history. It also traces the birth of American tabloid journalism, pandering to the masses with sordid tales of love, sex, money, and murder. BLOOD & INK: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder that Hooked America on True Crime-Joe Pompeo
During an eight-month period in 1977 and 1978, the city of Columbus, Georgia, was terrorized by a mysterious serial killer who raped and ritualistically strangled seven elderly women in one of the community's finer neighborhoods. Despite intensive efforts on the part of police the Stocking Strangler, as he came to be known, managed to elude capture. After the last murder in April 1978, the case went cold. In the spring of 1984, a series of fortuitous events connected to an unrelated murder and a stolen pistol led to the capture of Carlton Gary, who had recently escaped from a South Carolina prison. Following a dramatic trial in 1986, Gary was convicted of three of the seven Columbus murders and sentenced to death, a penalty that would not be carried out until 2018. This convoluted tale of crime and punishment is punctuated by dramatic twists and turns including issues of race, alleged conspiracy and misconduct on the part of the police and the judiciary, and errors in DNA analysis. THE COLUMBUS STOCKING STRANGLER-William Rawlings
On August 31, 1972, Hellen Hanks, a pretty thirty-four-year-old mother of three disappeared from her place of employment at Wilcox Advertising in Valdosta, Georgia. After a brief investigation by local and state authorities, the case went cold. In the fall of 1980, a farmer clearing a field south of town discovered a buried object, a box containing the dismembered remains of the missing woman. After several months of investigation, police arrested "Foxy" Wilcox, his son Keller Wilcox, and two long-term African American employees of Wilcox Advertising. Keller was charged with Hanks's murder, and the others with concealing a death. The Wilcoxes were members of a prominent and wealthy Valdosta family. To defend their case, they hired famed defense attorney Bobby Lee Cook. Keller Wilcox's murder trial in January 1982 pitted Cook against a local prosecution team led by district attorney Lamar Cole. The case against Wilcox was entirely circumstantial, making the outcome uncertain. After a trial marked by controversy and conflicting testimony, Wilcox was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, all the while proclaiming his innocence. In 1985 he was freed by a federal judge based primarily on the harsh interrogation of the black witnesses. The true story of this horrific murder has all the elements of a work of suspense fiction: money, power, sex, race, and the haves vs. the have-nots. Multiple lives were forever changed. The outcome would have been totally different if the box had been buried only six inches deeper. SIX INCHES DEEPER: The Disappearance of Hellen Hanks-William Rawlings