Author: Joseph Wambaugh
Fifteen-year-old Lynda Mann's savagely raped and strangled body is found along a shady footpath near the English village of Narborough. Though a massive 150-man dragnet is launched, the case remains unsolved. Three years later the killer strikes again, raping and strangling teenager Dawn Ashforth only a stone's throw from where Lynda was so brutally murdered. But it will take four years, a scientific breakthrough, the largest manhunt in British crime annals, and the blooding of more than four thousand men before the real killer is found.
Author: Paul Mones
Describes the landmark homicide case headed up by detective Joe Horgas, who led the first investigation that used DNA evidence and successfully identified and captured a serial killer known as the Southside Strangler. Reprint.
Author: Robert J. Norris
Publisher: NYU Press
The fascinating story behind the innocence movement's quest for justice. Documentaries like Making a Murderer, the first season of Serial, and the cause célèbre that was the West Memphis Three captured the attention of millions and focused the national discussion on wrongful convictions. This interest is warranted: more than 1,800 people have been set free in recent decades after being convicted of crimes they did not commit. In response to these exonerations, federal and state governments have passed laws to prevent such injustices; lawyers and police have changed their practices; and advocacy organizations have multiplied across the country. Together, these activities are often referred to as the “innocence movement.” Exonerated provides the first in-depth look at the history of this movement through interviews with key leaders such as Barry Scheck and Rob Warden as well as archival and field research into the major cases that brought awareness to wrongful convictions in the United States. Robert Norris also examines how and why the innocence movement took hold. He argues that while the innocence movement did not begin as an organized campaign, scientific, legal, and cultural developments led to a widespread understanding that new technology and renewed investigative diligence could both catch the guilty and free the innocent. Exonerated reveals the rich background story to this complex movement.
Author: Elijah Anderson
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title Typically residing in areas of concentrated urban poverty, too many young black men are trapped in a horrific cycle that includes active discrimination, unemployment, violence, crime, prison, and early death. This toxic mixture has given rise to wider stereotypes that limit the social capital of all young black males. Edited and with an introductory chapter by sociologist Elijah Anderson, the essays in Against the Wall describe how the young black man has come to be identified publicly with crime and violence. In reaction to his sense of rejection, he may place an exaggerated emphasis on the integrity of his self-expression in clothing and demeanor by adopting the fashions of the "street." To those deeply invested in and associated with the dominant culture, his attitude is perceived as profoundly oppositional. His presence in public gathering places becomes disturbing to others, and the stereotype of the dangerous young black male is perpetuated and strengthened. To understand the origin of the problem and the prospects of the black inner-city male, it is essential to distinguish his experience from that of his pre-Civil Rights Movement forebears. In the 1950s, as militant black people increasingly emerged to challenge the system, the figure of the black male became more ambiguous and fearsome. And while this activism did have the positive effect of creating opportunities for the black middle class who fled from the ghettos, those who remained faced an increasingly desperate climate. Featuring a foreword by Cornel West and sixteen original essays by contributors including William Julius Wilson, Gerald D. Jaynes, Douglas S. Massey, and Peter Edelman, Against the Wall illustrates how social distance increases as alienation and marginalization within the black male underclass persist, thereby deepening the country's racial divide.
Author: Tim Junkin
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Charged with the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in 1984, Kirk Bloodsworth was tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in Maryland’s gas chamber. From the beginning, he proclaimed his innocence, but when he was granted a new trial because his prosecutors improperly withheld evidence, the second trial also resulted in conviction. Bloodsworth read every book on criminal law in the prison library and persuaded a new lawyer to petition for the then-innovative DNA testing. After nine years in one of the harshest prisons in America, Kirk Bloodsworth was vindicated by DNA evidence. He was pardoned by the governor of Maryland and has gone on to become a tireless spokesman against capital punishment.
Author: Nigel McCrery
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Crime novelist and former police officer Nigel McCrery provides an account of all the major areas of forensic science from around the world over the past two centuries. The book weaves dramatic narrative and scientific principles together in a way that allows readers to figure out crimes along with the experts. Readers are introduced to such fascinating figures as Dr. Edmond Locard, the "French Sherlock Holmes"; Edward Heinrich, "Wizard of Berkeley," who is credited with having solved more than 2,000 crimes; and Alphonse Bertillon, the French scientist whose guiding principle, "no two individuals share the same characteristics," became the core of criminal identification. Landmark crime investigations examined in depth include a notorious murder involving blood evidence and defended by F. Lee Bailey, the seminal 1936 murder that demonstrated the usefulness of the microscope in examining trace evidence, the 1849 murder of a wealthy Boston businessman that demonstrated how difficult it is to successfully dispose of a corpse, and many others.
Author: Joseph Wambaugh
Publisher: Open Road Media
The hunt forthe most prolific American arsonist of the twentieth century—in this Edgar Award–winning true crime story that’s “stranger than fiction” (The New York Times). From Joseph Wambaugh, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of such classics as The Onion Field and The Choirboys, comes the extraordinary story of the chase for the “Pillow Pyro,” led by one ambitious firefighter. Growing up in Los Angeles, John Orr idolized law enforcement. However, after being rejected by both the LAPD and LAFD, he settled for a position with the Glendale Fire Department. There, he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a fire captain and one of Southern California’s best-known and most respected arson investigators. But Orr led another, unseen life, one that included womanizing and an insatiable thirst for recognition. While Orr busted a slew of petty arsonists, there was one serial criminal he could not track down. Nothing was safe from the so-called Pillow Pyro’s obsession. Homes, retail stores, and fields of dry brush all went up in flames. His handiwork led to millions of dollars worth of property damage and the deaths of four innocent bystanders. But after years of evading the police, he made a mistake—one that would turn Orr’s life upside down. The Washington Post raves, “When [Joseph Wambaugh] talks about the culture of cops versus the culture of firemen, we get no speculation, only hard-earned details.” Based on meticulous research, interviews, case records, and thousands of pages of court transcripts, Fire Lover is Wambaugh at his best.
Author: Joseph Wambaugh
The true story only Joseph Wambaugh could tell. A band of California cops set loose in no-man’s-land to come home heroes. Or come home dead. Not since Joseph Wambaugh’s bestselling The Onion Field has there been a true police story as fascinating, as totally gripping as Lines and Shadows. The media hailed them as heroes. Others denounced them as lawless renegades. A squad of tough cops called the Border Crime Task Force. A commando team sent to patrol the snake-infested no-man’s-land south of San Diego. Not to apprehend the thousands of illegal aliens slipping into the U.S., but to stop the ruthless bandits who preyed on them nightly—relentlessly robbing, raping, and murdering defenseless men, women, and children. The task force plan was simple. They would disguise themselves as illegal aliens. They would confront the murderous shadows of the night. Yet each time they walked into the violent blackness along the border, they came closer to another boundary line—a fragile line within each man. And crossing it meant destroying their sanity and their lives. Praise for Lines and Shadows “With each book, it seems, Mr. Wambaugh’s skill as a writer increases. . . . In Lines and Shadows he gives an off-trail, action-packed true account of police work and the intimate lives of policemen that, for my money, is his best book yet.”—The New York Times Book Review “A saga of courage, craziness, brutality and humor. . . . One of his best books, comparable to The Onion Field for storytelling and revelatory power.”—Chicago Sun-Times
Author: Rebecca Godfrey
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Who were the seemingly ordinary teenagers who beat and killed a girl who longed to be their friend? And how could they hide the murder from their parents and teachers and the police for eight days? Drawing on six years of research -- including interviews with the accused -- acclaimed writer Rebecca Godfrey answers these questions in this stunning account of the notorious "Schoolgirl Murder." Through a skillful blend of hard journalism and riveting narrative, Godfrey takes us into the bedrooms and classrooms of a powerful hip-hop-obsessed clique and the loner-victim who just wanted to belong, then into the police stations and courtrooms where adults -- grieving, devastated -- must reckon with the shocking crime. Highlighting along the way the deeply entrenched social tensions that provoked the murder, Under the Bridge is more than a true-crime book -- it is an unforgettable wake-up call.
Author: Joseph Wambaugh
On June 25, 1989, the naked corpse of schoolteacher Susan Reinert was found wedged into her hatchback car in a hotel parking lot near Philadelphia's "Main Line." Her two children had vanished. The Main Line Murder Case burst upon the headlines--and wasn't resolved for seven years. Now, master crime writer Joseph Wambaugh reconstructs the case from its roots, recounting the details, drama, players and pawns in this bizarre crime that shocked the nation and tore apart a respectable suburban town. The massive FBI and state police investigation ultimately centered on two men. Dr. Jay C. Smith--By day he was principal of Upper Merion High School where Susan Reinert taught. At night he was a sadist who indulged in porno, drugs, and weapons. William Bradfield--He was a bearded and charismatic English teacher and classics scholar, but his real genius was for juggling women--three at a time. One of those women was Susan Reinert. How these two men are connected, how the brilliant murder was carried off, and how the investigators closed this astounding case makes for Wambaugh's most compelling book yet.
Author: Colin Evans
Before there was CSI, there was one man who saw beyond the crime and into the future of forensic science. His name was Bernard Spilsbury—and, through his use of cutting-edge science, he single-handedly brought criminal investigations into the modern age. Starting out as a young, charismatic physician in early twentieth-century Britain, Spilsbury hit the English justice system—and the front pages—like a cannonball, garnering a reputation as a real-life Sherlock Holmes. He uncovered evidence others missed, stood above his peers in the field of crime reconstruction, relentlessly exposed discrepancies between witness testimony and factual evidence, and most importantly, convicted dozens of murderers with hard-nosed, scientific proof. This is the fascinating story of the life and work of Bernard Spilsbury, history’s greatest medical detective, and of the cases that not only made him a celebrity, but also inspired the astonishing science of criminal investigation in our own time.
Author: James Ruddick
Publisher: Grove Press
Filled with love, greed, intrigue, violence, and a wealth of suspects, a riveting true account details the unsolved murder of successful attorney Charles Bravo, a cruel man who tormented his wife Florence, in a mystery that paints an intriguing portrait of Victorian culture and one woman's fight to exist in this repressive society. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The astonishing novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult about a young boy with autism falsely accused of murder. When your son can’t look you in the eye...does that mean he’s guilty? Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right. But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Author: Leila Schneps, Coralie Colmez
Publisher: Basic Books
In the wrong hands, math can be deadly. Even the simplest numbers can become powerful forces when manipulated by journalists, politicians or other public figures, but in the case of the law your liberty—and your life—can depend on the right calculation. Math on Trial tells the story of ten trials in which mathematical arguments were used—and disastrously misused—as evidence. Despite years of math classes, most people (and most jurors) fail to detect even simple mathematical sophistry, resulting in such horrors as a medical expert’s faulty calculation of probabilities providing the key evidence for a British mother’s conviction for the murder of her two babies. The conviction was later overturned, but three years in prison took its toll—Sally Clark died of acute alcohol intoxication in March of 2007. Mathematicians Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez use a wide range of examples, from a mid-19th-century dispute over wills that became a signal case in the forensic use of mathematics, to the conviction and subsequent exoneration of Amanda Knox, to show how the improper application of mathematical concepts can mean the difference between walking free and life in prison. The cases discussed include: -The Case of Amanda Knox (How a judge’s denial of a second DNA test may have destroyed a chance to reveal the truth about Meredith Kercher’s murder) -The Case of Joe Sneed (How a fabricated probability framed a son for his parents’ grisly killing) -The Case of Sally Clark (How multiplying non-independent probabilities landed an innocent mother in jail for the murder of her children) -The Case of Janet Collins (How unjustified estimates combined with a miscalculated probability convicted an innocent couple of violent robbery) A colorful narrative of mathematical abuse featuring such characters as Charles Ponzi, Alfred Dreyfus, Hetty Green, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Math on Trial shows that legal expertise isn’t everything when it comes to proving a man innocent.