Author: Tammy Mal
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
On Thursday, December 15, 1994, Joann Katrinak and her three-month-old son, Alex, went missing from their Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, home. Four months later, when their bodies were found in a lonely patch of woods, the police would launch a three-year investigation leading to the arrest of Patricia Lynne Rorrer—a young mother who had never met either victim—as the monster responsible. In what would become Pennsylvania's first use of mitochondrial DNA in a criminal case, Patricia Rorrer was quickly tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. But did the jury make the right decision? Is Patricia Rorrer truly guilty? As new evidence continues to surface, including allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and evidence tampering, that question requires an answer even more. With a subject matter and storytelling style reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial, Convenient Suspect will appeal to a wide audience. The book reveals information never before made public—information gathered directly from more than 10,000 official documents, including Pennsylvania State Police reports, FBI Files, forensic lab results, and the 6,500-page trial transcript. Through four years of intensive research, countless interviews with those involved, and hundreds of letters, phone calls, and personal visits with Patricia Rorrer, the truth about the evidence used to convict her can finally be revealed.
Author: Tammy Mal
When nine-year-old Mae Ruth Barrett failed to return home on the stormy night of January 2, 1945, her family immediately feared an accident. But when the child's brutally beaten body was found the next day, secreted in an abandoned house, the small town of Vandling was left reeling. Who could kill a child walking home from church? Stunned by the barbaric events, residents would become even more horrified when suspicion soon focused on a most unlikely suspect. In harrowing detail, learn how the police solved one of the most sadistic crimes in history, long before the use of computers, DNA, or modern forensic science.
Author: Ellen Harris
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Dying to Get Married is a modern-day morality tale of the perversion of an American dream. Julie Miller was a successful executive who, through a newspaper ad, met who she thought was "Mr. Right." Little did she know that he had a violent past and a predisposition for bizarre sexual rituals. This tragic, true-crime tale will shock its horrified readers.
Author: Katherine M. Ramsland
As idyllic as Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley may be, there's a dark side. Three serial killers, a mass murderer, and outright hits, along with high profile familicides and unusual domestic homicides. In the context of some of these incidents, Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek, with author Katherine Ramsland, describe what it's like to be a death investigator in Lehigh Valley and detail some of its most infamous crimes.
Author: Jonathan Coleman
The true story of how and why Frances Schreuder masterminded a plan requiring her teenage son to kill one of the richest men in Utah--her father, Franklin Bradshaw
Author: Tammy Mal
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Susquehanna County: an area rich in history, natural resources, and long-forgotten crime. September 27, 1873, New Milford, Pa. When two women are found horribly mutilated and lying dead on the railroad tracks, everyone just assumes it's a tragic accident. But when it's determined that Margaret and Mary O'Mara have been brutally murdered, the hunt is on for a sadistic killer. October 19, 1897, Rush, Pa. Authorities couldn't fathom who would want to beat 68-year-old Jack Pepper to death until a young woman, looking to even the score with her cheating ex-lover paid them a visit. October 3, 1921, Union Dale, Pa. After prosperous cattle dealer, Burns Lyon, is found robbed and murdered in his barn, the case quickly goes cold. When police finally make an arrest years later, they are confident they've solved the crime. But have they? October 29, 1922, Susquehanna, Pa. Who bludgeoned 80-year-old Civil War vet, Cyrus Payne, to death? What happened to the $1000 bill he'd been showing off only days earlier? And who is the strange young boy who calls Cyrus his "best friend?" Take a journey back in time to discover that murder and mayhem in the old days was not all that different than it is today.
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.
Author: Tammy Mal
A man finds his aunt bludgeoned to death in the living room of her elegant Forty Fort home. A teenage girl disappears on her way home from Coatesville High School. A reputed witch turns up dead in Pottsville. A young woman seemingly helps solve her own murder after she dies in a Philadelphia park. True-crime author Tammy Mal digs up facts on four of Pennsylvania's weirdest killings in her book Tortured Minds: Pennsylvania's Most Bizarre-But Forgotten-Murders. These 1930s crimes have long fallen into obscurity, but Mal deftly revives them in stark detail, from discovery of the body and through the trial. Ghosts, witches, resentment, and sex factor into these crimes, giving them a chilling edge as Mal brings them back to life in her latest true-crime book. It's a look into just what tortured minds can do, certain to convince you to lock your doors after dark.
Author: Jon Wells
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Canada's award-winning crime writer takes on a transatlantic serial killer One of six book-length stories published in the Hamilton Spectator, Poison is a riveting piece of crime reporting that won a National Newspaper Award in 2004. Chronicling the life and crimes of serial murderer Sukhwinder Dhillon, who coolly dispatched two wives, two twin infants, and a friend just for insurance money, Poison details the trail that stretched from Canada to India, the work of the insurance claims investigator and the detectives who suspected wrong-doing, the forensics that sealed Dhillon's fate, and the legal twists and turns of the double murder trial that followed.
Author: Richard C Lindberg, Gloria Jean Sykes
Publisher: SIU Press
This book tells the gripping story of the three murdered Chicago boys and the quest to find and bring to justice their killer. The authors recount the bungled police investigation and a questionable conviction, and present new information concerning two suspects overlooked by police for five decades.
Author: Amanda Knox
Publisher: Harper Collins
Amanda Knox spent four years in a foreign prison for a crime she did not commit, as seen in the Nexflix documentary Amanda Knox. In the fall of 2007, the 20-year-old college coed left Seattle to study abroad in Italy, but her life was shattered when her roommate was murdered in their apartment. After a controversial trial, Amanda was convicted and imprisoned. But in 2011, an appeals court overturned the decision and vacated the murder charge. Free at last, she returned home to the U.S., where she has remained silent, until now. Filled with details first recorded in the journals Knox kept while in Italy, Waiting to Be Heard is a remarkable story of innocence, resilience, and courage, and of one young woman’s hard-fought battle to overcome injustice and win the freedom she deserved. With intelligence, grace, and candor, Amanda Knox tells the full story of her harrowing ordeal in Italy—a labyrinthine nightmare of crime and punishment, innocence and vindication—and of the unwavering support of family and friends who tirelessly worked to help her win her freedom. Waiting to Be Heard includes 24 pages of color photographs.
Author: Alice Mathews
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Nancy Howard’s story combines love, betrayal, conspiracy, suffering, and survival with a cast of improbable characters: a respected church-going husband and his mistress, a group of unsavory criminals, and a millionaire businessman. The story opens with Nancy’s returning home from a church function on a Saturday night in 2012, and pulling into her garage. As she walks toward the door to her house, she suddenly faces an attacker who demands her purse and then shoots her in the head. Investigation of the shooting first reveals that Nancy’s husband, Frank, has been having a three-year affair. A few days later, detectives uncover links between her CPA husband and an unsavory criminal in East Texas, Billie Earl Johnson. The story becomes increasingly bizarre as evidence surfaces of a murder-for-hire conspiracy between Billie and Frank, known to Billie only by his first name, John.
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Matthew Joseph Bruccoli
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known for his novels such as THE GREAT GATSBY, but during his all-too-brief literary life, he sold some 160 short stories to popular magazines. Here, noted scholar and biographer Matthew Bruccoli assembles in one volume the full scope of the best of Fitzgerald's short fiction. These 43 sparkling masterpieces are offered in a handsome Scribner Classics edition, perfect for the home library.
Author: Maurice Moya
Publisher: Sunstone Press
The Torreon Cabin Murders in December of 1995 was one of the most heinous cases in the history of the state of New Mexico. A young man and his live-in girl friend were murdered execution style in a cabin in Cibola National Forest near a small town called Torreon. Her two young sons were then locked in the cabin to die of starvation and dehydration by the murderer. Later, the young man’s father discovered the bodies and New Mexico State Police and a gang detective from the Albuquerque Police Department were assigned to investigate the four deaths. No crime scene team was sent to the cabin to look for evidence, according to the author. Investigators came up with prime suspects and with the guidance of the District Attorney’s office took numerous statements from two of them until they were able to obtain what appeared to some to be false confessions. Three young men were eventually charged with the death penalty. But was the real killer in the Torreon cabin murders released on the public to continue his crimes? Let the reader decide.
Author: Linda Wolfe
Publisher: Open Road Media
A New York Times Notable Book: Acclaimed true-crime journalist Linda Wolfe delivers a riveting, comprehensive account of the Preppie Murder, a crime that shocked a city and a nation. It was called the Preppie Murder—a killer and a victim who were attractive, smart, privileged teenagers. On an August night in 1986 Jennifer Levin left a Manhattan bar with Robert Chambers. The next morning, her strangled, battered body was found in Central Park. Linda Wolfe, hailed by critic John Leonard as “one of our best reporters,” goes beyond the headlines and media hype to re-create a story of privilege and excess, sex and partying—of a teenager whose immigrant mother was determined to make a better life for her son, a petty thief and drug user who’d been expelled from the best schools. It’s all here, from the initial police investigation, during which Chambers claimed Levin died accidentally during rough sex, to the media frenzy of the courtroom, where Chambers took an eleventh-hour plea. Wolfe also delivers heartbreaking portraits of Levin’s grief-stricken father, Chambers’s in-denial mother, and the women who dated the accused Preppie Killer while he was out on bail. A finalist for the 1990 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, Wasted also powerfully depicts the freewheeling 1980s society that spawned a generation steeped in violence and the fatal impulses that drove Robert Chambers to kill.