In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. A famous actress (and her unborn child), an heiress to a coffee fortune, a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims. A thin trail of circumstances eventually tied the Tate-LeBianca murders to Charles Manson, a would-be pop singer of small talent living in the desert with his family of devoted young women and men. What was his hold over them? And what was the motivation behind such savagery? In the public imagination, over time, the case assumed the proportions of myth. The murders marked the end of the sixties and became an immediate symbol of the dark underside of that era.
Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, and this book is his enthralling account of how he built his case from what a defense attorney dismissed as only two fingerprints and Vince Bugliosi. The meticulous detective work with which the story begins, the prosecutor's view of a complex murder trial, the reconstruction of the philosophy Manson inculcated in his fervent followers...these elements make for a true crime classic. Helter Skelter is not merely a spellbinding murder case and courtroom drama but also, in the words of The New Republic, a social document of rare importance.
One of America's most important writers takes on the arrest of Wayne Bertram Williams for the murder of twenty-eight black children in Atlanta to offer this searing indictment of the nation's racial stagnation.
This edition of James Baldwin's classic work offers a new foreword by Derrick Bell (with Janet Dewart Bell), and is as meaningful today as it was when it was first published in 1985.
In his searing and moving essay, James Baldwin explores the Atlanta child murders that took place over a period of twenty-two months in 1979 and 1980. Examining this incident with a reporter's skill and an essayist's insight, he notes the significance of Atlanta as the site of these brutal killings--a city that claimed to be "too busy to hate"--and the permeation of race throughout the case: the black administration in Atlanta; the murdered black children; and Wayne Williams, the black man tried for the crimes.
Rummaging through the ruins of American race relations, Baldwin addresses all the hard-to-face issues that have brought us a moment in history where it is terrifying to to be a black child in white America, and where, too often, public officials fail to ask real questions about "justice for all." Baldwin takes a time-specific event and makes it timeless: The Evidence of Things Not Seen offers an incisive look at race in America through a lens at once disturbing and profoundly revealing.
Frank W. Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams, and Robert Monjo, was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was twenty-one. Known by the police of twenty-six foreign countries and all fifty states as The Skywayman, Abagnale lived a sumptuous life on the lam--until the law caught up with him. Now recognized as the nation's leading authority on financial foul play, Abagnale is a charming rogue whose hilarious, stranger-than-fiction international escapades, and ingenious escapes-including one from an airplane-make Catch Me If You Can an irresistible tale of deceit.
The life of a New York City police officer, with the NYPD running through his veins: a highly anticipated nonfiction epic- destined to be a classic.
"Blue Blood" is an important book about what it means to protect, to serve, and to defend among the ranks of New York's finest. Conlon's canvas is great and complicated-he is fourth generation NYPD-and the story he tells is impossibly rich: it presents an anecdotal history of New York through its police force, and depicts a vivid portrait of the teeming street life of the city in all its horror and splendor. It is a story about fathers and sons, partners who become brothers, old ghosts and undying legacies. Here you will see terms like loyalty, commitment, and honor come to life, in action, on a daily basis. With brio and a thrilling literary style, Conlon depicts his life on the force-from his first days walking a beat in the South Bronx, to his ascent to detective. The pace is relentless, the stories hypnotic, the scope nothing less than grand. "Blue Blood" is a bona fide literary masterpiece.
Recounts the shocking story of an American farmer who, while being sought by government authorities for tax evasion, murdered three federal marshals and later died in a shootout
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.
Based on previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department documents, extensive interviews with many of the surviving principals involved in the case, and a variety of newspaper accounts, Smead meticulously reconstructs the full story of one of the last lynchings in America, detailing a grim, dramatic, but nearly forgotten episode from the Civil Rights era.
In 1959, a white mob in Poplarville, Mississippi abducted a young black man named Mack Charles Parker--recently charged with the rape of a white woman--from his jail cell, beat him, carried him across state lines, finally shot him, and left his body in the Pearl River. A massive FBI investigation ensued, and two grand juries met to investigate the lynching, yet no arrests were ever made. Smead presents a vivid picture of a small Southern town gripped by racism and distrust of federal authority, and describes the travesty of justice that followed in the wake of the lynching. Ultimately revealing more than an account of a single lynching, he offers what he calls a glimpse at the tidal forces at work in the South on the eve of the civil rights revolution.
In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana's Angola State Prison. In the months before Sonnier's death, the Roman Catholic nun came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. She also came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute--men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing.Out of that dreadful intimacy comes a profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment. Here Sister Helen confronts both the plight of the condemned and the rage of the bereaved, the fears of a society shattered by violence and the Christian imperative of love. On its original publication in 1993, Dead Man Walking emerged as an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty. Now, some two decades later, this story--which has inspired a film, a stage play, an opera and a musical album--is more gut-wrenching than ever, stirring deep and life-changing reflection in all who encounter it.
Frank Abagnale wrote $2.5 million in bad checks, practiced law without a license, practiced medicine with no medical training, co-piloted a Pan Am jet with a fake license, taught at a college though he was actually a high-school dropout, and managed to outwit and outrage the police of 26 foreign countries and all 50 states. Catch Me if You Can is the hilarious, now-classic story of Abagnale's stranger-than-fiction international escapades, and his ingenious escapes -- including one from an airplane.Slated for 2000 production at Dream Works Entertainment, and now updated with a new afterword, Catch Me if You Can contains all of the elements of the most wildly imaginative fiction, except that all of Abagnale's exploits actually happened. Stylish, charming, and not one to skimp on luxury, Abagnale lived a sumptuous life on the lam from which he retired when he was 21. Now recognized as the nation's leading authority on financial foul play, Abagnale tells the ultimate true-crime story, from the point of view of one of history's most lovable rogues.