#BookReview – NOT JUST EVIL: Murder, Hollywood, and California’s First Insanity Plea

For readers of true crime sagas like Tinseltown and Little Demon in the City of Light comes a chilling account of a murder that captivated the United States in the 1920s. Twelve-year-old Marion Parker was kidnapped from her Los Angeles school by an unknown assailant on December 15, 1927. Her body appeared days later, delivered to her father by the killer, who fled with the ransom money. When William Hickman was hunted down and charged Read More …

#BookReview – CHASING THE SCREAM: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, thirty-thousand-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the Read More …

#BookReview – MESA OF SORROWS: A History of the Awat’ovi Massacre by James F. Brooks

The Hopi community of Awat’ovi existed peacefully on Arizona’s Antelope Mesa for generations until one bleak morning in the fall of 1700—raiders from nearby Hopi villages descended on Awat’ovi, slaughtering their neighboring men, women, and children. While little of the pueblo itself remains, five centuries of history lie beneath the low rises of sandstone masonry, and theories about the events of that night are as persistent as the desert winds. The easternmost town on Antelope Read More …

#BookReview – 1971 – NEVER A DULL MOMENT: The Year That Rock Exploded by David Hepworth

A rollicking look at 1971 – the busiest, most innovative and resonant year of the 70s, defined by the musical arrival of such stars as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Joni Mitchell On New Year’s Eve, 1970, Paul McCartney told his lawyers to issue the writ at the High Court in London, effectively ending The Beatles. You might say this was the last day of the pop era. The following day, which was Read More …

#BookReview – Haunted Rock & Roll: Ghostly Tales of Musical Legends

Plug in the guitar, raise the curtain, and step onto the haunted stage. From rock and roll’s pioneers to its contemporary rebels, the greatest names live on after death―in unexpected and frightening ways. Discover thrilling stories of Michael Jackson, Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Amy Winehouse, and many more rockers who’ve been seen haunting their favorite bars, clubs, and homes. Haunted Rock and Roll covers rock’s entire paranormal legacy, allowing you to explore the Read More …

#BookReview: IRENA’S CHILDREN by Tilar J. Mazzeo

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot comes an extraordinary and gripping account of Irena Sendler—the “female Oskar Schindler”—who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While there, she reached out to the trapped Jewish families, going from door to Read More …

#BookReview – PATIENT H.M: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich

In 1953, a twenty-seven-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison—who suffered from severe epilepsy—received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a Read More …

#BookReview: HURRICANE STREET by Ron Kovic

  In the spring of 1974, as the last American troops were being pulled out of Vietnam, Ron Kovic and a small group of other severely injured veterans in a California VA hospital launched the American Veterans Movement. In a phenomenal feat of political organizing, Kovic corralled his fellow AVM members into staging a sit-in, and then a hunger strike, in the Los Angeles office of Senator Alan Cranston, demanding better treatment of injured and Read More …

#BookReview – THE WICKED BOY: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

In the summer of 1895, Robert Coombes (age 13) and his brother Nattie (age 12) were seen spending lavishly around the docklands of East London — for ten days in July, they ate out at coffee houses and took trips to the seaside and the theater. The boys told neighbors they had been left home alone while their mother visited family in Liverpool, but their aunt was suspicious. When she eventually forced the brothers to Read More …

Book Review – Brady & Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders by Fred Harrison

  The shocking true crime story of child murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Great Britain’s most horrific serial killers. During the early 1960s, just as Beatlemania was exploding throughout the United Kingdom, a pair of psychopathic British killers began preying on the very young, innocent, and helpless of Greater Manchester. Between 1963 and 1965, Ian Brady and his lover and partner, Myra Hindley, were responsible for the abduction, rape, torture, and murder of five Read More …