#BookReview – UGLY PREY: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago

An Italian immigrant who spoke little English and struggled to scrape together a living on her primitive family farm outside Chicago, Sabella Nitti was arrested in 1923 for the murder of her missing husband. Within two months, she was found guilty and became the first woman ever sentenced to hang in Chicago. Journalist Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi leads readers through Sabella’s sensational case, showing how, with no evidence and no witnesses, she was the target Read More …

#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 …

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 …

#BookReview – A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad

Bestselling author Del Quentin Wilber tells the inside story of how a homicide squad—a dedicated, colorful team of detectives―does its almost impossible job Twelve homicides, three police-involved shootings and the furious hunt for an especially brutal killer–February 2013 was a good month for murder in suburban Washington, D.C. After gaining unparalleled access to the homicide unit in Prince George’s County, which borders the nation’s capital, Del Quentin Wilber begins shadowing the talented, often quirky detectives Read More …

#BookReview – The Michigan Murders by Edward Keyes – True Crime

An Edgar Award Nominee: The terrifying true story of savage murders, a terrorized midwestern town, and the serial killer who could have lived next door In 1967, during the time of peace, free love, and hitchhiking, nineteen-year-old Mary Terese Fleszar was last seen alive walking home to her apartment in Ypsilanti, Michigan. One month later, her naked body—stabbed over thirty times and missing both feet and a forearm—was discovered, partially buried, on an abandoned farm. Read More …

Book Review: INSIDE THE CRIMINAL MIND by Stanton E. Samenow

Long-held myths defining the sources of and cures for crime are shattered in this ground-breaking book–and a chilling profile of today’s criminal emerges. Published: November 2014 Amazon   My Review: This is one of the worst books – if not the absolute worst – I’ve read on criminal behavior. The short version of my thoughts is that the writing is repetitive, the passages often lead nowhere aside from self-serving examples, and the tone is arrogant Read More …

Hardtimin’ Holidays: A Lifetime Behind Bars

Do you all remember Tyler? He’s the young man serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, for a nonviolent crime he committed as a teenager. He didn’t hurt anyone, but still we condemned him, treating him as unworthy of even the hope of redemption. Yet he has redeemed himself, despite society’s arrogance in tossing him away in a concrete cage – forever. Tyler has written a series of thought-provoking essays that I’ve shared Read More …

Book Review: LOCKED DOWN, LOCKED OUT by Maya Schenwar

Through the stories of prisoners and their families, including her own family’s experiences, Maya Schenwar shows how the institution that locks up 2.3 million Americans and decimates poor communities of color is shredding the ties that, if nurtured, could foster real collective safety. As she vividly depicts here, incarceration takes away the very things that might enable people to build better lives. But looking toward a future beyond imprisonment, Schenwar profiles community-based initiatives that successfully Read More …

New Release Review – Until You Are Dead, Dead, Dead: The Hanging of Albert Edwin Batson

In 1902, on a prairie in southwest Louisiana, six members of a farming family are found murdered. Albert Edwin Batson, a white, itinerant farm worker, rapidly descends from likely suspect to likely lynching victim as people in the surrounding countryside lusted for vengeance. In a territory where the locals were coping with the opening of the prairies by the railroad and the disorienting, disruptive advances of the rice and oil industries into what was predominantly Read More …

Early Review – The Wrong Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution

  “I didn’t do it, but I know who did.” In 1989, Texas executed Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence, for the murder of Wanda Lopez, a convenience store clerk. His execution passed unnoticed for years until a team of Columbia Law School faculty and students almost accidentally chose to investigate his case and found that DeLuna almost certainly was innocent. They discovered that no one had cared enough about either the Read More …