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The Belle of Bedford Avenue

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Recent Releases, True Crime, True Crime History
The Bell of Bedford Avenue by Virginia A. McConnell. Kent State University Press

At the turn of the 20th century, many affluent Brooklyn teens and young adults were bucking the constraints of their immigrant parents and behaving badly: drinking, having sex, staying out all night, stealing, scamming local businesses—and even more serious activities. The culmination for twenty-year-old Walter Brooks was being murdered in a seedy Manhattan hotel in 1902.

 


The Insanity Defense and the Mad Murderess of Shaker Heights

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Award Winners, History, Recent Releases, Regional Interest, True Crime, True Crime History
The Insanity Defense and the Mad Murderess of Shaker Heights by William L. Tabac. Kent State University Press

They have no witnesses. They have no case. With this blunt observation, Mariann Colby—an attractive, church-going Shaker Heights, Ohio, mother and housewife—bet a defense psychiatrist that she would not be convicted of murder. A lack of witnesses was not the only problem that would confront the State of Ohio in 1966, which would seek to prosecute her for shooting to death Cremer Young Jr., her son’s nine-year-old playmate: Colby had deftly cleaned up after herself by hiding the child’s body miles from her home and concealing the weapon.

 


Death of an Assassin

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Award Winners, Books, Military History, True Crime, True Crime History
Ackerman cover

From the depths of German and American archives comes a story one soldier never wanted told. The first volunteer killed defending Robert E. Lee’s position in battle was really a German assassin. After fleeing to the United States to escape prosecution for murder, the assassin enlisted in a German company of the Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Mexican-American War and died defending Lee’s battery at the Siege of Veracruz in 1847. Lee wrote a letter home, praising this unnamed fallen volunteer defender. Military records identify him, but none of the Americans knew about his past life of crime.

 


The Killing of Julia Wallace

| Filed under: Books, True Crime, True Crime History
Goodman Cover

The brutal murder of Julia Wallace in 1931 became one of Britain’s great unsolved murders. People began arguing about the case almost immediately and continue to do so to this day. Julia was the middle-aged wife of a mildmannered Liverpool insurance agent, William Herbert Wallace. By all accounts, they were a quiet, unassuming, devoted couple. In January 1931, William Wallace received a telephone message to come to an address in Liverpool the following evening to discuss an insurance policy. Unable to find the house after searching for hours, Wallace determined there was no such address and returned home. There he found Julia bludgeoned to death on the parlor floor. In addition to the terrible shock and his unbearable loss, Wallace was accused of the crime and ultimately convicted.

 


The Lincoln Assassination Riddle

and | Filed under: American History, Audiobooks, History, True Crime, True Crime History
Williams cover

Most Americans are aware that their sixteenth president was mortally wounded by a man named Booth at a Washington theater in April 1865. These are facts that nobody can dispute. However, a closer look at this history-changing catastrophe raises questions that have still not been fully answered. The passing of the 150th anniversary of the United States’ first presidential assassination is an ideal time for students and scholars to consider these questions.

 


In the Wake of the Butcher

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, True Crime
Badal cover

In 2001 The Kent State University Press published James Jessen Badal’s In the Wake of the Butcher: Cleveland’s Torso Murders—the first book to examine the horrific series of unsolved dismemberment murders that terrorized the Kingsbury Run neighborhood from 1934 to 1938. Through his access to a wealth of previously unavailable material, Badal was able to present a far more detailed and accurate picture of the battle between Cleveland safety director Eliot Ness and the unidentified killer who avoided both detection and apprehension.

 


Bloody Lies

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Black Squirrel Books, True Crime

The remote farming community of Murdock, Nebraska, seemed to be the least likely setting for one of the heartland’s most ruthless and bloody double murders in decades. In fact, the little town had gone more than a century without a single homicide. But on the night of Easter 2006, Wayne and Sharmon Stock were brutally murdered in their home. The murders garnered sensational frontpage headlines and drew immediate statewide attention. Practically everybody around Murdock was filled with fear, panic, and outrage. Who killed Wayne and Sharmon Stock? What was the motive? The Stocks were the essence of Nebraska’s all-American farm family, self-made, God-fearing, and of high moral character. Barely a week into this double murder investigation, two arrests brought a sense of relief to the victims’ family and to local residents. The case appeared to fall neatly into place when a tiny speck of murder victim Wayne Stock’s blood appeared in the alleged getaway car.

 


House of Horrors

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Black Squirrel Books, Regional Interest, True Crime

To his neighbors on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, Anthony Sowell was a quiet and helpful former Marine who played chess and hosted summer barbeques in his front yard. But there was a dark side to Sowell—and a horrific secret inside his house. In mid-2007, Crystal Dozier, 38, made plans to visit Sowell. She was never seen again. Over the next two years, ten more Cleveland women disappeared. Their families filed missing persons reports. Police say their search efforts were hampered by the women’s transient lifestyles. But the families say police considered their loved ones “disposable” and didn’t take their disappearances seriously.

 


Hell’s Wasteland

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, True Crime

Did the Mad Butcher of Cleveland also strike in Pennsylvania?

From 1934 to 1938, Cleveland, Ohio, was racked by a classic battle between good and evil. On one side was the city’s safety director, Eliot Ness. On the other was a nameless phantom dubbed the “Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run,” who littered the inner city with the remains of decapitated and dismembered corpses. Never caught or even officially identified, the Butcher simply faded into history, leaving behind a frightening legend that both haunts and fascinates Cleveland to this day. In 2001 the Kent State University Press published James Jessen Badal’s In the Wake of the Butcher: Cleveland’s Torso Murders, the first serious, book-length treatment of this dark chapter in true crime history. Though Murder Has No Tongue: The Lost Victim of Cleveland’s Mad Butcher—a detailed study of the arrest and mysterious death of Frank Dolezal, the only man ever charged in the killings—followed in 2010.

 


Nameless Indignities

| Filed under: Audiobooks, True Crime, True Crime History

Upon discovering that her great-great aunt was the victim and central figure in one of Illinois’s most notorious crimes, author Susan Elmore set out to learn more. She uncovered a perplexing case that resulted in multiple suspects, a lynch mob, charges of perjury and bribery, a failed kidnapping attempt, broken family loyalties, lies, cover-ups, financial devastation, and at least two suicides.

 


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