True Crime

The eternal allure of sex, gaslight, and fog

For all the impressive research that bolsters author Russell Edwards’ conclusion that Jack the Ripper was Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old, mentally unstable hairdresser long suspected of being the infamous serial killer, I remain unconvinced. The inevitable book is called Naming Jack the Ripper. Mr. Edwards’ insistence that he has finally identified the murderer who terrorized London during the fall of 1888 makes Patricia Cornwell’s conviction that the killer was artist Walter Sickert seem quite passive in contrast, no small accomplishment in itself.

The author’s fascination with the bloody work of the Ripper dates back to the 2001 movie, From Hell, an atmospheric recreation of the crimes (filmed in Poland) that incorporated mysticism, Freemasonry, royalty, and Johnny Depp. It was a unique bundle of cinematic kindling that nevertheless ignited the flame of an obsession. The Ripper does have a way of insinuating himself into peoples’ lives, even at this far-removed point in history. (READ MORE)

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Naming Jack the Ripper Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781493011902
Availability: Special Order
Published: Lyons Press - September 9th, 2014

Nightmare under the desert sun

Abduction, murder, torture, sex, infidelity, drugs, con men, blackmail, national security risks, free-spirited women, J. Edgar Hoover, and Nazi spies. A true-crime lover’s theme park and it’s all neatly enfolded within the covers of a single book!

Hazel Frome and her 23-year-old daughter, Nancy, weathered the worst years of the Depression just fine. Mrs. Frome’s husband, Weston G. “Pop” Frome, was a high-ranking executive with the Atlas Powder Company and there is always a need to blow things up. And with Adolf Hitler creating ominous rumbles in Europe, the future only looked brighter for Atlas Powder.

Winston Frome wasn’t an exemplary incarnation of the word “Pop,” at least in the endearing, Frank Capraesque sense of the word. Frome was gone on business sojourns much of the time and his interaction with his wife and two daughters’ lives was economical at best. The family flitted on the periphery of high society in the Bay area of San Francisco. They were not wealthy enough to be accepted into the core of old, established money, but the Fromes were rich enough to get invitations to all the best parties.

Pop was home to say goodbye to Hazel and Nancy as they set out in a new Packard to visit his other daughter. Mada had married a serviceman, much to her parents’ disappointment, and lived at Parris Island, South Carolina. Women with good backgrounds and better sense didn’t cross the country alone in 1938, but Hazel and Nancy were seasoned travelers. When Weston Frome turned back to the house at 2560 Cedar Street, he very likely had business, not potential danger, on his mind.

He would never see his wife and daughter alive again.

Clint Richmond’s intriguing new book, Fetch the Devil, is about the torture and murder of the two Frome women, a mystery that still lingers in the dry desert air a few miles east of El Paso, Texas. It proved to be a whodunit with an impressive array of suspects, including an international con man, who performed illegal abortions to supplement his income, and a cadre of Nazi spies with vested interests in Weston Frome’s explosive business. (READ MORE)

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Fetch the Devil: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781611685343
Availability: Special Order
Published: ForeEdge - June 3rd, 2014

Fetch the Devil

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Fetch the Devil: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781611685343
Availability: Special Order
Published: ForeEdge - June 3rd, 2014

Torture, murder, intrigue, deception, and Nazis. What mystery lover could ask for anything more? Richmond's riveting book is about the Sierra Diablo murders in 1937. The wife and daughter of an executive in the explosives industry were found shot to death in the Texas desert. A meticulous recreation of the crime and the exhaustive hunt for the killers. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


Jack the Ripper

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Jack the Ripper: The Forgotten Victims Cover Image
$38.50
ISBN: 9780300117202
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Published: Yale University Press - March 25th, 2014

If the primary question about the notorious Whitechapel killer has always been his identity, the second most widely speculated aspect of the crimes was the actual count of victims. The authors present a convincing argument that there may have been more than the widely accepted number of five. As with most examinations of the Ripper's work, this thought-provoking book isn't for the squeamish. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


Blood Trails

In the 126 years that have passed since that dark autumn in London, one question has remained paramount. Who was the person called Jack the Ripper? But, there is another question that is just as vital to the complete story: How many victims did the killer ultimately claim?

Did the terror really begin on the morning of August 31, 1888, when a man on his way to work came across the body of Mary Ann Nichols, lying sprawled on the sidewalk of a rank and forsaken byway called Buck’s Row in the Whitechapel District of the world’s greatest city? Did it end with the gruesome butchering of Mary Jane Kelly in her dingy room in Miller’s Court on November 9th? Were the three women who were brutally murdered between Nichols and Kelly the elusive murderer’s only other victims? Maybe not.

Paul Begg is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of history’s most famous serial killer. He has written, in collaboration with John Bennett, Jack the Ripper: The Forgotten Victims, an intriguing reexamination of suspiciously similar homicides committed during the same general time period when Jack was cutting a bloody swath across Whitechapel. The authors offer plausible theories that have been bolstered by contemporary research into the patterns of serial killers. But, like everything else about the Ripper murders, now over a century removed, proclaiming absolutes is as perilous as a stroll down a darkened slum alleyway in 1888. (READ MORE)

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Jack the Ripper: The Forgotten Victims Cover Image
$38.50
ISBN: 9780300117202
Availability: Special Order
Published: Yale University Press - March 25th, 2014

Kitty Genovese

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Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393239287
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 3rd, 2014

Kitty Genovese was savagely murdered in the early morning hours of March 13,1964. The killer's multiple attacks lasted over half an hour and Genovese's screams for help were completely ignored by residents of her neighborhood in Kew Gardens, Queens. It created an urban legend that was comprised of fact and fabrication, but the vicious killing set off a firestorm of concern about apathy in America that still reverberates today. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


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