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True Crime

Murder by Candlelight: The Gruesome Crimes Behind Our Romance with the Macabre

Murder by Candlelight: The Gruesome Crimes Behind Our Romance with the Macabre

Michael Knox Beran

$23.95
In the early nineteenth century, a series of murders took place in and around London which shocked the whole of England. The appalling nature of the crimes - a brutal slaying in the gambling netherworld, the slaughter of two entire households, and the first of the modern lust-murders - was magnified not only by the lurid atmosphere of an age in which candlelight gave way to gaslight, but also by the efforts of some of the keenest minds of the period to uncover the gruesomest details of the killings. These slayings all took place against the backdrop of a London in which the splendor of the fashionable world was haunted by the squalor of the slums.

Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Thomas De Quincey, Thomas Carlyle, and Percy Bysshe Shelley and others were fascinated by the blood and deviltry of these crimes. In their contemplations of the most notorious murders of their time, they discerned in the act of killing itself a depth of hideousness that we have lost sight of, now living in an age in which murder has been reduced to a problem of social science and skillful detective work. 

Interweaving these cultural vignettes alongside criminal history, acclaimed author Michael Beran paints a vivid picture of a time when homicide was thought of as the intrusion of the diabolic into ordinary life.
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Blue on Blue: An Insider's Story of Good Cops Catching Bad Cops

Blue on Blue: An Insider's Story of Good Cops Catching Bad Cops

Charles Campisi ,  Gordon Dillow

$46.95
One of the most authentic and consistently illuminating portraits of police work ever, Blue on Blue describes the fascinating inner workings of the world's largest police force and Chief Charles Campisi's unprecedented two decades putting bad cops behind bars.

From 1996 through 2014 Charles Campisi headed NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau, working under four police commissioners and gaining a reputation as hard-nosed and incorruptible. When he retired, only one man on the 36,000-member force had served longer. During Campisi's IAB tenure, the number of New Yorkers shot, wounded, or killed by cops every year declined by ninety percent, and the number of cops failing integrity tests shrank to an equally startling low. But to achieve those exemplary results, Campisi had to triple IAB's staff, hire the very best detectives, and put the word out that bad apples wouldn't be tolerated.

While early pages of Campisi's absorbing account bring us into the real world of cops, showing, for example, the agony that every cop suffers when he fires his gun, later pages spotlight a harrowing series of investigations that tested IAB's capacities, forcing detectives to go undercover against cops who were themselves undercover, to hunt down criminals posing as cops, and to break through the blue wall of silence to verify rare but sometimes very real cases of police brutality.

Told in an edge-of-the-seat way by a born storyteller, Blue on Blue puts us in the scene, allowing us to listen in on wiretaps and feel the adrenaline rush of drawing in the net. It also reveals new threats to the force, such as the possibility of infiltration by terrorists. Ultimately, the book inspires awe for the man who, for almost two decades, was entrusted with the job of making sure the words New York s Finest never ring hollow. A truly revelatory account, Blue on Blue will forever change the way you view police work.
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Last Words: The Hanging of Ronald Ryan

Last Words: The Hanging of Ronald Ryan

Barry Dickins

$24.99
Double Reward Points
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From acclaimed playwright and writer Barry Dickins, Last Words is the story of Ronald Ryan, the last man hanged in Australia. Fifty years after his death, questions remain unanswered. Ryan had been found guilty of murdering prison officer George Hodson during an escape from Pentridge Prison with fellow inmate Peter Walker. But did he really fire the bullet that killed Hodson?
 
On 3 February 1967, despite public outrage and vocal protests from wide-ranging community groups, Ryan became the last person to be legally executed in Australia.

It was the first time in 20 years that the death penalty had been enforced by the state. Many thought that Ryan's execution was Victorian Premier Henry Bolte's attempt to bolster his chances of winning the upcoming Victorian election, during which he ran a campaign promoting his law-and-order agenda.
 
Last Words is as much about the hanged man as much as it is about the trauma of his family, and the political opportunism behind the decision to proceed with the hanging. In Dickins' lyrical prose he takes readers into the last weeks of Ryan's life and brings to life this infamous man whose personal story has gone undocumented until now.
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Shepherds and Butchers

Shepherds and Butchers

Chris Marnewick

$22.99
THE GRIPPING NEW DRAMA AS SEEN ON NETFLIX. South Africa, 1987. Apartheid. When Leon, a white 19-year-old prison guard working on death row commits an inexplicable act of violence, killing seven black men in a hail of bullets, the outcome of the trial - and the court's sentence - seems a foregone conclusion. Hotshot lawyer John Weber (played by Steve Coogan) reluctantly takes on the seemingly unwinnable case. A passionate opponent of the death penalty, John discovers that young Leon worked on death row in the nation's most notorious prison, under traumatic conditions: befriending the inmates over the years while having to assist their eventual execution. As the court hearings progress, the case offers John the opportunity to put the entire system of legally sanctioned murder on trial. How can one man take such a dual role of friend and executioner, becoming both shepherd and butcher? Inspired by true events, this is the story that puts the death penalty on trial and changes history.
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Getting Away with Murder

Getting Away with Murder

Duncan McNab

$34.99
Double Reward Points
More info
Sydney's shame: Up to 80 men murdered, 30 cases remain unsolved.

From 1977 to the end of 1986, Duncan McNab was a member of the NSW Police Force. Most of his service was in criminal investigation. The many unsolved deaths and disappearances of young gay men are the crimes that continue to haunt him.

Around 80 men died or disappeared in NSW from the late 70s to early 90s during an epidemic of gay-hate crimes. The line between a vicious assault and murder is a slender one and this was a time of brutal attacks on gay men, featuring gangs of young thugs like the 'Parkside Killers' and 'Bondi Boys', who took to the growing gay rights community with fists and feet.

Even more troubling are incidents in which gay men disappeared and have never been found, or where deaths were initially dismissed by the NSW Police as either misadventure or suicide. We now know that a number of these men were hunted down by gangs and thrown over beachside cliffs near the nation’s top tourist spots.

Investigation of crimes against gay men wasn’t always high on the list of priorities for the police and over twenty years later they are still slow to come to grips with their own dismal track record. The families of the victims, and some journalists, have not given up and continue to push the NSW Police Force for more answers.

This book is the story of a unique time in our history when social change, politics, devastating disease and police culture collided, and you could literally get away with murder.
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To Hell and Back: A Policewoman's Story'

To Hell and Back: A Policewoman's Story'

Carolyn Pethick

$24.95
To Hell and Back is a memoir detailing one policewoman's trials and tribulations working within the ranks of the Victorian Police Force from the early 1980's to the present day. Despite numerous instances of harassment, false accusations and character assassinations, the member still manages to maintain her sanity and perform her policing duties to the best of her ability. Ultimately, this is a story about one person's struggle to say and do the right thing, to follow procedure, no matter what the eventual cost to herself or her career.
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