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True Crime

Blood on Their Hands

Blood on Their Hands

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The highly anticipated inside look at the collapse of the Murdaugh dynasty by the celebrated investigative journalist and creator of the #1 hit Murdaugh Murders Podcast, Mandy Matney.

Years before the name Alex Murdaugh was splashed across every major media outlet in America, local South Carolina journalist Mandy Matney had an instinct that something wasn't right in the Lowcountry. The powerful Murdaugh dynasty had dominated rural South Carolina for generations. No one dared to cross them.

When Mandy and her reporting partner Liz Farrell looked closer at a fatal boat crash involving the storied family's teenage son Paul, they began to uncover a web of mysteries surrounding the deaths of the Murdaughs' long-time housekeeper and a young man found slain years earlier on a backcountry road. Just as their investigations were unfolding, the brutal double murder of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh rocketed Alex Murdaugh onto the international stage.

From the newsroom to the courtroom, to the kitchen-table studio where Mandy recorded her #1 Murdaugh Murders Podcast, Blood on Their Hands is a propulsive true crime saga, an empathetic work of investigative journalism, and an excoriation of the "good old boy" systems that enabled a network of criminals.

Blood Trail

Blood Trail

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Now updated with a new afterword, the classic true crime thriller by journalist Steven Walker and veteran police detective Rick Reed exploring the grisly crimes of a sadistic serial killer who dismembered his victims.

Joseph Weldon Brown confessed to more than a dozen murders across seven states. He was convicted and sentenced for killing a woman whose body he dismembered and scattered across three Indiana counties. In prison, he hogtied and strangled his cellmate, then asked the judge to lock him up for life because if he was released, he would continue killing.

Police detective Rick Reed was on the scene when Brown led authorities to the scattered remains of Ginger Gasaway in 2000. After Brown's arrest, he confessed to a shocking number of other heinous crimes--the torture and murders of drifters and sex workers, the cold case of a naked woman's body found in a roadside ditch, even the murder of his own mother. Detective Reed was the one man Brown opened up to--and the only one to cut through the deceptions and lies and learn the terrible truth . . .

In this newly updated edition, now-retired detective Reed reveals his personal theories and insights into one of the darkest minds he has ever encountered--and one of the most terrifying crime stories ever told . . .

Boys Enter the House

Boys Enter the House

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As investigators brought out the bagged remains of several dozen young men from a small Chicago ranch home and paraded them in front of a crowd of TV reporters and spectators, attention quickly turned to the owner of the house. John Gacy was an upstanding citizen, active in local politics and charities, famous for his themed parties and appearances as Pogo the Clown. But in the winter of 1978-79, he became known as one of many so-called "sex murderers" who had begun gaining notoriety in the random brutality of the 1970s.

As public interest grew rapidly, victims became footnotes and statistics, lives lost not just to violence, but to history. Through the testimony of siblings, parents, friends, lovers, and other witnesses close to the case, Boys Enter the House retraces the footsteps of these victims as they make their way to the doorstep of the Gacy house itself. Amid the ragged streets of the Uptown neighborhood, Samuel Stapleton and Randy Reffett play out a boyhood rivalry across gangs and girls that turns into a long-lasting friendship. Frank "Dale" Landingin and Billy Carroll attempt to break free of turbulent family lives, but find themselves navigating the gay underworld to get ahead. On the eve of starting their own lives, Gregory Godzik and Johnny Szyc juggle jobs and relationships as their paths gradually lead them to the home at 8213 Summerdale Avenue.

United by one man's act of depravity, these victims will step forward to share boyish dreams of love and sex, family tragedies of abuse and addiction, and adolescent journeys through the neighborhoods of Chicago and the vibrant decade of the 1970s.

Case of the Murderous Dr Cream

Case of the Murderous Dr Cream

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A true crime page-turner about a Victorian doctor, a serial killer ahead of his time, using poison for an international murder spree that kept ahead of the burgeoning field of forensics. "A tour de force of storytelling." --Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache series

Winner of the 2022

CrimeCon True Crime Book of the Year​ Award

Longlisted for the American Library Association's Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence

"When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals," Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. "He has nerve and he has knowledge." In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream murdered as many as ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedent. Poison was his weapon of choice. Largely forgotten today, this villain was as brazen as the notorious Jack the Ripper.

Structured around the doctor's London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Dr. Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help.

Dean Jobb transports readers to the late nineteenth century as Scotland Yard traces Dr. Cream's life through Canada and Chicago and finally to London, where new investigative tools called forensics were just coming into use, even as most police departments still scoffed at using science to solve crimes. But then, most investigators could hardly imagine that serial killers existed--the term was unknown. As the Chicago Tribune wrote, Dr. Cream's crimes marked the emergence of a new breed of killer: one who operated without motive or remorse, who "murdered simply for the sake of murder." For fans of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, all things Sherlock Holmes, or the podcast My Favorite Murder, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is an unforgettable true crime story from a master of the genre.

"Jobb's excellent storytelling makes the book a pleasure to read." --The New York Times Book Review

Catch the Sparrow

Catch the Sparrow

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The gripping story of a young woman's murder, unsolved for over two decades, brilliantly investigated and reconstructed by her stepsister.

Growing up, Rachel Rear knew the story of Stephanie Kupchynsky's disappearance. The beautiful violinist and teacher had fled an abusive relationship on Martha's Vineyard and made a new start for herself near Rochester, NY. She was at the height of her life-in a relationship with a man she hoped to marry and close to her students and her family. And then, one morning, she was gone.

Around Rochester-a region which has spawned such serial killers as Arthur Shawcross and the "Double Initial" killer-Stephanie's disappearance was just a familiar sort of news item. But Rachel had more reason than most to be haunted by this particular story of a missing woman: Rachel's mother had married Stephanie's father after the crime, and Rachel grew up in the shadow of her stepsister's legacy.

In Catch the Sparrow, Rachel Rear writes a compulsively readable and unerringly poignant reconstruction of the case's dark and serpentine path across more than two decades. Obsessively cataloging the crime and its costs, drawing intimately closer to the details than any journalist could, she reveals how a dysfunctional justice system laid the groundwork for Stephanie's murder and stymied the investigation for more than twenty years, and what those hard years meant for the lives of Stephanie's family and loved ones. Startling, unputdownable, and deeply moving, Catch the Sparrow is a retelling of a crime like no other.

Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

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***With a brand new chapter, updates on the investigations, 8 pages of exclusive photos, and a behind-the-scenes conversation between Billy Jensen and retired detective Paul Holes on the Golden State Killer, their favorite cold cases, and more***

The New York Times bestselling true-crime hit, now in trade paperback!

Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common--they didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.

You'll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You'll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara's pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools--and the rules--to help solve murders yourself.

Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, perfect for every true crime fan who has read I'll Be Gone in the Dark and wants to know what's next?

College Girl Missing

College Girl Missing

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"This book is the heartbreaking story that every parent dreads... Cohen sheds light on what really happened the night Lauren was never seen again." --David Crow, author of The Pale-Faced Lie

She visited friends. She walked to a bar. She was right there... until she was gone.

College student Lauren Spierer was pursuing her dreams, joining her boyfriend at a party school eight hundred miles from home. Social and gregarious, studying fashion and rooming with friends, Lauren embraced her new adventure with the zeal of a young woman who suddenly had everything she desired.

But there was a dark side that she and her inner circle kept secret. And one warm June evening, after heading out with friends, she seemingly vanished. When investigators retraced Lauren's last steps using eyewitness accounts and security camera footage, the evidence ended at the doorstep of a group of wealthy, well-connected male students.

With original reporting including shocking new testimony witnesses never shared with police, College Girl, Missing takes readers back to that fateful night and dives into the disappearance that captured front-page headlines around the world. Investigative journalist Shawn Cohen breaks more than a decade of silence as he pursues the truth: what really happened to Lauren Spierer?

Colony

Colony

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On the morning of November 4, 2019, an unassuming caravan of women and children was ambushed by masked gunmen on a desolate stretch of road in northern Mexico controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel. Firing semi-automatic weapons, the attackers killed nine people and gravely injured five more. The victims were members of the LeBaron and La Mora communities--fundamentalist Mormons whose forebears broke from the LDS Church and settled in Mexico when their religion outlawed polygamy in the late nineteenth century. The massacre produced international headlines for weeks, and prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to send in the US Army.

In The Colony, bestselling investigative journalist Sally Denton picks up where the initial, incomplete reporting on the attacks ended, and delves into the complex story of the LeBaron clan. Their homestead--Colonia LeBaron--is a portal into the past, a place that offers a glimpse of life within a polygamous community on an arid and dangerous frontier in the mid-1800s, though with smartphones and machine guns. Rooting her narrative in written sources as well as interviews with anonymous women from LeBaron itself, Denton unfolds an epic, disturbing tale that spans the first polygamist emigrations to Mexico through the LeBarons' internal blood feud in the 1970s--started by Ervil LeBaron, known as the "Mormon Manson"--and up to the family's recent alliance with the NXIVM sex cult, whose now-imprisoned leader, Keith Raniere, may have based his practices on the society he witnessed in Colonia LeBaron.

The LeBarons' tense but peaceful interactions with Sinaloa deteriorated in the years leading up to the ambush. LeBaron patriarchs believed they were deliberately targeted by the cartel. Others suspected that local farmers had carried out the attacks in response to the LeBarons' seizure of water rights for their massive pecan orchards. As Denton approaches answers to who committed the murders, and why, The Colony transforms into something more than a crime story. A descendant of polygamist Mormons herself, Denton explores what drove so many women over generations to join or remain in a community based on male supremacy and female servitude. Then and now, these women of Zion found themselves in an isolated desert, navigating the often-mysterious complications of plural marriage--and supported, Denton shows, only by one another.

A mesmerizing feat of investigative journalism, The Colony doubles as an unforgettable account of sisterhood that can flourish in polygamist communities, against the odds.

Colony

Colony

$27.95
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On the morning of November 4, 2019, an unassuming caravan of women and children was ambushed by masked gunmen on a desolate stretch of road in northern Mexico controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel. Firing semi-automatic weapons, the attackers killed nine people and gravely injured five more. The victims were members of the LeBaron and La Mora communities--fundamentalist Mormons whose forebears broke from the LDS Church and settled in Mexico when their religion outlawed polygamy in the late nineteenth century. The massacre produced international headlines for weeks, and prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to send in the US Army.

In The Colony, bestselling investigative journalist Sally Denton picks up where the initial, incomplete reporting on the attacks ended, and delves into the complex story of the LeBaron clan. Their homestead--Colonia LeBaron--is a portal into the past, a place that offers a glimpse of life within a polygamous community on an arid and dangerous frontier in the mid-1800s, though with smartphones and machine guns. Rooting her narrative in written sources as well as interviews with anonymous women from LeBaron itself, Denton unfolds an epic, disturbing tale that spans the first polygamist emigrations to Mexico through the LeBarons' internal blood feud in the 1970s--started by Ervil LeBaron, known as the "Mormon Manson"--and up to the family's recent alliance with the NXIVM sex cult, whose now-imprisoned leader, Keith Raniere, may have based his practices on the society he witnessed in Colonia LeBaron.

The LeBarons' tense but peaceful interactions with Sinaloa deteriorated in the years leading up to the ambush. LeBaron patriarchs believed they were deliberately targeted by the cartel. Others suspected that local farmers had carried out the attacks in response to the LeBarons' seizure of water rights for their massive pecan orchards. As Denton approaches answers to who committed the murders, and why, The Colony transforms into something more than a crime story. A descendant of polygamist Mormons herself, Denton explores what drove so many women over generations to join or remain in a community based on male supremacy and female servitude. Then and now, these women of Zion found themselves in an isolated desert, navigating the often-mysterious complications of plural marriage--and supported, Denton shows, only by one another.

A mesmerizing feat of investigative journalism, The Colony doubles as an unforgettable account of sisterhood that can flourish in polygamist communities, against the odds.

Con Queen of Hollywood

Con Queen of Hollywood

$30.00
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"This book is as engrossing as anything by Agatha Christie, as unsettling as a novel by Stephen King, and reported with a vigorous empathy that leaves Truman Capote in the dust. Scott Johnson's courage, his relentless quest for the truth behind a set of brilliantly obscured cruelties, and his examination of the very fabric of psychopathy ultimately lead him to question how the appalling lies spat out by the Con Queen relate to the daily untruths required of us all. His narrative is further deepened by breathtakingly honest reportage about himself and his family, which led him to this radical investigation of a deformed mind. I cannot remember the last time I read anything with such breathless fascination."--Andrew Solomon

The spellbinding tale of an epic international manhunt for a psychopathic con artist who exploited the dreams of creators to steal dozens of identities and millions of dollars.

Blending years of deep reporting with distinctive, powerful prose, Scott C. Johnson's unique true crime narrative recounts the tale of the brilliantly cunning imposter who carved a path of financial and emotional destruction across the world. Gifted with a diabolical flair for impersonation, manipulation, and deception, the Con Queen used their skill with accents and deft psychological insight to sweep through the entertainment industry. Johnson traces the origins of this mastermind and follows the years-long investigation of a singularly determined private detective who helped deliver them to the FBI. Described by one victim as a "crazy, evil genius," the Con Queen enacted one of the most elaborate scams ever to hit Hollywood--the perfect criminal, committing the perfect crime for our time.

But for what purpose? And with what motive?

Johnson's unparalleled access to sources--including exclusive interviews with victims and never-before-heard recordings of the Con Queen--brought global attention to the scam, spurred law enforcement to act, and led Johnson himself to venture in search of the Con Queen. Journeying from Los Angeles to the United Kingdom to Jakarta, Johnson eventually came face-to-face with one of the most disturbing criminal minds in recent history, only to realize what chasing the Con Queen revealed about himself and his own troubled family history.

Con/Artist

Con/Artist

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The world's most renowned art forger reveals the secrets behind his decades of painting like the masters--exposing an art world that is far more corrupt than we ever knew while providing an art history lesson wrapped in sex, drugs, and Caravaggio.

The art world is a much dirtier, nastier business than you might expect. Tony Tetro, one of the most renowned art forgers in history, will make you question every masterpiece you've ever seen in a museum, gallery, or private collection. Tetro's "Rembrandts," "Caravaggios," "Miros," and hundreds of other works now hang on walls around the globe. In 2019, it was revealed that Prince Charles received into his collection a Picasso, Dali, Monet, and Chagall, insuring them for over 200 million pounds, only to later discover that they're actually "Tetros." And the kicker? In Tony's words: "Even if some tycoon finds out his Rembrandt is a fake, what's he going to do, turn it in? Now his Rembrandt just became motel art. Better to keep quiet and pass it on to the next guy. It's the way things work for guys like me." The Prince Charles scandal is the subject of a forthcoming feature documentary with Academy Award nominee Kief Davidson and coauthor Giampiero Ambrosi, in cooperation with Tetro.

Throughout Tetro's career, his inimitable talent has been coupled with a reckless penchant for drugs, fast cars, and sleeping with other con artists. He was busted in 1989 and spent four years in court and one in prison. His voice--rough, wry, deeply authentic--is nothing like the high society he swanned around in, driving his Lamborghini or Ferrari, hobnobbing with aristocrats by day, and diving into debauchery when the lights went out. He's a former furniture store clerk who can walk around in Caravaggio's shoes, become Picasso or Monet, with an encyclopedic understanding of their paint, their canvases, their vision. For years, he hid it all in an unassuming California townhouse with a secret art room behind a full-length mirror. (Press #* on his phone and the mirror pops open.) Pairing up with coauthor Ambrosi, one of the investigative journalists who uncovered the 2019 scandal, Tetro unveils the art world in an epic, alluring, at times unbelievable, but all-true narrative.

Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the Btk Killer

Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the Btk Killer

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In 1974, Dennis Lynn Rader stalked and murdered a family of four in Wichita, Kansas. Since adolescence, he had read about serial killers and imagined becoming one. Soon after killing the family, he murdered a young woman and then another, until he had ten victims. He named himself "B.T.K." (bind, torture, kill) and wrote notes that terrorized the city. He remained on the loose for thirty years. No one who knew him guessed his dark secret. He nearly got away with his crimes, but in 2004, he began to play risky games with the police. He made a mistake. When he was arrested, Rader's family, friends, and coworkers were shocked to discover that B.T.K. had been among them, going to work, raising his children, and acting normal. This case stands out both for the brutal treatment of victims and for the ordinary public face that Rader, a church council president, had shown to the outside world. Through jailhouse visits, telephone calls, and written correspondence, Katherine Ramsland worked with Rader himself to analyze the layers of his psyche. Using his drawings, letters, interviews, and Rader's unique codes, she presents in meticulous detail the childhood roots and development of one man's motivation to stalk, torture, and kill. She reveals aspects of the dark motivations of this most famous of living serial killers that have never before been revealed. In this book Katherine Ramsland presents an intelligent, original, and rare glimpse into the making of a serial killer and the potential darkness that lives next door.
Crime Time

Crime Time

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Crime Time is a collection of twenty riveting, page-turning, historic true crime stories from 1724 to 1913 covering a host of monstrous American and English criminals, their crimes and their punishment. It includes stories of criminals--men, women, and children--whose gruesome tales have been obscured by the passage of time.
Dannemora

Dannemora

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THE WIDOWMAKER MEETS POKER ALICE.

The most famous lady gambler of the Old West teams up with Widowmaker Jones in a doomed search for lost treasure, a deadly trek through the desert--and a dangerous alliance with the greatest gunslingers in history . . .

IT'S A MATCH MADE IN HELL.

Card player extraordinaire Poker Alice knows when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, and when to team up with master gunman Newt "Widowmaker" Jones. She's betting on Jones to protect her--and her money--on a treasure hunt in the California desert. Legend has it that a shipwreck is buried in the Salton sands. Some say it's a Spanish galleon that got stuck when the sea ran dry. Other says it's a Chinese junk full of pearls or a Viking ship filled with Aztec treasure. Either way, a lot of very mean and dangerously violent folks would kill to find it. Which is why Poker Alice needs the Widowmaker. In this game, it's winner takes all. Losers die . . .

Praise for Spur Award winner Brett Cogburn

"Fans of frontier arcana will revel in Cogburn's readable prose and lively characters."
--Publishers Weekly on Rooster

"Cogburn amazes and astounds."
--Booklist

Dark Room in Glitter Ball City

Dark Room in Glitter Ball City

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This true crime saga--with an eccentric Southern backdrop--introduces the reader to the story of a murder in a crumbling Louisville mansion and the decades of secrets and corruption that live within the old house's walls.

On June 18, 2010, police discover a body buried in the wine cellar of a Victorian mansion in Old Louisville. James Carroll, shot and stabbed the year before, has lain for 7 months in a plastic storage bin--his temporary coffin. Homeowner Jeffrey Mundt and his boyfriend, Joseph Banis, point the finger at each other in what locals dub The Pink Triangle Murder.

On the surface, this killing appears to be a crime of passion, a sordid love tryst gone wrong in a creepy old house. But as author David Dominé sits in on the trials, a deeper story emerges: the struggle between hope for a better future on the one hand and the privilege and power of the status quo on the other.

As the court testimony devolves into he-said/he-said contradictions, David draws on the confidences of neighbors, drag queens, and other acquaintances within the city's vibrant LGBTQ community to piece together the details of the case. While uncovering the many past lives of the mansion itself, he enters a murky underworld of gossip, neighborhood scandal, and intrigue.

Dead in the Water: A True Story of Hijacking, Murder, and a Global Maritime Conspiracy

Dead in the Water: A True Story of Hijacking, Murder, and a Global Maritime Conspiracy

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A Financial Times Book of the Year
An Economist Best Book of the Year

"A triumph of investigative journalism." --Tom Wright, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale

"A fascinating read. Highly recommended!"-John Carreyrou, bestselling author of Bad Blood

"Truly one of the most nail-biting, page-turning, terrifying true-crime books I've ever read." --Nick Bilton, New York Times bestselling author of American Kingpin

From award-winning journalists Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel, the gripping, true-crime story of a notorious maritime hijacking at the heart of a massive conspiracy--and the unsolved murder that threatened to unravel it all.

In July 2011, the oil tanker Brillante Virtuoso was drifting through the treacherous Gulf of Aden when a crew of pirates attacked and set her ablaze in a devastating explosion. But when David Mockett, a maritime surveyor working for Lloyd's of London, inspected the damaged vessel, he was left with more questions than answers. How had the pirates gotten aboard so easily? And if they wanted to steal the ship and bargain for its return, then why did they destroy it? The questions didn't add up--and Mockett would never answer them. Soon after his inspection, David Mockett was murdered.

Dead in the Water is a shocking expose of the criminal inner workings of international shipping, told through the lens of the Brillante hijacking and its aftermath. Through first-hand accounts of those who lived it--from members of the ship's crew and witnesses to the attacks, to the ex-London detectives turned private investigators seeking to solve Mockett's murder and bring justice to his family--award-winning Bloomberg reporters Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel piece together the astounding truth behind one of the most brazen financial frauds in history.

The ambitious culmination of more than four years of reporting, Dead in the Water uncovers an intricate web of conspiracy amidst the lawless, old-world industry at the backbone of our new global economy.

Dear Jacob: A Mother's Journey of Hope

Dear Jacob: A Mother's Journey of Hope

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With stunning detail, Patty Wetterling shares the untold story of the 27-year search for her son Jacob--and its astonishing conclusion.


On October 22, 1989, in the small town of St. Joseph, Minnesota, eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped at gunpoint. Twenty-seven years later, on September 2, 2016, Danny Heinrich led authorities to the boy's remains.


What lies between is the riveting story of the search for Jacob Wetterling, told by his mother, Patty. With down-to-earth candor, she details the investigation as it unfolds, discusses her family's struggles, and shows how she maintained her energy and optimism.


For her own survival, Patty chose to focus on hope. She became a speaker, trainer, and national advocate for missing children. Her lobbying work took her to Washington, DC, where in 1994 Congress passed the Jacob Wetterling Act, establishing a national sex offender registry.


In 2013 the Wetterlings were joined on their quest for answers by two unlikely allies: local blogger Joy Baker and plumber Jared Scheierl. Baker convinced Scheierl to come forward and share his story about being kidnapped from a nearby town and sexually assaulted the same year as Jacob. Together, Baker and Scheierl uncovered a string of similar assaults that had never been fully investigated. The combined efforts of this foursome led to the breakthrough that solved the case.

Jacob's kidnapping forever changed the way parents raised their children. Dear Jacob offers not only a behind-the-scenes account of one of America's most notorious crimes but also a historical account of what has been done in the years since Jacob's kidnapping to combat the problem of missing and exploited children.


In this powerful memoir--written with Joy Baker, the local blogger--Patty Wetterling finally tells readers what happened and shows how, in searching for Jacob, she found her purpose.

Deer Creek Drive

Deer Creek Drive

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The stunning true story of a murder that rocked the Mississippi Delta and forever shaped one author's life and perception of home.

"Mix together a bloody murder in a privileged white family, a false accusation against a Black man, a suspicious town, a sensational trial with colorful lawyers, and a punishment that didn't fit the crime, and you have the best of southern gothic fiction. But the very best part is that the story is true." --John Grisham

In 1948, in the most stubbornly Dixiefied corner of the Jim Crow south, society matron Idella Thompson was viciously murdered in her own home: stabbed at least 150 times and left facedown in one of the bathrooms. Her daughter, Ruth Dickins, was the only other person in the house. She told authorities a Black man she didn't recognize had fled the scene, but no evidence of the man's presence was uncovered. When Dickins herself was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, the community exploded. Petitions pleading for her release were drafted, signed, and circulated, and after only six years, the governor of Mississippi granted Ruth Dickins an indefinite suspension of her sentence and she was set free.

In Deer Creek Drive, Beverly Lowry--who was ten at the time of the murder and lived mere miles from the Thompsons' home--tells a story of white privilege that still has ramifications today, and reflects on the brutal crime, its aftermath, and the ways it clarified her own upbringing in Mississippi.