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True Crime

Spider

Spider

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Who was Jeffrey Epstein? A Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist unearths never-before-reported details in the most comprehensive account yet of the disgraced financier's life, death, and criminal web, including the role of Ghislaine Maxwell.

An ID Book Club Selection - Featured in the Peacock original documentary series Epstein's Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell

By now, the basic contours of Jeffrey Epstein's horrendous crimes--his decades-long serial abuse of young women and underage girls--are familiar. But for all that has been written about Epstein since his shocking death in a lower Manhattan jail cell, an astonishing amount remains unknown. A shy Brooklyn kid turned renegade financier, Jeffrey Epstein never wanted to play by the rules of polite society. He was elusive in life and he has remained just as elusive in death.

What is known is that he had amassed nearly $600 million by the time of his death. That fortune allowed Epstein to pursue a privileged, secretive life, jetting between his fortress-like homes in Manhattan, New Mexico, and Little St. James, his private island. Behind these closed doors, Epstein socialized with scientists and world leaders and preyed on powerless young women.

In The Spider, Barry Levine shines a light into the darkest corners of Epstein's world, including

- Epstein's young adulthood and earliest accusations of sexual misconduct
- the murky sources of Epstein's fortune and business dealings

- Epstein's circle of confidantes and employees, particularly the nature of his long relationship with socialite Ghislaine Maxwell
- his ties to powerful men, including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Les Wexner, and Donald Trump
- Epstein's last hours as a free man in Paris and the secret operation to arrest him at a New Jersey airport before he could flee
- new details on Epstein's final days in jail and the mystery surrounding his death

Featuring rare and never-before-seen photographs, The Spider exposes how Epstein operated and evaded justice for so long--and how he drew so many others into his criminal web.

Spies, Lies, and Exile: The Extraordinary Story of Russian Double Agent George Blake

Spies, Lies, and Exile: The Extraordinary Story of Russian Double Agent George Blake

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"Fascinating, rich, and probing . . . a beguiling and endlessly interesting portrait"--The Wall Street Journal

For fans of John le Carré and Ben Macintyre, an exclusive first-person account of one of the Cold War's most notorious spies

"Kuper provides a different and valuable perspective, humane and informative. If the definition of a psychopath is someone who refuses to accept the consequences of his actions, does George fit the definition? There he sits, admitting it was all for nothing, but has no regrets. Or does he?" --John le Carré

Few Cold War spy stories approach the sheer daring and treachery of George Blake's.

After fighting in the Dutch resistance during World War II, Blake joined the British spy agency MI6 and was stationed in Seoul. Taken prisoner after the North Korean army overran his post in 1950, Blake later returned to England to a hero's welcome, carrying a dark secret: while in a communist prison camp in North Korea, he had secretly switched sides to the KGB after reading Karl Marx's Das Kapital.

As a Soviet double agent, Blake betrayed uncounted western spying operations--including the storied Berlin Tunnel, the most expensive covert project ever undertaken by the CIA and MI6. Blake exposed hundreds of western agents, forty of whom were likely executed. After his unmasking and arrest, he received, for that time, the longest sentence in modern British history--only to make a dramatic escape to the Soviet Union in 1966, five years into his forty-two-year sentence. He left his wife, three children, and a stunned country behind.

Much of Blake's career existed inside the hall of mirrors that was the Cold War, especially following his sensational escape from Wormwood Scrubs prison. Veteran journalist Simon Kuper tracked Blake to his dacha outside Moscow, where the aging spy agreed to be interviewed for this unprecedented account of Cold War espionage. Following the master spy's death in Moscow at age ninety-eight on December 26, 2020, Kuper is finally able to set the record straight.

Starkweather

Starkweather

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The definitive story of Charles Starkweather, often considered to be the first mass killer in the modern age of America

On January 21, 1958, nineteen-year-old Charles Starkweather changed the course of crime in the United States when he murdered the parents and sister of his fourteen-year-old girlfriend (and possible accomplice), Caril Ann Fugate, in a house on the edge of Lincoln, Nebraska. They then drove to the nearby town of Bennet, where a farmer was robbed and killed. When Starkweather's car broke down, the teenagers who stopped to help were murdered and jammed into a storm cellar. By the time the dust settled, ten innocent people were dead and the city of Lincoln was in a state of terror. Schools closed. Men with rifles perched on the roofs of their houses. The National Guard patrolled the street. If there is a cultural version of PTSD, the town suffered from it.

Starkweather and Fugate's capture and arrest, and the resulting trials about the killing spree, received worldwide coverage. The event would serve as the inspiration for the movie Natural Born Killers and Springsteen's iconic album Nebraska. Today, the story has dropped far from the national consciousness. With new material, new reporting, and new conclusions about the possible guilt or innocence of Fugate, the tale is ripe for an updated and definitive retelling. In Starkweather, bestselling author Harry N. MacLean tells the story of this shocking event and its lasting impact, a crime spree that struck deep into the heart of the heartland.

Start by Believing

Start by Believing

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The definitive, devastating account of the largest sex abuse scandal in American sports history-with new details and insights into the institutional failures, as well as the bravery that brought it to light.

For decades, osteopathic physician Larry Nassar built a sterling reputation as the go-to doctor for America's Olympians while treating countless others at his office on Michigan State University's campus. It was largely within the high-pressure world of competitive gymnastics that Nassar exploited young girls, who were otherwise motivated by fear and intimidation, sexually assaulting hundreds of them under the guise of medical treatment.

In Start by Believing, John Barr and Dan Murphy confront Nassar's acts, which represent the largest sex abuse scandal to impact the sporting world. Through never-before-released interviews and documents they deconstruct the epic institutional failures and individuals who enabled him. When warnings were raised, self-serving leaders chose to protect their organizations' reputations over the well-being of young people.

Following the paths traveled by courageous women-featuring a once-shy Christian attorney and a brash, outspoken Olympic medalist-Barr and Murphy detail the stories of those who fought back against the dysfunction within their sport to claim a far-from-inevitable victory. The gymnasts' uncommon perseverance, along with the help of dedicated advocates brought criminals to justice and helped to fuel the #MeToo revolution.

Start by Believing reveals the win-at-all-costs culture in elite athletics and higher education that enabled a quarter century of heinous crimes.

Stranger Beside Me

Stranger Beside Me

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In 1971, while working the late-shift at a Seattle crisis clinic, true-crime writer Ann Rule struck up a friendship with a sensitive, charismatic young coworker: Ted Bundy. Three years later, eight young women disappeared in seven months, and Rule began tracking a brutal mass murderer. But she had no idea that the "Ted" the police were seeking was the same Ted who had become her close friend and confidant. As she put the evidence together, a terrifying picture emerged of the man she thought she knew--his magnetic power, his bleak compulsion, his double life, and, most of all, his string of helpless victims. Bundy eventually confessed to killing at least thirty-six women across the country.

Forty years after its initial publication, The Stranger Beside Me remains a gripping, intimate, and unforgettable true-crime classic, "as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight" (New York Times).

Swamp Kings

Swamp Kings

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The stranger-than-fiction story of the now-notorious low country clan, in all its Southern Gothic intensity--by an author with unparalleled access to and knowledge of the players, the history, and the place.

The most famous man in South Carolina lives jailed in the state capital. He stands accused of a staggering amount of wrongdoing--ninety-nine crimes and counting. Once a high-flying, smooth-talking, pedigreed Southern lawyer, Alex Murdaugh is now disbarred and disgraced. For more than a decade, prosecutors claim, Alex was secretly a fraud, a thief, a drug dealer and an all-around phony. On the night of June 7, 2021, they claim, he also became a killer.

The many alleged crimes of Alex Murdaugh, revealed piecemeal over the last two years, have appalled the general public. Yet his implosion--the spectacular manner in which he has turned his vaunted family name to mud--has also proved mesmerizing. With every revelation, Murdaugh is further shown to be a man without bottom. Every new disclosure eclipses and redefines what's already known, making this a gothic crime story for the ages.

Yet even more remarkable is the fact that none of this bad behavior is unprecedented. In Swamp Kings, Jason Ryan reveals it is only the tip of the iceberg, and that when it comes to this family, history has a way of repeating itself. For every alleged, headline-grabbing crime associated with Alex Murdaugh, mirror-image incidents have played out within his family's past, including parallel instances of fraud, theft, trafficking, calamitous late-night boat crashes, and even murder.

Spanning a century of misdeeds and set amongst the swamps, pines, and poverty, Swamp Kings weaves together the jaw-dropping narratives of generations of Murdaughs, culminating in the trial that transfixed the nation and shining a bright light on the swamp kings of Hampton County--and their numerous victims--at last.

Takedown

Takedown

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The gripping, true story of one woman's battle to expose and shut down a criminal online porn empire.

Pornhub was the 10th most visited site on the Internet, often praised as a progressive champion of women. Then one day, an activist discovered a secret they had been keeping from the world for over a decade: it was infested with child sexual abuse and rape videos.

Now for the first time, anti-trafficking expert and mother of two Laila Mickelwait tells the story of her battle against Pornhub's billionaire executives and the credit card companies who helped them monetize the abuse of countless victims--some as young as three years old. Readers will follow her from her first horrifying discovery of criminal content on Pornhub to closed-door meetings with credit card executives, White House and Justice Department senior officials, a powerful hedge-fund manager and more. Through insider accounts from Pornhub moderators and executives, you'll meet the world's first online porn tycoon, AKA "the Zuckerberg of porn," along with Pornhub's top brass (known internally as "The Bro Club") who operate in secrecy.

The culmination of years of activism, Takedown is the true, never before told story of how Mickelwait mobilized a movement of two million people that resulted in "the biggest takedown of content in Internet history." (Financial Times)

Talented Mrs Mandelbaum

Talented Mrs Mandelbaum

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America's first great organized-crime lord was a lady--a nice Jewish mother named Mrs. Mandelbaum.

"[Fox has] a nose for interesting facts, the ability to construct a taut narrative arc, and a Dickens-level gift for concisely conveying personality"--New York Magazine

In 1850, an impoverished twenty-five-year-old named Fredericka Mandelbaum came to New York in steerage and worked as a peddler on the streets of Lower Manhattan. By the 1870s she was a fixture of high society and an admired philanthropist. How was she able to ascend from tenement poverty to vast wealth?

In the intervening years, "Marm" Mandelbaum had become the country's most notorious "fence"--a receiver of stolen goods--and a criminal mastermind. By the mid-1880s as much as $10 million worth of purloined luxury goods (nearly $300 million today) had passed through her Lower East Side shop. Called "the nucleus and center of the whole organization of crime," she planned robberies of cash, gold and diamonds throughout the country.

But Mrs. Mandelbaum wasn't just a successful crook: She was a business visionary--one of the first entrepreneurs in America to systemize the scattershot enterprise of property crime. Handpicking a cadre of the finest bank robbers, housebreakers and shoplifters, she handled logistics and organized supply chains--turning theft into a viable, scalable business.

The Talented Mrs. Mandelbaum paints a vivid portrait of Gilded Age New York--a city teeming with nefarious rogues, capitalist power brokers and Tammany Hall bigwigs, all straddling the line between underworld enterprise and "legitimate" commerce. Combining deep historical research with the narrative flair for which she is celebrated, Margalit Fox tells the unforgettable true story of a once-famous heroine whose life exemplifies America's cherished rags-to-riches narrative while simultaneously upending it entirely.

Talking with Psychopaths

Talking with Psychopaths

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Talking with Psychopaths: Letters from Serial Killers is a unique study of criminals based on bestselling true crime author and criminologist Christopher Berry-Dee's extensive interviews with convicted serial murderers. Through their own writing, step inside the mind of The Genesee River Killer, The Death Row Teddy, The Ice Queen, The Want-ad Killer, The Moors Murderer, The Amityville Horror, The I-95 Killer, and more.

This rare collection has Berry-Dee at his steeliest best, exploring the downright creepy correspondence with murderers, serial killers, and psychopaths behind bars, with exclusive scans of letters and eerily decorated envelopes. A must-have for fans of the Talking with Serial Killers and Talking with Psychopaths series, a collection that will be bequeathed to the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit at its headquarters in Quantico, Virginia.

Tangled Vines

Tangled Vines

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In Tangled Vines, bestselling true crime author John Glatt reconstructs the rise of the prestigious Murdaugh family and the shocking double murder that led to the downfall of its patriarch, Alex Murdaugh.

Among the lush, tree-lined waterways of South Carolina low country, the Murdaugh name means power. A century-old, multimillion-dollar law practice has catapulted the family into incredible wealth and local celebrity--but it was an unimaginable tragedy that would thrust them into the national spotlight. On June 7th, 2021, prominent attorney Alex Murdaugh discovered the bodies of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, on the grounds of their thousand-acre hunting lodge. The mystery deepened only months later when Alex himself was discovered shot in the head on a local roadside.

But as authorities scrambled for clues and the community reeled from the loss and media attention, dark secrets about this Southern legal dynasty came to light. The Murdaughs, it turned out, were feared as much as they were loved. And they wouldn't hesitate to wield their influence to protect one of their own; two years before he was killed, a highly intoxicated Paul Murdaugh was at the helm of a boat when it crashed and killed a teenage girl, and his light treatment by police led to speculation that privilege had come into play. As bombshells of financial fraud were revealed and more suspicious deaths were linked to the Murdaughs, a new portrait of Alex Murdaugh emerged: a desperate man on the brink of ruin who would do anything, even plan his own death, to save his family's reputation.

Tangled Web

Tangled Web

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In the tradition of her acclaimed mother, Ann Rule, author of The Stranger Beside Me, bestselling author Leslie Rule delivers a riveting true story for our time--as she exposes the trail of a sadistic sociopath, identity thief, and killer at the dark heart of a real-life fatal attraction...

It was a bleak November in 2012 when Cari Farver, thirty-seven, vanished from Omaha, Nebraska.Texts sent indicated that the hardworking mother had quit her job, abandoned her son, and cut ties with everyone--including her dying father. Though Cari's boyfriend, Dave Kroupa, was hurt, he accepted the breakup-text at face value. Her mother, Nancy Raney, however, doubted that kind-hearted Cari had sent the rude texts she received. I need to hear your voice, Nancy begged. When the texter refused to speak, Nancy reported Cari missing.

While no one saw or spoke to Cari, more than 12,000 sinister emails and texts were sent in her name over the next years. Police were skeptical of Nancy's claim that an impostor had stolen her daughter's identity, but they believed Dave and his girlfriend, Shanna Liz Golyar, when they reported the missing woman was cyberstalking them. The tormentor was eerily aware of Dave's every move, knew when Liz visited and threatened to slit the fat whore's throat. It never occurred to Dave that Cari was a victim--that the real stalker had killed before, and was planning to kill again.

Now Leslie Rule tracks the heart-pounding path to long-awaited justice--from a twisted past to the deadly deception and the high-tech forensics that condemned the killer to prison.

Taste for Poison

Taste for Poison

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"A fascinating tale of poisons and poisonous deeds which both educates and entertains." --Kathy Reichs

A brilliant blend of science and crime, A TASTE FOR POISON reveals how eleven notorious poisons affect the body--through the murders in which they were used.

As any reader of murder mysteries can tell you, poison is one of the most enduring--and popular--weapons of choice for a scheming murderer. It can be slipped into a drink, smeared onto the tip of an arrow or the handle of a door, even filtered through the air we breathe. But how exactly do these poisons work to break our bodies down, and what can we learn from the damage they inflict?

In a fascinating blend of popular science, medical history, and true crime, Dr. Neil Bradbury explores this most morbidly captivating method of murder from a cellular level. Alongside real-life accounts of murderers and their crimes--some notorious, some forgotten, some still unsolved--are the equally compelling stories of the poisons involved: eleven molecules of death that work their way through the human body and, paradoxically, illuminate the way in which our bodies function.

Drawn from historical records and current news headlines, A Taste for Poison weaves together the tales of spurned lovers, shady scientists, medical professionals and political assassins to show how the precise systems of the body can be impaired to lethal effect through the use of poison. From the deadly origins of the gin & tonic cocktail to the arsenic-laced wallpaper in Napoleon's bedroom, A Taste for Poison leads readers on a riveting tour of the intricate, complex systems that keep us alive--or don't.

Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike

Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike

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In 1981 ten men starved themselves to death inside the walls of Long Kesh prison in Belfast. While a stunned world watched and distraught family members kept bedside vigils, one soldier after another slowly went to his death in an attempt to make Margaret Thatcher's government recognize them as political prisoners rather than common criminals.

Drawing extensively on secret IRA documents and letters from the prisoners smuggled out at the time, David Beresford tells the gripping story of these strikers and their devotion to the cause. An intensely human story, Ten Men Dead offers a searing portrait of strife-torn Ireland, of the IRA, and the passions -- on both sides -- that Republicanism arouses.

This House of Grief

This House of Grief

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The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice - The engrossing true-crime classic from one of Australia's most acclaimed writers, that follows a man and his broken life, a community wracked by tragedy, and the long and torturous road to closure -"This House of Grief, in its restraint and control, bears comparison with In Cold Blood."--Kate Atkinson, author of Big Sky and Shrines of Gaiety

On the evening of Father's Day, 2005, separated husband Robert Farquharson was driving his three young sons back to their mom's house when the car veered off the road and plunged into a dam. Farquharson survived the crash, but his boys drowned. Was this a tragic accident, or an act of revenge? The court case that followed became a national obsession--a macabre parade of witnesses, family members, and the defendant himself, each forced to relive the unthinkable for an audience of millions.

In This House of Grief, celebrated writer Helen Garner tells the definitive and deeply absorbing story of it all, from crash to final verdict. Through a panoply of perspectives, including her own as a member of the public, Garner captures the exacting procedure and brutal spectacle of Australia's criminal justice system. The result is a richly textured portrait--of a man and his broken life, of a community wracked by tragedy, and of the long and torturous road to closure.

Considered a literary institution in Australia, Helen Garner's incisive nonfiction evokes the keen eye of the New Journalists. Brisk, candid, and never dismissive of its flawed subjects, This House of Grief is a masterwork of literary journalism.

Thread of Violence

Thread of Violence

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From the award-winning author comes a gripping account of one of the most scandalous chapters in modern Irish history, at once a propulsive work of true crime and an act of literary subversion.

"A masterpiece"--The Guardian - "Disturbing [and] compelling"--Colm Toíbín - "Superb and unforgettable"--Sally Rooney - "A masterly work"--John Banville - "Fascinating"--Emmanuel Carrère - "Morally complex and mesmerizing"--Fintan O'Toole

Malcolm Macarthur was a well-known Dublin socialite and heir. Suave and urbane, he passed his days mingling with artists and aristocrats, reading philosophy, living a life of the mind. But by 1982, his inheritance had dwindled to almost nothing, a desperate threat to his lifestyle. Macarthur hastily conceived a plan: He would commit bank robbery, of the kind that had become frightfully common in Dublin at the time. But his plan spun swiftly out of control, and he needlessly killed two innocent people. The ensuing manhunt, arrest, and conviction amounted to one of the most infamous political scandals in modern Irish history, contributing to the eventual collapse of a government.

Winner of the Wellcome and Rooney Prizes, Mark O'Connell spent countless hours in conversation with Macarthur--interviews that veered from confession to evasion. Through their tense exchanges and O'Connell's independent reporting, a pair of narratives unspools: a riveting account of Macarthur's crimes and a study of the hazy line between truth and invention. We come to see not only the enormity of the murders but the damage that's inflicted when a life is rendered into story.

At once propulsive and searching, A Thread of Violence is a hard look at a brutal act, its subterranean origins, and the long shadow it casts. It offers a haunting and insightful examination of the lies we tell ourselves--and the lengths we'll go to preserve them.

Trace

Trace

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The riveting inside story of a journalist investigating the shocking cold-case murder of a bookseller.

"The whole place seems cold, and he feels a terrible sense of dread. He calls out, but gets no reply. Taking a knife from the cutlery drawer, he unlocks the back door as an escape route. Then he sees her on the floor. Her eyes and mouth are open, and there is blood everywhere. He's too late."

After a strange phone call with his ex-wife, John James had sensed something was wrong and raced over to her house. As he stood in her bedroom doorway, transfixed by the sight of her body, the killer was almost certainly just a breath away, hiding behind the door. Had John walked in, he could have been the next victim. Instead, he left to call the police. The culprit escaped, taking with him the secret of a shocking murder that has shown no sign of being solved for nearly 40 years--until now.

Based on the international #1 podcast, Trace re-examines the 1980 murder of Maria James--the single mother of two sons, one with a disability--revealing abuse in the Catholic Church, cult activities, and claims of incompetence and corruption at the highest levels. Investigating possible conspiracies and uncovering fresh evidence, Rachael Brown's riveting investigation has won multiple media awards and may lead to the reopening of this chilling case.

Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency

Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency

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From the award-winning author of Sandworm comes the propulsive story of a new breed of investigators who have cracked the Bitcoin blockchain, exposing once-anonymous realms of money, drugs, and violence. "I love the book... It reads like a thriller... These stories are amazing." (Michael Lewis)

Over the last decade, a single innovation has massively fueled digital black markets: cryptocurrency. Crime lords inhabiting lawless corners of the internet have operated more freely--whether in drug dealing, money laundering, or human trafficking--than their analog counterparts could have ever dreamed of. By transacting not in dollars or pounds but in currencies with anonymous ledgers, overseen by no government, beholden to no bankers, these black marketeers have sought to rob law enforcement of their chief method of cracking down on illicit finance: following the money.

But what if the centerpiece of this dark economy held a secret, fatal flaw? What if their currency wasn't so cryptic after all? An investigator using the right mixture of technical wizardry, financial forensics, and old-fashioned persistence could uncover an entire world of wrongdoing.

Tracers in the Dark is a story of crime and pursuit unlike any other. With unprecedented access to the major players in federal law enforcement and private industry, veteran cybersecurity reporter Andy Greenberg tells an astonishing saga of criminal empires built and destroyed. He introduces an IRS agent with a defiant streak, a Bitcoin-tracing Danish entrepreneur, and a colorful ensemble of hardboiled agents and prosecutors as they delve deep into the crypto-underworld. The result is a thrilling, globe-spanning story of dirty cops, drug bazaars, trafficking rings, and the biggest takedown of an online narcotics market in the history of the Internet.

Utterly of our time, Tracers in the Dark is a cat-and-mouse story and a tale of a technological one-upmanship. Filled with canny maneuvering and shocking twists, it answers a provocative question: How would some of the world's most brazen criminals behave if they were sure they could never get caught?

Trailed

Trailed

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A riveting, "beautifully written" deep dive into the unsolved murder of two free-spirited young women in the wilderness (John Grisham, #1 New York Times bestselling author), a journalist's obsession--and a new theory of who might have done it.​

Winner of the 2023 CrimeCon True Crime Book of the Year​ Award

They must have been followed. That's the thought I return to after all these years . . .

In May 1996, two skilled backcountry leaders, Lollie Winans and Julie Williams, entered Virginia's Shenandoah National Park for a week-long backcountry camping trip. The free-spirited and remarkable young couple had met and fallen in love the previous summer while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. During their final days in the park, they descended the narrow remnants of a trail and pitched their tent in a hidden spot. After the pair didn't return home as planned, park rangers found a scene of horror at their campsite, their tent slashed open, their beloved dog missing, and both women dead in their sleeping bags. The unsolved murders of Winans and Williams continue to haunt all who had encountered them or knew their story.

When award-winning journalist and outdoors expert Kathryn Miles begins looking into the case, she discovers conflicting evidence, mismatched timelines, and details that just don't add up. With unprecedented access to crucial crime-scene forensics and key witnesses--and with a growing sense of both mission and obsession--she begins to uncover the truth. An innocent man, Miles is convinced, has been under suspicion for decades, while the true culprit is a known serial killer, if only authorities would take a closer look.

Intimate, page-turning, and brilliantly reported, Trailed is a love story and a call to justice--and a searching and urgent plea to make wilderness a safe space for women--destined to become a true crime classic.