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Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
Twenty-seven years ago, Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Camp 14, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. Located about 55 miles north of Pyongyang, the labour camp is "a complete control district," a no-exit prison where the only sentence is life.No one born in Camp 14 or in any North Korean political prison camp has escaped.No one except Shin.This is his story.
MS-13: The Making of America's Most Notorious Gang
The definitive account of the most notorious street gang in America—the MS-13—as seen through the lives of gang members and their families caught in its malicious webThe MS-13 was born from war. In the 1980s, El Salvador was enmeshed in a bloody civil conflict. To escape the guerrilla assaults and death squads, many fled to the US and settled in Los Angeles. Among them were Alex and his brother.There, as a survival instinct, Alex and a small number of Salvadoran immigrants formed a group called the Mara Salvatrucha Stoners, a relatively harmless social network bound by heavy metal music and their Salvadoran identity. But later, as they brushed against established local gangs, the group took on a harder edge, selling drugs, stealing cars and killing rivals who threatened their territories. As authorities cracked down, gang members like Alex were incarcerated and deported. But in the prison system, the group only grew stronger, and in Central America, the gang multiplied, eventually spreading to a half-dozen nations in two continents.Today, MS-13 is one of the most infamous street gangs on earth, with an estimated ten thousand members operating in dozens of states and linked to thousands of grisly murders each year in the US and abroad. But it is also misunderstood—less a drug cartel and more a hand-to-mouth organization whose criminal economy is based mostly on small-time extortion schemes and petty drug dealing. Journalist and longtime organized crime investigator Steven Dudley brings readers inside the nefarious group to tell a larger story of how a flawed US and Central American policy, and the exploitative and unequal economic systems helped foster the gang and sustain it. Ultimately, MS-13 is the story of the modern immigrant and the perennial battle to escape a vortex of poverty and crime, as well as the repressive, unequal systems that feed these problems.
The Trial of Lizzie Borden
When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple’s younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her murder trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was relentlessly scrutinized for signs of guilt or innocence. Everyone - rich and poor, suffragists and social conservatives, legal scholars and laypeople - had an opinion about Lizzie Borden’s guilt or innocence. Was she a cold-blooded murderess or an unjustly persecuted lady? Did she or didn’t she?Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper articles, previously withheld lawyer's journals, unpublished local reports, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden is definitive account of the Borden murder case and offers a window into America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties.
Never the Hope Itself
A former NPR correspondent takes you into his own ghost-filled life as he reports on a region in turmoil. Gerry Hadden was training to become a Buddhist monk when opportunity came knocking: the offer of a dream job as NPR's correspondent for Latin America. Arriving in Mexico in 2000 during the nation's first democratic transition of power, he witnesses both hope and uncertainty. But after 9/11, he finds himself documenting overlooked yet extraordinary events in a forgotten political landscape. As he reports on Colombia's drug wars, Guatemala's deleterious emigration, and Haiti's bloody rebellion, Hadden must also make a home for himself in Mexico City, coming to terms with its ghosts and chasing down the love of his life, in a riveting narrative that reveals the human heart at the center of international affairs.
In the vein of the bestsellers I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and The Line Becomes a River, a penetrating, deeply moving account of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls of Highway 16, and a searing indictment of the society that failed them.For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. The corridor is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis.Journalist Jessica McDiarmid meticulously investigates the devastating effect these tragedies have had on the families of the victims and their communities, and how systemic racism and indifference have created a climate in which Indigenous women and girls are overpoliced yet underprotected. McDiarmid interviews those closest to the victims - mothers and fathers, siblings and friends - and provides an intimate firsthand account of their loss and unflagging fight for justice. Examining the historically fraught social and cultural tensions between settlers and Indigenous peoples in the region, McDiarmid links these cases to others across Canada - now estimated to number up to four thousand - contextualizing them within a broader examination of the undervaluing of Indigenous lives in the country.Highway of Tears is a piercing exploration of our ongoing failure to provide justice for the victims and a testament to their families’ and communities’ unwavering determination to find it.
Smith, Holly Austin
Today, two cultural forces are converging to make America's youth easy targets for sex traffickers. Younger and younger girls are engaging in adult sexual attitudes and practices, and the pressure to conform means thousands have little self-worth and are vulnerable to exploitation. At the same time, thanks to social media, texting, and chatting services, predators are able to ferret out their victims more easily than ever before. In Walking Prey, advocate and former victim Holly Austin Smith shows how middle class suburban communities are fast becoming the new epicenter of sex trafficking in America. Smith speaks from experience: neglected by her alcoholic parents at 14, she was ripe for exploitation. A chance encounter with an older man led her to run away from home, and she soon found herself on the streets of Atlantic City. Her experience led her two decades later to become one of the foremost advocates for trafficking victims. Smith argues that these young women should be treated as victims by law enforcement, but that too often the criminal justice system helps to trap them in a vicious cycle of prostitution. This is a clarion call to take a sharp look at one of the most striking human rights abuses, and one that is going on in our own backyard.
Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession
A provocative and original investigation of our cultural fascination with crime, linking four archetypes—Detective, Victim, Defender, Killer—to four true stories about women driven by obsession.In this illuminating exploration of women, violence, and obsession, Rachel Monroe interrogates the appeal of true crime through four narratives of fixation. In the 1940s, a frustrated heiress began creating dollhouse crime scenes depicting murders, suicides, and accidental deaths. Known as the “Mother of Forensic Science,” she revolutionized the field of what was then called legal medicine. In the aftermath of the Manson Family murders, a young woman moved into Sharon Tate’s guesthouse and, over the next two decades, entwined herself with the Tate family. In the mid-nineties, a landscape architect in Brooklyn fell in love with a convicted murderer, the supposed ringleader of the West Memphis Three, through an intense series of letters. After they married, she devoted her life to getting him freed from death row. And in 2015, a teenager deeply involved in the online fandom for the Columbine killers planned a mass shooting of her own.Each woman, Monroe argues, represents and identifies with a particular archetype that provides an entryway into true crime. Through these four cases, she traces the history of American crime through the growth of forensic science, the evolving role of victims, the Satanic Panic, the rise of online detectives, and the long shadow of the Columbine shooting. In a combination of personal narrative, reportage, and a sociological examination of violence and media in the twentieth and twenty-first century, Savage Appetites scrupulously explores empathy, justice, and the persistent appeal of violence.
Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America
In the summer of 1914, New York City Police captain Tom Tunney is preoccupied by Manhattan's raging gang rivalries and has little idea that, halfway around the world, a much more ominous threat to the city is brewing. As Germany teeters on the brink of war, its ambassador to the United States is given instructions to find and finance a team of undercover saboteurs who can bring America to its knees before it has a chance to enter the conflict on the side of the Allies. Overwhelmed and undermatched, Tunney's small squad of cops was the David to Germany's Goliath, the operatives of which included military officers, a germ warfare expert, a gifted Harvard professor, a bomb technician, and a document forger. As explosions leveled munitions plants and destroyed cargo ships, particularly in and around New York City, panicked officials talked about rogue activists and anarchists - but it was Tunney who suspected that these incidents were part of something bigger and became determined to bring down the culprits. Through meticulous research - and enhanced by more than fifty images sourced from global archives - Blum deftly reconstructs an enthralling, vividly detailed saga of subterfuge, bravery, and the birth of Homeland Security.
Haycock, Dean A
An incisive examination into the pairing of psychology and situation that creates despotic leaders from the author of Murderous Minds.
Not everyone can become a tyrant. It requires a particular confluence of events to gain absolute control over entire nations.
First, you must be born with the potential to develop brutal personality traits. Often, these are combined in “The Dark Triad” of malignant narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, as well as elements of paranoia, and an extraordinary ambition to achieve control over others.
Second, your predisposition to antisocial behavior must be developed and strengthened during childhood. You might suffer physical and/or psychological abuse, or grow up in trying times.
Finally, you must come of age when the political system of your country is unstable. Together, these events establish a basis for a rise to power, one that Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Qaddafi all used to gain life-and-death control over their countrymen and women. It is how Osama bin Laden and the leaders of the Islamic State hoped to gain such power.
Though these men lived in different times and places, and came from vastly different backgrounds, many of them felt respect for each other. They often seemed to recognize their shared, “dark” personality traits and viewed them as strengths. Only in rare cases did they show signs of mental disorders.
“Getting inside the heads” of foreign leaders and terrorists is one way governments try to understand, predict, and influence their actions. Psychological profiles can help us understand the urges of tyrants to dominate, subjugate, torture and slaughter.
Tyrannical Minds reveals how recognizing their psychological traits can provide insight into the motivations and actions of dangerous leaders, potentially allow to us predict their behavior?and even how to stop them. As strongmen and authoritarian leaders around the world increase in number, understanding the most extreme examples of tyrannical behavior should serve as a warning to anyone indifferent to the threats posed by political extremism.
Charles Manson: Manson's Life Behind Bars (Conversations with a Killer, Bk. 2)
Charles Manson was perhaps the most infamous criminal of the twentieth century. Convicted for orchestrating the shocking Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969, and for two other killings, there has been much written about him. But not many people knew him as well as Edward George, who over years of conversations with Manson as his prison administrator, counselor, unofficial “press agent,” and confidant, gained deep insight into Manson’s mind-set. In this updated edition of George’s riveting account, he illuminates the many sides of Manson: charismatic cult leader, master manipulator, calculated “showman,” sly trickster, and more. George and his coauthor, Dary Matera, begin by detailing the troubling events of Manson’s youth, the historic 1969 murders, and the subsequent trial that ended an era. They then pull back the curtain on the intense reality of Manson’s turbulent life behind bars and the events that have transpired since the initial publication of this book in 1999, including Manson’s death in 2017.
Kilo: Inside the Deadliest Cocaine Cartels -- from the Jungles to the Streets
Cocaine is glamour, sex and murder. From the badlands of Colombia, it stretches across the globe, seducing, corrupting and destroying. A product that must be produced, distributed, and protected, it is both a harbinger of violence and a source of immense wealth. Beginning in the jungles and mountains of Colombia, it filters down to countryside villages and the nightclubs of the cities, attracting money, sex, and death. Each step in the life of a kilo reveals a different criminal underworld with its own players, rules, and dangers, ranging from the bizarre to the diabolical. The killers, the drug-lords, all find themselves seduced by cocaine and trapped in her world.Seasoned war correspondent Toby Muse has witnessed each level of this underworld, fueled by the appetite for cocaine in America and Europe. In this riveting chronicle, he takes the reader inside Colombia’s notorious drug cartels to offer a never before look at the drug trade. Following a kilo of cocaine from its production in a clandestine laboratory to the smugglers who ship it abroad, he reveals the human lives behind the drug’s complicated legacy. Reporting on Colombia for the world’s most prestigious networks and publications, Muse gained unprecedented access to the extraordinary people who survive on the drug trade - farmers, smugglers, assassins - and the drug lords and their lovers controlling these multi-billion dollar enterprises. Uncovering stories of violence, sex, and money, he shows the allure and the madness of cocaine. And how the War on Drugs has been no match for cocaine.Piercing this veiled world, Kilo is a gripping portrait of a country struggling to end this deadly trade even as the riches flow. A human portrait of criminals and the shocking details of their lives, Kilo is a chilling, unforgettable story that takes you deep into the belly of the beast.Kilo includes 16 pages of photographs.
Good Muslim, Bad Muslim
In this brilliant look at the rise of political Islam, the distinguished political scientist and anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani brings his expertise and insight to bear on a question many Americans have been asking since 9/11: how did this happen? Good Muslim, Bad Muslim is a provocative and important book that will profoundly change our understanding both of Islamist politics and the way America is perceived in the world today.
Twisted History brings to life the incredible stories of 32 historical figures -- murderers, assassins and traitors who embraced the dark side, and martyrs and innocents who paid with their lives in the pursuit of good. All changed world history.The book is lavishly illustrated with stunning illustrations and period photographs. Accessible text and fact boxes describe evil and angelic acts across the centuries, like Judas, whose name would come to define betrayal, Joan of Arc, victorious virgin soldier and patron saint of France, and René Goupil, tortured and martyred by Native Americans, who became the first American saint. Twisted History puts readers face to face with vile villains and true heroes.
Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias (Large Print)
On June 9, 2008, the butchered body of Travis Alexander was found in his Arizona home with twenty-nine knife wounds, his throat slit, and a gunshot to the head. The prime suspect was Alexander's ex-girlfriend, Jodi Arias, who lied for years about her involvement before finally resting on an appalling claim: she had killed Travis in self-defense. Soon, graphic stories about the Mormon couple's relationship and their lurid sexual encounters emerged, launching a trial filled with sex and deception and raising substantial questions about Arias's deceit-filled world. Now, with unbridled access to the case, award-winning broadcast journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell unearths Jodi's history to illustrate the disturbing pattern of a murderer in the making. Using insider accounts from those closest to Travis and Jodi, she separates fact from fiction, reporting on the bizarre and explicit stories that have shocked and fascinated the American public. Complete with photos and Velez-Mitchell's fresh insights, Exposed takes readers behind closed bedroom doors to uncover the truth behind the secret life of Jodi Arias.
Dangerous Instincts: Using an FBI Profiler's Tactics to Avoid Unsafe Situations
O'Toole, Mary Ellen
Chances are you'll never be kidnapped at gunpoint, your child won't be the victim of a predator, and your financial advisor won't be Bernie Madoff. But every day, you make choices that could turn dangerous in an instant, from trusting a date with a drink to letting your son ride home with his soccer coach. Retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole knows from experience that what we rely on to assess danger - fear and emotion - simply doesn't keep us safe. She knows better than anyone that instincts alone do not protect us - but that smart, proven analysis can. Using anecdotes from her thirty-year career, O'Toole illustrates the SMART method she developed based on her training and experience at the FBI. From recognizing the risk of a situation to observing people for clues on their intent, Dangerous Instincts shows how to make the safest decision possible for yourself and your family.
While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Wake-Up Call for Mental Health Care in America
On a summer night in 2009. three lives intersected in one American neighborhood. Two people newly in love - Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper, who spent years trying to find themselves and who eventually found each other - woke up to find Isaiah Kalebu, twenty-three years old and with a history of mental illness, standing over them with a knife.In this compassionate and riveting account of a murder in Seattle, Eli Sanders, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the crime, offers a portrait in microcosm of the state of mental health care in America - as well as an inspiring story of love and forgiveness. Culminating in Kalebu's slide toward violence - observed by family members, police, mental health workers, lawyers, and judges, but stopped by no one - While the City Slept is the story of a crime of opportunity and of the string of missed opportunities that made it possible.
Human Game: The True Story of the "Great Escape" Murders and the Hunt for the Gestapo Gunmen
In March and April of 1944, Gestapo gunmen killed fifty POWs - a brutal act in defiance of international law and the Geneva Conventions. This is the true story of the men who hunted them down.The mass breakout of seventy-six Allied airmen from the infamous Stalag Luft III became one of the greatest tales of World War II, immortalized in the film The Great Escape. But where Hollywood’s depiction fades to black, another incredible story begins . . .Not long after the escape, fifty of the recaptured airmen were taken to killing fields throughout Germany and shot on the direct orders of Hitler. When the nature of these killings came to light, Churchill’s government swore to pursue justice at any cost. A revolving team of military police, led by squadron leader Francis P. McKenna, was dispatched to pick up a trail long gone cold.Amid the chaos of postwar Germany, divided between American, British, French, and Russian occupiers, McKenna led a three-year manhunt that brought twenty-one Gestapo killers to justice. In Human Game, Simon Read delivers a clear-eyed and meticulously researched account of this often overlooked saga of hard-won justice.
The Map Thief
Once considered a respectable rare-map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley made millions and was highly esteemed for his knowledge; until he was arrested for slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. Though pieces of the story have been told before, Blanding is the first reporter to gain access to Smiley himself after he'd gone silent. Although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more, and offer evidence to prove it. Using interviews, Blanding teases out the tale of deception.
American Desperado: My Life--from Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset
In 2008 veteran journalist Evan Wright began a series of conversations with super-criminal Jon Roberts, star of the fabulously successful documentary Cocaine Cowboys. Those conversations would last three years, during which time Wright came to realize that Roberts was much more than the de-facto "transportation chief" of the Medellin Cartel during the 1980s, much more than a facilitator of a national drug epidemic. As Wright's tape recorder whirred and Roberts unburdened himself of hundreds of jaw-dropping tales, it became clear that perhaps no one in history had broken so many laws with such willful abandon. Roberts, in fact, seemed to be a prodigy of criminality - but one with a remarkable self-awareness and a fierce desire to protect his son from following the same path. American Desperado is Roberts' no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become - at age 22 - one of the city's leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel's most effective smuggler. But that's just half the tale. The roster of Roberts' friends and acquaintances reads like a Who's Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega. Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6"6" professional wrestler called "The Thing" as his bodyguard. Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party's leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda. Scrupulously documented and relentlessly propulsive, this collaboration between a bloodhound journalist and one of the most audacious criminals ever is like no other crime book you've ever read. Jon Roberts may be the only criminal who changed the course of American history.
In 1998, William Queen was a veteran law enforcement agent with a lifelong love of motorcycles and a lack of patience with paperwork. When a "confidential informant" made contact with his boss at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, offering to take an agent inside the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols (the scourge of Southern California, and one of the most dangerous gangs in America), Queen jumped at the chance, not realizing that he was kicking-starting the most extensive undercover operation inside an outlaw motorcycle gang in the history of American law enforcement. Nor did Queen suspect that he would penetrate the gang so successfully that he would become a fully "patched-in" member, eventually rising through their ranks to the office of treasurer, where he had unprecedented access to evidence of their criminal activity. After Queen spent twenty-eight months as "Billy St. John," the bearded, beer-swilling, Harley-riding gang-banger, the truth of his identity became blurry, even to himself.Despite the constant criminality of the gang, for whom planning cop killings and gang rapes were business as usual, Queen also came to see the genuine camaraderie they shared. When his lengthy undercover work totally isolated Queen from family, his friends, and ATF colleagues, the Mongols felt like the only family he had left. "I had no doubt these guys genuinely loved Billy St. John and would have laid down their lives for him. But they wouldn't hesitate to murder Billy Queen."From Queen's first sleight of hand with a line of methamphetamine in front of him and a knife at his throat, to the fearsome face-off with their decades-old enemy, the Hell's Angels (a brawl that left three bikers dead), to the heartbreaking scene of a father ostracized at Parents' Night because his deranged-outlaw appearance precluded any interaction with regular citizens, Under and Alone is a breathless, adrenaline-charged read that puts you on the street with some of the most dangerous men in America and with the law enforcement agents who risk everything to bring them in.
Bergen, Peter L.
In "Manhunt," Peter Bergen delivers a taut yet panoramic account of the pursuit and killing of Osama bin Laden. Here are riveting new details of bin Laden's flight after the crushing defeat of the Taliban to Tora Bora, where American forces came startlingly close to capturing him, and of the fugitive leader's attempts to find a secure hiding place. As the only journalist to gain access to bin Laden's Abbottabad compound before the Pakistani government demolished it, Bergen paints a vivid picture of bin Laden's grim, Spartan life in hiding and his struggle to maintain control of al-Qaeda. Half a world away, Bergen takes us inside the Situation Room, where President Obama considers the courses of action presented by his war council and receives conflicting advice from his top advisors before deciding to risk the raid that would change history--and then inside the Joint Special Ops Command, whose "secret warriors," the SEALs, would execute Operation Neptune Spear. From the moment two Black Hawks take off from Afghanistan until bin Laden utters his last words, "Manhunt" reads like a thriller.
Orange Is the New Black
With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of people who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman's story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison - why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they're there.
Dead Men Do Tell Tales
Maples, William R.
From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and ultimately, the identity of the killer. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.
No Matter How Loud I Shout (Updated)
In an age when violence and crime by young people is again on the rise, "No Matter How Loud I Shout" offers a rare look inside the juvenile court system that deals with these children and the impact decisions made in the courts had on the rest of their lives. Granted unprecedented access to the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, including the judges, the probation officers, and the children themselves, Edward Humes creates an unforgettable portrait of a chaotic system that is neither saving our children in danger nor protecting us from adolescent violence. Yet he shows us there is also hope in the handful of courageous individuals working tirelessly to triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. Weaving together a poignant, compelling narrative with razor-sharp investigative reporting, "No Matter How Loud I Shout" is a convincingly reported, profoundly disturbing discussion of the Los Angeles juvenile court's failings, providing terrifying evidence of the system's inability to slow juvenile crime or to make even a reasonable stab at rehabilitating troubled young offenders. Humes draws an alarming portrait of a judicial system in disarray.
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