True Crime Roundup August 2019 | Page 2 | Mechanics' Institute

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True Crime Roundup August 2019

For all our true crime readers we have nine new titles we acquired in the last couple months that you may enjoy. (Click on a title below to place a hold). 

The five : the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper / Hallie Rubenhold.

  • The untold story of the women killed by Jack the Ripper. Few people even know their names. For more than a century newspapers have been keen to tell us that 'the Ripper' preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, but it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told.

Kingdom of lies : unnerving adventures in the world of cybercrime / Kate Fazzini.

  •  A nineteen-year-old Romanian student stumbles into a criminal ransomware ring in her village. Soon she is extorting Silicon Valley billionaires for millions. A cynical Russian only leaves his tiny New Jersey apartment to hack sports cars at a high-performance shop in Newark. A hotel doorman in Shanghai once served in the People's Army, stealing intellectual property from American companies. They all come together in a tangled web connecting small-time criminals, multi-billion-dollar corporations, and global superpowers.

The last pirate of New York : a ghost ship, a killer, and the birth of a gangster nation / Rich Cohen.

  • The story of Albert Hicks, the most notorious criminal on the New York waterfront, unfolded in the course of three bloody months in the summer before the Civil War.

American predator : the hunt for the most meticulous serial killer of the 21st century / Maureen Callahan.

  • Israel Keys was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried "kill kits"-- cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools-- in remote locations across the country and over the course of fourteen years would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter. Callahan examines the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer-- and the limitations of traditional law enforcement. 

The Queen : the forgotten life behind an American myth / Josh Levin.

  • Biography of a career criminal named Linda Taylor, the woman who inspired Ronald Reagan's "welfare queen" mythology of that started in the 70s. Yes, she did scam welfare and food stamp benefits, but she also scammed a whole lot more. Levin, a reporter for Slate "presents Linda Taylor not as a parable for anything grand, but as a singular American scoundrel who represented nothing but herself." (For more information we recommend Sam Dolnick's review of this book in the New York Times). 

Gotti's boys : the Mafia crew that killed for John Gotti / Anthony M. DeStefano.

  • [I]n his short reign as the head of the Gambino crime family, John Gotti wracked up a lifetime of charges from gambling, extortion, and tax evasion to racketeering, conspiracy, and five convictions of murder. He didn’t do it alone. ... Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony M. DeStefano takes you inside Gotti’s inner circle to reveal the dark hearts and violent deeds of the most remorseless and cold-blooded characters in organized crime. Men so vicious even the other Mafia families were terrified of them.

Chasing Cosby : the downfall of America's dad / Nicole Weisensee Egan.

  • Bill Cosby's decades-long career as a sweater-wearing, wholesome TV dad came to a swift and stunning end on April 26, 2018, when he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting one of more than 60 women who have come forward to accuse him of similar crimes. Egan shares her firsthand account of Cosby's 13-year run from justice. She tells us how Cosby planned and executed his crimes, and how Hollywood alliances and law enforcement knew what Cosby was doing but did nothing to stop him. She also explores the cultural and social issues that influenced the case. 

Rectify : the power of restorative justice after wrongful conviction / Lara Bazelon.

  • The author appeared at a recent event to talk about her book at the Mechanic Institute. Bazelon puts a face to the growing number of men and women exonerated from crimes that kept them behind bars for years, sometimes decades, and that devastate not only the exonerees but also their families, the crime victims who mistakenly identified them as perpetrators, the jurors who convicted them, and the prosecutors who realized too late that they helped convict an innocent person.

Formation : a woman's memoir of stepping out of line / Ryan Leigh Dostie.

  • Sadly this is not the first story of a woman in the military who suffers from a disbelieving command hierarchy after she reports a rape by another soldier. Dostie finds herself fighting through her isolation amid the challenges of an unexpected war. What follows is a sweepingly beautiful, riveting, and inspiring story of one woman's extraordinary journey to prove her worth, physically and mentally, in a world in which the odds are stacked against her.

(Note: all summaries in this post come from publisher descriptions and/or dust jackets except for The Queen, adapted in part from the NYT book review).

Posted on Aug. 19, 2019 by Steven Dunlap