Late in the summer of 1961, a KGB assassin defected to West Germany. Bogdan Stashinsky had already travelled on numerous occasions to Munich, where he’d single-handedly tracked down and killed enemies of the communist regime. His weapon, a unique, top-secret design, killed without leaving a trace.
Just hours before the border closed and work began on the Berlin Wall, Stashinsky crossed into West and spilled his secrets to the authorities. His trial revealed a gripping tale of exploding parcels, fake identities, forbidden love and a daring midnight escape. His life would serve as inspiration for Ian Fleming’s final novel.
And this would not be the end of the intrigue. It appears that Stashinsky was released from prison long before he served out his sentence. Counting world leaders among his enemies, he changed his face, changed his name and disappeared. The last word had it that he’d gone to South Africa. He may still be living there today…
Charged with the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in 1984, Kirk Bloodsworth was tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in Maryland's gas chamber. Maintaining his innocence, he read everything on criminal law available in the prison library and persuaded a new lawyer to petition for the then-innovative DNA testing. After nine years in one of the harshest prisons in America, Kirk Bloodsworth became the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA evidence. He was pardoned by the governor of Maryland and has gone on to become a tireless spokesman against capital punishment. Bloodsworth's story speaks for 159 others who were wrongly convicted and have since been released and for the thousands still in prison waiting for DNA testing.
BONUS Q&A TRACK WITH THE AUTHORBritain's Catch Me If You Can story - only bigger.The extraordinary, unmissable memoir from the man who conned banks and shops out of £30 million and then lost it all.For twenty years, Tony Sales was Britain's biggest fraudster. From cloning credit cards and identities to emptying cash machines and being a confidence trickster, Tony knew how to make money. Charming, funny and bright, Sales could make people believe whatever he wanted them to. Soon he was living a millionaire lifestyle: fast cars, hotels and holidays.As analogue crime turned digital, Sales adapted his skills and became a prolific online fraudster, quickly identifying and exploiting loopholes and weaknesses in the system. Sales never fails they used to say. Until one day a mistake on a job in Sheffield saw him arrested. Facing a stretch inside Sales did a runner, using his skills to successfully avoid capture for another six years.When the police did finally catch up with him and he found himself inside, Sales decided to turn his life around. As Frank Abagnale Jr. had done in the US, Sales went from poacher to game-keeper and set up a successful business helping governments and financial institutions to prevent fraud.The incredible true story of King Con. This is a life that needs to be heard to be believed.
In 2008, American journalist Jere Van Dyk was kidnapped and held for forty-five days. At the time, he had no idea who his kidnappers were. They demanded a ransom and the release of three of their comrades from Guantanamo, yet they hinted at their ties to Pakistan and to the Haqqani network, a uniquely powerful group that now holds the balance of power in large parts of Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan. After his release, Van Dyk wrote a book about his capture and what it took to survive in this most hostile of circumstances. Yet he never answered the fundamental questions that his kidnapping raised: Why was he taken? Why was he released? And who saved his life?
Every kidnapping is a labyrinth in which the certainties of good and bad, light and dark are merged in the quiet dialogues and secret handshakes that accompany a release or a brutal fatality. In The Trade, Jere Van Dyk uses the sinuous path of his own kidnapping to explain the recent rise in the taking of Western hostages across the greater Middle East.
One glorious autumn day in 1894, a drifter attacked thirteen-year-old Jessie Keith so violently that people thought Jack the Ripper must be loose in rural Ontario. To solve the crime, the government called in Detective John Wilson Murray, the true-life model for Detective William Murdoch of the popular TV series Murdoch Mysteries. His prime clue was a black valise.The Man with the Black Valise traces the killer’s trajectory through three counties—a route that today connects travelers to poignant reminders of nineteenth-century life. Chief among them stands the statue of the Roman goddess Flora, gesturing as though to cast roses onto Jessie’s grave.
This fresh account of Massachusetts's infamous Bulger brothers unveils a stunning criminal alliance, and with its dual biography format, goes deeper than the New York Times bestselling Black Mass. For the first time, journalist Howie Carr reveals the real story behind the infamous Bulgers-two brothers from South Boston who grew up to control a state. With political corruption on one side and deadly force on the other, the Bulgers shared a diabolic and destructive alliance for decades. James "Whitey" Bulger, the "bad" son, blazed a murderous trail to become Boston's most feared mobster and remains one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. William "Billy" Bulger, the "good" son, wielded the gavel as president of the Massachusetts State Senate and the University of Massachusetts, but was eventually forced from both positions. The parallel stories of these two brothers, rich in anecdote and shocking in their revelations, read like an unholy hybrid of All the King's Men and The Godfather.
In The Lost Girls, John Glatt tells the truly amazing story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight-who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped and beaten in a Cleveland house for over a decade by Ariel Castro-and their amazing escape in May 2013, which made headlines all over the world.This book has an exclusive interview with Castro's secret girlfriend, who spent many romantic nights in his house of horror without realizing that he had bound and chained captives just a few feet away. There are also revealing interviews with several Castro family members, musician friends, and neighbors who witnessed the dramatic rescue.
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