Category: True Crime

“The Yorkshire Witch” by Summer Strevens

“The Yorkshire Witch” by Summer Strevens

This book is about the life and trial of Mary Bateman. She was hanged on March 20, 1809 after being convicted of murder just days before. But Mary’s crimes began many years earlier when at the age of 5 she stole a pair of shoes. She became a very clever con-woman and thief, and while she was convicted of one murder, there were several other unusual deaths within her circle of influence over the years. The author has compiled the known facts about Mary and the society she lived in, in order to tell the story of this infamous woman’s life from childhood to her death.

I found this book to be very well written. The author has organized the chapters so that each covers a section of her life and her activities during that time. We get to see how her crimes escalate over time. Mary apparently employed the use of fictitious personas to lure her victims into her schemes. She was somewhat educated and knew how to read and write, this gave her a leg up on the neighbors that she was able to use to her advantage. Mary was married and had several children but the knowledge or involvement of her husband has never been definitively established and remains a mystery. I really enjoyed reading this book and history buffs or true crime addicts should enjoy it also.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“Actual Malice” by Breton Peace and Gary Condit

“Actual Malice” by Breton Peace and Gary Condit

Who doesn’t remember the media onslaught surrounding Gary Condit and the disappearance of Chandra Levy. What people kept calling for at the time was some kind of confession from Gary Condit, but he refused to speak about his part, if any, in the disappearance. In this book we get the whole story from the Condit side of the drama. Breton Peace has done a fabulous job of detailing the events, the media’s actions, and the response of the Condits to the onslaught of accusations. You will read in here about the missteps of the investigators and the self-promotion that certain members of law enforcement was engaging in, at Gary Condit’s expense.

I found this story to be very disturbing. The level of false accusation and the destruction that came in its wake just astonished me. The author’s writing style made the story very engaging and at times un-put-downable. I would like to think that our society as a whole can gain, through this story, an awareness of how false accusation can destroy an individual, and that we would, as a result, hold ourselves to a higher standard. I was very moved while reading this book and I highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Ghost Mountain Books for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Dark Valleys” by Gary Dobbs

“Dark Valleys” by Gary Dobbs

Subtitle: Foul Deeds Among the South Wales Valleys 1845-2016

Genre: True Crime

True crime lovers should really like this book. The author has compiled all the murders committed in South Wales for the years 1845-2016. I found this book so fascinating that I nearly read it all in one sitting. The perpetrators in these cases are male and female, young and old, British and foreigners. The author also notes the forensic techniques used in these cases and points out the development of the science over the period. It seems wrong somehow to say that I enjoyed this book, but I found it fascinating and the author’s writing style was very engaging. Overall, a job well done!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating   4 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“London Underground Serial Killer” by Geoff Platt

“London Underground Serial Killer” by Geoff Platt

Genre: True Crime

Kieran Kelly was a prolific serial killer who murdered at least 31 people in London over a 30-year period. He was a vagrant and often in prison on charges of drunkenness or theft. His career as a murderer began in 1953, with the murder of his best friend, and continued until 1983 when he was charged with the murder of a cell-mate. Kelly was more than willing to tell the police about his murders, after all they were a source of pride for him and he liked to brag. Geoff Platt spent months with Kelly, starting in 1983, investigating his claims. In the end, he was sentenced to life in prison and that is where he died.

Geoff Platt has carefully recounted the life of Kieran Kelly, from his boyhood in Dublin to his final arrest in London, and the intensive police investigation into his murders. He details for readers Kelly’s methods and his motives. I found this account to be well researched and a very thorough presentation of the facts concerning this man’s heinous crimes.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Blood in the Soil” by Carole Townsend

Book Review: “Blood in the Soil” by Carole Townsend

This is the story of Joseph Paul Franklin, a serial murderer who went on a 3 year killing spree from 1977 to 1980. The book tells the story of his life, how he came to be a murderer, his crimes, and how he was caught. Amongst his crimes was the shooting of Larry Flynt, the much maligned publisher of Hustler magazine. The shooting left Flynt alive but paralyzed from the waist down and in constant pain.

I was initially drawn to this book because of the Larry Flynt angle. In the conservative community I was raised in Flynt was considered to be the height of evil. What I discovered in this book is that evil is much uglier than just publishing pornography. Joseph Paul Franklin had a hatred for Jews and black people that ran as deep as the river Styx. Every murder he committed was motivated by this hatred. He say himself as being on a mission from God to take revenge.

The story is told alternately from the perspective of Joseph Franklin and that of Detective Michael Cowart, the lead investigator of the Larry Flynt shooting. I found the author’s telling to be compelling and well-researched. I think any fan of true crime would enjoy “Blood in the Soil”.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

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