House of Mystery True Crime History
NORM STAMPLER - TO PROTECT AND SERVE
Policing is in crisis. The last decade has witnessed a vast increase in police aggression, misconduct, and militarization, along with a corresponding reduction in transparency and accountability. It is not just noticeable in African American and other minority communities—where there have been a series of high-profile tragedies—but in towns and cities across the country. Racism—from raw, individualized versions to insidious systemic examples—appears to be on the rise in our police departments. Overall, our police officers have grown more and more alienated from the people they've been hired to serve.
GARDEN STATE PARKWAY MURDERS - CHRISTIAN BARTH
In “The Garden State Parkway Murders,” true crime writer and attorney Christian Barth dives into the harrowing story of the unsolved murders of Elizabeth Perry and Susan Davis. College friends, the two women were brutally knifed to death and their bodies left off the parkway in the early hours of May 30, 1969. Among the numerous suspects Barth identifies are infamous serial killers Ted Bundy and Gerald Eugene Stano, who were living within an hour’s drive from where the murder scene at the time they occurred. The killers also resided next to one another on Florida’s Death Row, and indirectly confessed to the double homicide.A culmination of more than nine years of research, Barth’s book is compiled from multiple sources, including interviews with retired New Jersey State Police detectives, law enforcement officials from other jurisdictions, federal agents, possible witnesses, victim family members, as well as information gathered from FBI case files, letters, journals, libraries, newspaper articles, and university archives. In scintillating detail, Barth presents the case, including previously undisclosed information surrounding these brutal murders, as well as an examination of recent technological advancements in crime scene analysis and FBI serial killer profiling that could help identify the killer. When all is said and done, the reader is asked to consider: Why hasn’t this cold case been solved?“I know that the way the bodies were left, the person who killed those girls had an excellent knowledge of chemistry, knowing that the three things you need are heat, moisture, darkness, and the proper point of acidity to eliminate evidence. All of that was accomplished. It was remarkable.” - John Divel, Ocean City Police Department
CAL HARRIS STORY - DAVID M. BEERS
On September 12, 2001, Michele Harris went missing from a small town in upstate New York. She has never been found, and the mystery surrounding her disappearance remains. Four years after she went missing, her wealthy husband, Cal Harris, was arrested and charged with her murder.With neither a body nor a murder weapon, Cal was shockingly tried and convicted of her murder. Then new evidence surfaced. His conviction was overturned, and a new trial granted. But once again, he was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. That conviction, too, was overturned on appeal. The saga continued as Cal went on trial for the third time. This one ended in a mistrial.By the time Cal went on trial the fourth time, Michele had been missing for nearly 15 years.Defense investigator, David M. Beers, worked on the Cal Harris case from start-to-finish. His account, “Reign of Injustice,” walks you through the details and events of the case never before revealed. It provides a inside view of the scandalous case facts you will not find elsewhere, including why he considers Cal’s story a reign of injustice.
LIFE AND CRIMES OF BTK - STEPHEN & JOYCE SINGULAR
To all appearances, Dennis Rader was a model citizen in the small town of Park City, Kansas, where he had lived with his family almost his entire life. He was a town compliance officer, a former Boy Scout leader, the president of his church congregation, and a seemingly ordinary father and husband. But Rader's average life belied the existence of his dark, sadistic other self: he was the BTK serial killer. The self-named BTK (for Bind, Torture, Kill) had terrorized Wichita for thirty-one years, not only with his brutal, sexually motivated crimes, but also through his taunting, elusive communications with the media and law enforcement. In 1974, BTK committed his first murders -- torturing and strangling four members of the Otero family -- and wrote the police an audacious letter declaring his responsibility for the Oteros' deaths and labeling himself, for the first time, BTK. Thus he established a pattern -- stalking and killing a series of ten victims, then bragging and claiming ownership of his crimes -- that ended in 1991 but left law enforcement confounded and the public with deeply troubling memories. Until, that is, he resurfaced in 2004 with another string of letters that would finally lead to his arrest. Drawing from extensive interviews with Rader's pastor, congregation, detectives, and psychologists who worked the case, and from his unnervingly de-tailed thirty-two-hour confession, bestselling author Stephen Singular delves into the disturbing life and crimes of BTK to explore fully -- for the first time -- the most dangerous and complex serial killer of our generation and the man who embodied, at once, astonishing extremes of normality and abnormality. In Unholy Messenger, Singular recounts the year prior to Rader's arrest, in which the BTK killer reemerged, and the aftermath. Woven throughout are the details of his crimes, elaborate schemes, and bids for public attention, and the wrenching impact his deception had on his family, church, and heartland community.