House of Mystery True Crime History

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JOAN MELLEN - FAUSTIAN BARGAINS ( JFK ASSASSINATION SERIES)

Season 2, Ep. 4

Perhaps no president has a more ambiguous reputation than LBJ. A brilliant tactician, he maneuvered colleagues and turned bills into law better than anyone. But he was trailed by a legacy of underhanded dealings, from his “stolen” Senate election in 1948 to kickbacks he artfully concealed from deals engineered with Texas wheeler-dealer Billie Sol Estes and defense contractors like his longtime supporter Brown & Root. On the verge of investigation, Johnson was reprieved when he became president upon JFK's assassination. Among the remaining mysteries has been LBJ's relationship to Mac Wallace who, in 1951, shot a Texas man having an affair with LBJ's loose-cannon sister Josefa, also Wallace's lover. When arrested, Wallace cooly said "I work for Johnson…I need to get back to Washington." Charged with murder, he was overnight defended by LBJ's powerful lawyer John Cofer, and though convicted, amazingly received a suspended sentence. He then got high-security clearance from LBJ friend and defense contractor D.H. Byrd, which the Office of Naval Intelligence tried to revoke for 11 years without success.

Using crucial Life magazine and Naval Intelligence files and the unredacted FBI files on Mac Wallace, never before utilized by others, investigative writer Joan Mellen skillfully connects these two disparate Texas lives and lends stark credence to the dark side of Lyndon Johnson that has largely gone unsubstantiated.

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3/31/2020

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
3/27/2020

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.