House of Mystery True Crime History
LISA PEASE - RFK ASSASSINATION
MITCHEL ROTH - FIRE IN THE BIG HOUSE
Mitchel P. Roth is professor of criminal justice and criminology at Sam Houston State University, Texas. He is the author or editor of many books, including A History of Crime and Punishment: Readings and Documents in Criminal Justice and Global Organized Crime: A Reference Handbook.On April 21, 1930—Easter Monday—some rags caught fire under the Ohio Penitentiary’s dry and aging wooden roof, shortly after inmates had returned to their locked cells after supper. In less than an hour, 320 men who came from all corners of Prohibition-era America and from as far away as Russia had succumbed to fire and smoke in what remains the deadliest prison disaster in United States history.Within 24 hours, moviegoers were watching Pathé’s newsreel of the fire, and in less than a week, the first iteration of the weepy ballad “Ohio Prison Fire” was released. The deaths brought urgent national and international focus to the horrifying conditions of America’s prisons (at the time of the fire, the Ohio Penitentiary was at almost three times its capacity). Yet, amid darkening world politics and the first years of the Great Depression, the fire receded from public concern.In Fire in the Big House, Mitchel P. Roth does justice to the lives of convicts and guards and puts the conflagration in the context of the rise of the Big House prison model, local and state political machinations, and American penal history and reform efforts. The result is the first comprehensive account of a tragedy whose circumstances—violent unrest, overcrowding, poorly trained and underpaid guards, unsanitary conditions, inadequate food—will be familiar to prison watchdogs today.
BEAUTIFUL CORPSE - MARK MCNEASE
“It was 1984. Prince ruled the airways. The Los Angeles Olympics had come and gone, taking with it a spotlight that had shone harshly on the city’s night crawlers and left them thankful for the the shadows. AIDS was spreading its dark, black, wings over us all, and I was a happy guy. At least I thought I was, until things took a sudden turn for the deadly.” - Marshall JamesIt’s been over a year since Marshall James first became intimately familiar with murder. He’s six months sober now and happily living with the love of his life, LAPD Detective Mac McElroy. Despite the coming storm of AIDS and its devastating toll on the world Marshall knows, his dark days seem to be behind him. Then one night he says the wrong thing, storms out in anger, and walks straight into a nightmare. Someone is setting him up to take the fall for a beautiful corpse. But who would do something so evil, and so planned? Within hours he finds himself running from the police and the mob, and running toward a killer he must apprehend before the only chance left is no chance at all.
JEFFREY ROUND - LOIN'S HEAD REVISITED
I am the Lambda Award-winning author of the Dan Sharp mystery series, the comic Bradford Fairfax mystery series, as well as several other books of fiction and poetry. I am also a song-writer and filmmaker.A case brings PI Dan Sharp to the northern Ontario wilderness, where he has to face his own dark past.Lion's Head Revisited;When a four-year-old autistic boy disappears on a camping trip, his mother is reluctant to involve the police. Instead, she calls in private investigator Dan Sharp after a ransom demand arrives. On investigating, Dan learns there are plenty of people who might be responsible for the kidnapping. Among them are an ex-husband who wrongly believed the boy was his son; the boy’s surrogate mother, now a drug addict; the boy’s grandmother, who has been denied access to her grandson; and a mysterious woman who unnerves everyone with her unexpected appearances.A trip to Lion’s Head in the Bruce Peninsula, where the boy disappeared, brings Dan unexpectedly into contact with his own brutal upbringing. But when a suspected kidnapper is found dead, Dan suddenly finds himself chasing the ghosts of the present as well as the past.