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Rip In Heaven

When my parents packed my brother, sister and me into the family van and drove us to Missouri for Spring Break, we brought our entirely imagined city-hardness with us. The hard truth that we were about to learn was that, in fact, we weren’t tough kids at all. Our life in the city had not prepared us for anything. Nothing could prepare us for this.

A Rip in Heaven is Jeanine Cummins’s story of a night in April 1991, when her two cousins, Julie and Robin Kerry, and her brother, Tom, were assaulted on the Chain of Rocks Bridge that spans the Mississippi River just outside of St. Louis. When, after a harrowing ordeal, Tom managed to escape the attackers and flag down help, he thought the nightmare would soon be over. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Tom, his sister Jeanine, and their entire family were just at the beginning of a horrific odyssey through the aftermath of a violent crime, a world of shocking betrayal, endless heartbreak, and utter disillusionment. It was a trial by fire from which no one would emerge unscathed.

This is one family’s intimate, immediate, and unforgettable story of what victims can suffer long after they should be safe.

Perfect Nightmare

Perfect Nightmare

Every parent’s nightmare becomes reality for Kara Marshall when her daughter, Lindsay, vanishes from her bedroom during the night. The police suspect that the girl is just another moody teenage runaway, angry over leaving behind her school and friends because her family is moving. But Lindsay’s recent eerie claim – that someone invaded her room when the house was opened to prospective buyers – drives Kara to fear the worst: a nameless, faceless stalker has walked the halls of her home in search of more than a place to live.

Patrick Shields recognizes Kara’s pain – and carries plenty of his own since he lost his wife and two children in a devastating house fire. But more than grief draws Patrick and Kara together. He, too, senses the hand of a malevolent stranger in this tragedy. And as more people go missing from houses up for sale, Patrick’s suspicion, like Kara’s, blooms into horrified certainty.

Someone is trolling this peaceful community – undetected and undeterred – harvesting victims for a purpose no sane mind can fathom. Someone Kara and Patrick, alone and desperate, are determined to unmask. Someone who is even now watching, plotting, keeping a demented diary of unspeakable deeds . . . and waiting until the time is ripe for another fateful visit.

A creepy stalker story becomes a shrewd whodunit as Saul’s latest tracks a move from tranquil suburbia to the big city. After a job promotion, the Marshall family prepares to move from Long Island to Manhattan, unaware that a menace edges ever closer to kidnapping their teenage daughter, Lindsay. Eerie first-person chapters from the stalker’s close-call perspective effectively counterpoint parents Kara and Steve Marshall’s stressful relocation hurdles, as intuitive Kara begins sensing the imminence of the threat, but meets with resistance from harried family members. After the anonymous menace snatches Lindsay, Saul broadens the scope to encompass four likely male suspects, including a pair of real estate agents (one dour and one impossibly chipper). Steve Marshall conveniently dies in a car accident; police sergeant Andrew Grant is cautious and unconvinced of foul play. Lindsay’s attempts to escape and the criminal’s master plan keep the tension high and the plot accelerating, making this solid suspense from the veteran author of Suffer the Children and the Blackstone Chronicles series.

Female Terror

An alarming analysis of the rise and rise of female terror. Statistics show that female crime and violence is on the rise, particularly in America where, in 1999, over two million violent female offenders were recorded and the rise was cited as 137%. Women are becoming a major force in both organized crime and terrorism. In the last ten years, they have also come to the fore as homicidal leaders of religious sects and gun-toting leaders of Los Angeles street gangs, whose members are every bit as tough and violent as their male ‘gangsta’ counterparts.

Kiss Me Kill Me

Kiss Me Kill Me

And while we may like to believe that crimes of the heart only victimize those who aren’t careful, this page-turning collection of must-read accounts will convince you otherwise. America’s #1 true-crime writer, Ann Rule reveals how lovers become predators, how sex and lust can push ordinary people to desperate acts, and how investigators and forensics experts work to unravel the most entangled crimes of passion. Extracting behind-the-scenes details, Rule makes these volatile relationships utterly real, and masterfully re-creates the ill-fated chains of events in such cases as the ex-Marine and martial arts master who seduced vulnerable women and then destroyed their lives…the killer whose calling card was a single bloodred rose…the faithless wife who manipulated and murdered without conscience…the blind date that set the stage for a killer’s brutality…and more. In every case, the victim — young and innocent or older and experienced — unknowingly trusted a stranger with the sociopathic skill to hide their dark motives, until it was too late to escape a web of deadly lies, fatal promises, and homicidal possession.

Rule’s true-crime books are cautionary tales, police procedurals, character studies and guilty pleasures. This ninth installment in her Crime Files series features a haunting collection of 10 cases, most of which took place in Washington and Oregon in the 1960s and ’70s. They are stories about love and obsession turned deadly, and they remain relevant today, especially in the light of the Scott Peterson trial. The title entry, about the murder of a pregnant young wife, was finally solved after 36 years thanks to DNA testing. Drawn out for 133 pages, it loses some of its impact because it also encompasses other cold cases that were eventually solved through advances in forensic science. Another story depicts the first modern-day serial killer, who preyed on aspiring starlets in 1950s Hollywood, and explains how the detective who cracked the case went on to create a nationwide tracking system to apprehend serial killers. If there’s a running theme, it’s that most of the victims are women who were acquainted with their killers but had no fear of them; three cases involve husbands murdering their wives. Rule displays immense empathy for the slain women without flinching from describing the often brutal assaults on them. Few true-crime authors write as thoroughly and sensitively as Rule, whose work is simple and straightforward yet as compelling as a good novel. Agent, Joseph and Joan Foley.

Cradle of Death

Cradle of Death

In March of 1949, a healthy baby boy named Richard Noe entered this world. Thirty-one days later, he left it—found dead in his parents’ bedroom in a working-class Philadelphia neighborhood. Over the next nineteen years, all nine of Marie and Arthur Noe’s other children would die—one a stillborn, one in the hospital, and the other seven of unexplained causes. None lived longer than fifteen months.

Gaining national sympathy for their unbelievable bad luck, the Noes were deemed victims of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But as the years went on, many people found their SIDS defense a hard pill to swallow—after all, SIDS is not a hereditary condition. As investigators probed, they found that in each case, the child had died while home alone with Marie Noe.

Finally, in 1999—fifty years after her first child died—septuagenarian Marie Noe pled guilty to killing eight of her ten dead children. Today, she remains at home on probation, helping psychiatric experts understand what is perhaps one of the most disturbing and baffling mysteries of all: how and why a mother could kill her own children. In this riveting true crime account, author John Glatt goes behind the headlines and into the heart of this fascinating case to reveal the shocking answers.

Cries In the Desert

Cries In the Desert

In the fall of 1999, a twenty-two-year-old woman was discovered naked and bleeding on the streets of a small New Mexico town south of Albuquerque. She was chained to a padlocked metal collar. The tale she told authorties–of being beaten, raped, and tortured with electric shock–was unthinkable. Until she led them to 59-year-old David Ray Parker, his 39-year-old financee Cindy Hendy–and the lakeside trailer they called their “toy box”. What the FBI uncovered was unprecedented in the annals of serial crime: restraining devices, elaborate implements of torture, books on human anatomy, medical equipment, scalpels, and a gynecologist’s examination table. But these horrors were only part of the shocking story that would unfold in a stunning trial…

Deadly American Beauty

Deadly American Beauty

A Perfect Marriage…
Greg DeVillers was a top biotech executive, and Kristen Rossum was embarking on a career in toxicology at the San Diego Medical Examiner’s office. They seemed to be happily married, living the American dream. But only months shy of their second anniversary, Kristen found her handsome husband dead from a drug overdose-his corpse sprinkled with rose petals. By his side was their wedding photo. The scene was reminiscent of American Beauty, one of Kristen’s favorite movies. Authorities deemed it a suicide.

An Almost Perfect Murder…
Until they discovered that the rare poison found in Greg’s body was the same poison missing from Kristen’s office. Until they discovered the truth about Kristen’s lurid affair, about her own long-time drug addiction, and about the personal and professional secrets she would kill to keep hidden-secrets that would ultimately expose the beautiful blonde as the deadly beauty she really was…

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