I Saw the Devil’s Face: My Life With Joseph Michael Kalady
by Teresa Giglio
SYNOPSIS – “You better hope to God the cops don’t come,” my babysitter, Joe Kalady, threatened me that day on his boat at Burnham Harbor. He and the other man were planning to rob a liquor store. My divorced dad, who was on his way to pick me up, didn’t know anything about that — or the prostitution Joe had used me for at age eight. So he took me out for an Italian ice to stop me crying.
When we got home and mom found my panties missing yet again, it clicked. She forbade Kalady to babysit, and me to ever speak of it again.
Fifty years later I’m here to talk about the marauding Kalady, the children he raped with impunity, the near-death experience I had on his yacht, and the toddler he kidnapped on a whim. I can tell you what I’ve learned about his mafia involvement, and introduce you to the homeless man he eventually lured to his death in a vain attempt to avoid spending the last of his days in prison.
This is my personal story of one of Chicago’s most ruthless and successful undetected child predators. I knew a man who spent his whole life in and out of jail, the terrorist-adjacent thief, con man, and murderer Joseph Michael Kalady.
MY THOUGHTS – This is a heartbreaking book by a very determined lady. She suffered so much in her young life, but her resilience shines through. It’s frustrating to see how this man was able to dodge responsibility his entire life for his crimes against children. But at least his story is being told now by someone he hurt, who has spent a long time finding her way back.
PUBLISHER – Ind. Published – 276 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Oct 31st, 2022
MY RATING – 5/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Teresa Giglio is a veteran firefighter and paramedic living with multiple disabilities. She writes true crime for survivors. Find her at teresagiglio.com
Going Under: Kidnapping, Murder, and a Life Undercover
by John Madinger
SYNOPSIS – “I just want to make sure I’ve got this right. You hanged all three of them? …” That’s how it began, a case where the cops are crooks and the crooks are cops, a kidnapping where the victim is the bad guy, and the good guys must cross some lines to get him back. Welcome to the upside down and backward world of the undercover agent, where nothing is as it seems, and people – including the undercover – may not be what they appear.? GOING UNDER: Kidnapping, Murder, and A Life Undercover by former undercover agent John Madinger takes you into that world, and closer to the truth of the undercover experience than any other law enforcement memoir has ever gone. “”What is it like to work undercover?”” You’re a sheepdog in wolf’s clothing, running with the pack, and Madinger ran with the wolves for almost two decades. Now he shares his story to give you a unique look at American crime and the “”War on Drugs”” from the perspective of both cops and criminals. You’ll go with the undercover cops to meetings with street-corner hustlers and rip-off artists and into the lives of the America’s biggest rock stars, the world’s richest man, an Academy Award-winning actor, the marijuana traffickers conspiring to assassinate a federal judge, and the President of the United States. It’s an amazing ride, and there has never been another story like it.
MY THOUGHTS – I really liked this book about a cop who did undercover work in Oklahoma. He shares several different cases he worked on throughout his long career using both gravity and humor. There are plenty of surprises to keep it interesting. It’s action-packed with some really wild stuff.
PUBLISHER – WildBlue Press – 280 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Sep 13th, 2022
MY RATING – 5/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – John is a retired law enforcement officer and author of textbooks, history, and crime fiction. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, he still works providing training on money laundering, financial crime, and terrorism financing to police agencies around the world for the US Treasury Department. His book, Money Laundering: A guide for criminal investigators, 3rd edition, from CRC Press is a standard textbook for government agencies and universities. His first novel, Death on Diamond Head, was a bestseller in Hawaii and his second, Pipe Dreams: The dark secret behind Hawaii’s most infamous crime, will be coming from Watermark Publishing in July 2020. The Opium Kings of Old Hawaii: America’s first drug traffickers, will be published by The History Press in the Fall of 2020.
Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime
by Joe Pompeo
SYNOPSIS – Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo investigates the notorious 1922 double murder of a high-society minister and his secret mistress, a Jazz Age mega-crime that propelled tabloid news in the 20th century.
On September 16, 1922, the bodies of Reverend Edward Hall and Eleanor Mills were found beneath a crabapple tree on an abandoned farm outside of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The killer had arranged the bodies in a pose conveying intimacy.
The murder of Hall, a prominent clergyman whose wife, Frances Hall, was a proud heiress with illustrious ancestors and ties to the Johnson & Johnson dynasty, would have made headlines on its own. But when authorities identified Eleanor Mills as a choir singer from his church married to the church sexton, the story shocked locals and sent the scandal ricocheting around the country, fueling the nascent tabloid industry. This provincial double murder on a lonely lover’s lane would soon become one of the most famous killings in American history—a veritable crime of the century.
The bumbling local authorities failed to secure any indictments, however, and it took a swashbuckling crusade by the editor of a circulation-hungry Hearst tabloid to revive the case and bring it to trial at last.
Blood & Ink freshly chronicles what remains one of the most electrifying but forgotten murder mysteries in U.S. history. It also traces the birth of American tabloid journalism, pandering to the masses with sordid tales of love, sex, money, and murder.
MY THOUGHTS – This is an interesting look at the Hall-Mills murders from way back in 1922. There is much intrigue involved in the case, as both parties were married, and Hall was a well-known minister. It also delves into the area newspapers, and how this case become nationwide news because it was so notorious for the times.
PUBLISHER – William Morrow – 352 pages
PUBLICATION DATE- Sep 13th, 2022
MY RATING- 4/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Joe Pompeo is a correspondent at Vanity Fair, where he covers the media industry. He previously worked at publications including Politico and The New York Observer, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his family.
The Flat Tire Murders: Unsolved Crimes of a South Florida Serial Killer
by Michael P. Burns
SYNOPSIS – South Florida in the 1970s was one of the nation’s most dangerous locations. Behind the image of sun and surf, young women were the victims of a brutal killer. In the mid-1970s, over a dozen young women were murdered and found in canals. These cases became known as the Flat Tire Murders and the Canal Murders. Only one case was ever solved. More than four decades have passed since these crimes, and no arrests were ever made.
This is the first book to explore these murders in depth, as well as a bizarre series of murders occurring in the years earlier, known as the Gold Sock Stranglings. Interviews with the detectives that originally worked to solve these cases provide an intimate view of the attempt to capture the killer that terrorized South Florida. In addition to the cases themselves, the reader is introduced to a number of suspects, including Ted Bundy, the man who is still suspected by detectives to this day of having committed the Flat Tire Murders. Detailed maps of South Florida illustrate the complex canal system that became the victims’ graveyard.
MY THOUGHTS – This appears to be a well-researched book on a series of little-known South Florida murders in the 1970s. The possible culprits are many, including Bundy for a couple of them, and even spree killer Christopher Wilder, and a possibly a dirty cop, among others. A rogue’s gallery, for sure. But no charges have ever been pressed, and many of the possible perps have since died.
PUBLISHER – McFarland & Co. Inc – 242 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Sept 30th, 2021
MY RATING – 4/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Michael P. Burns is an attorney living and working in San Jose, California.
SYNOPSIS – All the varieties of power – star, political, sexual, criminal and emotional – are on show in this definitive, untold story of Frank Sinatra and the Mafia.
Drawing on an enormous archive of previously unseen records held by international law agencies, the FBI, the CIA and big-city police departments, Rothmiller and Thompson reveal Sinatra’s pact with the Mob in shocking detail.
With additional evidence from decades of investigations and testimony, they expose Sinatra’s lifelong association with the Mafia, which he always denied, and its deadly collateral damage.
This revelatory showstopper is a wild dance made coherent by intelligent choreography. Sinatra may not have been an actual made man, but the Mafia certainly made him.
MY THOUGHTS – This was quite an eye opening read. I’ve learned bits and pieces of some parts of this book in other books thru the years, including Rothmiller’s. But nothing like this more detailed look behind the scenes, thanks to the release of many previously withheld documents of several law enforcement agencies. Sad to say, it just makes me feel even more hopeless for the situation our country has ended up in today, as you can see where some of it started way back. A good read for Sinatra fans, and those who enjoy revealing mob books.
PUBLISHER – Ad Lib Publishers – 259 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Sep 15th, 2022
MY RATING – 5/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHORS –
Douglas Thompson is the author of more than twenty books. A biographer, broadcaster and international journalist, he is a regular contributor to major newspapers and magazines worldwide. His books, published in a dozen languages, include the television-based anthology Hollywood People, and best-selling biographies of Madonna, Clint Eastwood, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dudley Moore, John Travolta, Nicolas Cage and Leonardo DiCaprio. He collaborated with the billion dollar dancer Michael Flatley on his Top Ten story ‘Lord of the Dance’. His books have been serialised in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. With Christine Keeler, he wrote her revealing memoir The Truth At Last, an instant best-seller. He worked as a consultant on the tie-in television documentary on the Profumo Affair. Working with eminent psychotherapist Pauline Sutcliffe, he told the poignant story of her brother Stuart, who named and helped found the Beatles with John Lennon. His book ‘The Hustlers’, about gangsters and gambling in 1960s’ London, is being developed for film and was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary. His DVD contributions to a celebration of Clint Eastwood’s career were commemorated in a special box set of Eastwood movies. He has worked with many Hollywood stars on their memoirs. A recent success was Stephen Ward: Scapegoat , a study of the rakish charmer at the centre of the Profumo Scandal. His upcoming ‘Shall We Dance? The True Story of the Couple Who Taught the World to Dance’ tells one of the most romantic, tearful but uplifting stories of the 20th Century. He is a director of one of Britain’s leading literary festivals, and divides his time between a medieval Suffolk village and California, where he was based as a Fleet Street correspondent and columnist for more than twenty years.
Mike Rothmiller is a New York Times Bestselling Author, nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, historian, former cop and Army medic. He’s also served as a TV reporter, an award winning documentary producer and television host for ESPN, PBS and other international television markets. He’s written and produced over 25 television documentaries, numerous TV and radio ads and has authored movie scripts. His nonfiction book, “My Hero. Military Kids Write About Their Moms and Dads” (St. Martin’s Press) received international acclaim and holds the honor of being the only book in history to have forwards written by three living Presidents and General Norman Schwarzkopf. He has served on numerous non-profit boards. Additionally, he’s been a corporate President/CEO and directed three divisions of Sony Electronics EMCS-America.
He’s authored 23 books and his most recent; Secrets, Lies and Deception….And Other Amazing Pieces of History was featured on Fox News and over 40 Television News Stations across America.
Readers of his books include; three Presidents, former First Lady Laura Bush, the late Charlton Heston and Queen Elizabeth II.
SYNOPSIS – The second installment of this saga of gangland lore follows gregarious gangster, Michael Hardy, further down his twisted criminal path. The Last Jewish Gangster, The Middle Years, starts in 1968 with Hardy sentenced to twelve years in the world’s most dangerous prison in Mexico after taking the rap for his mother’s counterfeiting scheme, hoping to have finally earned her love and respect.
Once he’s released from prison, Hardy returns to Brooklyn and tries to go straight, but drifts back into a world of crime. He gets Sammy “the Bull” Gravano to join his crew to pull major heists like kidnapping drug lords for million-dollar ransoms, and robbing cop bag men. To evade the law, he goes to Europe and ends up in Israel where he works on a Kibbutz, touching the hem of his Jewish heritage.
Hardy devolves further into a gangster’s life when he returns to Brooklyn, running a finger of the Mob’s Five-Fingers International Car Theft Ring, participating in a stolen airline ticket scam, and doing fourteen hits for the Mob, still hoping his mother will take notice. When she gets busted for the car theft ring, she turns him in to reduce her time.
Crushed by his mother’s callous self-interest, Hardy ends up cutting a deal with Rudy Giuliani to nab a dirty cop to reduce his time and negotiate his place in the witness protection program. Relocating to LA under an alias, it doesn’t take long for Hardy to land a gig as muscle for a Hollywood studio and meet his future wife, a sex worker who stole from his mother. The lines between love and revenge begin to blur.
MY THOUGHTS – I really like this type of gangster book, and this one didn’t disappoint. The second in a series of three, it’s one wild story, driven by his relationship or lack of one, with his mother. Michael Hardy goes above and beyond. He builds his cred as a mega-gangster trying to gain the unattainable. This kept me up late reading.
PUBLISHER – WildBlue Press – 369 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Aug 16th, 2022
MY RATING – 5/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Over the course of two-and-a-half years, I met weekly with Michael Hardy in his Section-8 studio apartment in San Diego, up until his death. We were introduced by his therapist, Dr. El. For the first several months Michael told me what he did, the stories often unbelievable. When he gained enough trust in me, he told me why he acted with such fearlessness and committed heinous crimes. It was all done to impress his mother, Shirley, so that maybe she would love him. Shirley rejected Michael after his birth to be raised by her parents, so she could run with Bugsy Siegel and other powerful men in the Mob, rather than raise her son to be a good man.
Confined to a wheelchair most of the time we met, because he lost half of both feet to diabetes, this 325-pound aging gangster regaled his stories with such gusto, he often slipped into the present tense with his recall. I tried to capture that in his story as he trudged through decades of crime, from coast to coast, north to south, to Mexico, even Europe, and the Middle East.
The meetings with Hardy were sometimes useless, Michael wrapped around the axle of some injustice that befell him—car impounded because it had expired registration, arguments with neighbors over the use of community washing machines, Catholic Charities not coming through, Jewish Family Services late with their support, doctors not worth a damn, dentists not much better, and run-ins with local businesses who barred him after numerous infractions. His long-suffering wife was always at his side, caring for him, and loving him for the man he became. Raised Jewish, Michael discovered Christ in 1974 while in federal prison in Connecticut, then believed in Christ in 1991 when he appeared to Michael in his cell. But don’t for one minute think he was a Christian. He was a Jew who believed in Christ.`
The unpublished version of his story has been optioned three times in Hollywood over the past five years, to develop into a TV series or movie. Since I also write screenplays, I’ve developed scripts for both. They’ve been circulating slowly, the pandemic causing delays.
American Mother: The True Story of a Troubled Family, Motherhood, and the Cyanide Murders That Shook the World
by Gregg Olsen
SYNOPSIS – From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If You Tell comes the absolutely unputdownable and chilling true-crime story of Stella Nickell—a mother and wife who did the unthinkable… and the unforgivable.
At 5.02 pm on June 5, 1986, an emergency call came into the local sheriff’s office in the small town of Auburn, Washington State. A distressed housewife, Stella Nickell, said her husband Bruce was having a seizure. Officers rushed to the Nickell’s mobile home, to find Stella standing frozen at the door… Bruce was on the floor fighting for his life.
As Stella became the beneficiary of over $175,000 in a life insurance pay-out, forensics discovered that Bruce had consumed painkillers laced with cyanide.
A week later, fifteen-year-old Hayley was getting ready for another school day. Her mom, Sue, called out ‘I love you’ before heading into the bathroom and moments later collapsed on the floor. Sue never regained consciousness, and the autopsy revealed she had been poisoned by cyanide-tainted headache pills. Just like Bruce.
While a daughter grieved the sudden and devastating loss of her mother, a young woman, Cindy, was thinking about her own mom Stella. She thought about the years of neglect and abuse, the tangled web of secrets Stella had shared with her, and Cindy contemplated turning her mom into the FBI…
Gripping and heart-breaking, Gregg Olsen uncovers the shocking true story of a troubled family. He delves into a complex mother-daughter relationship rooted in mistrust and deception, and the journey of the sweet curly-haired little girl from Oregon whose fierce ambition to live the American Dream led her to make the ultimate betrayal.
A sensational real-life mystery, American Mother will hook those fascinated by The Staircase and Making of a Murderer.
This book was originally published as Bitter Almonds.
MY THOUGHTS – I read this book long ago under its original title. Much of it was like reading a new book for me, as my memory isn’t what it used to be. I would have preferred a new true crime story from this author. I’ve read and liked many of his other non-fiction crime reads through the years, but it seems like he’s been into crime fiction more in recent years. This remains a good read for this genre, about a case so many remember.
PUBLISHER – Thread Books – 540 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Nov 8th, 2022
MY RATING – 4/5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – A #1 New York Times bestselling true-crime writer, Gregg Olsen is praised for his ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of real people and fictional characters caught in extraordinary circumstances. He has authored ten nonfiction books, over twenty novels, a novella, and a short story, which appeared in a collection edited by Lee Child. In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People, Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post. He is a native of Seattle and currently lives in rural Washington state.
Deadly Triangle: The Famous Architect, His Wife, Their Chauffeur, and Murder Most Foul
by Susan Goldenberg
SYNOPSIS – The 1935 murder of architect Francis Rattenbury, designer of the iconic Parliament Buildings in Victoria, British Columbia, and the arrest and lurid trial of his wife, Alma Rattenbury, and George Stoner, their chauffeur (also her lover and half her age), became one of the twentieth century’s most sensational cases.
MY THOUGHTS – At first, I thought that this was a book I read long ago about an American architect and murder, until I took a closer look. When I got further into it, the setting is British Columbia, Canada and later on England. Architect Rattenbury became successful in Victoria, British Columbia, despite his shady business dealings and many enemies made along the way. The story of a married man and a twice previously married woman who start an affair in the 1930s. They did nothing to keep it a secret, and became openly despised and ostracized. The repercussions cost them everything, home, business, and friends. They throw in the towel and move to England to start over. This is where the 3rd part of the triangle comes into the picture. Good true crime that caused a big stir from nearly 90 years ago.
PUBLISHER – Dundurn Press -288 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Nov 8th, 2022
MY RATING – 4/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Susan Goldenberg is the author of nine books and has won both a Canadian Author’s Award and a Canadian Business Press Editors’ Award. She has written for the Sunday New York Times, the Financial Post, and the Financial Times of Canada, and currently pens articles for Canada’s History magazine. She also writes a heritage column on the district of Toronto where she lives.
The Tuskegee Strangler: The Nicest Serial Killer They Ever Met
by Linda Lou Long
SYNOPSIS – Every serial killer is a “nice guy”—until he’s found out. The shocking, true account of a Southern charmer who left a trail of victims in his wake.
Jerry Marcus fooled them all. He was “a nice guy,” always helped at home, did well in school, an athlete, and always employed. When things went wrong, he was the first to help clean up the mess. He was the last person anyone suspected of being a serial killer.
After Marcus was caught and sentenced to life in prison in the late ’70s, author Linda Lou Long spent years corresponding with him. The Tuskegee Strangler gives an inside look into the workings of a man who is not your typical serial killer.
MY THOUGHTS – Good research by a writer who corresponded with this little known serial killer for years. He was a very mobile killer who was unique in that he became involved with the women before murdering them. He also had a 13 year cooling off period between kills. Delves into all of his known killings before he was arrested and imprisoned. Good true crime.
PUBLISHER – WildBlue Press – 214 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Aug 2nd, 2022
MY RATING – 5/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – This is apparently the first book by Linda Lou Long.
The Unveiling: A Mother’s Reflection on Murder, Grief, and Trial Life
by Ruth Markel
SYNOPSIS – Ruth Markel’s tenacious fight for justice on behalf of the murder of her son, Dan Markel, and the struggle to be legally reunited with her grandchildren.
Ruth Markel is the mother of the late Dan Markel, a noted law professor who was murdered in Tallahassee, Florida in 2014.
In The Unveiling, she describes her experiences since the day of Dan’s death from several distinct perspectives:
As a devastated mother with the unique human perspective of becoming a homicide survivor and victim.
As a woman whose attempts to achieve normalcy and live a healthy life are continually interrupted by painful reminders, a rollercoaster of hearings, frequently changing trial dates, verdicts, and appeals.
As an engaged citizen using what she has learned to help other victims of homicide and violent crimes recover from trauma and begin an optimistic outlook on life.
As an insider who shows how our collective network of family, friends, and experts—including a murder coach—have helped her family remain involved, motivated, and hopeful.
As a grandmother who had not been allowed to see her grandchildren in many years, she used advocacy to inspire the Florida State Legislature to pass a grandparent visitation bill.
And as an experienced author of nine books using the written word to effectively address the shift from grief to promise.
MY THOUGHTS – I’m sure many people recall when this tragic crime took place in Tallahassee, FL in 2014. The daytime murder of the much – loved and respected law professor Dan Markel lingered in my mind, making me want to learn more about the case. When I figured out that this book was the answer to my curiosity, I was torn. It’s well written and kept me zeroed in on it all the way through. But it was also triggering for me, as I lost my son, my only child last October, and he was murdered as well. But I feel that this book is important enough that I pushed through and read it, mostly through tears. I don’t think I’ve ever related so much to a book in its descriptions and explanations of profound or complicated grief. While it’s not an easy, emotionless read, I found it very worthwhile. My heart goes out to the author and her family.
PUBLISHER – Post Hill Press – 240 pages
PUBLICATION DATE – Sep 20th, 2022
MY RATING – 5/5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ruth Markel is a noted author, public speaker, and the president of RNM Enterprises, a leading management consulting firm. She has worked in senior management positions in both private and public sectors for the past forty years. Ruth has lectured on issues concerning negotiation and advancement in organizations at the University of Toronto, the London Business School, and Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University.)
In addition to several TV and radio appearances, Ruth’s published work includes:
Moving Up: A Woman’s Guide To A Better Future At Work (HarperCollins Publishers, 1988), Room At The Top: A Woman’s Guide To Moving Up In Buisness (Penguin Books Canada, 1985), Der Weg Nach Oben (Econ, 1987), L’Art De Negocier (La Presse, 1988), Une Place Au Sommet (Les Editions La Presse, 1986), Le Defi D’une Carrier (La Presse, 1987), S’affirmer Pour Evoluer (La Presse, 1988), Comment Gerer (La Presse, 1987), Karriere 1st Weiblich (Rowohlt, 1999).
Due to the circumstances surrounding the unforeseen murder of Ruth’s son Dan Markel, she has appeared on 20/20 ABC, Inside Edition, CourtTV, and Dateline NBC, and participated in the hit podcast Over My Dead Body, by Wondery. With support from Dan’s friends and extended networks, Ruth’s efforts successfully changed Florida’s restrictive grandparent visitation statutes to provide access to courts for other families facing terrible circumstances.
Ruth hopes to use her platform and the media coverage that is inevitable around the trial and the publicity of Dan’s case to make sense of, provide consolation and counsel about a horrific and powerlessness situation.
Homicide doesn’t discriminate. It spans race, religion, socio-economic, and public status. People are hungry for these stories, as evidenced by dedicated True Crime conversations around the world (CrimeCon, CrimeFest, Death Becomes Us) and a proliferation of new shows, podcasts, and online communities interested in following these cases.
“As Danny’s mother, I have been a prominent figure, but I have never told my full story to the public before now,” Ruth writes. “That, combined with the keen interest in Danny’s murder and the popularity of true crime in general, convinces me that my story will help others through the experiences of their grief from murders, victims of violence and grandparent alienation.”