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An Affair of State
The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton
Richard A. Posner
Harvard University Press, 1999

President Bill Clinton’s year of crisis, which began when his affair with Monica Lewinsky hit the front pages in January 1998, engendered a host of important questions of criminal and constitutional law, public and private morality, and political and cultural conflict.

In a book written while the events of the year were unfolding, Richard Posner presents a balanced and scholarly understanding of the crisis that also has the freshness and immediacy of journalism. Posner clarifies the issues and eliminates misunderstandings concerning facts and the law that were relevant to the investigation by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and to the impeachment proceeding itself. He explains the legal definitions of obstruction of justice and perjury, which even many lawyers are unfamiliar with. He carefully assesses the conduct of Starr and his prosecutors, including their contacts with the lawyers for Paula Jones and their hardball tactics with Monica Lewinsky and her mother. He compares and contrasts the Clinton affair with Watergate, Iran–Contra, and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, exploring the subtle relationship between public and private morality. And he examines the place of impeachment in the American constitutional scheme, the pros and cons of impeaching President Clinton, and the major procedural issues raised by both the impeachment in the House and the trial in the Senate. This book, reflecting the breadth of Posner’s experience and expertise, will be the essential foundation for anyone who wants to understand President Clinton’s impeachment ordeal.

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Alchemy of Bones
Chicago's Luetgert Murder Case of 1897
Robert Loerzel
University of Illinois Press, 2002

On May 1, 1897, Louise Luetgert disappeared. Although no body was found, Chicago police arrested her husband, Adolph, the owner of a large sausage factory, and charged him with murder. The eyes of the world were still on Chicago following the success of the World's Columbian Exposition, and the Luetgert case, with its missing victim, once-prosperous suspect, and all manner of gruesome theories regarding the disposal of the corpse, turned into one of the first media-fueled celebrity trials in American history.

Newspapers fought one another for scoops, people across the country claimed to have seen the missing woman alive, and each new clue led to fresh rounds of speculation about the crime. Meanwhile, sausage sales plummeted nationwide as rumors circulated that Luetgert had destroyed his wife's body in one of his factory's meat grinders.

Weaving in strange-but-true subplots involving hypnotists, palmreaders, English con artists, bullied witnesses, and insane-asylum bodysnatchers, Alchemy of Bones is more than just a true crime narrative; it is a grand, sprawling portrait of 1890s Chicago--and a nation--getting an early taste of the dark, chaotic twentieth century.

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Aristotle and Poetic Justice
An Aristotle Detective Novel
Margaret Doody
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Murder and mayhem may seem like unreasonable company for Aristotle, one of the founding minds of Western philosophy. But in the skilled hands of Margaret Doody, the pairing could not be more logical. With her Aristotle Detective novels, Margaret Doody brings a Holmesian hero to the bloodied streets of ancient Greece, trading the pipe and deerstalker of Sherlock for the woolen chiton and sandals of Aristotle. Replete with suspense, historical detail, and humor, and complemented by an ever-growing cast of characters and vivid descriptions of the ancient world, Doody’s mysteries are as much lively takes on the figures and forms of the classics as they are classic whodunits in their own right.

Stephanos and his teacher return in Aristotle and Poetic Justice, when a party given by wealthy Athenian silver miners leads to kidnapping, a ghost, a road trip to Delphi, and, of course, murder. More historical fiction than a detective novel, this sequel runs the gamut of Athenian social customs, myth, politics, and economics—from the trials of virgin love to the dangers of silver lust.

 
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Aristotle Detective
An Aristotle Detective Novel
Margaret Doody
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Murder and mayhem may seem like unreasonable company for Aristotle, one of the founding minds of Western philosophy. But in the skilled hands of Margaret Doody, the pairing could not be more logical. With her Aristotle Detective novels, Margaret Doody brings a Holmesian hero to the bloodied streets of ancient Greece, trading the pipe and deerstalker of Sherlock for the woolen chiton and sandals of Aristotle. Replete with suspense, historical detail, and humor, and complemented by an ever-growing cast of characters and vivid descriptions of the ancient world, Doody’s mysteries are as much lively takes on the figures and forms of the classics as they are classic whodunits in their own right.

In Aristotle Detective, we first meet Stephanos—naive Watson to Aristotle’s learned Holmes—a young landed Athenian and student of Aristotle. With the aid of his cunning, olive-loving teacher, Stephanos must clear his exiled cousin of murder and save his family’s honor in a tense public trial. Will Stephanos survive to cinch the case?
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The Atlanta Youth Murders and the Politics of Race
Bernard Headley
Southern Illinois University Press, 1998

At least twenty-nine black children and young adults were murdered by an Atlanta serial killer between the summer of 1979 and the spring of 1981. Drawing national media attention, the “Atlanta tragedy,” as it became known, was immediately labeled a hate crime. However, when a young black man was arrested and convicted for the killings, public attention quickly shifted. Noted criminologist Bernard Headley was in Atlanta as the tragedy unfolded and provides here a thoughtful exploration of the social and political implications of the case both locally and nationally. Focusing on a singular historical event, Headley exposes broader tensions of race and class in contemporary America.

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Betrayal at the Buffalo Ranch
Sara Sue Hoklotubbe
University of Arizona Press, 2018
When Sadie Walela learns that her new neighbor in Cherokee Country, Angus Clyborn’s Buffalo Ranch, offers rich customers a chance to kill buffalo for fun, she is horrified. No good can surely come from this. It doesn’t, and murder soon follows.

Even though Deputy Sheriff Lance Smith, Sadie’s love interest, suspects a link to the Buffalo Ranch, he can find little evidence to make an arrest. And when a rare white buffalo calf is born on the ranch and immediately disappears, Sadie’s instincts tell her something is wrong—and she sets out to prove it. Her suspicions—and fears of more violence—escalate when a former schoolmate returns to Oklahoma to visit her ailing father and finds employment at the ranch. Will she be the next victim?

Drawn deeper and deeper into danger, Sadie uncovers an unparalleled web of greed and corruption. It will take all of her investigative skill to set things straight—assuming she and her wolfdog can stay alive long enough to succeed.
 
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Capitol Punishment
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2016

The job seems simple enough: Reporter Lee Hershey needs protection for a couple of weeks as he pursues the biggest story of his career with all eyes on swing state Ohio in the midst of a presidential election. Columbus private eye Andy Hayes, broke as usual, doesn’t have much choice but to sign on, even with his girlfriend falling for the charming journalist.

Then murder strikes at the Statehouse and Andy finds himself partly responsible for the death. With an innocent man behind bars, a mysterious vehicle following Andy around the city, and more lives in danger, the detective has his hands full trying to solve a killing in a poisonous political environment where everyone has a motive for murder and anyone could be the next target.

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Cry Rape
The True Story of One Woman's Harrowing Quest for Justice
Bill Lueders
University of Wisconsin Press, 2007
Cry Rape dramatically exposes the criminal justice system’s capacity for error as it recounts one woman’s courageous battle in the face of adversity. In September 1997, a visually impaired woman named Patty was raped by an intruder in her home in Madison, Wisconsin. The rookie detective assigned to her case came to doubt Patty’s account and focused the investigation on her. Under pressure, he got her to recant, then had her charged with falsely reporting a crime. The charges were eventually dropped, but Patty continued to demand justice, filing complaints and a federal lawsuit against the police. All were rebuffed. But later, as the result of her perseverance, a startling discovery was made. Even then, Patty’s ordeal was far from over.
     Other books have dealt with how police and prosecutors bend and break the law in their zeal to prevail. This one focuses instead on how the gravest injustice can be committed with the best of intentions, and how one woman’s bravery and persistence finally triumphed.
 
Courage Award Winner, Wisconsin Coalition against Sexual Assault
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Death Casts a Shadow
Patricia Skalka
University of Wisconsin Press, 2022
With Door County caught in the grip of a fierce winter storm, Sheriff Dave Cubiak agrees to do a simple favor for a friend of his wife: he stops by to check in on an affluent widow with a questionable new suitor. His initial disquiet is easily dismissed—until she is found dead the next morning in her home. Lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs, clutching a valuable bronze sculpture, she points her outstretched hand in the direction of a nearby, nondescript ring.
 
The scene bears all the characteristics of an accidental fall, not unheard of for a person of her age, but something is not adding up. Later that week, an explosion in an ice fishing shack on the frozen bay leads to the discovery of another body, burned beyond recognition. Was this the widow’s missing handyman? Could the two deaths be related? With what has become a hallmark for books in the series, past and present collide as Cubiak’s search for answers uncovers the sad legacy of loneliness and the disquieting links between wealth and poverty on the peninsula.
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Death Foretold
The Jesuit Murders in El Salvador
Martha Doggett
Georgetown University Press, 1993

The case of the six Jesuits and two women murdered at Central American University (UCA) in San Salvador on November 16, 1989, has come to signify, by extension, a class-action suit on behalf of the 70,000 people tortured and executed over the course of a decade by the Salvadoran Armed Forces, with the complicity of the government. The identification of all those responsible for the Jesuit murders—the intellectual authors as well as the triggermen—would provide a first step toward purging and reforming a system that has made these kinds of crimes possible. This report by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, which served as legal counsel to the Jesuits since December 1989, documents the story of the Jesuit murders in the most comprehensive history and analysis to date.

Martha Doggett establishes the background leading up to the murders—the preceding years of human rights abuses and of political distortions promulgated about the Jesuits. She then sifts through the evidence of the crime, scrutinizes the subsequent efforts at cover-up, analyzes the process of the trial itself, and identifies the high-level officials thought to be ultimately responsible for ordering and concealing the truth about the murders. She concludes that a number ofcivilians as well as military paraticlipated and that the decision was made some time before the night of the actual murders. Drawing on primary and journalistic sources, investigative reports, U.S. and Salvadoran government documents, and interviews conducted by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and other organizations, Doggett traces the military's repeated obstruction of justice and the ambivalent responses by U.S. officials courting political expediency. She observes the effects of international protests (including the report by U.S. Congressman Joe Moakley) and outlines the limitations inherent in El Salvador's legal system.

Bringing the chronicle up to the present, this volume includes the first published English-language translation of the portion of the Truth Commission report dealing with the Jesuits' case, an analysis of the Truth Commission's conclusions, and reactions to the amnesty and release from prison of all persons convicted for the crime. Appendixes include chronologies of the case and of attacks on El Salvador's Jesuits; lists of the names of all the persons figuring in the case and profiles of the defendants; the report of the Lawyers Committee's trial observer; and a list of previous publications on the case by the Lawyers Committee and UCA, as well as reports of trial observers from other organizations.

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A Death in Bali
A Jenna Murphy Mystery
Nancy Tingley
Ohio University Press, 2018

Intrepid young curator-turned-private eye Jenna Murphy—whom readers first met in A Head in Cambodia—goes to the tourist town of Ubud to study early twentieth-century Balinese painting. But her first discovery when she arrives in Indonesia is the speared body of expat artist Flip Hendricks. She soon is working with an old friend, a detective for the Ubud police force, to seek the killer. Jenna suspects the motive for the killing has to do with Flip’s paintings. Detective Wayan Tyo is not so sure.

Is Jenna right, or are there other forces at work in this paradise overrun with tourists? The threats to Jenna’s safety pile up, until she can no longer deny that her life is in danger. Her entanglement with various men only clouds her judgment and complicates the situation.

As she did in the first Jenna Murphy book, in A Death in Bali, Nancy Tingley draws on her extensive experience as a scholar of Asian art to bring the armchair traveler an immersive, inside view of the art world.

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Death Washes Ashore
Patricia Skalka
University of Wisconsin Press, 2023
In the wake of a brutal storm that lashed the Door County peninsula, Sheriff Dave Cubiak assesses the damage: broken windows, downed trees, and piles of mysterious debris along the shoreline. He leaves the comfort of his home and heads out into the aftermath, checking in with folks along the way to offer help. His assistant, marooned at the justice center overnight, calls with an ominous message about a body discovered on the beach. When the medical examiner discovers the man didn’t simply drown during the storm, Cubiak searches for answers.
 
Chasing leads, the sheriff learns the victim directed a troupe of live-action role players living in an ersatz Camelot. In a setting where pretense in the norm, Cubiak must determine if suspects are who they say they are or if their made-up identities conceal a ruthless killer. As tensions escalate among neighbors unhappy about the noise and commotion, the sheriff discovers that more than one person on the peninsula has a motive for murder.
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Document of Expectations
Devon Abbott Mihesuah
Michigan State University Press, 2011

When Hopi/White Mountain Apache anthropologist Tony M. Smokerise is found murdered in his office at Central Highlands University, the task of solving the crime falls to jaded Choctaw detective Monique Blue Hawk and her partner Charles T. Clarke. A seemingly tolerant and amicable office of higher education, the university, Monique soon learns, harbors parties determined to destroy the careers of Tony and his best friend, the volatile Oglala anthropologist Roxanne Badger. In the course of her investigation, Monique discovers that the scholars who control Tony’s department are also overseeing the excavation of a centuries-old tribal burial site that was uncovered during the construction of a freeway. Tony’s role in the project, she realizes, might be the key to identifying his murderer. This virtuosic mystery novel explores, in engrossing detail, the complex motives for a killing within the sometimes furtive and hermetic setting of academia.

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A Driftless Murder
Jerry McGinley
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
As he finishes a cup of his morning coffee, retired cop and former detective Pat Donegal gets a curious call from the Kickapoo County Chief Deputy Hennie Duggan. A gruesome discovery of human remains on a ridge portends grisly possibilities that neither man wants to consider. Donegal, physically and emotionally hungover from a rough break-up, is known for his unorthodox methods and a tendency to bend the rules. Even though Duggan chafes at his style, he knows he needs a skilled investigator like Donegal to have his back.
 
As strange details continue to emerge, the detectives enlist the help of city cop and data expert Shea Sommers. As the team crisscrosses the state to chase a few promising leads, their search expands beyond local guides and neighbors to members of a sinister, secret hunting society. When Duggan mysteriously disappears—and becomes a suspect himself—Donegal must take over the investigation. He soon realizes the case might not only be unsolvable but could land him in prison—or an early grave.
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Employment Hazards
An Investigation of Market Performance
W. Kip Viscusi
Harvard University Press, 1979

The safety of the work place is now a highly visible public issue. Many are calling for tighter regulation to reduce worker risk, while others feel government intervention is ineffective and costly. Here Kip Viscusi explores how well markets for hazardous jobs actually work. According to classical economics, other things being equal, a worker will demand more pay for a hazardous job than a safe one. However, this assumes that job related hazards are known, when often they are not. Using recent advances in the economics of information, Viscusi develops a theory of individual responses to job hazards under conditions of uncertainty.

His assumptions are that hazards are uncertain events and that learning about them is a process that takes place over time. He then employs this analysis to study the performance of job markets in matching persons and jobs and in compensating persons for exposure to hazards. Finally he tests his adaptive model of the decision to quit and finds substantial evidence that risks are indeed reflected in wage differentials and quit behavior.

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Expectation
A Francesca Fruscella Mystery
Jeffrey DeShell
University of Alabama Press, 2013
On the surface a murder mystery—a detective’s search for the killer of five people in Denver—Expectation is also, among other things, a meditation on the relationship between language and music.

In his newest novel, Jeffrey DeShell draws on the musical innovations of Arnold Schoenberg—by turns traditional, serial, and atonal—to inform his grammar and language. Moving progressively through specific Schoenberg compositions, DeShell complicates the surface of his text into lyrical derivatives, all the while drawing us into a murder mystery like no other as Detective Francisca Fruscella pursues both the killer and her own complicated personal history.

By turns rapturous, rigorous, and gripping, Expectation is a thriller of another kind—and a bold venture to the limits of the mystery genre and language itself.
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Faithful Unto Death
Becky Thacker
University of Michigan Press, 2011

Benzonia, Michigan, 1894: a sleepy Congregationalist community, dedicated to the education of hardworking and virtuous young people of both sexes and all races. Anna Spencer Thacker is the daughter of missionaries, a faithful wife, and mother of five, pious to a fault. She is suddenly stricken with a mysterious ailment that soon proves fatal. Was it truly an unfortunate illness? Or was it murder---or suicide?

Taking a true story of a murder in her own family, Becky Thacker has crafted a historical mystery novel whose cast of characters rapidly builds, including William Henry Thacker as deputy sheriff, deacon in his church, a kind man . . . but perhaps just a trifle too fond of the attractive young housekeeper; and Charlotte Spencer, the pretty missionary sister, almost saintly in her efforts to bring Jesus to the Armenians in the mountains of Turkey, though a bit prone to exaggeration. She could be a suspect---or the next target.

The children are Roy, 19: musical, a good student, but a little too wild for Benzonia; Ralph, 17: trying to shoulder the responsibilities of farm and family; and Lottie, 14: a talented young artist trying to take care of young Will and Josie. Faithful Unto Death provides a window into the daily lives of small-town Michiganders at the turn of the century wrapped up in a riveting whodunit.

Cover image by Hemera/Thinkstock

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Fall Guys
False Confessions and the Politics of Murder
Jim Fisher
Southern Illinois University Press, 1996

Jim Fisher, criminal justice professor and former FBI agent, reveals how he uncovered the framing of two boys in a pair of unrelated murders committed in 1956 and 1958.

In the first of the cases, eleven-year-old Charlie Zubryd confessed that at the age of eight, he had murdered his widowed mother by driving a hatchet into her skull. The crime was committed in the basement of the modest Zubryd home in a rural section of Sewickley Township in western Pennsylvania, an area not far from Pittsburgh. Following intense police questioning, young Zubryd confessed to the crime in March 1959, a full twenty-eight months after the bloody murder of his mother.

Too young to prosecute, Charlie Zubryd was adopted after his confession and a brief stay in a mental ward. A childless couple gave Zubryd a new name and identity. It would be twenty years before Charlie Zubryd—now going by the name Chuck Duffy—would have any contact with his biological family.

When Zubryd/Duffy made an effort to get his real family back, he was rejected because his relatives still believed he had murdered his mother. In fact, until Fisher began to investigate the case in 1989, Chuck Duffy himself was not sure he had not killed his mother during some kind of mental blackout.

The second murder occurred in 1958, two years after the Zubryd case. Thirteen-year-old Jerry Pacek endured forty-one hours of police grilling before he confessed to raping and killing fifty-year-old Lillian Steveck as she walked home one evening from a bus stop in Breckenridge, Pennsylvania. Pacek told the same Allegheny County homicide detective who had framed Charlie Zubryd that he had killed the woman with a variety of blunt objects, none of which were ever found. The thirteen-year-old boy was tried and convicted of the murder the following spring. He was sent to Camp Hill Prison, where he remained incarcerated for ten years.

Fisher’s investigation cleared the names of both the wrongfully accused boys. Because of his investigation, the Zubryd case was reopened, which led to the identification of a vicious killer. In 1991, Fisher’s investigative efforts convinced the governor of Pennsylvania to grant a full pardon to Jerry Pacek, who as a teenager had served ten years in an adult prison for a murder he had not committed.

Jim Fisher and the Zubryd and Pacek stories have been featured on a number of nationally broadcast television programs.

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Fatal Judgment
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2024

Judge Laura Porter fiercely guarded her privacy, and never more so than during her long-running—and long in the past—affair with disgraced quarterback-turned-private investigator Andy Hayes. Now she’s missing, disappeared just hours after she calls Andy out of the blue explaining she’s in trouble and needs his help.

A trail of clues leads Andy to a central Ohio swamp whose future lies in the judge’s hands as she weighs a lawsuit pitting environmentalists against developers. Soon Hayes encounters the case of another missing person, a young man who vanished without a trace in a different swamp two counties away. As he looks for links between the two disappearances, Hayes is led from Columbus to Cleveland, unearthing a history of secrets and betrayals threatening not just the judge but her family as well.

Along the way, Hayes is forced to confront a newly strained relationship with his older son, now a budding football star himself, and revisit his tumultuous days as a Cleveland Browns quarterback and the gridiron failures that haunt him to this day. In partnership with a cop on her own quest for justice, Hayes rushes to find the judge, and the truth, before it’s too late.

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Fatal Words
Communication Clashes and Aircraft Crashes
Steven Cushing
University of Chicago Press, 1994
On March 27, 1977, 583 people died when KLM and Pan Am 747s collided on a crowded, foggy runway in Tenerife, the Canary Islands. The cause, a miscommunication between the pilot and the air traffic controller. The pilot radioed, "We are now at takeoff," meaning that the plane was lifting off, but the tower controller misunderstood and thought the plane was waiting on the runway.

In Fatal Words, Steven Cushing explains how miscommunication has led to dozens of aircraft disasters, and he proposes innovative solutions for preventing them. He examines ambiguities in language when aviation jargon and colloquial English are mixed, when a word is used that has different meanings, and when different words are used that sound alike. To remedy these problems, Cushing proposes a visual communication system and a computerized voice mechanism to help clear up confusing language.

Fatal Words is an accessible explanation of some of the most notorious aircraft tragedies of our time, and it will appeal to scholars in communications, linguistics, and cognitive science, to aviation experts, and to general readers.
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Fetch the Devil
The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America
Clint Richmond
University Press of New England, 2014
In 1938, Hazel Frome, the wife of a powerful executive at Atlas Powder Company, a San Francisco explosives manufacturer, set out on a cross-country motor trip with her twenty-three-year-old daughter, Nancy. When their car broke down in El Paso, Texas, they made the most of being stranded by staying at a posh hotel and crossing the border to Juarez for shopping, dining, and drinking. A week later, their near-nude bodies were found in the Chihuahuan Desert. Though they had been seen on occasion with two mystery men, there were no clues as to why they had apparently been abducted, tortured for days, and shot execution style. El Paso sheriff Chris Fox, a lawman right out of central casting, engaged in a turf war with the Texas Rangers and local officials that hampered the investigation. But the victims’ detours had placed them in the path of a Nazi spy ring operating from the West Coast to Latin America through a deep-cover portal at El Paso. The sleeper cell was run by spymasters at the German consulate in San Francisco. In 1938, only the inner circle of the Roosevelt White House and a few FBI agents were aware of the extent to which German agents had infiltrated American industry. Fetch the Devil is the first narrative account of this still officially unsolved case. Based on long forgotten archives and recently declassified FBI files, Richmond paints a convincing portrait of a sheriff’s dogged investigation into a baffling murder, the international spy ring that orchestrated it, and America on the brink of another world war.
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Finding Amy
A True Story of Murder in Maine
Joseph K. Loughlin and Kate Clark Flora
University Press of New England, 2011
Combining the drama of a true crime story with the detail of a police procedural, Finding Amy chronicles the investigation into one of the most shocking murders in recent Maine history. Twenty-five-year-old Amy St. Laurent was attractive, intelligent, and responsible. One October evening, she went out to show a friend from Florida the exciting nightlife of Portland’s Old Port section. She played pool. She danced. And then she disappeared. The police investigation into her murder riveted the state of Maine for months. This inside account of the investigation alternates between Kate Clark Flora’s objective tale of dedicated police work and the dramatic recollections of then-Lieutenant Joseph K. Loughlin, who oversaw the case. From the first call to a Portland detective about a missing woman to the police’s growing certainty that she had been murdered, from the heroic efforts to locate the body to the flight from Maine of their chief suspect, and from the painstaking work of collecting evidence and building a case to the struggles over jurisdictional questions to the twists and turns of the eventual trial, Finding Amy is a dramatic story of brutal murder and exemplary police work.
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Forensic Media
Reconstructing Accidents in Accelerated Modernity
Greg Siegel
Duke University Press, 2014
In Forensic Media, Greg Siegel considers how photographic, electronic, and digital media have been used to record and reconstruct accidents, particularly high-speed crashes and catastrophes. Focusing in turn on the birth of the field of forensic engineering, Charles Babbage's invention of a "self-registering apparatus" for railroad trains, flight-data and cockpit voice recorders ("black boxes"), the science of automobile crash-testing, and various accident-reconstruction techniques and technologies, Siegel shows how "forensic media" work to transmute disruptive chance occurrences into reassuring narratives of causal succession. Through historical and philosophical analyses, he demonstrates that forensic media are as much technologies of cultural imagination as they are instruments of scientific inscription, as imbued with ideological fantasies as they are compelled by institutional rationales. By rethinking the historical links and cultural relays between accidents and forensics, Siegel sheds new light on the corresponding connections between media, technology, and modernity.
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A Head in Cambodia
A Jenna Murphy Mystery
Nancy Tingley
Ohio University Press, 2017

When the alluring, eleventh-century Cambodian stone head of Radha, consort to Krishna, shows up at the Searles Museum, young curator Jenna Murphy doesn’t suspect that it will lead her to a murder. Asian art is her bailiwick, not criminal investigation, and her immediate concern is simply figuring out whether the head is one famously stolen from its body, or a fake.

When a second decapitation happens—this time of an art collector, not a statue—Jenna finds herself drawn into a different kind of mystery, and the stakes are life or death. It turns out that the same talents for research and for unraveling puzzles—the bread and butter of an art historian—have perfectly equipped her to solve crimes. She’s certain the sculpture provides clues to help her solve the case, which takes her to Thailand and Cambodia. But the collectors, dealers, and con artists of the Bangkok art world only compound her questions.

A Head in Cambodia is the fiction debut of noted Asian art expert Nancy Tingley. Readers will delight in the rarified world of collecting, as well as getting to know Jenna, an intrepid and shrewd observer who will easily find her place among V.I. Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone, and other great female sleuths.

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The Hunt
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2017

As a serial killer stalks prostitutes in Columbus, Ohio, a distraught brother asks private investigator Andy Hayes to find his sister before it’s too late. In a deadly race against time, Andy soon learns he’s not the only person hunting Jessica Byrnes, but he may be the only one who wants her alive. Byrnes hasn’t been seen in weeks following a downward slide that started as a runaway teenager and may have ended permanently on the streets.

Assisting Andy is ex-prostitute Theresa Sullivan. She now works at St. Andrew’s, the mission church run by Andy’s pal the Reverend Roy Roberts, who is less than keen on Theresa reliving the memories that nearly killed her. A local congresswoman making headlines with her work against human trafficking puts pressure on Andy to solve the case, while the police don’t want him near their exhaustive search for the murderer. At the same time, Andy’s hunt for Jessica exposes the buying and selling of trafficked women across the region. Looming over Andy’s increasingly desperate search is the shadow of his most dangerous adversary yet.

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Innocent Until Interrogated
The True Story of the Buddhist Temple Massacre and the Tucson Four
By Gary L. Stuart
University of Arizona Press, 2010
On a sweltering August morning, a woman walked into a Buddhist temple near Phoenix and discovered the most horrific crime in Arizona history. Nine Buddhist temple members—six of them monks committed to lives of non-violence—lay dead in a pool of blood, shot execution style. The massive manhunt that followed turned up no leads until a tip from a psychiatric patient led to the arrest of five suspects. Each initially denied their involvement in the crime, yet one by one, under intense interrogation, they confessed.

Soon after, all five men recanted, saying their confessions had been coerced. One was freed after providing an alibi, but the remaining suspects—dubbed “The Tucson Four” by the media—remained in custody even though no physical evidence linked them to the crime.

Seven weeks later, investigators discovered—almost by chance—physical evidence that implicated two entirely new suspects. The Tucson Four were finally freed on November 22 after two teenage boys confessed to the crime, yet troubling questions remained. Why were confessions forced out of innocent suspects? Why and how did legal authorities build a case without evidence? And, ultimately, how did so much go so wrong?

In this first book-length treatment of the Buddhist Temple Massacre, Gary L. Stuart explores the unspeakable crime, the inexplicable confessions, and the troubling behavior of police officials. Stuart’s impeccable research for the book included a review of the complete legal records of the case, an examination of all the physical evidence, a survey of three years of print and broadcast news, and more than fifty personal interviews related to the case. Like In Cold Blood, and The Executioner’s Song, Innocent Until Interrogated is a riveting read that provides not only a striking account of the crime and the investigation but also a disturbing look at the American justice system at its very worst.
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An Investigation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Specimens of Mescalbeans (Sophora secundiflora) in American Museums
William L. Merrill
University of Michigan Press, 1977
Mescal beans were important for many North American tribes in Mexico and the southwestern U.S. Tribes used the beans primarily as decorations (seed beads) for clothing; some tribes consumed the beans for their psychotropic properties as part of ceremonies.In this volume, the author examines the distribution of mescal bean use and compiles a description of archaeological and ethnographic specimens from dozens of tribes. Illustrated.
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The Kidnapping and Murder of Little Skeegie Cash
J. Edgar Hoover and Florida's Lindbergh Case
Robert Alvin Waters
University of Alabama Press, 2014
Informed by thousands of pages of newly released FBI files, The Kidnapping and Murder of Little Skeegie Cash tells the gripping story of the only crime investigated by J. Edgar Hoover himself, the sensational 1938 murder of a five-year-old boy from the Florida Everglades.

In his long and storied career, J. Edgar Hoover investigated only one case personally, the 1938 kidnapping and murder of five-year-old Floridian James “Skeegie” Cash. What prompted the director himself to fly from Washington, DC, to a rain-drenched hamlet on the edge of the Everglades? Congress had slashed FBI funding, forcing Hoover to lay off half his agents. The combative Hoover believed if he could bring Skeegie’s killer to justice, the halo of positive publicity would revive the fortunes of the embattled FBI.

In The Kidnapping and Murder of Little Skeegie Cash, Robert A. Waters and Zack C. Waters bring to life the drama of the abduction, the payment of a $10,000 ransom, the heartbreaking manhunt for Skeegie and his kidnapper, the arrest and confession of Franklin Pierce McCall, and the killer’s trial and execution. Hordes of reporters swarmed into the little village south of Miami, and for thirteen days until McCall confessed, the case dominated national headlines. The authors capture the drama and the detail as well as the desperate and sometimes extralegal lengths to which Hoover went to crack the case.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, the authors obtained more than four thousand pages of FBI files and court documents to reconstruct this important but forgotten case. The tragedy that played out in the swamps of Dade County constituted the backdrop for a political struggle that would involve J. Edgar Hoover, the United States Congress, and even president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Hoover and the president prevailed, and within two years the FBI grew from 680 employees to more than 14,000. No books and few articles have been published about this historic case.
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The Literary Work of Art
An Investigation of the Borderlines of Ontology, Logic, and Theory of Language
Roman Ingarden
Northwestern University Press, 1973
This long-awaited translation of Das literarische Kunstwerk makes available for the first time in English Roman Ingarden's influential study. Though it is inter-disciplinary in scope, situated as it is on the borderlines of ontology and logic, philosophy of literature and theory of language, Ingarden's work has a deliberately narrow focus: the literary work, its structure and mode of existence.

The Literary Word of Art establishes the groundwork for a philosophy of literature, i.e., an ontology in terms of which the basic general structure of all lliterary works can be determined. This "essential anatomy" makes basic tools and concepts available for rigorous and subtle aesthetic analysis.
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Man with the Killer Smile
The Life and Crimes of a Serial Mass Murderer
Mitchel P. Roth
University of North Texas Press, 2022

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Murder in Hollywood
Solving a Silent Screen Mystery
Charles Higham
University of Wisconsin Press, 2004
    For more than eighty years, the famous unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, the legendary bisexual film director, has generated debate and controversy.  Now, best-selling author Charles Higham has solved the crime.  Higham uncovers the corruption and intrigue of Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties—and the film industry moguls’ complete domination of the city’s authorities.
    When it was discovered that a famous star of the day had probably killed Taylor, a massive cover-up began—from the removal of crucial evidence to the naming of innocent people as killers—which has continued until now to protect the truth.  Murder in Hollywood goes beyond the killing to unearth unknown details about the life of Taylor before his arrival in Hollywood, as well as the stories and histories buried by the crooked authorities and criminals involved the case. The author’s exclusive interviews with the culpable star, his unique possession of long-vanished police records, and the support of the present-day Los Angeles county coroner—who examined the evidence as if the murder had taken place now—have ensured a hair-raising thriller.
    Charles Higham successfully presents the most plausible and convincing solution yet to the mystery.  In the process he paints a vivid portrait of Hollywood in the 1920s—from its major stars to its bisexual subculture. The result is a compelling answer to a long-standing mystery and a fascinating study of a place, and an industry that, as today, let people reinvent themselves. Murder in Hollywood is more extraordinary than any crime of fiction and more exciting than any action adventure movie.
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Murder on the White Sands
The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain
Corey Recko
University of North Texas Press, 2007

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My Grandfather's Prison
A Story of Death and Deceit in 1940s Kansas City
Richard A. Serrano
University of Missouri Press, 2009
James Patrick Lyons abandoned his family for a life on Kansas City’s skid row. A town drunk, he was arrested eighty times for public intoxication. On the night of his last arrest, he was taken to the city jail and held in solitary confinement. The next morning he was dead. Officials said it was natural causes—yet they could not explain his broken neck.
            When Richard Serrano learned of the grandfather he had never known, the longtime journalist embarked upon a search that led him deep into the city’s wide-open and ignoble past. He stumbled upon his maternal grandfather’s death certificate from 1948 and discovered that the evidence pointed to murder in that basement cell. That revelation triggered a blizzard of questions for Serrano and provided the impetus for this engrossing story.
Part memoir, part historical mystery, My Grandfather’s Prison takes readers back to a crossroads year for Kansas City. The Great Depression and World War II were over, yet vestiges still lingered from the corrupt Pendergast political machine. The city jail itself was a throwback to the old lockups and rock piles of popular fiction, while the sheriff’s office was dishonest and inept—and tried to cover up the death.
Much has been written about Tom Pendergast and the iron hand with which he ruled Kansas City until his fall. Serrano’s personal journey into that time takes the story further into those crucial years when the city tried to shake off the yoke of machine politics and political corruption and step into a new era of reform.
In his quest to uncover the details of his grandfather’s life, Serrano re-creates the flavor of mid-twentieth-century Kansas City. He shows us real-life characters who broaden our understanding of the city’s history: sheriffs and deputies, political bosses and coroners. And he also discovers a city filled with lost souls like James Lyons: the denizens of Kansas City’s skid row, a neglected area near the river bottom that once housed the city’s gilded community but now was home to derelicts and drunks.
As Serrano gradually comes to terms with the darker side of his family history, he traces a parallel reconciliation of the city with its own sordid past. James Lyons died just as the old ways of the city were dying, and this spellbinding account shows how one town in one time struggled with its past to find a brighter future.
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Operation Fly Trap
L. A. Gangs, Drugs, and the Law
Susan A. Phillips
University of Chicago Press, 2012

In 2003, an FBI-led task force known as Operation Fly Trap attempted to dismantle a significant drug network in two Bloods-controlled, African American neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The operation would soon be considered an enormous success, noted for the precision with which the task force targeted and removed gang members otherwise entrenched in larger communities. In Operation Fly Trap, Susan A. Phillips questions both the success of this operation and the methods used to conduct it. Based on in-depth ethnographic research with Fly Trap participants, Phillips’s work brings together police narratives, crime statistics, gang cultural histories, and extensive public policy analysis to examine the relationship between state persecution and the genesis of violent social systems. 

Crucial to Phillips’s contribution is the presentation of the voices and perspectives of both the people living in impoverished communities and the agents that police them. Phillips positions law enforcement surveillance and suppression as a critical point of contact between citizen and state. She tracks the bureaucratic workings of police and FBI agencies and the language, ideologies, and methods that prevail within them, and shows how gangs have adapted, seeking out new locations, learning to operate without hierarchies, and moving their activities more deeply underground. Additionally, she shows how the targeted efforts of task forces such as Fly Trap wreak sweeping, sustained damage on family members and the community at large. Balancing her roles as even-handed reporter and public scholar, Phillips presents multiple flaws within the US criminal justice system and builds a powerful argument that many law enforcement policies in fact nurture, rather than prevent, violence in American society. 

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The Pledge
Friedrich Dürrenmatt
University of Chicago Press, 2000
Set in a small town in Switzerland, The Pledge centers around the murder of a young girl and the detective who promises the victim’s mother he will find the perpetrator. After deciding the wrong man has been arrested for the crime, the detective lays a trap for the real killer—with all the patience of a master fisherman. But cruel turns of plot conspire to make him pay dearly for his pledge. Here Friedrich Dürrenmatt conveys his brilliant ear for dialogue and a devastating sense of timing and suspense. Joel Agee’s skilled translation effectively captures the various voices in the original, as well as its chilling conclusion.

One of Dürrenmatt’s most diabolically imagined and constructed novels, The Pledge was adapted for the screen in 2000 in a film directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson.

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The Post-Conflict Environment
Investigation and Critique
Daniel Bertrand Monk and Jacob Mundy, editors
University of Michigan Press, 2014
In case studies focusing on contemporary crises spanning Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, the scholars in this volume examine the dominant prescriptive practices of late neoliberal post-conflict interventions—such as statebuilding, peacebuilding, transitional justice, refugee management, reconstruction, and redevelopment—and contend that the post-conflict environment is in fact created and sustained by this international technocratic paradigm of peacebuilding. Key international stakeholders—from activists to politicians, humanitarian agencies to financial institutions—characterize disparate sites as “weak,” “fragile,” or “failed” states and, as a result, prescribe peacebuilding techniques that paradoxically disable effective management of post-conflict spaces while perpetuating neoliberal political and economic conditions. Treating all efforts to represent post-conflict environments as problematic, the goal becomes understanding the underlying connection between post-conflict conditions and the actions and interventions of peacebuilding technocracies.
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Psychic Investigators
Anthropology, Modern Spiritualism, and Credible Witnessing in the Late Victorian Age
Efram Sera-Schriar
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022

Psychic Investigators examines British anthropology’s engagement with the modern spiritualist movement during the late Victorian era. Efram Sera-Shriar argues that debates over the existence of ghosts and psychical powers were at the center of anthropological discussions on human beliefs. He focuses on the importance of establishing credible witnesses of spirit and psychic phenomena in the writings of anthropologists such as Alfred Russel Wallace, Edward Burnett Tylor, Andrew Lang, and Edward Clodd. The book draws on major themes, such as the historical relationship between science and religion, the history of scientific observation, and the emergence of the subfield of anthropology of religion in the second half of the nineteenth century. For secularists such as Tylor and Clodd, spiritualism posed a major obstacle in establishing the legitimacy of the theory of animism: a core theoretical principle of anthropology founded in the belief of “primitive cultures” that spirits animated the world, and that this belief represented the foundation of all religious paradigms. What becomes clear through this nuanced examination of Victorian anthropology is that arguments involving spirits or psychic forces usually revolved around issues of evidence, or lack of it, rather than faith or beliefs or disbeliefs.

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The Reed Smoot Hearings
The Investigation of a Mormon Senator and the Transformation of an American Religion
Michael Harold Paulos
Utah State University Press, 2022
This book examines the hearings that followed Mormon apostle Reed Smoot’s 1903 election to the US Senate and the subsequent protests and petitioning efforts from mainstream Christian ministries disputing Smoot’s right to serve as a senator. Exploring how religious and political institutions adapted and shapeshifted in response to larger societal and ecclesiastical trends, The Reed Smoot Hearings offers a broader exploration of secularism during the Progressive Era and puts the Smoot hearings in context with the ongoing debate about the constitutional definition of marriage.
 
The work adds new insights into the role religion and the secular played in the shaping of US political institutions and national policies. Chapters also look at the history of anti-polygamy laws, the persistence of post-1890 plural marriage, the continuation of anti-Mormon sentiment, the intimacies and challenges of religious privatization, the dynamic of federal power on religious reform, and the more intimate role individuals played in effecting these institutional and national developments.
 
The Smoot hearings stand as an important case study that highlights the paradoxical history of religious liberty in America and the principles of exclusion and coercion that history is predicated on. Framed within a liberal Protestant sensibility, these principles of secular progress mapped out the relationship of religion and the nation-state for the new modern century. The Reed Smoot Hearings will be of significant interest to students and scholars of Mormon, western, American, and religious history.
 
Publication supported, in part, by Gonzaba Medical Group.
 
Contributors: Gary James Bergera, John Brumbaugh, Kenneth L. Cannon II, Byron W. Daynes, Kathryn M. Daynes, Kathryn Smoot Egan, D. Michael Quinn
 
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Sinking Suspicions
Sara Sue Hoklotubbe
University of Arizona Press, 2014
Suspicions run high when murder mixes with identity theft in the latest installment of the popular Sadie Walela mystery series set in Cherokee Country. No sooner does Sadie embark on an unexpected business trip to the beautiful island of Maui, when her long-time neighbor, Buck Skinner, a full-blood Cherokee and World War II veteran, goes missing and becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a petty identity thief.

Iconic lawman Lance Smith joins a community-wide search, but Buck is nowhere to be found. As evidence mounts against her old friend, Sadie rushes to return home to help—only to be delayed by an island-wide earthquake and her own sinking suspicions.

A diverse cast of characters weave together a breathless story of murder, thievery, and the toll of war on the human spirit. In her effort to restore balance to her neighbor’s life, Sadie not only uncovers the truth, but unravels much more than a murder.
 
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Sins against Nature
Sex and Archives in Colonial New Spain
Zeb Tortorici
Duke University Press, 2018
In Sins against Nature Zeb Tortorici explores the prosecution of sex acts in colonial New Spain (present-day Mexico, Guatemala, the US Southwest, and the Philippines) to examine the multiple ways bodies and desires come to be textually recorded and archived. Drawing on the records from over three hundred criminal and Inquisition cases between 1530 and 1821, Tortorici shows how the secular and ecclesiastical courts deployed the term contra natura—against nature—to try those accused of sodomy, bestiality, masturbation, erotic religious visions, priestly solicitation of sex during confession, and other forms of "unnatural" sex. Archival traces of the visceral reactions of witnesses, the accused, colonial authorities, notaries, translators, and others in these records demonstrate the primacy of affect and its importance to the Spanish documentation and regulation of these sins against nature. In foregrounding the logic that dictated which crimes were recorded and how they are mediated through the colonial archive, Tortorici recasts Iberian Atlantic history through the prism of the unnatural while showing how archives destabilize the bodies, desires, and social categories on which the history of sexuality is based.
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They Don't Want Her There
Fighting Sexual and Racial Harassment in the American University
Carolyn Chalmers
University of Iowa Press, 2022
Before the nation learned about workplace sexual harassment from Anita Hill, and decades before the #MeToo movement, Chinese American professor Jean Jew M.D. brought a lawsuit against the University of Iowa, alleging a sexually hostile work environment within the university’s College of Medicine.

As Jew gained accolades and advanced through the ranks at Iowa, she was met with increasingly vicious attacks on her character by her white male colleagues—implying that her sexuality had opened doors for her. After years of being subjected to demoralizing sexual, racial, and ethnic discrimination, finding herself without any higher-up departmental support, and noting her professional progression beginning to suffer by the hands of hate, Jean Jew decided to fight back. Carolyn Chalmers was her lawyer.

This book tells the inside story of pioneering litigation unfolding during the eight years of a university investigation, a watershed federal trial, and a state court jury trial. In the face of a university determined to defeat them and maintain the status quo, Jew and Chalmers forged an exceptional relationship between a lawyer and a client, each at the top of their game and part of the first generation of women in their fields. They Don’t Want Her There is a brilliant, original work of legal history that is deeply personal and shows today’s professional women just how recently some of our rights have been won—and at what cost.
 
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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Mary Ingouville Burton
Ohio University Press, 2017

In 1995, South Africa’s new government set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a lynchpin of the country’s journey forward from apartheid. In contrast to the Nuremberg Trials and other retributive responses to atrocities, the TRC’s emphasis on reconciliation marked a restorative approach to addressing human rights violations and their legacies. The hearings, headed by Bishop Desmond Tutu, began in spring of 1996.

The commission was set up with three purposes: to investigate abuses, to assist victims with rehabilitation, and to consider perpetrators’ requests for amnesty. More than two decades after the first hearings, the TRC’s legacy remains mixed. Many families still do not know what became of their loved ones, and the commission came under legal challenges both from ex-president F. W. de Klerk and the African National Congress. Yet, the TRC fulfilled a vital role in the transition from apartheid to democracy, and has become a model for other countries.

This latest addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series is a trenchant look at the TRC’s entire, stunningly ambitious project. And as a longtime activist for justice in South Africa and a former commissioner of the TRC, Mary Ingouville Burton is uniquely positioned to write this complex story.

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Virtual Pedophilia
Sex Offender Profiling and U.S. Security Culture
Gillian Harkins
Duke University Press, 2020
In Virtual Pedophilia Gillian Harkins traces how by the end of the twentieth century the pedophile as a social outcast evolved into its contemporary appearance as a virtually normal white male. The pedophile's alleged racial and gender normativity was treated as an exception to dominant racialized modes of criminal or diagnostic profiling. The pedophile was instead profiled as a virtual figure, a potential threat made visible only when information was transformed into predictive image. The virtual pedophile was everywhere and nowhere, slipping through day-to-day life undetected until people learned how to arm themselves with the right combination of visually predictive information. Drawing on television, movies, and documentaries such as Law and Order: SVU, To Catch a Predator, Mystic River, and Capturing the Friedmans, Harkins shows how diverse U.S. audiences have been conscripted and trained to be lay detectives who should always be on the lookout for the pedophile as virtual predator. In this way, the perceived threat of the pedophile legitimated increased surveillance and ramped-up legal strictures that expanded the security apparatus of the carceral state.
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When Good Men Do Nothing
The Assassination Of Albert Patterson
Alan Grady
University of Alabama Press, 2005

2004 Clinton Jackson Coley Award, sponsored by Alabama Historical Association

On June 18, 1954, former state senator Albert Patterson, the Democratic Party's nominee for state attorney general, was shot to death as he left his law office in Phenix City, Alabama, infamous for its prostitution, gambling, bootlegging, and political corruption. Patterson had made cleanup of Phenix City his primary campaign promise. With millions of dollars in illegal income and hundreds of political and professional careers at stake, the question surrounding Patterson's murder was not why the trigger was pulled, but who pulled it.

When Good Men Do Nothing is the definitive study of the Albert Patterson murder case. Alan Grady has mined the state's original murder case files; the papers of John Patterson, Albert's son; records from the Office of Alabama Attorney General (who directed the murder investigation); the case files of the Alabama Department of Toxicology and Criminal Investigation; National Guard reports; and more than 30 interviews with eyewitnesses and interested parties.

Grady takes a complex story of multiple dimensions—a large cast of judicial, criminal, and political players; a web of alliances and allegiances; and a knotted sequence of investigative revelations and dead ends—and transforms it into a readable, incisive analysis of the powers and loyalties that governed, and corrupted to the core, the body politic of the state. Readers will be enthralled and educated by this authoritative account of the most compelling crime drama in Alabama during the 20th century.
 


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Wicked Takes the Witness Stand
A Tale of Murder and Twisted Deceit in Northern Michigan
Mardi Link
University of Michigan Press, 2015
On a bitterly cold afternoon in December 1986, a Michigan State trooper found the frozen body of Jerry Tobias in the bed of his pickup truck. The 31-year-old oil field worker and small-time drug dealer was curled up on his side on the truck’s bare metal, pressed against the tailgate, clad only in jeans, a checkered shirt, and cowboy boots. Inside the cab of the truck was a fresh package of expensive steaks from a local butcher shop—the first lead in a case that would be quickly lost in a thicket of bungled forensics, shady prosecution, and a psychopathic star witness out for revenge.

Award-winning author Mardi Link’s third book of Michigan true crime, Wicked Takes the Witness Stand, unravels this mysterious and still unsolved case that sucked state police and local officials into a morass of perjury and cover-up and ultimately led to the separate conviction and imprisonment of five innocent men. This unbelievable story will leave the reader shocked and aching for justice.
 
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