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Notes from the Labyrinth
Unobtainium and Dragons' Bones
Recent Entries 
6th-Jan-2017 03:54 pm - UBC: Rule, Worth More Dead
Sidneyia inexpectans
Worth More Dead and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #10)Worth More Dead and Other True Cases by Ann Rule

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


6th-Jan-2017 02:53 pm - UBC: Rule, Without Pity
Sidneyia inexpectans
Without Pity: Ann Rule"s Most Dangerous KillersWithout Pity: Ann Rule's Most Dangerous Killers by Ann Rule

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book is mostly reprints from Ann Rule's Crime Files vols. 1-8, but it includes three new cases, and several of the reprints have updates.

The reprints are:

The new cases are:
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5th-Jan-2017 12:48 pm - UBC: Rule, Kiss Me, Kill Me
Sidneyia inexpectans
Kiss Me, Kill Me and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #9)Kiss Me, Kill Me and Other True Cases by Ann Rule

My rating: 5 of 5 stars






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31st-Dec-2016 05:59 pm(no subject)
Sidneyia inexpectans
Empty Promises and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #7)Empty Promises and Other True Cases by Ann Rule

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


  • "Empty Promises": Bellevue WA 1990: murder of Jami Hagel Sherer by her abusive stalker husband Steve
  • "Bitter Lake": murder of woman and her toddler son by her stalker ex-boyfriend
  • "Young Love": teenage boy threatens ex-girlfriend with bomb, but blows himself up
  • "Love and Insurance": gay man murdered by his roommate (lover? close friend?) for a $500,000 insurance policy
  • "The Gentler Sex": woman and her girlfriend murder her husband for the insurance money; another woman attempts to hire a hit man to murder her husband before he can divorce her (Murder Is Cheaper Than Divorce--she didn't care that he was divorcing her; she didn't want to have to divide her assets).
  • "The Conjugal Visit": the terrible history of Carl Cletus Bowles
  • "Killers on the Road": the equally terrible history of Thomas Braun and Leonard Maine, who in 1967 murdered three people and nearly murdered a fourth--all complete strangers--simply because they could
  • "A Dangerous Mind": A man strangled his seven-year-old niece; investigators discovered a long history of his getting away with, or getting only very lightly punished for, sexually-motivated violence against children; his family (including the little girl's parents) continued to defend him. He committed suicide after his sentencing hearing.
  • "To Kill and Kill Again": Gary Gene Grant murdered two teenage girls and two six-year-old boys (the girls were separate crimes, the boys were together) for no motivation that even he could understand.
  • "The Stockholm Syndrome": Subject of a 1983 made-for-TV movie called The Awakening of Candra, Ann Rule's only novel, Possession, and (I think?) an episode of Forensic Files (I know I've seen the story re-enacted, so it was either Forensic Files or The New Detectives): Thomas Leslie Brown encountered a young couple fishing in the Oregon woods; having shot the young woman's husband and her dog, he spent three days dragging her through the mountains, raping her when he felt like it, and brainwashed her into believing that she had witnessed her husband's accidental death. It took her months to get reality sorted out again.




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26th-Dec-2016 02:32 pm - UBC: Fletcher, What Cops Know
Sidneyia inexpectans
What Cops KnowWhat Cops Know by Connie Fletcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is an oral history of cops--specifically Chicago cops. As with Fletcher's Every Contact Leaves a Trace, what makes this book fascinating is the voices of the cops she interviews, how they talk about what they've experienced.



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Sidneyia inexpectans
Every Contact Leaves a TraceEvery Contact Leaves a Trace by Connie Fletcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I really liked this book, but I don't have much to say about it. It's an oral history of forensics, and I especially loved the feel it gives you for the voices of the people who do this work and the language they use (which varies widely, as one would expect) in talking about what they do.



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24th-Dec-2016 07:21 am - UBC: Rule, A Fever in the Heart
Sidneyia inexpectans
A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #3)A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases by Ann Rule

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


  • "A Fever in the Heart": Yakima WA 1975: the murder of Morris Blankenbaker & the highly ambiguous death of Talmadge Glynn "Gabby" Moore
  • "The Highway Accident": Salem OR 1976: man tries to make his wife's death look like a car accident, not knowing the police have already found the murder scene
  • "Murder Without a Body": Rainier OR 1976: Vicki Brown's body was never found, but the cops found a sufficient corpus delicti to prosecute and convict her murderer.
  • "I'll Love You Forever": Auburn WA 1974: woman falls prey to sociopath; her daughters brought a successful civil suit against him before the cops could put together a criminal case--but after he managed to squander most of the wealthy victim's estate. He died in prison and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
  • "Black Leather": Roy WA 1979: a sadistic sexual psychopath's last victim manages to turn the tables on him
  • "Mirror Images": the horrific lives of Carl Harp (rapist and sniper) and James Ruzicka (rapist/murderer), who met in prison, became friends--insofar as either of them was capable of it--and shared a pseudonym, "Troy Asin." Harp died in prison (most likely suicide, but there's an outside chance he had help) and Ruzicka is serving consecutive life terms.

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