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A Beautiful Child

by Matt Birkbeck

Sharon Marshall was a brilliant and beautiful student whose future was filled with promise. But her murderous, fugitive father had drawn her into a lifetime of deception that became one of the most baffling cases in the annals of American crime.

A Deadly Secret

by Matt Birkbeck

The recent arrest in New Orleans and the HBO documentary The Jinx have put Robert Durst back in the headlines. Here, from the first reporter to access Durst's NYPD files, is the authoritative account of a decades-long criminal odyssey--the very book found in Durst's own apartment when it was searched by police. When medical student Kathie Durst vanished in 1982, she was married to Robert Durst, son of a New York real estate magnate. Kathie's friends had reason to implicate her husband. They told police that Kathie lived in terror of Robert, and that she had uncovered incriminating financial evidence about him. But Durst's secrets went even deeper. For decades, Kathie's disappearance remained a mystery. Then in 2001, Durst, an heir to an empire valued at two billion dollars, was arrested for shoplifting in Pennsylvania. When the police brought him in, they discovered that he was a suspect in the murder of Texas drifter Morris Black, whose dismembered remains were found floating in Galveston Bay, and that Durst was also wanted for questioning in the killing of his friend, Susan Burman, in Los Angeles. Based on interviews with family, friends, and acquaintances of Durst, law enforcement, and others involved in the case, A Deadly Secret is a cross-country odyssey of stolen IDs and multiple identities that raises baffling questions about one of the country's most prominent families--and one of its most elusive suspected killers. Includes additional material not in the original Berkley edition and eight pages of photographs

Deconstructing Sammy

by Matt Birkbeck

Sammy Davis Jr. lived a storied life. Adored by millions over a six-decade-long career, he was considered an entertainment icon and a national treasure. But despite lifetime earnings that topped $50 million, Sammy died in 1990 near bankruptcy. His estate was declared insolvent, and there was no possibility of it ever using Sammy's name or likeness again. It was as if Sammy had never existed. Years later his wife, Altovise, a once-vivacious woman and heir to one of the greatest entertainment legacies of the twentieth century, was living in poverty, and with nowhere else to go, she turned to a former federal prosecutor, Albert "Sonny" Murray, to make one last attempt to resolve Sammy's debts, restore his estate, and revive his legacy. For seven years Sonny probed Sammy's life to understand how someone of great notoriety and wealth could have lost everything, and in the process he came to understand Sammy as a man whose complexity makes for a riveting work of celebrity biography as cultural history. Matt Birkbeck's serious work of investigative journalism unveils the extraordinary story of an international celebrity at the center of a confluence of entertainment, politics, and organized crime, and shows how even Sammy's outsized talent couldn't save him from himself.

The Quiet Don

by Matt Birkbeck

To what extent was Rosario "Russell" Bufalino involved in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa in 1975? In the CIA's recruitment of gangsters to assassinate Fidel Castro? In organizing the historic meeting of crime chieftains in 1957? Even in the production of The Godfather movie? Secretive--even reclusive--Russell Bufalino quietly built his organized crime empire in the decades between Prohibition and the Carter presidency. His reach extended far beyond the coal country of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and quaint Amish farms near Lancaster. Bufalino had a hand in global, national, and local politics of the largest American cities, many of its major industries, and controlled the powerful Teamsters Union. His influence also reached the highest levels of Pennsylvania government and halls of Congress, and his legacy left a culture of corruption that continues to this day. A uniquely American saga that spans six decades, The Quiet Don follows Russell Bufalino's remarkably quiet ascent from Sicilian immigrant to mob soldier to a man described by a United States Senate subcommittee in 1964 as "one of the most ruthless and powerful leaders of the Mafia in the United States." INCLUDES PHOTOS

'Till Death Do Us Part

by Matt Birkbeck Robi Ludwig

Every day six people in the United States are murdered by spouses or intimate partners. The stories of killer spouses tend to captivate us, as they beg the question of how so many seemingly normal and happy people manage to go over the edge. Indeed, every relationship presents "extreme moments" where scary feelings surface, yet what happens when those feelings turn to action? In Till Death Do Us Part, noted psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig, along with journalist Matt Birkbeck, presents the psychological profiles of notorious killer spouses -- from Scott Peterson and Clara Harris to Rabbi Fred Neulander and Betty Broderick. Ludwig reveals ten killer personality types. These ten personality types are defined in detail and illustrated with examples from high-profile cases along with in-depth analyses of the motivations behind the murders. The ten types range from the Betrayal/Abandonment Killer (who loses control and kills from a broken heart) to the Control Killer (who micromanages every aspect of the spouse's life) and the Black Widow/Profit Killer (who kills for money). With gripping stories and probing insight, authors Ludwig and Birkbeck examine the concept of peaceful versus violent resolution and why certain spouses believe murder is the best and only response. In an age when spousal murder is headline news, Till Death Do Us Part explores a phenomenon that many spouses can't help but think about at some point in their relationships -- which sheds light on the very notion of "happily ever after."

Showing 1 through 5 of 5 results

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