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You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. The WBC is fervently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti- practically everything and everyone. And they aren't going anywhere: in March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the WBC's right to picket funerals. <P> Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later. BANISHED is the first look inside the organization, as well as a fascinating story of adaptation and perseverance. <P> Lauren spent her early years enjoying a normal life with her family in Florida. But when her formerly liberal and secular father set out to produce a documentary about the WBC, his detached interest gradually evolved into fascination, and he moved the entire family to Kansas to join the church and live on their compound. Over the next seven years, Lauren fully assimilated their extreme beliefs, and became a member of the church and an active and vocal picketer. But as she matured and began to challenge some of the church's tenets, she was unceremoniously cast out from the church and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved. BANISHED is the story of Lauren's fight to find herself amidst dramatic changes in a world of extremists and a life in exile.
Jenna Miscavige Hill was born into the Church of Scientology and grew up strictly adhering to its beliefs and practices. But aged twenty-two she made a daring break. Now, for the first time, this insider pierces the veil of secrecy that has shrouded Scientology - a religion that has been the subject of fierce debate and speculation worldwide. Beyond Belief is a definitive look at the beliefs and rituals of the religion, using the author's unique relationship to the Church's first-in-command - David Miscavige - as an unprecedented window into the religion, its draw, its practices, its leadership, its followers and its secrets. From her disturbing childhood to the organisation's celebrity culture, Jenna shares true stories that are beyond the wildest imagination.
Vivir bajo una identidad ficticia y arriesgar su vida eran parte del trabajo diario de HipÓlito Acosta, agente del gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Trabajaba regularmente en operaciones clandestinas de gran importancia, infiltrando las bandas criminales de contrabando de inmigrantes y los carteles del narcotrÁfico mexicano. Las investigaciones de Acosta son legendarias tanto entre las autoridades como entre los miembros de los carteles criminales que contribuyÓ a neutralizar. Acosta se hizo cruzar ilegalmente de MÉxico a Chicago en un camiÓn lleno de inmigrantes pobres; se ganÓ la confianza de una banda internacional de falsificadores; se mezclÓ con algunos de los narcotraficantes mÁs sanguinarios de MÉxico; y fue el objetivo de numerosos complots de asesinato por parte de los criminales a los que enviÓ a la cÁrcel. El cazador de sombras se lee como una novela policÍaca. Este libro, mÁs que un viaje por los bajos fondos de la frontera entre MÉxico y los Estados Unidos, es una conmovedora revelaciÓn de lo que tiene que sobrellevar un agente para garantizar que la ley se aplique y para mostrar el lado humano de la inmigraciÓn.
Despite the fact that Juarez is a Mexican border city just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, most Americans are unaware that for more than twelve years this city has been the center of an epidemic of horrific crimes against women and girls, consisting of kidnappings, rape, mutilation, and murder, with most of the victims conforming to a specific profile: young, slender, and poor, fueling the premise that the murders are not random. Indeed, there has been much speculation that the killer or killers are American citizens. While some leading members of the American media have reported on the situation, prompting the U.S. government to send in top criminal profilers from the FBI, little real information about this international atrocity has emerged. According to Amnesty International, as of 2006 more than 400 bodies have been recovered, with hundreds still missing. As for who is behind the murders themselves, the answer remains unknown, although many have argued that the killings have become a sort of blood sport, due to the lawlessness of the city itself. Among the theories being considered are illegal trafficking in human organs, ritualistic satanic sacrifices, copycat killers, and a conspiracy between members of the powerful Juárez drug cartel and some corrupt Mexican officials who have turned a blind eye to the felonies, all the while lining their pockets with money drenched in blood. Despite numerous arrests over the last ten years, the murders continue to occur, with the killers growing bolder, dumping bodies in the city itself rather than on the outskirts of town, as was initially the case, indicating a possible growing and most alarming alliance of silence and cover-up by Mexican politicians. The Daughters of Juárez promises to be the first eye-opening, authoritative nonfiction work of its kind to examine the brutal killings and draw attention to these atrocities on the border. The end result will shock readers and become required reading on the subject for years to come.
Nancy Richards was a young, beautiful speechwriter when she met Jeremy Akers, a decorated war hero and environmental lawyer. Nancy was immediately taken with the daredevil adventurer, and it wasn't long before their intense courtship led to a whirlwind marriage and children. Discovering she had a talent for penning historical romance novels, Nancy found fame as a bestselling author. But Nancy's life was far from the happily-ever-after romances she wrote... Nancy's friends alleged that behind the doors of the couple's home in one of Washington, D.C.'s most exclusive neighborhoods, she suffered repeated abuse at the hands of her husband. They also said that Nancy had told them Jeremy was resentful of her success and growing independence, and his beatings soon escalated into death threats. Torn between being forced to give up her kids and risking her life by remaining with Jeremy, Nancy moved into a one-bedroom basement apartment with a young male friend. After several pleas to visit the children, Nancy was finally allowed to take them on an outing. And just when she dared to hope that the worst was over, Jeremy shot her twice in the back of the head, killing her in front of their two youngest children. He then drove to the Vietnam War Memorial, where he killed himself with a shotgun.
Ciudad Juárez, México, queda en la frontera sur del Río Bravo, frente a El Paso, Texas. Por más de doce años, aquí se ha llevado a cabo un sinnúmero de crímenes atroces contra mujeres y niñas que incluyen secuestros, violaciones, mutilaciones y asesinatos. Según Amnistía Internacional, para 2006, se habían encontrado más de 400 cadáveres, sin contar centenares de desaparecidas. Muchos creen que las muertes se deben a la violencia e impunidad que imperan en la ciudad. Entre las teorías que se proponen están uno o varios asesinos en serie, los sacrificios en rituales satánicos, el poderoso cartel del narcotráfico de Juárez y hasta corruptos funcionarios mexicanos que encubren a los responsables. Las hijas de Juárez promete ser una reveladora obra literaria que revela no sólo la brutalidad tras estos sangrientos hechos, sino las violaciones de los derechos humanos de la mujer en México.
A true story of a teenage prank gone wrong, the woman whose life it nearly took, and what can happen when justice and forgiveness step ahead of the need for vengeance. Holiday season 2004. A snowy night. Two friends driving home from a family event. Teenagers on a joy ride, out for a night of mischief. And an incident that makes front page news in New York and beyond.
Living under an assumed identity and risking his life were all in a day's work for U.S. Government Agent Hipolito Acosta. He worked regularly in high-stakes undercover operations infiltrating Mexico's murderous immigrant smuggling rings and drug cartels. Acosta's investigations are legendary, both inside law enforcement and the crime cartels he helped neutralize. He had himself smuggled from Mexico to Chicago with a truckload of poor immigrants; worked his way into the confidences of a gang of international counterfeiters; socialized with some of Mexico's most vicious drug lords; arrested a female smuggler by luring her across the U.S. border for an amorous rendezvous; and was the target of multiple murder plots by the criminals he put in jail. For three decades, Hipolito Acosta's work routinely made national headlines, and he quickly gained a reputation as a daring crime fighter who used his intelligence and audacity to stay one step ahead of those who would kill him if his cover were ever blown. Acosta's stories read like chapters from a page-turning crime novel, but The Shadow Catcher is more than a front-seat ride through the criminal underworld along the U.S./Mexico border. This heartbreaking exposé goes beyond sensational headlines and medals of honor to divulge what an agent endures in order to ensure that U.S. law is enforced and to reveal the unseen human side of illegal immigration.
In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths that Jeffs went to in order to control the women in it. Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells her incredible and inspirational story of her time in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), detailing how she emerged from its confines to help bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice.
Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffsby Lisa Pulitzer Elissa Wall
Wall tells the incredible and inspirational story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice. Detailing how Jeffs's influence over the church twisted its already rigid beliefs in dangerous new directions, Wall portrays the inescapable mindset and unrelenting pressure that forced her to wed despite her repeated protests that she was too young.
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