Annal: 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Fact Crime

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2008.

Book:Reclaiming History

Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Vincent Bugliosi

For over forty years the truth about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has been obscured. This book releases us from a crippling distortion of American history.

This extraordinary and historic book required twenty years to research and write. The oft-challenged findings of the Warren Commission—Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot and killed President John F. Kennedy are here confirmed beyond all doubt. But Reclaiming History does much more than that. In addition to providing a powerful and unprecedented narrative of events and a biography of the assassin, it confronts and destroys every one of the conspiracy theories that have grown up since the assassination, exposing their selective use of evidence, flawed logic, and outright deceptions. So thoroughly documented, so compellingly lucid in its conclusions, Reclaiming History is, in a sense, the investigation that completes the work of the Warren Commission.…[more]

Book:The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival

Stanley N. Alpert

On January 21, 1998, the night before his 38th birthday, federal prosecutor Stanley Alpert was kidnapped off the streets of Manhattan. This is the story of what happened next…

Alpert was taken by a carful of gun-toting thugs looking to use his ATM card, but when they learned his bank balance, the plan changed. They took him, blindfolded by his own scarf, to a Brooklyn apartment, with the idea of going to a bank the next day and withdrawing most of it. But the later it got, the more the plan changed again…and again…as his captors alternately held guns to his head, threatened his family, engaged him in discussions of gangsta philosophy, sought his legal advice and, once they learned it was his birthday, offered him sexual favors from their girlfriends as a “birthday present”. All the while, Alpert, still blindfolded, talked with them, played on their attitudes and fears, tried to figure out where their mood swings would take…[more]

Book:Chasing Justice

Chasing Justice: My Story of Freeing Myself After Two Decades on Death Row for a Crime I Didn't Commit

Kerry Max Cook

A brilliant and unprecedented work, Chasing Justice is the riveting chronicle of how a smalltown murder became one of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct in American history—and sent the author, an innocent man, to hell for twenty-two harrowing years. Kerry Max Cook is one of the longest-tenured death-row prisoners to be freed: This is his unbelievable story and the only firsthand account of its kind.

Wrongfully convicted of killing a young woman in Texas, Cook was sentenced to death in 1978 and served two decades on death row, in a prison system so notoriously brutal and violent that in 1980 a federal court ruled that serving time in Texas’s jails was “cruel and unusual punishment.” As scores of men around him were executed, Cook relentlessly battled a legal system that wanted him dead; meanwhile he fought daily to survive amid unspeakable conditions and routine assaults. When an advocate and…[more]

Book:Relentless Pursuit

Relentless Pursuit: A True Story of Family, Murder, and the Prosecutor Who Wouldn't Quit

Kevin Flynn

If One L is the book to read before law school, Relentless Pursuit is the book to read after—a real-life legal thriller that shows, from the inside, a prosecutor’s quest to deliver justice to a family devastated by murder.

What happened to Diane Hawkins and her daughter Katrina—a brutal double murder in which the girl’s heart was cut from her body—devastated a Washington, D.C., community and left its mark on everyone involved in the subsequent investigation. Especially moved was federal homicide prosecutor Kevin Flynn. He had handled any number of grisly murders, and was no stranger to the depravity of the human soul. Yet the way Hawkins’s family and friends rallied together to help each other through the tragedy—and the generosity they extended to Flynn, whose own father was dying of cancer at the time—turned this case into a personal mission. He was determined to use his position to effect real closure, to right a wrong—to bring justice on behalf of the…[more]

Book:Sacco & Vanzetti

Sacco & Vanzetti: The Men, The Murders and the Judgment of Mankind

Bruce Watson

The riveting true story of one of the nation’s most infamous trials and executions

When the state of Massachusetts electrocuted Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti on August 23, 1927, it concluded one of the most controversial legal cases in American history. In the eight decades since, debate has raged over what was probably a miscarriage of justice.

In the first full-length narrative of the case in thirty years, Bruce Watson unwinds a gripping tale that opens with anarchist bombs going off in a posh Washington, D.C., neighborhood and concludes with worldwide outrage over the execution of the “good shoemaker” and the “poor fish peddler.” Sacco and Vanzetti mines deep archives and new sources, unveiling fresh details about these naïve dreamers and militant revolutionaries. This case still haunts the American imagination. Authoritative and engrossing, Sacco and Vanzetti will capture fans of true crime books and everyone who enjoys riveting American history.

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