Annal: 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Fact Crime

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2011.

Book:Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity

Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity

Ken Armstrong, Nick Perry

The adjectives associated with the University of Washington’s 2000 football season—mystical, magical, miraculous—changed when Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry’s four-part exposé of the 2000 Huskies hit the newspaper stands: “explosive…chilling” (Sports Illustrated), “blistering” (Baltimore Sun), “shocking…appalling” (Tacoma News Tribune), “astounding” (ESPN), “jaw-dropping” (Orlando Sentinel).

Now, in Scoreboard, Baby, Armstrong and Perry go behind the scenes of the Huskies’ Cinderella story to reveal a timeless morality tale about the price of obsession, the creep of fanaticism, and the ways in which a community can lose even when its team wins. The authors unearth the true story from firsthand interviews and thousands of pages of documents: the forensic report on a bloody fingerprint; the notes of a detective investigating allegations of rape; confidential memoranda of prosecutors;…[more]

Book:The Eyes of Willie McGee

The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South

Alex Heard

A gripping saga of race and retribution in the Deep South and a story whose haunting details echo the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird

In 1945, Willie McGee, a young African-American man from Laurel, Mississippi, was sentenced to death for allegedly raping Willette Hawkins, a white housewife. At first, McGee’s case was barely noticed, covered only in hostile Mississippi newspapers and far-left publications such as the Daily Worker. Then Bella Abzug, a young New York labor lawyer, was hired by the Civil Rights Congress—an aggressive civil rights organization with ties to the Communist Party of the United States—to oversee McGee’s defense. Together with William Patterson, the son of a slave and a devout believer in the need for revolutionary change, Abzug and a group of white Mississippi lawyers risked their lives to plead McGee’s case. After years of court battles, McGee’s…[more]

Book:Finding Chandra

Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery

Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz

It was the mystery that gripped the nation during the summer of 2001: the sudden disappearance of Chandra Levy, a young, promising intern, and the possible involvement of Congressman Gary Condit. And then the case went cold. By 2007, satellite trucks and reporters had long since abandoned the story of the congressman and the intern in search of other news, fresh scandals. Across the country, Chandra’s parents tried to resume their daily lives, desperately hoping that someday there might be a break in the investigation.

And in Washington, the old game of who’s up and who’s down played on without interruption.

But Chandra Levy haunted. Six years after the young intern’s disappearance, investigative editors of the Washington Post pitched two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters their idea: Revisit the unsolved case and find out what happened to Chandra,…[more]

Book:Hellhound on His Trail

Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin

Hampton Sides

On April 23, 1967, Prisoner #416J, an inmate at the notorious Missouri State Penitentiary, escaped in a breadbox. Fashioning himself Eric Galt, this nondescript thief and con man—whose real name was James Earl Ray—drifted through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he was galvanized by George Wallace’s racist presidential campaign.

On February 1, 1968, two Memphis garbage men were crushed to death in their hydraulic truck, provoking the exclusively African American workforce to go on strike. Hoping to resuscitate his faltering crusade, King joined the sanitation workers’ cause, but their march down Beale Street, the historic avenue of the blues, turned violent. Humiliated, King fatefully vowed to return to Memphis in April.

With relentless storytelling drive, Sides follows Galt and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other,…[more]

Book:The Killer of Little Shepherds

The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

Douglas Starr

A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics.

At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years—until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist. The two men—intelligent and bold—typified the Belle Époque, a period of immense scientific achievement and fascination with science’s promise to reveal the secrets of the human condition.

With high drama and stunning detail, Douglas Starr revisits Vacher’s infamous crime wave, interweaving the story of how Lacassagne and his colleagues were developing forensic science as we know it. We see one of the earliest uses of criminal profiling, as Fourquet painstakingly collects eyewitness accounts and constructs a map of Vacher’s crimes. We follow the tense and exciting…[more]

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