THE KIDNAP YEARS
The shocking, historical true crime account that brings to light the illegal activity that many people engaged in to make a living during the Great Depression. . . kidnapping.
(Available at Amazon)
The Great Depression was a time of desperation in America—parents struggled to feed their children and unemployment was at a record high. Adding to the lawlessness of the decade, thugs with submachine guns and corrupt law-enforcement officers ran rampant. But amidst this panic, there was one sure-fire way to make money, one used by criminals and resourceful civilians alike: kidnapping.
Jump into this forgotten history with Edgar Award-winning author David Stout as he explores the reports of missing people that inundated newspapers at the time. Learn the horrifying details of these abduction cases, from the methods used and the investigative processes to the personal histories of the culprits and victims. All of this culminates with the most infamous kidnapping in American history, the one that targeted an international celebrity and changed legislation forever: the Lindbergh kidnapping.
The Kidnap Years is a gritty, visceral, thoughtfully reported page-turner that chronicles the sweep of abductions that afflicted all corners of the country as desperate people were pushed to do the unthinkable.
As a fourteen-year-old black boy living in 1940s South Carolina, Linus Bragg should know better than to follow the two bicycling white girls. But something about Sue Ellen and Cindy Lou compels him. Maybe it’s the way Cindy Lou speaks to him, or how Sue Ellen sits on her bike. Whatever the reason, he follows the girls into the woods. It’s the worst mistake he ever makes.
When he comes into the clearing, both girls are dead and young Linus is the natural suspect. Forty years later, a nephew of Linus’s returns to South Carolina, curious about this dark moment in his family’s past. To find the fourth person who visited the clearing that day means reopening a sinister chapter of the small town’s history, which certain evil men had thought closed forever.
NIGHT OF THE ICE STORM
In this gripping thriller from Edgar Award winner David Stout, a local reporter’s decision to reopen the investigation of a twenty-year-old unsolved murder reawakens a nightmare of terror and death in a small town
(Available at Amazon and Nook)
The night of the ice storm in tiny Bessemer, New York, is memorable for more than just the savage weather. That same frigid January evening, a young Catholic priest, Father John Barrow, is brutally bludgeoned to death by an unknown assailant. Two decades later the case remains unsolved, and a group of former employees of the local newspaper hold a reunion and listen to a tape recording made at an earlier celebration when the storm and the terrible crime were the talk of the day. But something police beat reporter Ed Speri hears on the recording compels him to take a closer look at the now ice-cold trail—a decision that ultimately leads to tragedy.
Suddenly the stakes have gotten much too high to ignore for Marlee West, the reporter who originally made the damning tape, and her colleague Jennifer Hurley. The darkness that fell over their small town on that awful winter night two decades earlier has never truly lifted. A murderer still walks among them, ready to kill and to kill again, and is closer than anyone could have imagined.
A CHILD IS MISSING
(previously entitled The Dog Hermit renamed A Child is Missing for a 1995 TV movie)
A newspaper editor in upstate New York is drawn into a deadly web of hatred and suspicion when he joins the hunt for a kidnapped little boy in this gritty and evocative thriller from an Edgar Award–winning author
(Available at Amazon and Nook)
Long Creek in New York’s Hill County is an angry place – depressed, suspicious, and unforgiving. In the aftermath of a late-November snowstorm, one of the town’s youngest citizens, five-year-old Jamie Brokow, the son of wealthy divorced parents, is abducted. His family pays the kidnappers their ransom, but the boy is never returned – and soon afterward, Fran Spicer, the local reporter covering the case, dies as the result of a mysterious car crash that the police are all too eager to attribute to alcohol.
Will Schafer edits a newspaper in a neighboring county, and he’s less willing to dismiss the death of his friend Spicer so easily. Schafer won’t find much local support for his investigation, however – strangers like him are not welcome in Long Creek. Still, he is determined to uncover the truth and see that justice is served, for Fran and for little Jamie. But the hunt could have powerful, unanticipated consequences for everyone involved: Schafer, the townspeople, the police, the devastated family . . . and an odd, disfigured hermit, drawn from his solitude in the forest by the frightened cries of a small child in the night.
On a summer night in 1963, in the town of Lodi, New Jersey, two policemen were shot to death in the Angel Lounge, a local bar, by two bar patrons. One of the killers was shot by police in New York City two days later; the other, Thomas Trantino, turned himself in and was imprisoned. He remained incarcerated for almost 40 years – the longest-serving prisoner in the New Jersey penal system – until his release early in 2002.
The murder of the policemen in the Angel Lounge remains one of the most notorious crimes in New Jersey history, yet there has never been an in-depth examination of the case – until now. New York Times reporter David Stout takes readers inside the crime: from the close-knit community that was shattered by the killings – and will never forget them – to the courtroom where Thomas Trantino presented evidence that would keep him locked up for decades. Stout introduces us to the victims and to their families, who were determined that Trantino should never go free. And he allows us to hear Trantino explain why he felt he deserved to be paroled, despite the enormity of his crime.
As they trace Trantino’s tortuous path from death row to freedom, readers will be forced to confront their own attitudes about crime, punishment, and America’s criminal justice system.
On February 25, 1957, the nude, badly bruised body of a young boy was found in a cardboard box in trash-strewn woods of north Philadelphia. Posters of the “Boy in the Box” soon dotted the city and police stations nationwide – to no avail. In November 1998 the remains were exhumed for DNA analysis, and the boy was reburied as “America’s Unknown Child.”
The Boy in the Box is the first book to examine America’s most famous unsolved case of child murder – one that led to the “Stranger Danger” child safety campaign and a Law & Order episode. Written in a fast-paced style and featuring never-before-seen photos, it examines half a century of shocking and mysterious events surrounding the discovery of the body. David Stout presents a timeline interwoven with flashbacks, theories, media reports, first-hand interviews, and urban myths – taking us back to the year America lost its innocence forever.