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Books & Authors

Nonviolent True Crime

True stories of thieves, forgers, con artists and the investigations that brought them down.


Anansi's Gold: The Man Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington, and Swindled the World by Yepoka Yeebo
When Ghana won its independence from Britain in 1957, it instantly became a target for home-grown opportunists and rapacious Western interests. Into this big lie stepped John Ackah Blay-Miezah. Over the 1970s and '80s, he and his accomplices-including Ghanaian state officials and Nixon's former attorney general--scammed hundreds of millions of dollars out of thousands of believers. In Anansi's Gold, Yepoka Yeebo chases Blay-Miezah's ever-wilder trail and discovers, at long last, what really happened to Ghana's missing wealth. She unfolds a riveting account of Cold War entanglements, international finance, and postcolonial betrayal, revealing how what we call history writes itself into being, one lie at a time.

Blessed Are the Bank Robbers: The True Adventures of an Evangelical Outlaw by Chas Smith
It was a big surprise when Daniel Courson started robbing banks. Known as the Floppy Hat Bandit, Courson robbed nineteen of them in a torrid six-week spree before being caught and sentenced to seven years in prison. When he tried to escape, they tacked on another year. And when he finally got out, despite seeming to be back on the straight and narrow, he disappeared. Chas Smith's Blessed Are the Bank Robbers is the wildly entertaining story of an all-American antihero. It's a tale of bank heists, art-and-jewel theft, high-speed chases, fake identities, encrypted Swiss email accounts, jilted lovers, and the dark side of an evangelical family.

Confident Women: Swindlers, Grifters, and Shapeshifters of the Feminine Persuasion by Tori Telfer
The acclaimed author of Lady Killers returns with a new collection about notorious female con artists and their outrageous scams, from Jeanne de Saint-Rémy who scammed jewelers in 1700s Paris to Roxie Ann Rice who scammed the NFL in 1975.

Retail Gangster: The Insane, Real-Life Story of Crazy Eddie by Gary (Gary R.) Weiss
A biography of the spectacular rise and fall of Eddie Antar, better known as Crazy Eddie, whose home electronics empire changed the world even as it turned out to be one of the biggest business scams of all time.

The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession by Michael Finkel
For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than two hundred heists over nearly ten years-in museums and cathedrals all over Europe-Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than three hundred objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion.

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk W Johnson
Documents the astonishing 2009 theft of an invaluable collection of ornithological displays from the British Museum of Natural History by a talented American musician, tracing the author's years-long investigation to track down the culprit and understand his motives, which were possibly linked to an obsession with the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
Describes the life and times of John Laroche, a plant smuggler and orchid thief, and the eccentric world of Florida's obsessed collectors of rare plants.

The Woman Who Stole Vermeer: The True Story of Rose Dugdale and the Russborough House Art Heist by Anthony M Amore
The extraordinary life and crimes of heiress-turned-revolutionary Rose Dugdale, who in 1974 became the only woman to pull off a major art heist.

Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World's Most Notorious Diaries by Rick Emerson
Author Rick Emerson reveals that Go Ask Alice, a candid portrayal of sex, psychosis and teenage self-destruction, and Jay's Journal, which merged Satanism with adolescent suicide, were both written "anonymously" by a serial con artist who betrayed a grieving family, stole a dead boy's memory and lied her way to the National Book Awards.


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