Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Son of Sam writes to Breslin

June 5, 1977: The Daily News published a letter from serial killer Son of Sam to star columnist Jimmy Breslin. The letter’s opening included: “Hello from the cracks in the sidewalks of N.Y.C. and from the ants that dwell in these cracks and feed on the dried blood of the dead that has settled into the cracks.” The News, in a brilliant promotional move, teased the column in articles on the Friday and Saturday leading up to the Sunday paper, the most profitable edition of the week chock full of retailer inserts, rather than publishing the letter as soon as it could. Son of Sam had written one previous letter, this to the captain then heading the task force hunting the murderer.

Forty years ago today: Deputy inspector heads operation to catch Son of Sam

NYPD Chief of Detectives John Keenan held a City Hall press conference to name Deputy Inspector Timothy Dowd to head Operation Omega, the group tasked with catching the .44-caliber killer. Dowd took the place of Captain Joseph Borrelli, who had been running a smaller group and was to serve as Dowd’s deputy. The task force was to be based in the 109th Precinct in Flushing and more detectives were to be added to the effort.

Forty years ago today: Two more murdered by Son of Sam, who uses that name for first time

April 17, 1977: Eighteen-year-old Valentina Suriani and Alexander Esau, 20, were shot and killed at 3 a.m. sitting in a car in the Bronx near the Hutchinson River Parkway. Four bullets were fired into the car window. Ballistics linked the deaths to the .44-caliber killer, who had now murdered five and injured four. The couple were parked three blocks from the home of David Berkowitz’s first victim, Donna Lauria. Berkowitz left a letter at the scene for Captain Joseph Borrelli, then commander of the task force investigating the crimes. In it, Berkowitz wrote, “I am the ‘Son of Sam.’ I am a little brat.” It was his reference to that nickname.

–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, out Oct. 1

Forty years ago today: N.Y. gun clubs offer $200 bounty to those who kill assailants

April 13, 1977: New York pistol and rifle clubs with 5,000 members offered $200 to any robbery or assault victim who shoots and kills his or her attacker. “The object, obviously, is to encourage citizens who are properly licensed to defend themselves because of the complete breakdown of the criminal justice system in New York,” said Jerry Preiser, president of the Federation of Greater New York Pistol and Rifle Clubs. Three businessmen who killed assailants in the previous week were to receive $200 checks and scrolls of commendation.

–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, out Oct. 1.

Source: New York Times

Forty years ago today: Easter egg hunt becomes chocolate riot

Children wept, parents shouted and a park official threatened to call the thing off when kids and parents turned an Easter egg hunt in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, Queens, into chaos. Barricades, bullhorns and police officers didn’t stop the charging children clawing after chocolate eggs. The hunt lasted three minutes, after which the 360 pounds of eggs were gone.
–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, coming Oct. 1.

Source: New York Times

Forty years ago today: Indictment in $50 million heroin operation

Thirty people were indicted in a $50-million-a-year operation distributing heroin in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. One of those indicted, Frank Lucas, was accused of running the operation from jail, where he was serving 70 years. Lucas was said to have considered a plan to murder his chief competitor in Harlem, Leroy (Nicky) Barnes.
Meanwhile, three days later, an 11-year-old boy was arrested for dealing on West 115th Street. Cops seized two pounds of heroin and $1,400 from the boy and his teenage accomplice.
–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, coming Oct. 1.

Source: New York Times

A BLACK SAIL named 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist

SEATTLE —Today, Camel Press is pleased to announce A Black Sail by Rich Zahradnik has been recognized as a finalist in the mystery category of the 19th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

As part of their mission to discover, review, and share the best books from small, university, and indie publishers (and authors), independent media company Foreword Reviews hosts its annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2016, and submitted to Foreword Reviews for award consideration, and were narrowed down by Foreword’s editors from over 2,200 individual titles spread across 65 categories. Follow these links for a complete list of finalists and the finalist page for A Black Sail.

“Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the choice was more difficult this time around due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “Each new book award season proves again how independent publishers are the real innovators in the industry.”

INDIES finalists are moved on to final judging by an expert panel of librarians and booksellers curated specifically for each genre and who will determine the books who will be named Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award winners. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

Forty years ago today: Close Rikers as long-term jail

The Rikers Island jail, formally known as the Men’s House of Detention on Rikers Island, was branded “outmoded and inappropriate” by the Board of Correction, which advised phasing the jail out as a long-term detention facility. The board’s chairman said a phase-out would be “a matter of paramount importance” in the months ahead.
–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, coming Oct. 1.

Source: New York Times

Forty years ago yesterday: President Carter wants end to Electoral College

President Carter called on Congress to amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College, substituting simple majority of the popular vote to elect the President. In an election reform message to Capitol Hill, he also proposed a massive relaxation of state laws restricting voter registration.
–Brought to you by Lights Out Summer, set in 1977, coming Oct. 1.
Source: New York Times

Bloody Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is golden age, but is she cozy or bloody–hard boiled even? Okay, maybe not hard boiled, but according to a WSJ front page article, Christie staged “some of the world’s grimmest homicides” on paper that were then made bloodless for the screen. New TV productions commissioned by her estate bring back bloody Agatha.

The estate has its  motive (in this crime, if you’re a cozy fan). By 2013, it had adapted nearly every Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot detective novel. “We were kind of staring down the barrel of ‘What do we do now?'”  James Prichard, Christie’s great grandson and chairman of the estate, told WSJ.

This should set off some serious debate (hide the knitting needles and kittens) at Malice Domestic.