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Browse audiobooks by Michael Benson, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
Umberto 'Albert' Anastasia was born in Italy at the turn of the century. Five decades later, he would be gunned down in a barber shop in New York City. What happened in the years in between-and why every crime family had reason to want him dead-is one of the most brutal and fascinating stories in the history of American organized crime. This in-depth account of the man who became one of the most powerful and homicidal crime bosses of the twentieth century from Mafia insider Frank Dimatteo is the first full-length book to chronicle Anastasia's bloody rise from immigrant to founder of the notorious killer's club Murder, Inc. They called him 'The One Man Army.' 'Mad Hatter.' 'Lord High Executioner.' But Albert Anastasia was a man who defied description. He was Albert the gentleman thief: a polished stick-up artist who would apologize to his victims-and kiss their ladies' hands-as he robbed them at gunpoint. He was Albert the killer: whose merciless assassination of Mafia godfather Vincent Mangano is recounted here in chilling firsthand detail. He was Albert the record breaker: the first man in the history of American justice to be charged with four separate murders-and walk free after each one. But in the end, he was last obstacle in rival Mafia hoodlum Vito Genovese's dream of becoming the boss of bosses-and paid the ultimate price.Show more
'Mommy . . . won't be with us anymore.' That's what attorney Kevin C. Bryant, forty-five, told his two young sons in the spring of 2003. At the time, blond, pretty, twenty-six-year-old Tabatha Bryant was alive and well in an upscale suburb of Rochester, New York. But that was about to change-because Bryant knew his wife was cheating, and he intended to end the affair by ending her life. On June 14, 2003, he called 9-1-1 to report Tabatha slain by an unknown intruder who'd shot her in the eye with a .22 and repeatedly stabbed her in the neck and upper body. Soon, a drug bust led to Cassidy Green's confession that she'd driven the getaway car. She fingered boyfriend Cyril Winebrenner as the killer. Winebrenner and Kevin Bryant were buddies who'd regularly gone on cocaine-fueled sex binges with hookers. Astoundingly, Winebrenner was also the victim's half-brother-but Bryant's offer of $5,000 had convinced him that money is thicker than blood. In a trial that shook 'Country Club Row,' prosecutors would present evidence and testimonies that revealed even more sordid details, bringing the lawyer who tried to get away with murder to justice.Show more
It was one of the biggest crime stories of the decade-two deadly killers, desperate and on the run. After months of planning, Ricky Matt and David Sweat cut, chopped, coerced, and connived their way out of a maximum-security prison in the wilderness of upstate New York and managed to elude police for three weeks, sending the region into lockdown and keeping the entire country on edge. The media called it "a bold escape for the ages," and veteran true-crime writer Michael Benson leads us along the story's every wild path to dig out a tale of adventure, psychology, sex, and brutality. Escape from Dannemora examines the strange case of Joyce Mitchell, the long-time prison employee who had a sexual relationship with at least one of the killers, and who smuggled them tools and aided in the escape, while they cooked up a plan to kill her husband. In the end, Benson looks closely at conditions at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, a crumbling Gothic pile now under investigation for charges of drug trafficking and brutality.Show more
In this blistering street-level account, 'Mafia survivor' Frank DiMatteo teams up with true-crime master Michael Benson to take down one of the most notorious figures in the American La Cosa Nostra. This is the real inside story of Carmine 'The Snake' Persico, from his crime-filled childhood on the streets of Brooklyn to the long-term jail sentences that didn't stop him from controlling his criminal empire, with the help of his brother-the equally kill-crazy Alphonse 'Allie Boy' Persico.This is the story of his deadly teen years as leader of the fearsome Garfield Boys; his recruitment into the Profaci-later the Colombo-crime family; his bloody betrayal of the Gallo brothers; his role in the hair-raising ambush and slaying of Albert Anastasia-the Lord High Executioner of Murder, Inc.-as he sat in a barbershop chair getting a shave; the terror he struck into the hearts of the New York Mafia's other families, and even his own crews; and the many courtroom trials where Persico walked after witnesses came down with sudden cases of 'amnesia.'Today, Persico schmoozes with Ponzi king Bernard Madoff behind bars. There, at age eighty-four, his legend-packed as it is with coldblooded brutality-continues to inspire goodfellas everywhere.Show more
Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews on its 1968 release. Despite the success of Dr. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick wasn't yet recognized as a great filmmaker, and 2001 was radically innovative, with little dialogue and no strong central character. Although some leading critics slammed the film as incomprehensible and self-indulgent, the public lined up to see it. 2001's resounding commercial success launched the genre of big-budget science fiction spectaculars. Such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and James Cameron have acknowledged its profound influence. Author Michael Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily through the two people most responsible for the film, Kubrick and science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke. Benson interviewed Clarke many times, and has also spoken at length with Kubrick's widow, Christiane; with visual effects supervisor Doug Trumbull; with Dan Richter, who played 2001's leading man-ape; and many others.Show more