Dane Batty Author of Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber

Hi Kelly!
Thank you for posting my guest blog on your site. Your topic of “Prison Reform” is a new subject to me, so I’m interested in learning more. I’m not ready to jump on a bandwagon anytime soon, but I can see evidence that the system drastically needs to be changed. I’m also ignorant on what arguments are currently happening and what progress is being done, so I’ll stay tuned to your website and learn as I go.

This is a real exciting time for me because I just finished my second manuscript just this week! We have tentatively titled the book “D.B. Tuber” Armored Car Heist: A True Story of Football, Addiction and Robbery. The story is of Anthony Curcio who was a pure athlete that became an addict (from injury) and a high-profile criminal to support his habit, but he overcame his demons to win back his family and wants to give back to his community. It's a roller coaster that exposes the prescription pill problem that affects us all. The book is due May 2013.
Anthony gets out of prison this coming April and has a 20/20 interview waiting for him stemming from an article that was published about him in October, 2010 in GQ Magazine, and were rushing to get the book in the stores before the interview.

D.B. Tuber does deal with the prison system and how my subject not only found himself at the bottom of the Hole (SHU), but it also includes details on how he was psychologically and physically abused in prison.
 Now, I’m not one to blame the system. In fact, in my limited history of prisons I can easily see both sides of the argument like they are understaffed, there are way too many prisoners, that the War on Drugs has caused big-time overcrowding and the fact that they actually might be doing their best at running the prisons, but I also see that the prisons aren’t run efficiently and effectively, there is little reform and little counseling.
There are vindictive acts of malicious violence and torture that still go on behind closed doors. But, then again, these prisons house the worst people of our communities, and it probably sucks to have to be the one to punish these offenders.
 I am thankful these people are off the streets and I can’t see a violent world with them as my neighbor, so I’m thankful for the prisons and what they do. I just know that there needs to be more oversight and personal responsibility in the administrative rolls of these prisons just as there are rules that govern retirement facilities – an administrator of a retirement facility is personally responsible for the well-being of their patients and can go to jail if they are abused, so the same rules should apply to prisons as well.
Violence may be the only way to communicate to some of these prisoners, but we don’t need to stoop to that level, ever. I especially don’t need to pay taxes to people who promote violence against prisoners even if they “have it coming”. This is why I need to understand more about the current rules that govern prisons before I can take a side, and now I hear that prisons are privately held. When did this happen? Apparently I’ve had my face into my new manuscript for too long and need to “pull my head out”!

I also am the author of Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber: The True Story of Leslie Ibsen Rogge, One of the FBI’s Most Elusive Criminals. I’m pretty new to writing books compared, especially compared to the authors on this blog tour, but I love my new job. Wanted was published in 2010 and here is a brief description:

Leslie Ibsen Rogge, number seven on the FBI’s most wanted, robbed more than 30 banks without firing a shot. In Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber, Les details his adventures from Alaska to Antigua, the Chesapeake to Cancun. But it all came to a halt when a fourteen-year-old in Guatemala found Les on the new FBI web site forcing him to surrender and becoming the 1st Top Ten criminal caught due to the internet. Few felons have been as forthcoming about their successes, failures, robbery techniques, passion for sailing vessels... and love for his wife.

The book isn’t exactly murder. In fact it’s the opposite of murder since he didn’t hurt anyone intentionally. Les used a gun in his 30+ bank robberies, so technically they were violent crimes. He did end up getting 65 years on four convictions, so he’s doing time in the FCI Beaumont in Texas in medium security. He’s serving the time of murderers though.

The film rights for Wanted are currently being optioned by a producer, so this is real exciting. We also created a really cool video book trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDxB76yccZY.

Thanks and thank you to Kelly for hosting this True Crime Blog Tour, and please comment if you have questions about me or my books. I’ll be monitoring this post on Sunday, July 29th, 2012. Be well!

PS - Don’t forget to stop by Goodreads and enter to win a copy of my first book Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robberhttp://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_choose_address/26038-wanted-gentleman-bank-robber-the-true-story-of-leslie-ibsen-rogge-one. The drawing ends on July 31st!

Dane Batty
Nish Publishing Company

Twitter @NishPublishing


My Life of Crime Blog - Bonnie Kernene

My name is Bonnie Kernene and I am a true crime blogger.  My blog is at http://mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com/.  I have been doing this since 2005 and I really like what I do.  When I started out, I was just posting stories of almost any kind, and was not very focused at all.  However, that really changed within a few months, and my focus about crime took a sharp turn.  

In July 2006, 5-year-old Destiny Norton was reported missing.  She was part of my community, so it affected me.  I wanted to help search but was unable to.  However, I paid close attention to all news reports and posted on her frequently.  Then I started to notice some patterns in comments on news forums and comment boards, and I was angry.  People were commenting on her appearance and her family’s income level.  I was outraged.  Her family’s income should not matter.  A child was missing!  She turned up dead, at the hands of a neighbor, who pled guilty and was sentenced to life without parole (Yes, I wanted the death penalty for him, but the family agreed to this).  It was this beautiful, innocent child that made me realize that my focus should be on the victims of these horrific crimes, not on those who commit the crimes.  

It seems like these killers, including serial killers, spree killers, sexual sadists, etc., are glorified by the public.  They receive thousands of letters, marriage proposals, etc.    But then, can these same people even remember the victims of these monsters?  Probably not, nor do they care to.  But the victims should be the most important part of the process.  We should strive for justice for them and to keep their memories alive.  We should not be glorifying these killers or predators.  

The focus should be on the victims, however, it seems like there are so many groups that only care about the convicted, such as the ACLU, or the anti-death penalty groups, that most of their words are about the defendants, and they usually leave the victims out, or speak a few, insincere words about them.  I strive each and every day to remind people to remember the victims, remember their lives.  Spread their memories and their life stories.  In fact, I am writing a book about this. 

 I am currently trying to gather stories from friends and loved ones of victims, sharing memories of the person who has been taken away so unexpectedly.  Remembering high school memories, weddings, children, trips, etc.  Whatever memories they have that they want to share.

I want to create a book that will share these loving moments with others, so that people will remember the victims and learn about their lives.

Anyone wanting to share a memory of their friend or loved one that was murdered is welcome to send me an email at mylifeofcrime@gmail.com


True Crime Master Gary C. King

My name is Gary C. King, and I’m an author of true crime stories and books—something I’ve been doing as a freelancer for the past 32 years or so, often between day jobs until a few years ago when I was finally able to leave the regular work force behind and work as a writer full-time.

It was around 1980 when I took over Ann Rule’s job as Pacific Northwest stringer for True Detective magazine and its affiliated “dick” books or magazines, about the time that she wrote The Stranger Beside Me, her “Ted” book about serial killer Ted Bundy. But I digress, and need to get back on target before I go on a tangent. Detectives in the early days were, of course, often referred to as dicks, both in fiction and real life. We, writers and editors alike, loved the moniker and used it frequently.

Dick books aside, I should now point out that I make no pompous or grandiose claims of literary merit regarding the stories or books that I’ve written, though readers do seem to like them, and the niche or genre of true crime has provided job security, at least for me, as people cannot seem to stop killing each other and readers do not, thankfully, wish to stop reading about the horrible things that people do to one another. The True Detective stories were simply old-fashioned, pulp-style nonfiction chronicles that appeared in magazines with garish, often tasteless covers--typically with a beautiful woman on the cover being brutalized or murdered by crazed killer holding a big knife, gun, or ligature. Before I started writing for them, I was embarrassed to be seen looking at them on the newsstand!

The magazines had short shelf lives, as all monthlies do, and typically went out of circulation soon after they hit the newsstands, never to be seen again except by collectors or the writers who wrote them. But they were very popular, often with print runs that ran into hundreds of thousands of copies. The rags, as their editors sometimes referred to them, typically paid $250 per story, and writers such as me and Ms. Rule had to learn how to write several each month under various pseudonyms in order to pay the rent and put food on the table for our families.

Thank God I was able to break into writing books a decade later and I didn’t have to write them for as long as Ms. Rule did—multiple articles a month, some months, of 4,000-5,000 words each became exhausting! But it was a living, and over a period of about 10 years I managed to crank out roughly 400 of them. I’ve never regretted writing them, or the experiences gained from the process.

Meeting the families of victims, which sometimes occurred, was more often than not a very sad but emotionally rewarding experience. I’d always known what sympathy was and always expressed it toward those who had lost loved ones, but early on I learned what empathy was all about, too, when I’d sit with a victim’s family and end up crying right along with them. It’s not a job that I can easily recommend to others, but the numerous “thank-you” messages I’ve received over the years from victims’ families, and victims who’ve actually survived attacks, for writing the truth and telling their stories and those of their loved ones just like they happened—without embellishments or fabrications—has made it all worthwhile.

In addition to publishing 16 books and the aforementioned 400 or so detective stories, I’ve also written extensively for Investigation Discovery’s website, and I have occasionally written a story for Crime Library. After years of being traditionally published, however, last year I decided to go indie and republished four of my earlier titles for the Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers, that I held electronic rights to, and I plan to publish new material in the same fashion in the foreseeable future, including a compilation of my True Detective stories.

That’s probably enough about me, at least for now. But before I forget, I want to thank Kelly Sons for inviting me to participate in this blog tour—it’s my first. I hope that I live up to her expectations. I also want to express my appreciation for her blog. It provides fascinating information about criminals of the fairer gender that I’d personally like to see more of, and she has done a marvelous job of helping fill that need. Keep up the great work, Kelly!

Readers who are interested can join me on Twitter or connect with me on Facebook. You can also learn more about me and my books on my website, www.garycking.com.

Finally, as part of this blog tour I may provide additional details at some point regarding the history of the so-called dick books, gleaned from my own subjective experiences and those who have written objectively about those magazines, and how I happened to fall into the genre of true crime. I hope you’ll enjoy them.


True Crime Masters at Work R. Barri Flowers Talks About His Work and The Women Condemned

True Crime Masters at Work

Good day! I'm R. Barri Flowers and I am delighted to be part of this True Crime Blog Tour with Kelly Sons,  Bonnie Kearne, and Dane Batty.
As this week launches my latest true crime work, the timing couldn't be better!

I am the editor of MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME: Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre (Prometheus, 2102). It is a gripping anthology of seventeen stories written by an all star line-up of award winning, bestselling, and experienced true crime writers--including Harold Schechter, Katherine Ramsland, Burl Barer, Carol Ann Davis, Cathy Scott, Robert Scott, Patricia Springer, Linda Rosencrance, Robert J. Watkins, Amanda Lamb, Michele McPhee, Camille Kimball, Lee Lofland., Phyllis Gobbell, Doug Jones, and Laura James

According to criminology professor Kathleen M. Heide, MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME is "a riveting collection of short stories told by veteran crime writers. Once you begin to read this book, you will have trouble putting it down."

Amongst the chilling true crime tales covered is my own piece about serial killer Donald Miller who graduated from my alma mater, Michigan State University, with a degree in Criminal Justice during the 1970s, before becoming a stone cold killer. Miller murdered and sexually assaulted at least four women in and around the MSU campus in East Lansing, MI, including his ex fiancée, Martha Sue Young, a 19-year old student at the university.

Other spine tingling tales include Phyllis Gobbell's take on the  Nashville murder of girl scout Marcia Tremble and Cathy's Scott's fascinating account of the Las Vegas murder of former Mob enforcer Herbert Blitzstein.
There are two riveting tales that take place in Europe. Katherine Ramsland, who teaches forensic psychology, does an excellent piece about Italian female serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli; while Scottish bestselling true crime writer Carol Ann Davis writes a absorbing story about British arsonist and serial killer Peter Dinsdale, who was only twelve when claiming his first victim.

Diane Fanning, bestselling true crime writer and author of Mommy’s Little Girl , says of MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME: “Striking, well-written tales sparkle in this ocean of murder.” --

This anthology is a must for any serious true crime fan! You can find in both online booksellers as well as many local bookstores and stores such as Walmart.

See video where I talk about MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME:


As for the world of true crime writing, I have been at it for many years with bestsellers including THE SEX SLAVE MURDERS, MURDERS IN THE UNITED STATES, SERIAL KILLER COUPLES, and MASS MURDER IN THE SKY.

My next true crime/criminology book, THE DYNAMICS OF MURDER: Kill or Be Killed (CRC Press, 2012), comes out in December.

See entire episode of Couples Who Kill, in which I am interviewed extensively:


I also write page turning thriller fiction and criminology books. In the latter category, I have written extensively about violent and deadly women in such books as FEMALE CRIME, CRIMINALS, AND  CELLMATES and WOMEN AND CRIMINALITY.

This blog, Women Condemned: Wives, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Friends, is certainly apropos in today's time in describing the women in prison and on death row.

Alas, every woman in prison is something to someone outside the prison walls. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at the end of 2010, there were around 113,000 women in state or federal correctional facilities. This was 2 percent higher than the number of female inmates in 2000, suggesting the trend is headed in the wrong direction.

To be sure, most women in prison are there for drug-related offenses, family-related offenses such as child abuse and domestic violence, property offenses, and sex offenses such as prostitution and commercialized vice. The length of incarceration and charges varies from state to state.

However, with respect to sentences for women of more than a year, nearly 4 in 10 female inmates are incarcerated for crimes of violence. As such, violent women are most likely to receive stiffer sentences, as are violent men compared to nonviolent offenders, as one would expect.

When it comes to imprisonment, minority women are much more likely to serve time than white women. The rate of incarceration for African American women, for example, is nearly three times that of white females in prison. This typically is attributed to police discretion at the arrest stage, under education, poverty, inadequate legal representation, and the type of offenses that are more likely to result in a conviction and confinement.

Let's talk about Capital Punishment and women.
As of December 31, 2010, there were 58 women on Death Row in the United States. Of these, 18 women, or around 30 percent, were sentenced to death in California, with 11 women, or about 19 percent, given a death sentence in Texas. Thus, around half of all women on death row in this country are in two states. Fifteen states currently have no death penalty. There were five women who were taken off death row during 2010.

Though females on death row wear many hats in society and could arguably be given leniency on that basis alone, men are far more likely to be sentenced to death than women.
Men constitute more than 98 percent of death row inmates and 99 percent of those actually put to death, though they too are husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and friends.
The inequities of the system certainly favors some more than others when it comes to being sentenced to death. As such, the crime does not always fit the punishment, one way or the other, and in some instances, wrongful convictions can make the verdict and outcome that much more unsettling.

In MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME, murder is the theme in each story. Justice may or may not be served. You can decide for yourself...

You can find another true crime post from R. Barri Flowers on his next stop of the blog tour, the official website of author Gary C. King on July 25th.

Our next true crime guest author here at The Woman Condemned will be Gary C. King. He talks about his true crime beginnings as well as where he is going.  


Why would you write an inmate pen pal, and where would you start the correspondence with one?

Why Should I Even Consider Writing an Inmate?
Many people are not aware of how dire the situation is in a relatively large part of the penitentiary institutions in the USA due in part to under funding and under staffed facilities. True, those incarcerated are there to do their time, pay their debt to society and that means each cell should be far from a hotel room with room service. 

It is prison and there are laws to say it must be humane but the cries that reach those who are listening, are horrid ones.
People with severe psychological problems (Self-mutilation, schizophrenia) can be found among the regular inmate population, instead of receiving the proper mental and medical care. Besides this, sometimes the sewers overflow, leaving a big health hazard on whole ranges. Rodents can and do come up via the toilets and on more than one occasion, people have perished while in "The Hole", which is prison slang for solitary confinement. 

There are alarm buttons, should there be an emergency.However, these buttons are disabled from time to time, causing people to die from heart attacks or suicides, while the neighboring cell's inhabitant can do nothing but hear the other die.
So, in the midst of all this, one fights for his/her life and sanity, surviving by the minute rather than by day. 
Also consider the best way to learn how to commit crimes where you won't get caught is in jail. Life becomes nothing but sheer survival. Some honestly do believe -and actually find themselves in a situation where- no one really cares. The outside world becomes a place, which is hostile to them: bottom line, society has spit them out. 

For those who do get released after a period of time, this frame of mind means everything but rehabilitation. So these people are sent out into a world in which they fend for themselves as in prison, with the feeling society owed them. The debt is reversed and it is far more easily to fall back into crime than get a job and a "normal" life.
This, is where the letters come in. 

Someone from the outside reaches out a hand, straight through the prison bars, and touches the person on the other side of them. A stranger lets go of stereotypes and is willing to listen, willing to care, willing to befriend. There rests the entire difference and not just for the inmate. 

The one who corresponds from the outside, is often granted a more empathic and understanding view of the world, and their own lives in general. Counting blessings like their family and their friends they learn, and broaden a horizon they might not have even known existed.
If you're still thinking, "They're not in there just because they picked their nose in public. They committed felonies!", then yes, you're right. They're doing time for the mistakes that they made at an earlier stage. 

This author is not about to say people shouldn't repent, pay their debt to society and whatnot. But this correspondence can be an essential part of rehabilitation. Would you rather have an inmate who, straight out of jail, goes and steals from your granny, or one who goes out to get a job? YOU can make that difference.
But Is It Absolutely Safe?
That, in part, is in your court. You can take safety measures, to any extent: Take a P.O. box or write under an alias, if that makes you more comfortable. Some people start writing under a fictitious name but let the inmate know about this. Later on they revealed their own name, once a trust and friendship was established. I have always written under my own name and my own address. To me this does create a gap right from the beginning. Think twice.
Decide whether or not to send pictures of yourself or your family. In whatever case, do not do favours involving money orders unless you know exactly what's going on. Sometimes these are used to launder money, so be careful. Decide whether or not you want this person to have your home phone number. 

 You might have a close friendship with an inmate, and trust him with everything. BUT, it is a jail; there are a whole lot of criminals all thrown together in a small space. Address books, letters and envelopes can be stolen, as photos and other things can be.
So if you receive a letter from an inmate saying he got the address off your friend, verify this first. Keep that in mind. When someone starts making you uncomfortable, get out, quit the correspondence and don't be persuaded by begging or emotional blackmail: give in once to someone you are not comfortable with, and they'll know you'll give in again.
Do not let yourself be manipulated: if you know you are easily controlled by another person, think before you get into this. And especially to the women out there, be sure you are over 20 or 21. I started at a young age and was lucky to write with many of the women on death row. I have met a few who weren't on the up and up. If you're young, or you're at a vulnerable point of your life(grieving or recovering from something), think again. This isn't easy. You have to be able to depend on those around you, for support in what you do.
If you are writing to someone of the opposite sex, (or, in some cases, same sex), there is a very real chance that an inmate will become romantically interested in you. It pays off to -in your very first letter- let someone know you are not in this for romantic reasons, or are in a relationship already, with no intentions to break that off. With mutual respect, this will be understood.
On the flip side, some of these men are incredibly hunky, sweet guys who got mixed up in a big mess. I know many women who have fallen for inmates and even men on death row and most are very happy. There is something about this type of relationship that a particular type of person flourishes in.
So What Now? Where Do I Start?
If you are sure you want to do this, these are a few places to find inmates who want to correspond.

I can always hook you up with someone. I write almost every person I have blogged about here and I am a pro at finding inmates anywhere in the world. I also know who needs a helping hand and who just has their hand out, ya know? Just ask.
Online, inmates can be found at many different sites. Most of them do not ask for a contribution, but hint at donations or clicking on their sponsor's banner. This of course is NOT something you have to do. In general, most addresses are free. They just take a bit of searching on the Internet to find. The best list for these sites, or rather, the most complete, is found by simply searching state departments of correction. However, do remember that anyone can write these men and women: it could be that an inmate has had two or three responses before yours, and since some have a limited amount of stamps per week, this might already be too much. 
It really can change lives. YOUR letter really can stop a murder, halt a robber, prevent a rape. Make a change in a persons life with a few strokes of a pen.


Gary C King- True Crime BlogTour

Gary C King will be joining us on the blog tour next week.
You may recognize him from his many television appearances detailing the details of his books.You will most definetly recognize him from his titles, including my favorite, Driven to Kill, the story of serial child killer Westley Allan Dodd.
His other titles include Web of deceit, Blind Rage, Savage Vengeance, An Early Grave, The Texas 7, Murder in Hollywood, Agels of Death, and Stolen in the Night among others.

Mr.King will guesting posting here next week as well as on several other author blogs during the True Crime book tour beginning July 23rd here at The Woman Condemned. 
Stay tuned. 


The Devil's Rooming House: The True Story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer

True Crime Book - The Devil's Rooming House by M. William Phelps - Female Serial Killer Amy Archer
True Crime Book - The Devil's Rooming House by M. William Phelps - Female Serial Killer Amy Archer
By Timothy Zaun

Windsor, Connecticut owns the legacy of America's deadliest female serial killer, Amy Archer. Between 1908 and 1916, Archer, murdered at least 22 people. True Crime author, M. William Phelps chronicles Archer's life and crimes in The Devil's Rooming House: The True Story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer.

Amy and James Archer opened the Archer Home for Elderly People and Chronic Invalids in 1907. Pioneers in the Connecticut home healthcare field, they offered "Life care for $1,000," or weekly rates between $7 and $25 for food, shelter and medical care. Then, patients in asylums, institutions and similar facilities were often referred to as "inmates."

Archer walked the town as a Bible-carrying Christian reinforcing the community's admiration for her caretaker calling. Townspeople called her "Sister Amy." Truth was, Archer had no interest in religion and, as time would tell, had no formal training as a nurse. Inmates at the Archer Home were dying at unprecedented rates. Archer's husband James expired mysteriously in February 1910.

Most of Archer's victims succumbed to a deadly elixir of freshly squeezed lemons, warm water, a touch of sugar to liberate the bitterness-and arsenic. Archer killed residents to create faster bed turnover to increase revenues and help her chronic debt challenges. Bodies were removed in the night and swiftly embalmed to prevent investigation.

Michael Gilligan, a respected townsman and twenty years senior to Archer, became smitten with her; and they soon married. He too died an untimely death; allowing Amy to quickly file a claim in Probate Court for his assets.

Carlan Hollister Goslee, was a twenty-two-year-old freelance reporter for the local newspaper.A friend of the Archer's, he was the first to suspect Amy's crimes. Clifton Sherman, editor of the paper knew Goslee's story was big. He displayed utmost professionalism, refraining from printing the expose' until undeniable evidence was discovered, which took years.

May 8 1916 brought Archer's arrest at her home. By now, "Sister Amy" had become the "Witch of Windsor." Her trial began in June 1917; and Archer did not take the stand. The all-male jury (women didn't begin serving jury duty until later that year) convicted her of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to hang at a Connecticut state prison; only to have her fate commuted by the Governor. A second trial found Archer using the insanity plea. Another twist not present in the original proceedings allowed Archer lifelong institutionalization vs. execution.

Phelps not only details Archer's story, but concurrent events that shaped New England's history. The region experienced a record-breaking heat wave the first two weeks of July 1911. To avoid pain, residents slept outside on their mattresses, businesses closed and people drowned. An estimated 2,000 deaths were attributed to the crisis. Reading Phelps's account of the heat wave makes you appreciate today's ubiquitous air conditioning; which wasn't commonplace in the US until after World War II. Imagine too the extra discomfort Archer's inmates must have experienced in addition to subpar care.
Sixteen pages of black and white photos complement Phelps's narrative. They depict key characters, including Archer, the general store where the arsenic was purchased and Archer's would-be hanging room.

In 1941, playwright Joseph Kesselring debuted Arsenic and Old Lace on Broadway; which was based on Archer's story. His literary genius created a comedic account of an historical tragedy. Reading Phelps's conclusion where he chronicles the 66 "reported" Archer Home deaths; you realize Archer's actions were no laughing matter. It's a powerful visual to see her murderous trail on paper.

In March 1962, Archer died at a Connecticut state institution where she'd lived for almost 40 years. Interestingly, the local newspaper ran her obituary on page 6, almost as an afterthought.
Phelps has written several books about serial killers and 8 books covering female murderers. He admits, through time, some details of the Archer case were lost. Still, his nearly six-years of thorough research rewards you with a captivating account of America's deadliest female serial killer.

Timothy Zaun is a blogger, speaker and freelance writer.
Visit him online at http://timzaun.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Timothy_Zaun

Alyssa Bustamante Update