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📒Deconstructing Sammy ✍ Matt Birkbeck
✏Deconstructing Sammy Book Summary : Sammy Davis Jr. lived a storied life. Adored by millions over a six-decade-long career, he was considered an entertainment icon and a national treasure. But despite lifetime earnings that topped $50 million, Sammy died in 1990 near bankruptcy. His estate was declared insolvent, and there was no possibility of itever using Sammy's name or likeness again. It was as if Sammy had never existed. Years later his wife, Altovise, a once-vivacious woman and heir to one of the greatest entertainment legacies of the twentieth century, was living in poverty, and with nowhere else to go, she turned to a former federal prosecutor, Albert "Sonny" Murray, to make one last attempt to resolve Sammy's debts, restore his estate, and revive his legacy. For seven years Sonny probed Sammy's life to understand how someone of great notoriety and wealth could have lost everything, and in the process he came to understand Sammy as a man whose complexity makes for a riveting work of celebrity biography as cultural history. Matt Birkbeck's serious work of investigative journalism unveils the extraordinary story of an international celebrity at the center of a confluence of entertainment, politics, and organized crime, and shows how even Sammy's outsized talent couldn't save him from himself.
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📒The Quiet Don ✍ Matt Birkbeck
✏The Quiet Don Book Summary : To what extent was Rosario “Russell” Bufalino involved in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa in 1975? In the CIA’s recruitment of gangsters to assassinate Fidel Castro? In organizing the historic meeting of crime chieftains in 1957? Even in the production of The Godfather movie? Secretive—even reclusive—Russell Bufalino quietly built his organized crime empire in the decades between Prohibition and the Carter presidency. His reach extended far beyond the coal country of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and quaint Amish farms near Lancaster. Bufalino had a hand in global, national, and local politics of the largest American cities, many of its major industries, and controlled the powerful Teamsters Union. His influence also reached the highest levels of Pennsylvania government and halls of Congress, and his legacy left a culture of corruption that continues to this day. A uniquely American saga that spans six decades, The Quiet Don follows Russell Bufalino’s remarkably quiet ascent from Sicilian immigrant to mob soldier to a man described by a United States Senate subcommittee in 1964 as “one of the most ruthless and powerful leaders of the Mafia in the United States.” INCLUDES PHOTOS
📒A Beautiful Child ✍ Matt Birkbeck
✏A Beautiful Child Book Summary : Sharon Marshall was a brilliant and beautiful student whose future was filled with promise—until her murderous, fugitive father drew her into a lifetime of deception that became one of the most baffling cases in the annals of American true crime. A student at Forest Park High School near Atlanta, Georgia, popular blonde-haired Sharon Marshall was at the top of her class. Serving as a Lt. Colonel in the ROTC, she earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech University to study aerospace engineering. She was the ultimate girl next door, sweet, generous, and well-adjusted. But Sharon had disturbing secrets so shocking and unique, they took more than a decade to unravel... This is the horrifying true story of a mysterious young woman caught in the violent web of the murderous fugitive she called her father—and a heartrending testament to the profound courage and perseverance of one woman trapped in the grip of extreme evil.
📒A Deadly Secret ✍ Matt Birkbeck
✏A Deadly Secret Book Summary : The recent arrest in New Orleans and the HBO documentary The Jinx have put Robert Durst back in the headlines. Here, from the first reporter to access Durst’s NYPD files, is the authoritative account of a decades-long criminal odyssey—the very book found in Durst’s own apartment when it was searched by police. When medical student Kathie Durst vanished in 1982, she was married to Robert Durst, son of a New York real estate magnate. Kathie’s friends had reason to implicate her husband. They told police that Kathie lived in terror of Robert, and that she had uncovered incriminating financial evidence about him. But Durst’s secrets went even deeper. For decades, Kathie’s disappearance remained a mystery. Then in 2001, Durst, an heir to an empire valued at two billion dollars, was arrested for shoplifting in Pennsylvania. When the police brought him in, they discovered that he was a suspect in the murder of Texas drifter Morris Black, whose dismembered remains were found floating in Galveston Bay, and that Durst was also wanted for questioning in the killing of his friend, Susan Burman, in Los Angeles. Based on interviews with family, friends, and acquaintances of Durst, law enforcement, and others involved in the case, A Deadly Secret is a cross-country odyssey of stolen IDs and multiple identities that raises baffling questions about one of the country’s most prominent families—and one of its most elusive suspected killers. Includes additional material not in the original Berkley edition and eight pages of photographs
📒Finding Sharon ✍ Matt Birkbeck
✏Finding Sharon Book Summary : In his international bestseller A Beautiful Child, award winning investigative journalist Matt Birkbeck told the heartbreaking story of a brilliant and beautiful young woman known as Sharon Marshall. Caught in the murderous web of the monster she called her father, Sharon wasn't her real name. But her horrifying story captured the hearts of readers everywhere and lead to a ten-year search to resolve two great mysteries - what was her true identity, and what became of her young son Michael, who was kidnapped from his first grade classroom and never seen again. The worldwide interest in Sharon's story prompted the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to open a new case file enlisting the FBI - and with A Beautiful Child as a roadmap, two FBI agents set their sights on death row interviews with Sharon's tormentor to learn the shocking truth. Equal parts memoir and narrative journalism, Finding Sharon picks up where A Beautiful Child left off and brings to a close one of the greatest mysteries in the annals of law enforcement - and a miraculous ending that will leave you in tears. Reviews "Finding Sharon is a thrilling detective story with a heart of love. Matt Birkbeck shows himself again to be a wonderful storyteller and a most determined investigator as he unravels the final chapter of the tragic and mysterious journey of a gifted young woman." Paul Moses, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of An Unlikely Union and The Saint and the Sultan.