Charlotte True Crime Stories: Notorious Cases from Fraud to Serial Killing

Charlotte True Crime Stories: Notorious Cases from Fraud to Serial Killing

by Cathy Pickens


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A thrilling account of a hundred years of sensational and sinister deeds that marked and shaped one southern town.

Crimes that captivated attention in the Charlotte area over the years run the gamut from missing people to the wrongly accused. This collection of headline stories features violent motorcycle gangs, crusading mothers, a fraudster who claimed a president was poisoned by his wife, a serial killer who broke all the rules and even a man who made Bigfoot. With a mystery novelist's ear for a good tale, Cathy Pickens presents more than a century of sensational sinister deeds that marked this diverse and dynamic city.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467142458
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 08/12/2019
Series: True Crime
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,122,509
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Cathy Pickens, a lawyer and college professor, is a crime fiction writer (Southern Fried Mysteries, St. Martin's/Minotaur) and true crime columnist for Mystery Readers Journal. She taught law in the McColl School of Business and served as provost at Queens, as national president of Sisters in Crime and on the boards of Mystery Writers of America and the Mecklenburg Forensic Medicine Program (an evidence collection/preservation training collaborative). She is also the author of Charleston Mysteries: Ghostly Haunts in the Holy City (The History Press, 2007).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 11

1 The Hornet's Nest 13

Statistics or Stories? 13

The Original Nest 15

The Mocca Case 16

Charlotte's Famous Gases: PTL, Loomis Fargo Heist, Rae Carruth 19

My Favorite Cases: Razor Girl and Bigfoot 22

Why These Cases? 27

2 Tricksters, Frauds and Murder 29

Southern Charmer and Spy: Gaston Means 29

When Greed Turns Deadly: Joey Caldwell 35

3 Getting Away with Murder? 42

Small-Town Life 42

The Scene 43

Life Goes On 44

Suspicions 45

New Evidence 46

The Case 47

The News Conference 48

The Trial 49

New Twists 51

4 Gangs and Gangsters 54

Homegrown Bootlegging 54

The Crusader 56

The Oldest Profession 58

Peace and Love 59

The Angels' Funeral 60

In Other Biker News 64

5 The Woman Who Loved Horses 67

Easter Weekend 67

The Commute 69

The Suspicions 70

The Investigation 72

The Trial 74

6 The Doctor and the Handyman 76

Charlotte Newcomers 76

The Investigation 79

The Civil Case 81

The Evidence 83

The Interview 84

The Aftermath 85

7 Here and Away, Solved and Unsolved 87

Lost Here: Asha Degree, Kyle Fleischmann 87

Lost Away: Kristen Modafferi, Mary Shotwell Little 90

Solved: Erica Parsons, Dianne Gabriel 96

Unsolved: Speros Kokenes, Bruce Ruffin 101

Victims of Serial Killers? Sandee Cornett, Priscilla Blevins, Denise Porch 102

8 On the River 110

Spring Outings 110

The Investigation 114

The Arrests 115

More Questions 116

Questioned Evidence No. 1 117

Questioned Evidence No. 2 118

Questioned Evidence No. 3 119

Unresolved 119

9 International Intrigue 121

The Bhagwan 123

Viktor Gunnarsson 129

Gregory Caplinger 133

10 Crime-Fighters 137

"America's Finest Detective" 137

The Gang Capone Didn't Trust 138

Small Town to the City 139

Political Showdowns 141

Well-Told Tales 144

Different and Similar 146

Deadliest Time 148

Random Events 150

Rule-Breaking 152

References 159

About the Author 176

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