Thursday, November 30, 2017

DIABO Van Breda Book Description

What devilry hides in plain sight? What lies buried in the details, something not quite right?

 True crime maestro Nick van der Leek sat in on Henri van Breda’s testimony-in-chief on Halloween 2017, as well as the state’s multi-day cross-examination. By sitting at arm’s length from the accused and the state prosecutor, Van der Leek absorbs a smorgasbord of direct, first-hand hand insights beyond the range of the livefeed cameras.

 Who is the strange young man at the centre of this trial, accused of murdering his own flesh and blood with an axe? Van der Leek performs another meticulous analysis, this time casting an intuitive net over the accused’s marathon testimony. He deals with the young Van Breda recounting that terrible January night in 2015, distilling all the key micro expressions, idiosyncrasies and crucial body language the 23-year-old heir leaks while on the stand.

 Van der Leek lays these out in scrupulous detail, showing where blocks of time don’t fit or are added, seemingly ex post facto. Besides a number of critical contradictions, the author also highlights a fascinating key “tell” in the accused’s court room poker game of poker. Are there any instances of duping delight?

 The author’s deep dive cross-references the police statement to the plea explanation to Van Breda’s testimony. It plumbs even greater detail than the state prosecutor, but ultimately reinforces many of Susan Galloway’s original arguments.

 “A serious problem with Henri’s version of events, both in terms of the police statement and his – far more vague – plea explanation, is that the timeline doesn’t seem to add up.” In the end, Van der Leek’s experience in the court room provides a chilling and at times, terrifying analysis.

“If Henri didn’t love his family then he hated and murdered them. And it’s Henri who gives us this most macabre detail of all, a detail he didn’t need to give, but gives us anyway: that whoever butchered his family, did so while laughing…”


 “If one entertains the worst case scenario in this terrible story, the question becomes: what primary driving force could there possibly be to hate one’s own flesh and blood, enough to want to dispatch each in turn with an axe, and then revel in their suffering afterwards?”

 They say God is in the details, but what about the Devil?

Diablo is available exclusively on Amazon Kindle.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

sequin star: 2007-2009

Is the Ramsey case unsolvable? What kind of alchemy is required to dig up new revelations decades after the JonBenét Ramsey case went cold? 
In the second Sequin Star narrative, the authors seek to build a brand new psychological case from the ground up.  They burrow deep through the darkest vestiges of the criminal archive and hold the Ramsey Intruder Theory up against real cases involving real intruders, like the Karla Brown murder and sexual assault from 1978.
The authors also test a myriad of inconsistencies in the Ramseys’ ever-evolving narrative. Why do they exist? What are these irksome inconsistencies covering up so many years later?
In addition to timeline critical events spanning 2007 – 2012, the second Sequin Star also interrogates:
-              Lighting inside the Ramsey home on the night of the murder
-              The northern neighbor Scott Gibbons’ eyewitness testimony
-              The Broken Playroom door
-              The flight itinerary of N2059W, John Ramsey’s personal plane
-              John Douglas’ profile of the killer
-              The Ramseys’ attitude to the media during the maturing phase of their saga
The narrator, investigative photojournalist Nick van der Leek, examines the Ramsey case file through the fiery psychological shafts of grief.  He masterfully casts over endless evidentiary fluff, revealing tangibles buried deep within the 20-year-old Ramsey canon.
Lisa Wilson, an L.A. based true crime researcher, meticulously assimilates and filters all available information to synthesize, from the cloud, the most cogent counter narrative yet.
“The second narrative in this series is solid,” Wilson says. “It expands on the theory of the first in many ways we didn’t expect, and neither will the reader.”

By applying an arsenal of modern investigative techniques, the authors have crystallized the unspoken horror haunting the Ramsey case in the starkest terms to date.  So many words.  So many years.  So much time and life lost.  What can be salvaged from the ashes of one little girl’s life?

Note: The second sequin star is not available on Amazon.  Too much of a hot potato...

Buy sequin star #2 here.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Latest Review of THE CRAVEN SILENCE 3

By Melissa Manzella on February 9, 2017 [Verified Purchase]

 A magnificent work here on the third and final installation of the immensely popular series of narratives,The Craven Silence. I've read Van der Leek and Wilson's work now for several years, and appreciate each and every effort, but for those who haven't, I think the first thing you might notice is just how intelligent they are. This is a boon for obvious reasons, but perhaps the most beneficial asset as regards a quick mind and this case, is the ability to quickly separate at least some of what's relevant, from what isn't. This is invaluable in a case fraught with a voluminous amount of clutter, any number of rabbit holes one could foolishly scurry down at any turn, and one that presents with existing opposing theories. This is no easy feat, but tackle the job though they do, they do it brilliantly, and with aplomb.

A trademark of their work, is the effort they put into research, and in my personal experience in reading other books on the Jon Benét case, this effort sets them apart from others.

This brings me to the second point a new reader will readily notice and appreciate, which is their work ethic and determination. They provide supporting documentation to accompany any and all of their reasoning at each step along the way, dots are connected, and the end result is a theory of this case that finally has legs.

Turns out, this case wasn't nearly as complicated as it initially seemed, but just needed the help of a couple of independent thinkers to apply a healthy degree of discernment, and in some cases, skepticism, to the existing facts of the case, and then present it all in a cohesive manner to the reader. Van der Leek and Wilson have certainly done that.

They can also write. This is a gift that truly can't be underestimated in any genre, but is especially the case in true crime, where good writing is sometimes lacking. With their objectivity, reliance on existing facts and new ones they've most certainly established, these two, Van der Leek and Wilson, could have made darn good detectives should they have chosen the profession. As luck would have it, though, they didn't, and readers everywhere can raise a glass to that.