TRUE CRIME USA - Adrian Langenscheid - E-Book


Adrian Langenscheid

6,99 €


Real Crime Cases From The United States | 14 Shocking Short Stories Taken From Real Life "Adrian's unsparing short stories are like the tragic storm that unexpectedly strikes. Before you know it, all he left behind is destruction. What remains are strong emotions, many questions and the feeling of being thrown back on what really matters in life." "Langenscheid's cool, clear short stories don't seem to aim for emotion, but precisely because of their brutal, matter-of-fact, neutral portrayal they are so incredibly shocking." TRUE CRIME USA – REAL CRIME CASES FROM THE UNITED STATES Cold blooded murders, fatal family dramas, and a spectacular robbery. It's no secret that True Crime is not for the faint-of-heart. These true and authentic criminal cases tell the stories of people known to us - friendly neighbours, devoted parents and/or loving partners. This book is about the people behind their bourgeois façade, where unspeakably deep human abysses exist that nobody, not even those closest to them, would have thought was possible. In his second book "TRUE CRIME USA"", one of Germany's bestselling true crime authors, Adrian Langenscheid once again documents the real crimes from real neighbourhoods. This time, the tales originate from the United States of America. Crimes that actually happened - you will be captivated and shocked, amazed and moved to tears. Shaken to the core, you will question everything you think you know about human nature. Even investigators, judges, defense lawyers and public prosecutors are not immune to the fact that these defendants are on trial for particularly horrific acts. The heartbreaking fates of the victims and their relatives are gradually exposed. In an ideal world, the final verdict ensures the just punishment of the perpetrators - but what punishment is truly-just in the face of such cruel reality? In fourteen true crime short stories, you will get to know some of the most-spectacular American true crime cases of the last few decades. Crimes such as murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, abuse, fraud, treason and robbery often involve "people like you and me" whose lives have suddenly and completely changed from one day to the next due to tragic circumstances. Life writes the most horrific stories and this book sums them up. Immerse yourself in the shocking world of true crime cases and real crimes! TRUE CRIME USA.

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Adrian Langenscheid




Table of Contents

Title Page

TRUE CRIME USA | Real Crime Cases From The United States | Adrian Langenscheid: 14 Shocking Short Stories Taken From Real Life (True Crime International, #2)


Introductory Remarks

Chapter 1: | Because he is black...

Chapter 2: | The phone call

Chapter 3: | A cruel plan | (by Alexander Apeitos)

Chapter 4: | Lovesickness

Chapter 5: | The tape

Chapter 6: | Sudden infant death

Chapter 7: | The holiday replacement

Chapter 8: | The Preacher

Chapter 9: | Blackout

Chapter 10: | The house

Chapter 11: | Infanticide

Chapter 12: | The Party

Chapter 13 | The Intruder | (by Alexander Apeitos)

Chapter 14 | The Gift

Closing remarks by the author

Adrian Langenscheid




About this book:

Cold-blooded murders, a tragic kidnapping, ruthless economic crimes, devastating family tragedies, and a spectacular robbery - fourteen true crime short stories about real-life American crime. Neither the judges, the prosecutors nor the defense attorneys are immune to the fact that the suspects are on trial for extremely cruel crimes while the shattering fates of the victims and their families gradually play out. In an ideal world, the final sentence ensures a just punishment for the an ideal world.



Adrian Langenscheid is an author, composer and educational film producer. His work crosses several disciplines and is largely devoted to the narrative of the human experience and the meaning of life. Adrian lives with his wife and children in Stuttgart, Germany.

Imprint (German)

Authors: Adrian Langenscheid & Alexander Apeitos

ISBN: 978-3-98661-022-7

Edited byJenny Sholer

1st edition Dezember 2019

2019 Stefan Waidelich Zeisigweg 6.72213 Altensteig

Cover Picture: © Canva

Cover design: Pixa Heros Stuttgart

The work, including its parts, is protected by copyright. Any use outside the narrow limits of copyright law without the consent of the copyright holder and the author is prohibited. This applies in particular to electronic or other reproduction, translation, distribution and making publicly available.


If you had told me before the publication of my first book that it would become a bestseller within just 3 weeks, I wouldn’t have believed you. Months later, thanks to numerous readers, my debut is still on the True Crime Bestseller List. As a writer, the unexpected success has made me humble. It certainly wouldn't have been possible without all the readers who shared my passion for True Crime leaving reviews. Only through these reviews is it possible for us lesser-known authors, who have no big marketing budgets or publishers behind them, to be found on different online stores. With "True Crime USA", you now have the follow-up to the bestseller. I dedicate it with gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the first book with their purchase, feedback and reviews.

Yours, Adrian Langenscheid

Introductory Remarks

I am a passionate True Crime reader and I love listening to podcasts about true crimes. What I like most is the retelling of real crime stories. I am often deeply-affected with what people are capable of. What is it about True Crime that fascinates us so much? Is it voyeurism or a primordial human need for security? Is it to be able to assess and prevent dangerous situations to avoid becoming a victim of a horrible incident? I am moved by the questions about how things could get this far at all. Would it have been possible to prevent these deeds and if so, who had the power at what time to turn the terrible fate over? Many of these questions often remain unanswered.

Life sometimes writes stories that leave protagonists and viewers stunned and shocked. This is not a story, however. It is cruel reality that will strike you in the next 14 chapters. A reality that is more shattering than any fiction. What happens in front of our own doorsteps can be absolutely incomprehensible and horrifying. It´s about friends and loved ones, the nice family from next door, self-sacrificing mothers or the neighbour who always greeted us in such a friendly and courteous way or people we think we know. But behind their bourgeois appearance are unspeakably deep abysses which nobody, even in their immediate surroundings, would have thought to be possible.

Terrible crimes cause the world to collapse for victims and all those close to them.

Is it really true that the vast majority of all crimes are committed out of passion? Is it true that, under certain circumstances, each of us is capable of killing another human being? By reading the following stories, you can form your own opinion.

In this book, I once again introduce you to 14 famous, real-life, criminal cases, this time from the United States, that happened not so long ago. Let yourself be carried away, touched and moved to tears by eleven cruel, but completely different, murders, a dramatic kidnapping and a spectacular robbery! Feel the almost-unimaginable pain of the victims and their relatives! Experience the screaming injustice of when the perpetrator cannot be identified, and an innocent person takes his place in the electric chair. Amuse yourself with a robbery that remains unforgotten still today and led to the most-expensive gay porn in history! Put yourself in the position of those involved and be amazed at how reality can surpass even the most pronounced imagination!

Ruthlessly, I present to you the true facts in short story form. A few of the participants’ names have been changed to protect their personal rights.

While it’s possible to write whole books about each case, that is not my intention. Short stories are like an unexpected and tragic storm. Before you know it, it has left nothing but destruction, strong emotions and many questions. Here, you will find crimes in short form that make you want to think further.

As you read these stories, you will laugh and cry, be amazed, horrified and speechless.

Chapter 1:

Because he is black...

The scene is tantalizing: The door opens and the three of them come in. One of them is a little boy. He literally has to hold the thick Bible in front of his chest. Without the firm grip of the two guards pushing him forward, the child would probably break down. His whole-body trembles, tears run down his cheeks, his lips shake - for this is supposed to be his last walk. The electric chair awaits George Stinney Junior. Soon 5,380 volts will chase through his little body!

Following a frighteningly cold routine, the14-year-old boy is placed on the execution machine. He whines, cries, and begs the men around him to let him go; but they don't react. Instead, the straps are tied, and the damp sponges placed. How can it be that the staff remain so unconcerned while the child almost faints with fear? When everything is in order, they cover his face with a cloth and tie it up because the execution witnesses  are supposed to be prevented from seeing excessively-gruesome scenes.

It is often said that in one’s last moments he sees his whole life flash before him. Was it the same for George Stinney, Jr.? Did the child even understand why something so terrible was being done to him?  

George Junius Stinney, Junior was born on 21 October 1929. In Sumter, South Carolina, an old, southern state racial segregation still exists, and people have faith in the healing effect of the death penalty because only draconian punishments offer the best deterrence.

The world George grows up in is experiencing a time of radical change: the First World War has been over for only a few years, and the aftermath can still be felt throughout the USA. It is already clear that the economy is about to enter a downswing - one that will not discriminate between the poor and the rich. After George Junius moved, his family finally gained a foothold in Alcolu, South Carolina.

Those days, blacks and whites in South Carolina could still not sit together on a bus. They had to attend separate schools and their perspectives on life were different. Whites saw themselves as the upper class and had difficulty distinguishing between the faces of colored people. Equal rights for all? Such thoughts are so far away; rather, the colored are seen as unsophisticated, drive-controlled and essentially evil. This already seems to apply to small children. "Negros" are second-class people, with no real possibility of  happiness in life.

It's 1944 and World War II is entering its final phase, when a homicide frightens Alcolu. The parents of 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames soon sensed that something must have happened to the two girls because they didn’t come home at the arranged time. The more hours pass, the more worried the parents become, searching for the girls. Finally, they decide to call in the local police, who immediately begin a feverish search. It is difficult to speak of success in this context, but the following morning the girls are found – dead in a ditch.

The sight of them brings tears to even the most hardened men in the community. The children’s tender bodies lie motionless and rigid in the shallow water of the ditch. The water causes their dresses to stick to them and allows their skin to shine through. Their hair moves back and forth in the flowing current - as do their heads. The most shocking of all? Their skullcaps are a horrifying mixture of blood, bones and brain mass. Betty June and Mary Emma were brutally beaten to death.

For local investigators, it is not easy to tell the parents what happened to their beloved children. After all, they know each other by sight and have been living next door for years.  The suffering in the mines is hard to endure when the bitter truth is revealed to them. Betty June's mother needs a moment to comprehend it all. Suddenly, it hits her like a lightning strike, and she faints on the porch while her husband stands trembling next to her with a frozen face. Mary Emma's parents, on the other hand, run up to the gate to meet the men, take each other in their arms and burst into tears. They have been deprived of the sweetest thing in their lives, a stroke of fate they will never get over.

Deeply moved, the investigators turn away and drag themselves back to the city. The inhabitants of Alcolu are waiting in fear behind window curtains. When they see the investigators, they all run out to harass them into telling them what happened to the girls. A feeling of great distress and unrest settles on the small town, for something so terrible has never happened here before. They don’t say much, but the news of the deaths of Betty June and Mary Emma is spreading like wildfire. Deeply worried faces and a sense of bewilderment are everywhere. Soon, the first angry cries for revenge and retaliation are heard. How can one live here in peace and tranquility when he has to fear for his children? Who can rest easy when the killer of two little girls is wandering around free? The cops think the same. They too feel the need for revenge once they have overcome their numbness and shock. Feverishly, they start their investigations and interviews, doing everything they can to present a culprit to the public as quickly as possible. They are unleashed and on the hunt!

The 14-year-old George quickly comes into focus for the investigators. He is a cheerful teenager; in the throes of puberty and just beginning to take an interest in girls. Most people in Alcolu know George, but he has two big factors hurting him: his family only recently moved in, and they are colored. George Junius is a black boy, a fact that is already suspicious in this world of segregation. Add to that the fact that the community watched as he and his sister talked to the two girls on the day of their disappearance, and this fact is sufficient to make George the prime suspect in the double homicide. A witness claims that George allegedly approached the two girls because he wanted to have sex with the 11-year-old. The same day the two girls are found, George is arrested. Unfortunately, this also immediately ends all searches for any other potential perpetrators. From now on, it's all about proving the boy's guilt.

The motive for the crime: Allegedly, George wanted to have sex, but because the older girl refused to engage with him, he felt rejected and decided to kill them both.

The police interrogation soon follows but can’t be reconstructed because all relevant documents about it have disappeared. What was it like for George to be in a room with three angry policemen convinced of his guilt? Did they threaten or trick him into finally admitting their truth? Did they possibly even become violent? The only thing known is the result - George confesses to committing the murder of the two girls. At least that's what they say. The truth is, neither a written confession nor a record of the interrogation exists; only a few handwritten notes made by one of the interrogating deputies. Neither George’s parents nor his lawyer were present for the interrogation.

With feverish haste they proceed and just one month later the trial starts. The composition of the jury already indicates that there is no easy trial waiting for the defendant, as the jurors are all white men. with  families at home, and beloved children they want to protect relentlessly and emphatically from such a monster. And Stinney's lawyer? He shines due to  his noble restraint. Unfortunately, he does not succeed in building a real defense for his client. Is it because he can't or doesn't want to?  Additionally, important evidence is not sufficiently dealt with. In the end, everything seems like a show trial, and in the center stands a completely terrified boy, completely overwhelmed with the entire situation.

George is sitting on the dock, small, anxious and intimidated. He has trouble following the trial and all the arguments. In the end, he is relieved when, after just five hours, all the talk is over. It was thought that the process would take days before a decision was reached, but this afternoon everything happens very quickly.

As the jury leaves the room, everyone is preparing for a long break. Murder case consultations usually take a long time. The audience is all the more surprised when, after only ten minutes, the door opens, and the jurors return. They didn't spend much time on big consultations; everyone is completely convinced that in that little boy, they found the unscrupulous killer of the two girls. And if not – oh, well, that just means there is one less black person in this world. That is how some people think during his time.  The verdict is guilty. The sentence? Death by execution using the electric chair.

Does George understand what is waiting for him? Certainly not, but his parents and family, who break into desperate sobs and tears on the benches, do. The unbelievable has happened - a child has just been sentenced to death! George will  be the youngest person sentenced to death. Even now, his lawyer remains passive and does not even attempt to appeal the sentence.

The judiciary seems to understand the people of Alcolu’s need for revenge and the boy’s punishment is pursued without compromise. A mere two months after the conviction, the date for the execution is set for Richland.

On 16 June 1944, the guards fetch the child from death row and bring him to the electric chair without any human emotion, comfort or assistance. He reaffirms his innocence again and again, but the judges and executioners do not seem impressed and act terribly cold. According to procedural instructions, they finally flip the switches ...

Stinney Jr. never had the opportunity to graduate from school, fall in love, start a family or see his own children. He dies an agonizing death at the age of 14.

While many other cases are forgotten, the fate of George Junius has moved people again and again over the decades. His family, convinced of his innocence, has repeatedly made efforts to reopen the case. They were supported by civil rights activists who were also convinced that the trial was unjust and unjustified.

It will be another 70 years before there is any movement in the matter, but all this perseverance will pay off! In 2014, the case of George Junius Stinney Jr. is again examined by a U.S. court - and the death penalty is subsequently lifted! The judge, Carmen Mullen, is convinced that the boy suffered a great injustice from the state. She describes this case as a particularly bad example of how a black person was injured during the time of segregation by the judiciary. In addition to numerous procedural errors, Mullen criticized the shocking speed with which the sentence was handed down and carried out. The boy’s fundamental rights were violated. Mullen is also critical of the confession that formed the basis of the verdict. It was likely obtained by blackmail, but in any case, it was untrustworthy.

The rehabilitation of George is a great relief for his family. His 80-year-old sister Kathrine Robinson, a retired teacher from New Jersey, who also spoke to the two girls who were killed, is incredibly grateful. Since 17 December 2014, it is clear that George was innocent!

However, there is still one tormenting question left unanswered. If George is innocent, then on whose hands does the blood of the three victims stick?

Chapter 2:

The phone call

The six-year-old screams out loud in pure horror as the gun suddenly turns on her slightly older sister. Without any understanding of what is happening to her, the gunshot hits her in the back. She collapses like a little rag doll. That's the moment when the six-year-old turns around in terror and runs to the front door. Her little heart beats in her throat and tears drip from her eyes. As soon as she reaches the hallway, the door is within reach!

But then she gets thrown forward. It's as if a huge fist caught the petite girl in her back. She first feels the pain in her back as she is lying on the floor. It burns so much ... As she hears the footsteps, she continues to try to crawl towards the door, but in vain. One hand grabs the child by the shoulder, trembling like aspen leaves, and turns her around. Then the pursuer shoots the girl in the head.

While the gaze of her eyes breaks and her breathing stops, a last, pleading thought flashes through the child's mind: "Papa ...".

On 2 August 1955, John David Battaglia Jr. was born in Alabama. The next few years he moves with his parents all over the United States. He even lives for some time in Germany, because his father was a part of the U.S. Army. After school, John joins the U.S. Marines, a legendary troupe whose members refer to themselves as "leather necks" or "hellhounds". Those who pass here have gone through hell.

John becomes a sergeant and moves closer to his father, who has settled in Dallas. He attends night school twice a week, passes the CPA exam and begins work as an accountant. In addition, the handsome, 1.83-meter tall man with green eyes models.

It’s during this time when John enchants single parent lawyer Michelle G., with whom he experiences the birth of their daughter, Kristy, during their marriage. However, in 1987 he divorces Michelle. His excessive temperament has become a problem in their relationship.

In 1991, John finds a new love of his life: Mary Jean Pearle. On April 6th of that year, the couple give each other the yes-word and one year later, rejoice over the birth of their daughter, Mary Faith. Then in 1995, Liberty Mae is born.  The happiness of the Battaglia-Pearle family seems perfect - at least to outsiders.

For behind the beautiful façade, a crisis is arising. Already on their wedding night John showed his true face, verbally abusing and insulting his wife badly. From then on, such scenes were a part of everyday life in the small family, but Mary Jean Pearle endures it for the sake of the children. Only after an especially violent attack, with verbal derailments, does Pearle finally take heart and separate from John. Since he is no longer allowed to live with Pearle, a visitation arrangement for the children is made. Mary Jean doesn't want to take away their father away from their kids. The two girls love him above all else, and John too adores Faith and Liberty.

On Christmas Day of the same year, however, the marital feud reaches the next level when Battaglia comes to see his daughters. He suddenly freaks out and hits Mary Jean in the back of the head. She files a complaint and her abusive ex is finally punished for domestic violence. His probation period is two years. In addition, Battaglia is forbidden to approach his wife or send her messages. Immediately after the pronouncement of the sentence, Pearle files for divorce, which becomes valid in August 2000.

Battaglia, however, has problems accepting the probation conditions. He stalks his ex-wife, terrorizes her with phone calls, leaves hateful messages with nasty insults on her mailbox. He obviously can't put the whole thing on file yet. At the end of April 2001, Mary Jean finally takes heart and informs the authorities about John's behaviour. She points out that he also smokes marijuana - another probation violation.

Mary Jeane Pearle is still firmly convinced that Battaglia's hatred is directed exclusively against her, because even in his worst phases, he only has loving words for his two girls. That's why she allows Faith and Liberty to continue their regular meetings with their father.

But 2 April 2001 is the fateful day on which her conviction will turn out to be false.

As usual, Pearle brings her girls to the agreed meeting point in the shopping mall. The mother prefers to meet Battaglia in a neutral place. But on this day, he seems a bit tense. Shortly before, the ex-marine received a critical phone call which incited his feelings of hatred. The caller informed him that he would go to prison because of Pearl's complaint.