From Murders and Psychic Frauds to 'Dirty John': Exploring Old and New True Crime Stories

Published : Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | 1:10 AM

L-R: Melanie Hicken, Christopher Goffard, Barbara Schoreder, Clark Fogg

On Saturday, May 1 at 5:00 p.m., Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse presents a panel discussion, From Murders and Psychic Frauds to ‘Dirty John’: Exploring Old and New True Crime Stories. The panel, led by CNN investigative reporter Melanie Hicken, includes journalist Christopher Goffard, whose podcast ‘Dirty John’ was downloaded over 10 million times within six weeks of its release; investigative reporter and former TV anchor Barbara Schoreder; and forensic specialist Clark Fogg.

All four panelist have written true crime books: Hickens – A Deal with the Devil: The Dark and Twisted True Story of One of the Biggest Cons in History (co-authored with Blake Ellis, published by Simon & Schuster); Goffard – Dirty John and Other Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders (published by Simon & Schuster); Schroeder and Fogg – Beverly Hills Confidential: A Century of Stars, Scandals and Murders (published by Angel City Press). Their books, experiences, and insights as investigators are the subject of this panel.

Melanie Hicken is an award-winning investigative reporter for CNN. Her work has exposed everything from widespread sexual abuse in nursing homes to one of the longest-running scams in history. A Deal with the Devil is the fascinating, thrilling search for the truth about the mysterious French psychic at the center of this international con targeting the elderly and emotionally vulnerable. Hicken and CNN colleague Blake Ellis take readers across the U.S. to England and France on an edge-of-your-seat journey in search of the truth. Their book is long-form investigative journalism at its best.

Praise for A Deal with the Devil: Journalists Ellis and Hicken out-sleuthed professional law enforcement in unraveling the mystery of a $200 million global scam. What they have wrought would have made a gripping novel. The fact that every word is true is what makes this book downright shocking. -Adam L. Penenberg, Journalism Professor at NYU.

Christopher Goffard’s “Dirty John” podcast-about a conman who terrorizes a Southern California family-has been downloaded more than 20 million times. It premiered in 2018 as a drama on Bravo and also ran as a print series in the Los Angeles Times. Over two decades at newspapers from Florida to California, Goffard has reported on the shadowy, unseen corners of society. He is considered one of America’s most acclaimed literary journalists.

Praise for Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders: Here are fifteen of the best stories in contemporary journalism by an award-winning reporter known for his research and accuracy, but whose work reads as well as the best in modern fiction. Goffard is a great storyteller whose pieces I read over and over for insight, inspiration and pure pleasure. -William Friedkin, Oscar-winning director of The Exorcist and The French Connection.

In Beverly Hills Confidential, investigative reporter Barbara Schroeder and Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) CSI inspector Clark Fogg re-examine sensational crime stories of the past century and show how greed, jealousy, passion, corruption, and simple bad luck turned the once-idyllic movie star sanctuary into a haven for headlines. Schroeder is an Emmy Award winning journalist who anchored at KTTV in Los Angeles, worked on the TV show “Extra,” and is a documentary filmmaker. Fogg is the Senior Forensic Specialist at BHPD Crime Lab and has conducted over thirty thousand crime scene investigations. He has written articles and taught classes on CSI techniques.

Praise for Beverly Hills Confidential: This book is ‘a rip-roaring read,’ documenting not only long forgotten scandals and crimes, but also those that made international headlines. -Goodreads review

For further information, contact Gail Mishkin at (818) 790-0717. Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse is located at 1010 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge, at the intersection of Foothill Blvd. and the Angeles Crest Hwy. Take the Angeles Crest exit off the 210, turn south, make a right onto Foothill Blvd., and turn left onto Chevy Chase. Parking is in the rear of the store.







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