By Bertil Lintner
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Within the culture of The Orchid Thief, a compelling narrative set in the unusual and genteel global of rare-book amassing: the genuine tale of an notorious e-book thief, his sufferers, and the fellow made up our minds to seize him. Rare-book robbery is much more frequent than fine-art robbery. so much thieves, after all, thieve for revenue.
FROM TRUE-CRIME LEGEND ANN RULE comes this riveting tale of a tender lady whose existence ended too soon—and a decided mother’s eleven-year campaign to transparent her daughter’s identify.
It was once 9 days prior to Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds used to be on the point of commute from Seattle to Spokane to go to her mom and brother and grandmother earlier than the vacations. Ronda’s moment marriage was once dissolving after lower than a 12 months, her occupation as a pioneering woman Washington kingdom Trooper had ended, yet she used to be positive approximately beginning another time. "I’m really expecting getting on with my life," she advised her mom past the evening earlier than. "I simply desire a few days with you men. " Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mom, who had met her daughter’s moment husband just once earlier than, used to be simply chuffed that Ronda was once coming domestic.
At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds referred to as 911 and informed the dispatcher his spouse used to be useless. She had devoted suicide, he acknowledged, even supposing he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t understand if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was once performed. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the dying scene nor attended the post-mortem, declared the way of Ronda’s demise as "undetermined. " Over the subsequent 11 years, Coroner Wilson may swap that demeanour of dying from "undetermined" to "suicide," again to "undetermined"—and then again to "suicide" back.
But Barb Thompson by no means for one second believed her daughter dedicated suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics professional Marty Hayes or lawyer Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s associates. For 11 grueling years, in the course of the ups and downs of the criminal approach and its unending delays, those humans and others helped Barb Thompson struggle to strike that painful notice from her daughter’s loss of life certificates.
On November nine, 2009, a precedent-setting listening to was once held to figure out no matter if Coroner Wilson’s place of work have been derelict in its responsibility in investigating the loss of life of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime author Ann Rule was once current at that listening to, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled proof and current both sides of this haunting case and to figure out, might be, what occurred to Ronda Reynolds, within the sit back nonetheless of that tragic December evening.
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Extra resources for Blood brothers: Crime, business and politics in Asia
70 His mansion on Rue Wagner was one of the most famous in the French Concession, but it also had some very bizarre features. BigEared Du, who now was also known by an even less flattering nickname—‘Snake Eyes’—was a highly superstitious man who adhered to his own interpretation of ancient Chinese beliefs. For instance, he was born in 1888—the Year of the Rat—and therefore refused to let his servants disturb, let alone kill, any rodents in his house. 72 But it is nevertheless part of the legend that surrounded the wily urchin from Pudong.
54 The French officers did not interfere, and their Annamese gendarmes just kept on patrolling the streets. The almost surreal quality of the French Concession was further enhanced by the presence of large numbers of Russian refugees. The Communist victory in the Russian civil war had forced tens of thousands of people who remained loyal to the Tsar—hence the nickname ‘White’ Russians—to flee. The wealthiest ended up in Paris, London and New York, but those without money and contacts, and thousands of soldiers who had been trapped in the Russian Far East, crossed into Manchuria to settle in the city of Harbin.
His name was Du Yuesheng, an almost illiterate urchin from the slums of Pudong across the Huangpu. In 1902, when ‘Big-Eared Du’ was only fourteen, he had left his mud hovel in Pudong and gone across the river to Shanghai proper to look for a job. After working as an errand boy for a fruit vendor, he drifted into gambling. Being extremely fond of both sex and opium, he spent a lot of his youth in the ‘flower-smoke rooms’. Those two addictions were to follow him throughout his life. In the early 1910s, Du joined the Green Gang and became a follower of Chen Shichang, an opium trafficker in the Shiliupu area.