Saturday, March 27, 2004

Press Release
Source: The History Channel

True Crime Authors
Wednesday March 24, 12:51 pm ET
Murder In Greenwich With Mark Fuhrman
Donnie Brasco With Joe Pistone
A Sniper In The Tower With Gary Lavergne
Fire Lover With Joseph Wambaugh
Blow With Bruce Porter
The Westies With T.J. English

A six part series airing on The History Channel(R) April 4th, April 5 and April 6th at 8p.m. ET/PT

NEW YORK, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- What drives someone to commit a crime? Find out the shocking details behind some of the most notorious true crimes of the 20th century as told by the authors who wrote the books. Astonishing tales of murder, mayhem, corruption and cover-up are exposed in TRUE CRIME AUTHORS, a six-part series airing Sunday, April 4th through Tuesday, April 6th at 8p.m. ET/PT on The History Channel.

MURDER IN GREENWICH with Mark Fuhrman (Sunday, April 4th at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT)

In 1975, the brutal murder of fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley shocked one of America's wealthiest communities making national headlines. Evidence points to Michael and Tommy Skakel, members of one of the town's most affluent families and the nephews of Ethel and Robert Kennedy, but for nearly a quarter of a century, no arrest is made. It isn't until former detective Mark Fuhrman's investigation uncovers a web of influence and shoddy police work that justice is done. His investigation leads to the discovery of evidence that clearly implicates Michael Skakel. As a result, shortly after the publication of Fuhrman's book, Skakel was indicted for the crime, found guilty and began a twenty-year prison sentence.

DONNIE BRASCO with Joe Pistone (Sunday, April 4th at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT)

For six years Joe Pistone lived among two of New York's most infamous crime families -- The Bonannos and the Colombos -- posing as a jewel thief named Donnie Brasco. He accomplished what no one in the history of the bureau had ever done before. He successfully infiltrated the secretive and deadly world of La Cosa Nostra. Pistone pretended to condone burglaries and extortion; all the while he was keeping notes and taking names. By 1984 his perseverance and work helped put more than 100 mafia associates behind bars. In this True Crime Authors, the former federal agent recounts his own terrifying, often surprising and fascinating six year journey through the world of organized crime.

A SNIPER IN THE TOWER with Gary Lavergne (Monday, April 5th at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT)

No one ever could have imagined that Charles Whitman, by all outward appearances the All-American boy, would become one of America's most notorious mass murderers, but on a brutally hot day in August 1966, he climbed up to the 28th floor observation deck of the University of Texas tower and began firing on the campus below. Fourteen people die and 31 are wounded in just over an hour. In the days to follow, America was gripped by a need to try to make sense of the madness and grieve for its lost innocence at the unexpected and incomprehensible turn of events. Gary Lavergne is ten years old at the time, he later decides to learn all he can about the events of that infamous day. This episode of True Crime Authors is considered the definitive account of the crime as Lavergne tells it.

FIRE LOVER with Joseph Wambaugh (Monday, April 5th at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT)

John Orr, considered one of southern California's most respected arson investigators was also one of the state's most prolific serial arsonists. This fire fighting hero's Jekyll & Hyde career is revealed as investigators working from the most miniscule evidence are led to the last individual they would suspect -- one of there own. John Orr is held responsible for millions of dollars worth of property damage, lost businesses, destroyed homes and the deaths of four people. His knowledge of fire fighting and investigation technique was the greatest weapon in his spree of arson explored and told in this episode of True Crime Authors by the master crime writer Joseph Wambaugh.

BLOW with Bruce Porter (Tuesday, April 6th at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT)

George Jung was a small town Massachusetts kid who revolutionized the cocaine trade in America. He began in 1976 with imports from Colombia into the United States via private airplanes flying below radar. By 1977, he and his partner, Carl Lehder were bringing in hundreds of kilos per month to feed America's appetite for the drug. By doing so Jung also began fueling the ascent of the Colombian cartels -- an alliance of drug lords that ruled with guns and fear. But Jung's own success led to his downfall. The market was flooded with cheap cocaine leading to the invention of crack and America's war on drugs. In 1985 Jung was caught in a massive sting operation, lost his personal fortune and was forced to testify against Lehder to secure his freedom from prison. In 1994, he was arrested again and given a twenty-two year prison sentence that he is still serving today. In this episode of True Crime Authors, Bruce Porter recounts Jung's life from the days of early drug running to the rise of Pablo Escobar and the Colombian cartels.

THE WESTIES with T.J. English (Tuesday, April 6th at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT)

In the mid 1970's, Hell's Kitchen was ruled by the Irish-American gang knows as The Westies. The gang led by Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone, terrorized the West Side of Manhattan with countless murders, hundreds of beatings, shootings and stabbings. When their murderous regime came crashing down in the fall of 1987, Featherstone, became the government's star witness. Mickey's conversations with author T.J. English tell the story of gangland terror and the bloody brotherhood with Jimmy Coonan that leds him to choose between a twisted code of loyalty and his own survival. T.J. English weaves together this tale of a brutality and brotherhood in this episode of True Crime Authors.

Executive Producer for The History Channel is Carl Lindahl. True Crime Authors is produced for The History Channel by Towers Productions.

Now reaching 86 million Nielsen subscribers, The History Channel® brings history to life in a powerful manner and provides an inviting place where people experience history personally and connect their own lives to the great lives and events of the past. The History Channel is the only place "Where the Past Comes Alive®." The History Channel received the prestigious Governor's award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's "Save Our History®" campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. The History Channel web site is located at

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