Jonathan Green

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SEX MONEY MURDER

A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal

A searing portrait of the crack epidemic and violent drug wars that once ravaged the Bronx.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Bronx had one of the highest per capita murder rates in the country. The use of crack cocaine surged, replacing heroin as the high of choice. Drug dealers claimed territory through intimidation and murder, and families found themselves fractured by crime and incarceration. Chronicling the rise and fall of Sex Money Murder, one of the most notorious gangs of its era, reporter Jonathan Green creates a visceral and devastating portrait of a New York City borough, and the dedicated detectives and prosecutors struggling to stop the tide of violence.

The setting is Soundview, one of the city's most dangerous projects, where we encounter the gangsters Suge and Pipe, and the charismatic leader of Sex Money Murder, Pistol Pete. We also meet the dedicated policemen, like rookie housing cop Pete Forcelli and seasoned Detective John O'Malley, risking their lives to make a difference. It's a world in which dealers get their hands dirty simply by counting the hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash they make on a monthly basis, watch Scarface while smoking spliffs between shootings, and coolly assassinate rivals during a neighborhood football game; and where nothing is more important than preserving your honor and expanding your domain―with force. Breaking up the gang is a legal feat, but their murderous reputation and the expansion of their drug operation across state lines means that Sex Money Murder draws the attention of the Feds―the FBI and the ATF ―and the persevering federal prosecutors Liz Glazer and Nicole LaBarbera, who will use RICO (the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) to go after the drug crews.

Drawing on years of research and extraordinary access to gang leaders, law enforcement, and federal prosecutors, Green delivers an epic character-driven narrative and an engrossing work of gritty urban reportage. Magisterial in its scope, Sex Money Murder offers a unique perspective on the violence raging in modern-day America and the battle to end it.

Murder in the High Himalaya

Murder in the High Himalaya On September 30, 2006 gunfire echoed through the thin air near Advance Base Camp on Cho Oyu Mountain. Frequented by thousands of climbers each year, Cho Oyu lies nineteen miles east of Mt. Everest on the border between Tibet and Nepal. To the elite mountaineering community, it offers a straightforward summit—a warm-up climb to her formidable sister. To Tibetans, Cho Oyu promises a gateway to freedom through a secret glacial path: the Nangpa La.

Murder in the High Himalaya is the unforgettable account of the brutal killing of Kelsang Namtso—a seventeen-year-old Tibetan nun fleeing to India—by Chinese border guards. Witnessed by dozens of Western climbers, Kelsang’s death sparked an international debate over China'€™s savage oppression of Tibet. Jonathan Green has gained rare entrance into this shadow-land at the rooftop of the world. In his affecting portrait of modern Tibet, Green raises enduring questions about morality and the lengths we go to achieve freedom.

Excerpt

The first gunshot to split the thin, mountain air went largely unnoticed by climbers. Most were still in their tents. The sun had risen, but it hadn't been up long enough to blunt the knifing cold, and no one expected to hear small arms fire on a mountaineering expedition 19,000 feet up in the Himalaya. One climber would later recall that the flock of ravens that hung around Advance Base Camp scavenging for food had suddenly lifted from the snow in a small squawking cloud of pitch-black wings.

The first clear day in a week of snowstorms saw sherpas conducting a ritual for the safety of the climbers—burning juniper branches, and invoking the protection of Buddhist deities to keep them from harm during their ascent of Cho Oyo, the world's sixth tallest mountain.

The day had started earlier behind razor wire some fifteen miles away at Tragmar military base. Before dawn, urgent orders had been issued to members of the People's Armed Police (the Wujin) stationed at Tragmar. Their job was to arrest or shoot anyone caught trying to cross the mountain passes from Chinese-occupied Tibet into Nepal. Refugees escaping from Tibet ruined the careful images China wanted to portray to the world: that of a pro-democratic superpower. They were to be stopped at all cost.

To the north, a long, snaking line of refugees had been spotted trying to evade Chinese checkpoints under the cover of darkness.

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Sex Money Murder
Murder in the High Himalaya