L.A. DESPAIR: A Landscape of Crimes & Bad Times
By John Gilmore

AMOK BOOKS presents a new true crime classic from the acclaimed author of SEVERED: The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder! John Gilmore delivers his ultimate, relentless panorama of sex, violence and death in five raw chronicles of Southern California sickness:

Porn legend JOHN HOLMES and untouchable Hollywood crime and drug impresario EDDIE NASH – the unvarnished story of the sex-and-coke-laced Wonderland murders.

King of Western Swing and early L.A. TV's singing cowboy phenomenon, SPADE COOLEY walking the line of nightmare, depravity and murder.

Hollywood’s fallen angel BARBARA PAYTON – seemingly hell-bent on descending from Movie Star Sexpot to the gutters and dumpsters of real-life Tinsel Town.

From gorgeous Hollywood hooker to San Quentin’s gas chamber – the infamous Ice Blonde murderous BARBARA GRAHAM.

Highway Hitchhike-Killer BILLY COOK unleashing his cold-blooded hate for the human race.

REVIEW: “L.A. DESPAIR goes beyond hard-boiled, beyond the mundane horror of true crime reportage, to recreate the vile, gutter reality glossed over by so many. Here is murder in all its stench and filth, with human animals rutting in the gore. If you’re seeking a patina of respectability or entertainment, or redemption of any sort, Gilmore is not your man.”
--- Stephen Lemons, New Times

AMOK BOOKS ISBN# 1-878923-16-1 344 pg. ppbk. illustrated b&w $19.95


PANZRAM: A Journal of Murder
By Carl Panzram

"In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons, and last but not least I have committed sodomy on more than a thousand male human beings. For all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience so that does not worry me. I don't believe in man. God nor Devil. I hate the whole damn human race including myself."

Carl Panzram, who called himself the "world's worst murderer," wrote these words in a full autobiography and confessional he prepared for the one friend in his life≠-a young prison guard named Henry Lesser. This book combines these brutally forthright memoirs with the perspective of authors Thomas E. Gaddis (author of Birdman of Alcatraz) and James O. Long in a compelling chronicle of the forces that engender hate. The authors provide a historical and sociological framework for Panzram's own words, using this uniquely detailed self-analysis by a mass murderer to depict what happens when an intelligent and unbreakable personality that has been unmercifully abused strikes back in vengeance.

PANZRAM: A Journal of Murder, arrives as a gripping warning from America's recent past to our current repressive era of prison-industrial complex, death penalty abuse, and high rates of incarceration from a man who walked the halls of Death Row with a blindingly clear vision.

Amok Books           $24.95           295 pgs.           ppbk.           Illustrated

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Edited by Stuart Swezey

Exhaustively researched, entertainingly annotated and provocatively illustrated guide to over two thousand of the most bizarre, controversial and thought-provoking books - plus selected CD- ROM's, videos, CDs and websites in print. The definitive reference work surveying the outer margins of our Information Age, the Amok Fifth Dispatch presents in one volume the entire gamut of extreme literature available from hundreds of publishers worldwide, complete with ordering information. The Amok Fifth Dispatch is arranged according to its own ground-breaking taxonomy, from “Control” (analysis of power structure from the trilateral Commission to the American Psychiatric Assn.) to “Mayhem” (true crime, disasters, forensic medicine) to “Neuropolitics” (psychedelia, parapsychology, brain chemistry) to ”Scratch 'n' Sniff” (pop culture and kitsch) to “Orgone” (sexuality, the body, and the life -force) and more.

The previous sourcebook, the Amok Fourth Dispatch, became a must - read underground sensation and went on to sell over 50,000 copies.

1-878923-12-9 (trade paper) ∑ $19.95 ∑ 561 pgs ∑ Illustrated

By John Gilmore

The grisly 1947 murder of aspiring starlet and nightclub habituť Elizabeth Short, known even before her death as the “Black Dahlia,” has over the decades transmogrified from L.A.'s crime of the century to an almost mythical symbol of Hollywood Babylon/film noir glamour-cum-sordidness.

SEVERED, the first true-crime book published on the strangest of all “unsolved” murders in the annals of modern crime, offers the documented solution to the case as endorsed by law enforcement and forensic science experts. It is appropriate that hard-boiled, Hollywood-born author John Gilmore, whose father was an LAPD officer at the time of the murder, should be the one to unravel the multilayered mystery of this archetypal Los Angeles slaying, having begun his painstaking investigations into the case over thirty-five years ago.

Gilmore tells several previously unrevealed stories at once, each filled with its own bizarre elements through which SEVERED transcends the true crime genre. One is the tale of victim Elizabeth Short, small-town beauty queen with big hopes, who seemed to float through her tragically futile life as an alluring yet doom-laden enigma. Another is the tangled inside story of the police investigation and the remorseless, Hearststoked press hoopla that paralled it. Finally Gilmore reveals the twisted psychology and down-and-out life story of the actual murderer— as well as the startling circumstances and gruesome details of the killer's indirect confessions to him. SEVERED contains a thirty-two-page photo section with many never before-published photos from the life of Elizabeth Short and from the case, including graphic crime scene and postmortem police photos.

ISBN 1-878923-10-2 (trade paper) ∑ $16.95 ∑ 230 pgs ∑ Illustrated

By John Gilmore

A powerful chronicler of the American Nightmare through his gripping examinations of near-mythic Southern California murders (the Black Dahlia, Tate-La Bianca), John Gilmore now draws upon his personal experiences to turn his sights on our morbid obsession with Celebrity and the ruinous price it exacts from those who would pursue it. With caustic clarity and 20/20 hindsight, Gilmore unstintingly recounts his relationships with the likes of Janis Joplin, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Jane Fonda, Jean Seberg, and Lenny Bruce on the way up and at the peaks of their notoriety. In baring his role in James Dean’s attempts to push the bounds of sexual experimentation, Gilmore explores the actor’s legendary fascination with speed and death. With hip, vivid prose, Gilmore describes his illuminating and often haunting first-hand encounters with Hank Williams, Ed Wood, Jr., Brigitte Bardot, Sal Mineo, Eartha Kitt, Charles Manson, Jayne Mansfield, Vampira, Steve McQueen and many other denizens of the 20th century’s dubious Pantheon.

“Here it is at last-a terminally warped and believably mortal parade of the self-absorbed and dislocated; arisen deformed and degenerate from the casting couches and laid bare in compelling, Baudelaireian repugnance. In this exquisite contemporary classic of American confessional literature, John Gilmore achieves a petrifying vision of bohemian reminiscence; we are catapulted through an imploded catalog of carnality of unremitting exploitation, relentless mutual abuse and omniverous futility. Here is the definitive amoral account of Hollywood in the ‘50s and ‘60s, born screaming out of Gilmore’s deceptively unassuming genius for surgical revelation and obsessive anecdotal analysis. Laid Bare dispassionately itemizes the fundamental depths of sexual superficiality, selfishness and genital dyspepsia to redefine all previous reports of the destructive compulsions that devour ambitious celebrities. This is a graphic vision of Hollywood-a dark, new existentialism full of grossly compelling characters whose self-respect, sincerity and sense of identity are as thin as the slime that seems to cover their every activity. Magnificently necessary!” –Genesis P-Orridge

ISBN 1-878923-02-1 (trade paper) ∑ $16.95 ∑ 251 pgs ∑ Illustrated

Edited by Stuart Swezey

A compendium of psycho-physiological investigations compiled from the furthest reaches of forensic medicine, sexology, psychiatry, anthropology and hard science research. The focus of this compilation is the pursuit of a neurobiological basis for mystical and ecstatic experience. The Amok Journal: Sensurround Edition brings together accounts of the search for the erotic in the mechanical, the sublime in the visceral, and the spiritual in the electromagnetic, from explorations of the subtle effects of infrasound to death-defying grasps at the ultimate orgasm. The field of inquiry is the prodigious psychic dťmi-monde of hallucination, schizophrenia, religious fervor, ecstatic possession, sexual obsession, mass hysteria, and private ritual, as documented by the rational methodology of science. Heavily and graphically illustrated.

Topics include:

•Autoerotic fatalities
•Self-mutilation/amputee fetish
•Mondo Film
•Cargo cults
•Neue Slowenische Kunst/totalitarian art

“It belongs alongside Krafft-Ebbing’s Psychopathia Sexualis and Bataille’s Erotism — Death and Sensuality in any well-appointed library of the unusual.” — Bay Guardian

Stuart Swezey is the publisher of Amok Books and co-editor of the highly acclaimed Amok Fourth Dispatch sourcebook of the extremes of information in print.

ISBN 1-878923-03-X (trade paper) $19.95 ∑ 488 pgs ∑ Illustrated

By Georges Bataille

Georges Bataille presents the case of the most infamous villain of the Middle Ages: Gilles de Rais. Fascinated with the depths of human experience — the meeting points of sexuality, violence, ritual, spirituality, and death — Bataille examines with dispassionate clarity the legendary crimes, trials and confessions of this grotesque and still horrifying 15th-century child-murderer, sadist, alchemist, necrophile and practitioner of the Black Arts.

“This book about the notorious 15th-century serial killer of young children, written by France’s famous connoisseur of transgression — the man the surrealist Andre Breton labeled an ‘excremental philosopher’ — represents a marriage not made in heaven, perhaps, but surely nowhere on this earth . . . the fact is that The Trial of Gilles de Rais gives us Bataille at his most accessible — he had been trained as a medievalist librarian, after all — and is probably, taken in its entirety, the best thing now available in English on one of the most bizarre figures in European history.” — New York Times Book Review

ISBN 1-878923-02-1 (trade paper) ∑ $14.95 ∑ 285 pgs


NSK is a full-color illustrated book documenting the controversial theories, statements, visual arts, music, film, video and theater work of the internationally acclaimed Slovenian arts collective from 1980 to 1989. NSK encompasses the innovative pop group LAIBACH, the IRWIN painter group, the Cosmokinetic Theater “Red Pilot,” as well as philosophy, architecture, TV and motion picture departments. Strikingly designed and compiled by the New Collectivism graphic studio on behalf of NSK; includes 260 full-color reproductions.

“A hefty hardback in which design, illustrations and the text itself are welded into an experience which simple rock books can’t dream of . . .”
— Alternative Press

ISBN 1-878923-05-6 ( clothbound w/ slipcase ) ∑ $60.00 ∑ 288 pgs ∑ Illustrated

By Nathan Heard

A Cold Fire Burning brilliantly depicts an interracial love story amidst the political changes of the early Seventies. Shadow is a working-class black man in the ghetto of Newark, NJ. An affair with Terri, a liberal white woman who works at a storefront drug rehab center, begins to throw his sense of the world into turmoil. When the racial and psycho-sexual tensions inherent in their relationship finally reach the boiling point, Shadow rejects Terri and everything she represents to him and winds up the leader of a rag-tag band of would-be black nationalist urban guerillas. Tragedy ensues when Shadow tries to transform their revolutionary rhetoric into reality on the harsh streets of Newark.

“We have read James Baldwin’s smoldering fire; we have witnessed Donald Goines’s heat and smoke; now it is time to attend to the burning molotov cocktail Nathan Heard thrust into our hands so many years ago — we, too have a choice: let it explode in our faces or fling it away in fear. In either case, believe me, it’s going to blow.” — Midwest Bookseller

“Heard’s erotically explosive novel is an ambitious and colorful work which looks to analyze as much as entertain on the race issue.” — Big Issue

ISBN 1-878923-04-8 (trade paper) ∑ $10.95 ∑ 146 pgs

By John Gilmore and Ron Kenner

Random murder and savage overkill, mind control and bad trips, satanism and witchcraft, cursed glamour, Haight-Ashbury, rock'n'roll, biker gangs, sexual rebellion and dune buggies tearing across death valley in search of the "hole in the earth"..... The Garbage People, a gripping account of one of the most chilling and fascinating crime sagas of our time, now available in a revised and updated edition. Contains 32 pages of previously unpublished photos including graphic crime scene and post-mortem documentation.

“This terrible tale haunts the reader....a remarkable achievement in bringing together the chords of fear.” —Los Angeles News-Advocate

ISBN 1-878923-07-2 (trade paper) ∑ $14.95 ∑ 178 pgs ∑ Illustrated



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