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The Ghost: How a California Golden Boy Became America's Most Unlikely-and Elusive-Fugitive (Kindle Single)

The Ghost: How a California Golden Boy Became America's Most Unlikely-and Elusive-Fugitive (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Paige Williams

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Product Description

Product Description

Five shots to the head. That’s how a young armored-car guard named Keith Palomares lost his life one sunny morning in 2004 while making a routine stop at an Arizona strip mall. As Palomares lay dying on the sidewalk, his murderer escaped on a mountain bike with a duffel bag of stolen cash. Almost eight years later, the suspected killer is still at large, nowhere to be found except on the FBI’s infamous Ten Most Wanted List. The smiling face in the mug shot, framed by tousled blond hair, is like a taunt: “Just try to find me,” he seems to say. “I spent my life fooling people. I’m doing it still.”

"The Ghost" tells the mysterious and chilling story of Jason Derek Brown, the most unlikely fugitive in recent memory. Brown was a golden boy, born to privilege and raised in a seemingly righteous Mormon family. But there were cracks in the perfect facade. Brown’s father was a gambler and a con man, leading a secret life of deception. As a Mormon missionary and young husband, Jason Brown seemed determined not to follow the same path. But, like his father, he couldn’t resist temptation. Lying and cheating became Brown’s new religion, and Mormonism didn’t stand a chance. Brown’s fierce desire for the unearned good life allegedly took him over the edge—to cold-blooded murder. Ten years after his father simply vanished without a trace, Jason Brown did the same thing. A poisoned legacy.

In the rich tradition of the best crime narratives, Paige Williams masterfully examines the forensics of Brown’s enigmatic life and the disturbing last days before his disappearance. She meticulously describes the tragic shooting of Keith Palomares and takes us behind the scenes with the homicide detective and FBI agent who have been trying for years to find Brown. Officials are convinced that he’s out there somewhere, his mystique growing as he remains in the shadows.

“He left his family with artifacts of a life interrupted, unexplained, unfulfilled,” Williams writes. “He left Arizona as Phoenix scrambled to find the killer of a twenty-four-year-old armored-car guard, shot five times in the face. He left it all and still he lingers, because that’s what ghosts do. They haunt.”

. . .

Paige Williams’s narrative journalism has been anthologized in multiple volumes of “The Best American Crime Writing” and “The Best American Magazine Writing.” A National Magazine Award winner for feature writing, she is a former fellow of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, where she now teaches narrative nonfiction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Byliner Inc. (31 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00886CSDA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,127 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware--He's Out There 5 Jun 2012
By tessa O. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
It's the killer you least suspect who is the most terrifying. Jason Brown was a charming, handsome, devout Mormon who seemingly led a golden life. Until he was accused of shooting an armed guard five times in the head in order to steal a bag of cash. The story of Brown's Mormon upbringing in a secretly dysfunctional family and his eventual descent to a life of lying, cheating, and alleged cold-blooded murder reads like fiction--but amazingly, it's all true. Creepier still, Brown remains on the loose, evading the FBI agents who have been on his trail for years. This book is fabulous, a classic page-turner with an unforgettable cast of characters: Jason Brown, the money-loving former Mormon missionary who divorces his pious wife to pursue a life of gambling and beautiful women; Keith Palomares, the young security guard who always dreamed of becoming a cop and instead wound up in a body bag; Jodi Brown, the loving sister who can't figure out how her brother went so bad; and John Brown, the upright Mormon father who taught his son how to lie and steal and who is himself a missing person. John Brown, master of the shady business deal, disappeared in 1994, ten years ahead of his son. Are the two hiding out together? It's possible... This book belongs at the top of your summer reading list. And if you happen to see Jason Brown in a bar or on the golf course, the FBI would love to hear from you.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting, fact-based storytelling of a true crime 9 Jun 2012
By S. Richards - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like to read these kindle singles for something different from my usual reading, and for some reason, I'm drawn to these true crime stories. I guess it's the idea of looking into what entices a person away from the rules of society and the expectations of family, looking at what pulls someone toward crime, and in this case, murder, and then to freefall into a fugitive life. Here, we're told about Jason Brown, a man who veered from his religion, marriage, and family and is wanted for the first-degree murder and armed robbery of an armored-car guard back in 2004.

As background, the author relates matter-of-factly some of Brown's childhood, giving possible clues about his personality and his family's influence on him, particularly his father's own shady ways and unexplained disappearance, and his mother's absence after his parents' divorce. But can you really ever know a person, his quirks and his motivations; can you know what pushes a person to kill someone, especially to take a life, all for money?

"Human nature is fluid, and wrapped by circumstance, and no matter what people show us, we can never really know anyone" (location 115), and this is what always gets me, trying to figure out why people do the things they do, especially the bad or truly horrible and unforgivable things. For all that Brown had going for him on the surface, all the charm, the looks, the confidence, what can be pinpointed for his past petty crime and a possible murder? His childhood, his suspected drug use, his narcissism, his greed and want of money and lifestyle?

What I found curious about this story and this man is that he's still at large, for one, and that he's one of those safe- or good-looking criminals, the kind who always have something hidden under that glossy exterior. There are many criminals, from just regular con-men to serial killers, whose outside appearance never tells on an inner darkness.

It's also intriguing to contemplate how exactly a person evades the police/FBI for so long, eluding his past and ghosting into another life, always on the run from the law and the consequences. For years now, Jason Brown has just fallen off the grid, still on the run, and still on that Most Wanted list. This story has no conclusion at the moment; this single is more a look at this one crime and the possible influences behind it.

Also added to the story are some small, fascinating facts about armored cars and Da Vinci, about the FBI and the Most Wanted list and different fugitives from that list; even some things about Mormonism (Brown's religion) are included as well. Although I would have liked to feel a deeper connection to the human aspect of the story, to the emotion behind the crime, I thought this was an enjoyable read, all in all. It's well-written and well-edited, detailed and factual, and was certainly interesting to me in a number of ways.

This single is just over 1000 locations, and it gave me a good and fairly long read today, a nice puzzle about human behavior and criminal motivation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Opinion 5 Aug 2012
By christine - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good and precise writing on this piece. Very detailed.Contains alot of information for being a short article. I learned a great deal about the suspect in this case. His habits, his lifestyle and his desire to be someone that he wasn"t. The fact that he has evaded capture for so many years makes this story even more compelling and more sickening. This is a very good read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a mystery.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, chilling stuff 7 Jun 2012
By J Harveld - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like crime novels, but this Jason Brown guy is better and scarier than anything fiction might offer -- real and ready to go off, and yes, he's still out there (boy, that'll keep you up at night!). What makes someone go bad -- this bad? Genetics? Fate? That and all the temptations of the American high life? This story looks at all that and reminds you just how unknowable any one man or woman is. Fascinating, chilling stuff.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to read a book with a different story line 28 Dec 2012
By Bonnie Farrow - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave this book 5 stars because during the whole book I never knew what was coming next and at the end I wanted it to continue and yelled I want more but it didn't happen; I've read a lot of books in my life but never one like this!!
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