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Law & Disorder:
Confessions of a District Attorney

By Michael Bradbury and Terry McConnell

For more than 30 years, Mike Bradbury sought justice for the victims of crime and punishment for those responsible, while working as a prosecutor in the DA’s office in Ventura County, California. In that time, he took on cold-blooded killers, mobsters, gang members, second story artists and, perhaps most insidious of all, other lawyers.

Yet his time on the front lines in pursuit of justice involved more than just arguing guilt or innocence in front of judge and jury. He was called on to confront criminals with the business end of a gun, and to investigate what were often gruesome crimes wherever and whenever they happened.


These are his stories.

Chapter Headings

1          If that cop was thanking God I was there, I knew we were both in trouble


2          A ‘Love’ story, but not the kind that involves flowers, beating hearts and breathless words


3          ‘Ms. Levy,’ I said, ‘you’re going to die.’ Her response? ‘The fuck I am.’


4          A beautiful, full-of-life, carefree young woman was dead and that will never make sense


5          Bill dropped by to see if his wife was willing to consider a reconciliation, only to find her in bed with her lawyer


6          Hill saw a shadow and fired. Then several officers began firing, unsure if they were shooting at a person or not


7          Where the lives of a so-called Mafia ‘kingpin’, a country music star, and Geraldo converge


8          I reached under the seat for my .45. It wasn’t there. Skyhorse was coming; he’d be at my truck in seconds


9          When a jury orders lunch and the order is for 11 hamburgers and one hot dog, you know you’re in trouble


10        All eyes were on the bag the head had been in as it rose elegantly into the air, like a spirit leaving its earthly body


11        Rick decided Betty must die, and he would be the one to kill her. He had it all figured out—or so he thought


12        As soon as I met him, I knew he was our killer. He had murdered Toni Talan as sure as I was standing there


13        Was I related to one of the top crime bosses in the U.S.? Would I be destined for the FBI’s most wanted list?

14        Tanda grew up poor in the South. It was like the Third World, families selling off their daughters to pimps

15        John’s final words? ‘Thanks, Mike. I knew I could count on you. What you do might help preserve the presidency.’


16        I had held men as they took their last breath and other things DAs don’t do. Yet this case shook me to my core

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From Chapter 1 Mike Bradbury meets formidable investigator Ida Spellman

Jaron Summers. screenwriter, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Law & Disorder is a must-read insight into how the criminal justice system works, and why sometimes it doesn’t. Mike Bradbury’s memoir features 20 fascinating crime stories told through the filter of a good guy who never seemed to sleep whenever there were bad guys to catch. Veteran biographer Terry McConnell, with a penchant for editing and a gift for storytelling, has chosen and honed the perfect stories that bring Bradbury's legacy to life, making what could have been homespun recollections into 16 terrific chapters that brim with suspense, love, family, murders, hookers, and cunning culprits. Together, these two men have crafted a great read.

More audio excerpts

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