Sue Russell is an award-winning journalist and author based in California. She has written for numerous publications including the Washington Post, New Scientist, Salon.com, PSmag.com, Miller-McCune.com, American Legion, Alternet.org, GE’s Healthymagination.com, Healthline.com, and the UK’s Independent, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Express, Sunday Times. Her work has also been published in international publications like Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Hong Kong Tatler and Irish Tatler.
Russell writes often about crime, criminal justice, forensic science, wrongful convictions, animal rights research and law, missing persons, female gangs, health and medicine, social and women’s issues.
Her fact crime book Lethal Intent, a “true crime classic,” is a biography of executed serial killer Aileen Wuornos who shot seven men to death in Florida and was executed in 2002. It was fully updated in 2013. When 2014’s Serial Podcast phenomenon swept the US, Lethal Intent was on Business Insider’s list, “11 True Crime Books You Should Read If You’re Obsessed with Serial,” alongside Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter. Former FBI agent, pioneering profiler and best-selling author, John Douglas, called Lethal Intent “Shocking, sad, revealing and deeply researched…”
Along with illustrator/co-author Elizabeth Williams, Russell wrote The Illustrated Courtroom: 50+ Years of Court Art (CUNY Journalism Press, 2014, 2nd edition 2022, Redwood Publishing.) It was named to Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Books of 2014” and was a Times Literary Supplement pick for “Books of the Year 2014.” With iconic artwork from five award-winning court artists, it takes readers into celebrated trials like those of Jack Ruby, the Black Panthers, Charles Manson, Patty Hearst and Michael Jackson. It received four ELit Awards.
Russell enjoys editing and ghostwriting books for others. She has appeared on numerous television and radio shows both sides of the Atlantic — and beyond — including A&E channel’s Biography and Notorious, Investigation Discovery Channel’s Deadly Women, CNN and HLN broadcasts, Britain’s This Morning and Good Morning Australia, etc.
BOOKS: Lethal Intent, Pinnacle Books USA. Book of the Month Club selection. (Published in the UK and Australia as Damsel of Death.) The Illustrated Courtroom: 50+ Years of Court Art (co-author) CUNY Journalism Press 2014, Redwood Publishing 2022. How to Buy & Sell (just about) Everything (contributor) Free Press, USA. Star Mothers: The Moms Behind the Celebrities, Simon & Schuster, USA, & St. Martin’s Press, USA (hardback & paperback.) (Co-authors: Cher’s mother & Phyllis Quinn.) Sensual Beauty: co-author with Britt Ekland. Sidgwick & Jackson, U.K., Merrimack, USA (hardback & paperback.) Ghostwritten titles.
The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art
Court artists go where cameras can’t and The Illustrated Courtroom includes approximately 150 illustrations of memorable trial moments along with insider insights from five top artists including my co-author Elizabeth Williams. These artists were in court for the trials of a host of colorful characters: Jack Ruby (who killed President Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald), the New York Black Panthers, David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz, Charles Manson, kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst and more recent news-makers like Bernard Madoff and would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. Williams drew Shahzad as he was being sentenced to life without parole in Manhattan’s federal court in 2010.
The other artists include Emmy-nominee Bill Robles who drew the cover of our book - Charles Manson attempting to leap over the defense table to stab Judge Older with a pencil. He has been covering alleged mass murderer James Holmes’ court hearings in Colorado.
Aggie Kenny won an Emmy for her Watergate-era work at the trial of former U.S. attorney general John N Mitchell and President Nixon’s former secretary of commerce Maurice Stans, for financial malfeasance.
Sadly, artists, Richard Tomlinson and Howard Brodie, passed away in 2010. Howard began drawing the action on battlefields then covered sporting events and ultimately major trials. Walter Cronkite, with whom Howard often worked for CBS, coined the term “artist-correspondent” especially for him.