Tag Archives: Crime & Punishment


Litercurious Book Review




TitleThose Who Wander: America’s Lost Street Kids
AuthorVivian Ho
PublisherLittle A (September 1, 2019)
FormatKindle, Audiobook, Hardcover
GenreSociology, Crime, Psychology


Vivian Ho is a journalist who covered the criminal justice beat for the San Francisco Chronicle and served on the newspaper’s breaking news team for six years. She was recently selected as a Livingston Awards finalist for her work on “A Life on the Line,” a series of two articles covering the story of San Francisco resident Cecilia Lam, a victim of domestic violence who was killed by her boyfriend in 2014. The same piece also won first place for the 2017 California News Publishers Association Award for In-Depth Reporting, and was awarded the Asian American Journalists Association 2018 Written Journalism Award for General Excellence.

Before she joined The Chronicle in 2011, Vivian reported for the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. She has bylines in the Guardian, Topic, San Francisco magazine, the Muse, and Bustle.
A New England native, Vivian graduated from Boston University in 2011.

Vivian Ho biography from Amazon


Those Who Wander is the debut offering from Vivian Ho. The central theme is the brutal double murder committed by homeless kids. Morrison Haze Lampley, Lila Scott Alligood, and Sean Angold murdered twenty-three-year-old Audrey Carey and sixty-seven-year-old Steve Carter. Because of the murders, the homeless, drifters, and runaways of the Bay Area were persecuted by the San Francisco populace.

Vivian takes us on a journey both gritty and disturbing into the life and times of the growing homeless population of children and young adults in modern day America. She delves deep into the homeless subculture and exposes abuse, drug addiction, failed foster care and over tasked child protective services. She exposes the tragic, the good and the bad surrounding the homeless subculture in San Francisco.


An Insightful and disturbing examination of the profound challenges, suffering, and implications for society; from the minor and adolescent itinerants roving the streets, unloved and uncared for.

Always honest and brutally frank, Vivian Ho’s account of life for children on the streets in the present day United States is brutal; and the brutality extends beyond the affected children.

The quality of writing alone makes this book worth reading, but combined with the investigative journalism makes this an exceptional monograph. I can say with confidence that I fully expect Vivian Ho to become an esteemed and prolifically successful popular author in the years to come.

Skillful journalism, perfectly paced and combined with a compelling writing style make Those Who Wander an absolute must read. It is infectious from the first pages to the last. I highly recommended this book to anyone who enjoys a well written prose.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Don’t forget that Those Who Wander it is read for free for a limited time on KindleUnlimited


Litercurious Book Review

TitleWilliams’ Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and
His Cargo of Black Convicts
AuthorJeff Forret
PublisherCambridge University Press (January 16, 2020)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
ISBN # 1108493033


Discover the Prof. Jeff Forret, the author of Williams’ Gang on his page here.


Forret’s manuscript is an invaluable tool for those wishing to understand and appreciate the mechanisms of the slave trade.


Jeff Forret’s work is an extensive and comprehensive examination of the slave trade from the perspective of William H. Williams. 

Williams hailed from Washington DC (District of Columbia), Virginia where he engaged in the flesh trade in a private home known as the Yellow House. The property, surrounded by a twelve-foot wall patrolled by men and ferocious dogs, was more of a human warehouse/sales lot for his chattels than a home. The slaves (men, women, and children) were kept in the basement of the two-story house and then sold at auction in the yard. If selling abducted human beings wasn’t bad enough, he engaged in the kidnapping free “men” or former freed slaves and selling them into servitude. 

The now famous Solomon Northup, a free man of New York, was just one of the people the Williams Gang thrust into bondage. You may recognize his name as he was the writer of in Twelve Years a Slave where he recounted his life experiences as a free man and a slave. 

Forret goes onto chronicle the range of legal wrangles and the events surrounding Williams’  purchase of 27 convicts in 1840 for transport and sale outside of the United States. After illegally transporting the convicts to New Orleans, Louisiana he became entangled in legal proceedings lasting decades; well past the abolishment of slavery by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  

Based on a plethora of reference material, Forret describes the attitudes, economies, and politics of the time surrounding the slave trade.  


An excellent primer for anyone wishing to gain a greater knowledge of the workings of the United States Slave Trade during the 1800’s. The attitudes, politics, and economics of the era are eyeopening and intriguing. Williams’ Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and His Cargo of Black Convicts is an excellent look into the history of human bondage in the United States.

As I read the book, I found similarities to the style of writing in a work called Stolen, written by Richard Bell. You can find my review for Stolen here on Litercurious.

Further reading about Williams’ Gang can be found here.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


I would like to thank Jeff Forret, NetGalley, and Cambridge University Press for affording me the opportunity to review Williams’ Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and His Cargo of Black Convicts.