Books and Documentaries

Current book, Privileged Killers.

Privileged Killers, a  “big idea” true-crime book, is on the horizon.   I’ll be periodically posting about it in my blog, slang for weblog. (Like a captain’s log, the blog’ll inform you of how book’s navigating the stormy seas of pre-publication.

My seventh book, Privileged Killers tells the story about what happened when parts of my criminology class syllabus came shockingly alive, not unlike the monsters that come to life in the labs of Hollywood scientists.

One by one, four different monsters charmed Lady Justice when she peeked under her blindfold and noticed they were white, male, and either rich or supersmart. She let ’em off easy.

I knew Ira Einhorn – Philly’s brilliant and celebrated knight of nonviolence – well before he killed his girlfriend and kept her mummified body in a trunk in his apartment.

Faces of one of the Privileged killers ( Einhorn) & his ex GF whom he killed & mummified.

Einhorn and his ex GF whom he killed and mummified.

It was a year and a half before the police found her remains. The killer – a big talker who’d befriended the rich, the famous, and the powerful (people from Hollywood, academia, and the business world) – was dubbed the Unicorn Killer when arrested. He won his freedom at his bail hearing and then fled to Europe, eluding authorities for over 20 years.

The Paper Bag Killer, who attacked and killed San Franciscans in broad daylight —from 1972 till he was caught in 1974— was the son of friends of my family. The Psycho-ologist worked beside me for several years as an academic colleague. One day he brutally strangled and stabbed his wife 13 times, leaving her for dead.

All these white males were rich and brilliant…and Lady justice essentially let them walk.

Nothing, though, tested my liberal ideology and my survival more than an old boyfriend of my wife, who unbeknownst to her,  hog-tied and shot his employer and nearly killed a co-worker.

This Executioner was safely locked up in prison in another state, but Lady Justice paroled him after just 7 years. He decided he still loved my wife. He attacked her, then assaulted me. I battled parole officers and peace officers, insisting they reign him in. When he kept coming after my wife and me, we defended ourselves as best we could.

The yellow-shirted Unicorn's mug shot

The Unicorn’s mug shot after a 20 yrs flight from justice.

Privileged Killers details my interactions with these cold-hearted killers. It also chronicles the death of my idealism.

At the start of my professorial career, I believed in the teachings of my longtime friend Joan Baez and the Bible—unlock the prisons and set “the oppressed” free. Also, I endeavored to disarm the police, just like the Bobbies and other police forces in Europe.

This is a true-crime tale and an expose’ of failings in the criminal justice system. It also shows how the failings changed  me as a criminologist.

It didn’t help that I also bumped into several nonviolent psychopaths in my life. Perhaps you have too. In which case, Privileged Killers should help you deal with ’em. And break free of ’em!

Subscribe to my website for a freebie, and please let me know here if you’d like to preorder a copy.



Prior book, Cleft Heart.

My previous book, Cleft Heart, tells the story of how – as a kid born with  birth defects – I realized my wildest dreams as a young man. But soon, my  scariest nightmares came true, forcing me to confront yet more challenges.

Specifically, throughout my youth I was bullied for my unintelligible speech—though not by my father like Prince Albert in  The King’s Speech. Still, I became  a star debater in school and college but soon had to race half way around the world to fight for my girl. I had put myself on the line before–in New York City and other places–to follow my dreams. And these tests prepared me for the greatest challenge of my life –cracking the mystery of the tragic violence that befell my family. I unraveled the mystery, in part, to give myself the normal life I’d wanted ever since I was a kid.

Readers have said, my tale is a true, yet inspirational, coming-of-age story.

A love story.

Not a medical misery memoir by any stretch, Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal is a love story. A story about the love of a mother for her son, the love of that son for one of the few girls who’s ever truly accepted him, and the love of life that propels the young man through searing challenges .

Order via Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

A Note To Parents.

Finally, there’s a  book that’s that shines light on bullying in a serious way. After reading Cleft Heart, you and your kids won’t dismiss bullying as nothing to worry about.

Bullying kills kids and ruins lives. It’s not just about “kids being kids.”

Help the anti-bullying movement – energized by  the movie  Bully – and give a copy of Cleft Heart to your kids.

Also, if your child suffers from birth defects or a serious childhood disease, share Cleft Heart with him or her. My book will inspire them to swing for the fences and not settle for a life with limits and frustrated aspirations.

Testimonials for Cleft Heart.

“A poignant, heartfelt tale of endurance and hope. Schonborn’s story is an inspiration to all who endure physical or mental health challenges and those who care about them.”                                                                    John Kerry (Former United States Secretary of State)

Schonborn’s courage and candor are impressive as he tells of trying to become ‘normal’ despite endless visits to the doctors and speech therapists who give him a fighting chance at proving naysayers wrong.”  

                                              Rhoda Agin, PhD   (Internationally known Speech Therapist & Author)

“Gives hope to all who contend with deformities, disabilities or depression.   Additionally,  Cleft Heart reads like a mystery book and has a love story to boot.”                                           

             Ronald Iverson, MD (Adjunct Prof Plastic Surgery, Stanford U., Former President ASPS)

 “Courage, humor, and a silver tongue help Karl Schonborn overcome a series of daunting birth defects and a tragic personal loss that might have defeated many others . He shows us how in his inspiring memoir. His story left this reader cheering.”                                                                                                                                                Chris Bernard   (author,  A Spy in the Ruins)

 “Schonborn details how he has overcome the cards dealt him. His narrative is inspiring and most helpful, particularly as he describes his changes throughout the decades.”

                                       Luis Vasconez, MD (Chief of  Plastic Surgery, U.of Alabama Med School)

“I was really moved and excited to see the tale unfold. It’s a great story, an example to help others get through tragedies or misfortunes.”

                                      Steve Clark (World’s fastest swimmer early ‘60s, Olympic Gold Medalist)

Related screenplay, Stop, Look, and Listen.

My movie script concerns a young man with a disfigured face and an occasionally-obvious speech handicap who dreams of being a TV reporter and anchor. He battles incredible odds and finally gets what he wants by means of guts, charm, and hard work.

New York City agent Bertha Klausner represented the screenplay before she died. Afterwards,  scriptbroker Bob Breitel and consultant Henry Ehrlich came within a hair of having Sherry Lansing, president of Paramount Pictures, accept it for production.

Other Books.  

Violence and Conflict

Yellow-orange book cover for 2nd Edition of Schonborn's Violence & Conflict.

2nd Edition

  • Policing Society

    Blue and white book cover of "Policing Society" wh deals with bullying .

    A comparative look at violence, the use of force, and other issues in the US and the UK. 

  • To Keep the Peace   
  • Dealing  with Violence

    Blue book cover of Dealing with Violence: The challenged faced by police and other peacekeepers.
  • Responses to Social Conflict     

Other Works  –  Documentaries/ Socumentaries.

I’ve written and directed the following films/videos/DVDs which have been cable cast, rented, and sold nationwide on a non-profit basis.

Alcohol, Disorder and the Police,”
        Dist’ Insight Media” (29min) 2007.

“Dealing with Sports Fans – the Drunks, the Disorderly, the Rioters.”
        Dist’d. by Insight Media (36 min) 2006

“Parenting with the Point System: a way to change kids’ problem behavior,”
        Dist’d. by Insight Media (22 min)   2000

“Gang Signs: How to Tell if Gangs are Influencing Your Kids or Community,”
       Dist’d. by Nimco & Blockbuster Video Stores (30 min)   1996  

“The Rich and the Servant Class,”
       Dist.’d by Indepth Video (28 min.) 1981 

“The Guardian Angels: Police or Vigilantes?” 
         Dist.’d by Indepth Video (28 min.) 1981

If you’re having trouble finding books or documentaries, email me via the Contacts page.


  1. Karl Schonborn says:

    An important character in CLEFT HEART, Ira Sandperl, died this week. He’s in the chapters dealing with folksinger Joan Baez. As a mentor to her and numerous others, Ira played a critical role in some of the key political events during the middle decades of the 20th century.
    Ira’s death is a great loss to those of us who knew him . . .and to those affected by those quiet ripples of nonviolence he generated which often turned into waves.
    Ira’s keen intelligence, playful wit and ability to articulate the lessons of history always charmed the pants off people. He will be sorely missed.

  2. Thanks for the update everyday on waiting for new articles from you cheers for the good work

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