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Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World’s Deadliest Special Operations Force

By Dan Schilling and Lori Longfritz, Grand Central Publishing, 2019, 352 pages

The story of Windsor Locks native and Medal of Honor recipient John Chapman is chronicled in pulse-pounding fashion in this new book by his sister, Lori Longfritz (also from Windsor Locks), and Dan Schilling, a veteran of the same elite force as Chapman. One of the Air Force’s highly trained Combat Controllers, Chapman was embedded with SEAL Team 6 members when he died in Afghanistan in 2002, in the early days of the war. The gripping true story of how Chapman perished while heroically providing cover fire for other U.S. troops is interwoven with stories of his childhood in Connecticut and the history of Combat Controllers. Together Schilling and Longfritz (whom I’ve interviewed in the past for stories about Chapman) are uniquely qualified to tell this tale. The result of their combined efforts made The New York Times’ best-sellers list this summer and is poignant and powerful. — Erik Ofgang

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Citizen Outlaw: One Man’s Journey From Gangleader to Peacekeeper

By Charles Barber, Ecco, 2019, 304 pages

William Juneboy Outlaw was the leader of the New Haven street gang the Jungle Boys and received a 60-year prison sentence for a 1988 homicide. Outlaw shot a rival drug dealer in the head. He also got 25 years for another shooting three months prior. There was an appeal, his bid was eventually reduced and Outlaw was released in 2008. He got a job, volunteered in the community and turned his life around. In doing so, he also helped to turn the Elm City around as well. The homicide rate has dropped 70 percent in the time Outlaw has been leading an outreach team of former felons focused on keeping the peace in the New Haven streets. The book delves into Outlaw’s childhood, and how he went from wanting to grow up to be a police offer to harboring a deep-seated hatred of the New Haven Police Department. We also learn about how Outlaw chose his territory to sell drugs, and the insanity of what goes on in federal prison. — Mike Wollschlager 

This article appeared in the September 2019 issue of Connecticut Magazine. You can subscribe here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get the latest and greatest content from Connecticut Magazine delivered right to your inbox. Got a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com, or contact us on Facebook @connecticutmagazine or Twitter @connecticutmag.

The senior writer at Connecticut Magazine, Erik is the co-author of Penguin Random House’s “The Good Vices” and author of “Buzzed” and “Gillette Castle.” He is also an adjunct professor at WCSU’s MFA Program and Quinnipiac University

Mike Wollschlager, editor and writer for Connecticut Magazine, was born and raised in Bristol and has lived in Farmington, Milford, Shelton and Wallingford. He was previously an assistant sports editor at the New Haven Register.