Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief

Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture


In the ebullient spirit of Ocean’s 8, The Heist, and Thelma & Louise, a sensational and entertaining memoir of the world’s most notorious jewel thief—a woman who defied society’s prejudices and norms to carve her own path, stealing from elite jewelers to live her dreams.

Growing up during the Depression in the segregated coal town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, Doris Payne was told her dreams were unattainable for poor black girls like her. Surrounded by people who sought to limit her potential, Doris vowed to turn the tables after the owner of a jewelry store threw her out when a white customer arrived. Neither racism nor poverty would hold her back; she would get what she wanted and help her mother escape an abusive relationship.

Using her southern charm, quick wit, and fascination with magic as her tools, Payne began shoplifting small pieces of jewelry from local stores. Over the course of six decades, her talents grew with each heist. Becoming an expert world-class jewel thief, she daringly pulled off numerous diamond robberies and her Jewish boyfriend fenced the stolen gems to Hollywood celebrities.

Doris’s criminal exploits went unsolved well into the 1970s—partly because the stores did not want to admit that they were duped by a black woman. Eventually realizing Doris was using him, her boyfriend turned her in. She was arrested after stealing a diamond ring in Monte Carlo that was valued at more than half a million dollars. But even prison couldn’t contain this larger-than-life personality who cleverly used nuns as well as various ruses to help her break out. With her arrest in 2013 in San Diego, Doris’s fame skyrocketed when media coverage of her astonishing escapades exploded.

Today, at eighty-seven, Doris, as bold and vibrant as ever, lives in Atlanta, and is celebrated for her glamorous legacy. She sums up her adventurous career best: “It beat being a teacher or a maid.” A rip-roaringly fun and exciting story as captivating and audacious as Catch Me if You Can and Can You Ever Forgive Me?—Diamond Doris is the portrait of a captivating anti-hero who refused to be defined by the prejudices and mores of a hypocritical society.

 

Title:Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief
ISBN:9780062918017
Format Type:

    Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief Reviews

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    I had never heard of Doris Payne the notorious life-long jewel thief until I just happened to spot this at the library. She's a fascinating woman that's for sure. If you liked Ocean's, you're going to...

  • Jen

    I wasn't planning on it, but I finished this book in one sitting. All I knew about Doris Payne going into this story was a blurb I had read online. The whole story I was gripped with what was going to...

  • Fredrick Danysh

    Doris Paker was an international jewel thief. With the assistance of Zelda Lockhart she tells her life's story. The quality of writing varies with the autobiography part reading like it was writtrn by...

  • Nandi Crawford

    Great book. Reads like a rollercoaster. How this lady did this and had little jail time is incredible....

  • Temika

    This will be one of the most entertaining memoirs you ever read! I could not put this down. This book is divided into 4 parts:Color: It’s fascinating how childhood and media can shape how we view ou...

  • Lisa

    I enjoyed reading about Doris' life as a daughter, a mother and a jewel thief. I liked her candid, plucky way of telling her story....

  • Crystal Zavala

    Diamond Doris is a true crime memoir. I do believe her to be an unreliable narrator, so I took a lot of what she said with a grain of salt.I do not question that Doris had a horrific upbringing and ch...

  • Paula Pergament

    Doris Payne is a genius; armed with a keen sense of observation into human behavior, Ms. Payne shares her story of her long and prolific career as a jewel thief. Her methods were simple, her planning ...

  • Beverly

    This was a 3.5 read for methoughts coming shortly...

  • Victoria Law

    A riveting read by a Black woman who became the world's most wanted diamond thief. I was intrigued by her justification for stealing diamonds (that they had initially been stolen from Africa just as h...