Through his thoughtful introduction, Prigge gives the work context, eschewing assumptions about "simpler times" and highlighting the mayhem that the growth and rise of a city can bring about. These stories are the orphans of Milwaukee's history, too unusual to register in broad historic narratives, too strange to qualify as nostalgia, but nevertheless essential to our understanding of this American city.
Blackwell also sheds light on some historical whodunits—was Bruno Hauptmann really guilty of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby? Who was behind the anthrax attacks of 2001? Not forgotten either are notorious characters who may actually be innocent, including Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and those who have never been convicted of wrongdoing although they left office in scandal, including Robert Torricelli and James McGreevey.
Through 100 historic true-crime tales that span over 300 years of history, Blackwell shows readers a side of New Jersey that would make even the Sopranos shudder.