More featuring serial killers

For a month in the fall of 2002, a series of sniper attacks suddenly dominated the headlines in the nation’s capital. Beginning in the Washington suburbs, these crimes eventually stretched over one hundred miles along I-95 to Richmond. More than a thousand law officers would pursue the perpetrators—an enormous number for one case. The number of reporters covering the story, however, was even greater. On the Trail of the D.C. Sniper uses the remarkable events of that October to explore the shifting character of journalism as it entered the twenty-first century and to question how this change in the way news is gathered and reported impacted the events it covered.

Because of its political significance, Washington, D.C., although not a huge population center, is home to an international news corps rivaling that of London or New York. The sniper story thus gained unusually broad media coverage. These events also coincided with the rise of cable network news, meaning that the story would be delivered through a greatly accelerated news cycle. Continuous coverage on television meant a more intense race for scoops; when a major development wasn’t available, lesser incidents were sometimes played up in an attempt to maintain the sense of an always unfolding story.

Jack Censer looks at the atmosphere of heightened anxiety in which this killing spree occurred—coming only a year after the 9/11 attacks, as well as the unsolved anthrax scare centered in the D.C. area—and asks if the press, by intensifying its focus, also intensified the sense of fear.To bring in another perspective, Censer looks closely at the elementary and secondary schools in the area, comparing their experience of the threat with the press’s perception, and presentation, of it. In most cases, school officials chose a course of precaution in which life could carry on, rather than one of hypervigilance and lockdowns.

Although it is widely thought that journalists have strong political and commercial biases, Censer reveals that in this case the press was motivated, above all, by the creation of a gripping story to evoke emotion from its audience. One of the most detailed studies yet published of how the press follows a story in the twenty-four-hour news era, this book provides a window on post-9/11 anxiety and the relationship between those fears, public events, and the news media.

Early August, 1799.

A wilderness clearing along the Mud River...a few miles northeast of Russellville, a small town in the vast, nearly unbroken frontier of western Kentucky.

A pioneer family has stopped to rest.

Two men. Three women. Three babies. A string of pack horses.

It has been an exhausting journey, a dangerous one at times.

The men are about thirty, the women some five to ten years younger. Each woman has a baby, her own child. The children, two girls and a boy, range from four to six months in age.

The day is hot. The shallow river is cool. Shade trees provide a measure of relief from the sticky humidity, the baking heat. The men stretch out along the banks of the river. The women tend to their children's needs, then place them down and stretch out themselves. Everyone drinks from the stream.

They have been traveling forever. Or, at least, it seems that way. They're tired. They just want to rest before they must move out again, always pushing on, always in search of their destination in an unforgivingly harsh wilderness, battling tremendous odds against their very survival. They carry all their worldly possessions with them. True pioneers, they live off the land, taking from it what they need to eke out another day of life in the new American world of democracy and free enterprise.

Suddenly, one of the babies cries. It is one of the girls, this one only four months old.

One of the men rouses himself from his rest. He makes his way to the crying infant. The man is both a husband and a father, and he is with his family.

A touching scene seems about to ensue. A father lovingly tending his irritable child all alone in the wilderness. A loving man doting on his daughter's needs.

He picks the child up.

But this is no ordinary family. And this is no ordinary man.

The man is Micajah Harp, and he is wanted by the law. Even at this moment, there is a price on his head, and posses are after him. They might hear the wail of the infant and swoop down on the family and arrest them.

Micajah must do something. He must silence the baby.

He picks the child up by her feet and swings her against the side of the tree. Her head smashes against the unrelenting wood. The breath of life leaves her instantly. He then tosses the lifeless body into the woods.

He signals the rest of the family to rise to their feet.

They do so, and the family moves deeper into the wilderness.

They are the Harps. America's first and most brutal serial killers.

God help anyone who gets in their way.


They were "the most brutal monsters of the human race" to those who knew them...ruthless and indiscriminate barbarians terrorizing an innocent America...unconscionable brutes inflicting savagery upon anyone they encountered.

They sought little in life save the very survival necessary to maintain their bloodlust. It mattered little where or with whom they lived. They cheated and tormented at will and killed for the sake of killing. Their adult lives became a continual exercise in abject, unrepentant evil. During a reign of horror engulfing Kentucky, Tennessee, and Illinois, they became the scourge of the late 18th-century American frontier. They killed anywhere from two dozen to four dozen men, women, and children before justice caught up with them. They were the historical prototypes of later killers - Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, and Jeffrey Dahmer - but they far exceeded them in brutality and criminal enormity.

They were the Harps...Micajah, the older and bigger; Wiley, the younger and smaller...Big Harp and Little Harp, as they were commonly called. And they were America's first serial killers.

This is their story.

"Blood in the Wilderness: The Story of the Harps, America's First Serial Killers" includes a bibliography of seventy-five sources. It results from years of research and visits to all the sites associated with t

From renowned true-crime historian Harold Schechter, whom The Boston Book Review hails as “America’s principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers,” comes the riveting exploration of a notorious, sensational New York City murder in the 1890s, the fascinating forensic science of an earlier age, and the explosively dramatic trial that became a tabloid sensation at the turn of the century.

Death was by poison and came in the mail: A package of Bromo Seltzer had been anonymously sent to Harry Cornish, the popular athletic director of Manhattan’s elite Knickerbocker Athletic Club. Cornish barely survived swallowing a small dose; his cousin Mrs. Katherine Adams died in agony after ingesting the toxic brew. Scandal sheets owned by Hearst and Pulitzer eagerly jumped on this story of fatal high-society intrigue, speculating that the devious killer was a chemist, a woman, or “an effeminate man.” Forensic studies suggested cyanide as the cause of death; handwriting on the deadly package and the vestige of a label glued to the bottle pointed to a handsome, athletic society scamp, Roland Molineux.

The wayward son of a revered Civil War general, Molineux had clashed bitterly with Cornish before. He had even furiously denounced Cornish when penning his resignation from the Knickerbocker Club, a letter that later proved a major clue. Bon vivant Molineux had recently wed the sensuous Blanche Chesebrough, an opera singer whose former lover, Henry Barnet, had also recently died . . . after taking medicine sent to him through the mail. Molineux’s subsequent indictment for murder led to two explosive trials, a sex-infused scandal that shocked the nation, and a lurid print-media circus that ended in madness and a proud family’s disgrace.
In bold, brilliant strokes, Schechter captures all the colors of the tumultuous legal case, gathering his own evidence and tackling subjects no one dared address at the time–all in hopes of answering the tantalizing question: What powerfully dark motives could drive the wealthy scion of an eminent New York family to foul murder?

Schechter vividly portrays the case’s fascinating cast of characters, including Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a prolific yellow journalist who covered the story, and proud General Edward Leslie Molineux, whose son’s ignoble deeds besmirched a dignified national hero’s final years. All the while Schechter brings alive Manhattan’s Gilded Age: a gaslit world of elegant town houses and hidden bordellos, chic restaurants and shabby opium dens, a city peopled by men and women fighting and losing the battle against urges an upright era had ordered suppressed.

Superbly researched and powerfully written, The Devil’s Gentleman is an insightful, gripping work, a true-crime historian’s crowning achievement.
An Edgar Award finalist for Best Fact Crime, this “impressive…open-eyed investigative inquiry wrapped within a cultural history of rural America” (The Wall Street Journal) shows legendary statistician and baseball writer Bill James applying his analytical acumen to crack an unsolved century-old mystery surrounding one of the deadliest serial killers in American history.

Between 1898 and 1912, families across the country were bludgeoned in their sleep with the blunt side of an axe. Some of these cases—like the infamous Villisca, Iowa, murders—received national attention. But most incidents went almost unnoticed outside the communities in which they occurred. Few people believed the crimes were related. And fewer still would realize that all of these families lived within walking distance to a train station. When celebrated true crime expert Bill James first learned about these horrors, he began to investigate others that might fit the same pattern. Applying the same know-how he brings to his legendary baseball analysis, he empirically determined which crimes were committed by the same person. Then after sifting through thousands of local newspapers, court transcripts, and public records, he and his daughter Rachel made an astonishing discovery: they learned the true identity of this monstrous criminal and uncovered one of the deadliest serial killers in America.

“A suspenseful historical account” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), The Man from the Train paints a vivid, psychologically perceptive portrait of America at the dawn of the twentieth century, when crime was regarded as a local problem, and opportunistic private detectives exploited a dysfunctional judicial system. James shows how these cultural factors enabled such an unspeakable series of crimes to occur, and his groundbreaking approach to true crime will convince skeptics, amaze aficionados, and change the way we view criminal history. “A beautifully written and extraordinarily researched narrative…This is no pure whodunit, but rather a how-many-did-he-do” (Buffalo News).
A real-life thriller in the vein of The Devil in the White City, Kate Winkler Dawson's debut Death in the Air is a gripping, historical narrative of a serial killer, an environmental disaster, and an iconic city struggling to regain its footing.

London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes.

All across London, women were going missing--poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.

The eventual arrest of the "Beast of Rillington Place" caused a media frenzy: were there more bodies buried in the walls, under the floorboards, in the back garden of this house of horrors? Was it the fog that had caused Christie to suddenly snap? And what role had he played in the notorious double murder that had happened in that same apartment building not three years before--a murder for which another, possibly innocent, man was sent to the gallows?

The Great Smog of 1952 remains the deadliest air pollution disaster in world history, and John Reginald Christie is still one of the most unfathomable serial killers of modern times. Journalist Kate Winkler Dawson braids these strands together into a taut, compulsively readable true crime thriller about a man who changed the fate of the death penalty in the UK, and an environmental catastrophe with implications that still echo today.
Discover the truth behind the myth in The Complete Jack the Ripper by Paul Begg and John Bennett.

Whitechapel, 1888: a spate of brutal murders becomes the most notorious criminal episode in London's history. The killer, chillingly nicknamed 'The Whitechapel Murderer', 'Leather Apron' and, most famously, 'Jack the Ripper', is never brought to justice for the slaughter and mutilation of at least five women in the slums of East London. But the mystery is deepened by a letter sent "From Hell" to Scotland Yard, accompanied by half of a preserved human kidney...

In this comprehensive account of London's most infamous killer, the foremost authorities on the case explore the facts behind the most grisly episode of the Victorian era. Setting the scene in the impoverished East End, the authors' meticulous research offers detailed accounts of the lives of the victims and an examination of the police investigation. The Complete Jack the Ripper is the definitive book by Paul Begg and John Bennett, exploring both the myth and reality behind the allusive killer.

Paul Begg and John Bennett are researchers and authors, widely recognized as authorities on Jack the Ripper. Paul Begg's books include Jack the Ripper: The Facts, Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History, and he is a co-author of The Jack the Ripper A to Z.

John Bennett has written numerous articles and lectured frequently on Jack the Ripper and the East End of London. He has acted as adviser to and participated in documentaries made by television channels worldwide and was the co-writer for the successful Channel 5 programme Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Story. He is author of E1: A Journey Through Whitechapel and Spitalfields and co-author of Jack the Ripper: CSI Whitechapel.

The Sandy Knoll Murder, Legacy of the Sheepshooters is the true story of the high-profile 1904 murder of John Creed Conn, who disappeared in the midst of central Oregon's bloody range war period. That circumstance has always been believed to have precipitated his death. Sensational and intriguing, the details of the murder held the reading public in rapt attention with articles appearing on the front page of the Oregonian for nine months after Conn's mysterious disappearance. It is not very often that a prominent man, a celebrity, vanishes from the main street of an Oregon town in broad daylight. And even less often does a missing man's body reappear on a small, sandy knoll outside of that same town seven weeks later. This work is the result of six years of painstaking research that encompassed eighty other homicides and suspicious deaths of the period, Conn's life and relationships, the circumstances of his death, and all that was ever written by and about the sheepshooters. All of the planning that the killer put into making Conn vanish showed a high level of control and organization on his part. But, he did unwittingly leave some clues to his identity, and they could be traced like fingerprints through the ink of the newspapers of the day. Other clues were left like footprints in the soil surrounding the Sandy Knoll and in the behaviors that he exhibited there. Conn was the brother of a district attorney and a member of a politically prominent and well-connected family. He was a local celebrity and a respected figure, and there could be no doubt that a massive man hunt and investigation would ensue. Every effort has been made to adhere to the facts of the case, long-held as the legacy of the sheepshooters. The Creed Conn murder was then, and remains today, one of the most sensational in the history of the state of Oregon.
A fascinating look into the mind of H. H. Holmes, one of America’s first serial killers known as the ‘Devil in the White City’ who built a Murder Castle and lured victims into secret rooms, vaults, and gas chambers during the Chicago’s World’s Fair.

Featuring 87 rare, historical illustrations and Holmes’ birth and death certificates. Holmes’ Own includes:

-HH Holmes 1895 memoir written by the killer while he awaited trial

-Moyamensing Prison diary

-Holmes’ confession of murders of twenty-seven men, women, and children (1896)

-Judgement day with Holmes' death by hanging at Moyamensing Prison

-Unusual concrete burial at historic Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania

-Holmes planned reincarnation

-Philadelphia Detective Frank P. Geyer interview about Holmes’ plan to murder Georgiana Yoke, his third wife

-Mrs. Benjamin Pitezel interview after Holmes' execution

-Sources, Illustration Credits, Bibliography, Notes, and INDEX 

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations

To the Reader


Handwritten Statement 

Holmes’ Preface

Holmes’ Own Story

Moyamensing Prison Diary Appendix


The Tale of the Greatest Criminal in History

Murder 1: Dr. Robert Leacock 

Murder 2: Dr. Russell

Murders 3, 4: Mrs. Julia L. Connor, Daughter, Pearl

Murder 5: Rogers

Murder 6: Charles Cole

Murder 7: Lizzie

Murders 8, 9, 10: Mrs. Sarah Cook, Baby, Niece

Murder 11: Miss Emeline Cigrand

Three Unsuccessful Attempts of Triple Murder

Murder 12: Miss Rosine Van Jassand

Murder 13: Robert Latimer

Murder 14: Miss Anna Betts

Murder 15: Miss Gertrude Conner

Murder 16: Miss Kate Durkee

Murder 17: Mr. Warner

Murder 18: Rogers, A Young Englishman

Murder 19: A Female Boarder

Murders 20, 21: Minnie and Nannie Williams

Murder 22: Unknown Chicago Man

Murder 23: Baldwin Williams

Murder 24: Benjamin F. Pitezel

Murder 25: Howard Pitezel

Murders 26, 27: Alice and Nellie Pitezel

Attempted Murder of Mrs. Pitezel, Two Children

Conclusion of Confession

Statement from Detective Geyer


Judgment Day - Thursday, May 7, 1896

Concrete Burial - Friday, May 8, 1896

Holmes' Reincarnation? 

Illustration Credits




Available in eBook, Paperback, Large Print Paperback, and Hardcover

Don’t miss out on this historical book. Add Holmes’ Own Story: Confessed 27 Murders, Lied Then Died to your library today!

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In The Devil in the White City, the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.

Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

To find out more about this book, go to
For over a hundred years, the mystery of Jack the Ripper has been a source of unparalleled fascination and horror, spawning an army of obsessive theorists and endless volumes purporting to finally reveal the identity of the brutal murderer who terrorized Victorian England.

But what if there was never really any mystery at all? What if the Ripper was always hiding in plain sight, deliberately leaving a trail of clues to his identity for anyone who cared to look, while cynically mocking those who were supposedly attempting to bring him to justice?

In They All Love Jack, the award-winning film director and screenwriter Bruce Robinson exposes the cover-up that enabled one of history's most notorious serial killers to remain at large. More than twelve years in the writing, this is no mere radical reinterpretation of the Jack the Ripper legend and an enthralling hunt for the killer. A literary high-wire act reminiscent of Tom Wolfe or Hunter S. Thompson, it is an expressionistic journey through the cesspools of late-Victorian society, a phantasmagoria of highly placed villains, hypocrites, and institutionalized corruption.

Polemic forensic investigation and panoramic portrait of an age, underpinned by deep scholarship and delivered in Robinson's inimitably vivid and scabrous prose, They All Love Jack is an absolutely riveting and unique book, demolishing the theories of generations of self-appointed experts—the so-called Ripperologists—to make clear, at last, who really did it; and, more important, how he managed to get away with it for so long.

In late nineteenth-century Boston, home to Herman Melville and Oliver Wendell Holmes, a serial killer preying on children is running loose in the city—a wilderness of ruin caused by the Great Fire of 1872—in this literary historical crime thriller reminiscent of The Devil in the White City.

In the early 1870s, local children begin disappearing from the working-class neighborhoods of Boston. Several return home bloody and bruised after being tortured, while others never come back.

With the city on edge, authorities believe the abductions are the handiwork of a psychopath, until they discover that their killer—fourteen-year-old Jesse Pomeroy—is barely older than his victims. The criminal investigation that follows sparks a debate among the world’s most revered medical minds, and will have a decades-long impact on the judicial system and medical consciousness.

The Wilderness of Ruin is a riveting tale of gruesome murder and depravity. At its heart is a great American city divided by class—a chasm that widens in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1872. Roseanne Montillo brings Gilded Age Boston to glorious life—from the genteel cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill to the squalid, overcrowded tenements of Southie. Here, too, is the writer Herman Melville. Enthralled by the child killer’s case, he enlists physician Oliver Wendell Holmes to help him understand how it might relate to his own mental instability.

With verve and historical detail, Roseanne Montillo explores this case that reverberated through all of Boston society in order to help us understand our modern hunger for the prurient and sensational.

The Wilderness of Ruin features more than a dozen black-and-white photographs.


Hollywood’s make-believe maniacs like Jason, Freddy, and Hannibal Lecter can’t hold a candle to real life monsters like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and scores of others who have terrorized, tortured, and terminated their way across civilization throughout the ages. Now, from the much-acclaimed author of Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved, comes the ultimate resource on the serial killer phenomenon.

Rigorously researched and packed with the most terrifying, up-to-date information, this innovative and highly compelling compendium covers every aspect of multiple murderers–from psychology to cinema, fetishism to fan clubs, “trophies” to trading cards. Discover:

WHO THEY ARE: Those featured include Ed Gein, the homicidal mama’s boy who inspired fiction’s most famous Psycho, Norman Bates; Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, sex-crazed killer cousins better known as the Hillside Stranglers; and the Beanes, a fifteenth-century cave-dwelling clan with an insatiable appetite for human flesh

HOW THEY KILL: They shoot, stab, and strangle. Butcher, bludgeon, and burn. Drown, dismember, and devour . . . and other methods of massacre too many and monstrous to mention here.

WHY THEY DO IT: For pleasure and for profit. For celebrity and for “companionship.” For the devil and for dinner. For the thrill of it, for the hell of it, and because “such men are monsters, who live . . . beyond the frontiers of madness.”

PLUS: in-depth case studies, classic killers’ nicknames, definitions of every kind of deviance and derangement, and much, much more.

For more than one hundred profiles of lethal loners and killer couples, Bluebeards and black widows, cannibals and copycats– this is an indispensable, spine-tingling, eye-popping investigation into the dark hearts and mad minds of that twisted breed of human whose crimes are the most frightening . . . and fascinating.
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