On December 15, 1927, 12-year-old Marion Parker, daughter of a prominent banker was brazenly abducted from her junior high school in Los Angeles, California in a bizarre ransom scheme. Two days later, the girl’s dismembered remains were left behind by a brutal killer, destroying a family and unnerving the entire city.
This caused pandemonium as the perpetrator managed to evade immediate capture, leading to a manhunt by authorities unlike any in recent memory. The horror of the crime was reminiscent of one 14 years earlier involving 13-year-old Mary Phagan, who was murdered at a pencil factory in Atlanta, and 5 years later when the 20-month-old son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh was abducted from the family’s New Jersey home and brutally slain.
The killer of Marion Parker was identified as former bank messenger William Edward Hickman, a 19-year-old with a score to settle and an appetite for killing.
The career criminal’s capture, trial, and ultimate fate captured the public’s imagination, while putting attention on the age-old vulnerability of children in this country targeted by child predators and the often tragic consequences that rings true to this day.
Included with the story are bonus excerpts of R. Barri Flowers' bestselling true crime shorts, Murder at the Pencil Factory and Mass Murder in the Sky, as well as an excerpt of the author’s international bestselling true crime book, The Sex Slave Murders.
When Stanford White, one of the most famous architects of the era—whose mark on New York City is second to none—was murdered by Harry K. Thaw in 1906, his death become known as “The Crime of the Century.”
But there were other players in this love triangle gone wrong that would play a part in the incredible story of White’s murderer. Chief among them was the ambitious district attorney William Travers Jerome, who had the opportunity to make—or break—his career with his prosecution of Thaw. Award-winning journalist Mary Cummings reveals a new angle to this incredible crime through Jerome’s story—a story that is ripe for our post-“Serial” era.
Thaw was the debauched and deranged heir to a Pittsburgh fortune who had a sadistic streak. White was an artistic genius and one of the world’s premier architects who would become obsessed with a teenaged chorus girl, Evelyn Nesbit. White preyed on Nesbit, who, in a surprising twist, also became a fixation for Thaw. Nesbit and Thaw would later marry, but Thaw’s lingering jealousy and anger toward White over his past history with Nesbit would explosively culminate in White’s shocking murder—and the even more shocking trial of Thaw for a murder that was committed in front of dozens of eye witnesses.
The promising young D.A. would find his faith in himself and the law severely tested as he battled colorful crooks, licentious grandees, and corrupt politicians. Cummings brilliant reveals the social issues simmering below the surface of New York that Jerome had to face. Filled with mesmerizing drama, rich period details, and fascinating characters, Saving Sin City sheds fresh light on crimes whose impact still echoes throughout the twenty-first century.