Format: Trade Paperback
Pub. Date: 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Non-Fiction, True Crime
Thrilling, true crime tales from the Vidocq Society – a team of the world’s finest forensic investigators whose monthly lunches lead to justice in ice-cold murders.
Three of the greatest detectives in the world were heartsick over the growing tide of unsolved murders. Good friends and sometime rivals William Fleisher, Frank Bender, and Richard Walter decided one day over lunch that something had to be done, and pledged themselves to a grand quest for justice.
The Murder Room draws the reader into a chilling, darkly humorous, awe-inspiring world as the three partners travel far from their Victorian dining room to hunt ruthless killers, among them the grisly murderer of a millionaire’s son, a serial killer who carves off faces, and a child killer enjoying fifty years of freedom and dark fantasy.
Acclaimed bestselling author Michael Capuzzo brings true crime realistically and vividly to life in this account of a group of passionate men and women, inspired by their own wounded hearts to make a stand for truth, goodness, and justice in a world gone mad.
In the United States as many as 1 in 3 murders goes unsolved. The Vidocq Society was formed from this realization, the best law enforcement minds in the country, every third Thursday they meet “to hunt down murderers in cold cases, punish the guilty, free the innocent, and avenge, protect, and succor families victimized by murder.” They are there to speak for the dead.
The Society is named after Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857) a French crook-turned-cop, who was named the first chief of the Sûreté in 1811 (inspired the FBI and Scotland Yard). There are certain requirements for a case to be reviewed by the society. All cases are cold, such cases as the boy in the box (unsolved for 50 years), “The Worst Mother in History”, about a woman who had 8 children die (since the title of the book is The Murder Room, would it be a spoiler to say they had been murdered?)of what was originally determined to be “crib death”.
This book while being about the Vidocq Society focuses on the three founding members, a biography of sorts. William Fleisher, Frank Bender (forensic artist), and Richard Walter (profiler) telling how they got to where they did. It describes how they would meet (the third Thursday of every month) to review cold cases and decide if they would accept one. The book goes from case to case, not jumping around so it is easy to follow, rather seamlessly. It not written in a ‘short story’ format, the different cases form parts of the whole. The cases are written in such a way that they flow into each other.
I would recommend this book to true crime fans.
Below are some quotes from the book,
Marie Noe convicted of killing 8 of her 10 children (she pleaded guilty), her lawyer said: Marie did not have “the heart of a killer. This is one of those situations that make us human. Some things happen in life that we cannot understand.” This was a woman that when she was confessing to the detectives, called each of the children ‘it’.
Marie told detectives, “All I can figure is that I’m ungodly sick.”
A priest named by a Philadelphia grand jury as a pedophile, believed by the Vidocq Society to have raped and murdered a nine year old girl, when he died was eulogized by another priest, as a man who “touched countless souls, especially those of children.” (No it wasn’t their souls he was touching.)