The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars

Format: eBook
Pub. Date: 4/24/2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime ~ Library Book
Pages: 270
Read: 10/19/2012
Rating: Liked it ♥

The body was found in pieces, first the torso and arms in the East River, then the legs in some blueberry bushes in Harlem, as the Detectives (and reporters) investigate they end up out in Long Island, where there is water runoff where there shouldn’t be any and the ducks are coming out of the water with red on their feathers.

The press of the day jumped all over this, the reporters were doing as much investigating as the police and there was a fierce rivalry between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, one with an established but failing newspaper and the other his former protegee and becoming more popular. The reporters, followed leads, staked out residences. Commandeered pay phones, offered rewards for evidence found, at times helping and at times trampling over crime scenes and contaminating them.

Once the body was identified, the police were able to round up suspects, when two were finally brought to trial, the papers once again turned it into a circus.

This book has a great synopsis of the crime and life in the late 1800s in New York. We get a brief overview of the corruption of that time, also the dedication of the police officers and the forensics of the time. The author details the problems the prosecution had, the forensic scientist rumored to be attempting to poison his wife, the less than positive identification of the corpse, the defense claiming that the man their clients were accused of killing wasn’t even dead. The head was never found, and this was before anyone had even heard of DNA. They hadn’t even been convinced that fingerprints were a valid means of identification.

Still this is an extremely interesting book even with the extensive trial coverage. I would definitely recommend it.

About Belleza

I got the name Bella because my grandfather called me Suzabell. I use that as a username and my friends on the site started calling me Bella. Thus was born: Bella Foxx's Life, now known as "just a city girl" since I have made the big jump from the country and am now living in the City, UES. I like to make jewelry (check out my blog "Bella is creative" started April 17, 2008) and write. I like to do cross stitch and knit. I sew, I don't really enjoy it, but I enjoy the clothes. I like to read the Bible, books, magazines, online newspaper articles, blogs, jokes on candy wrappers, ads on the subway, billboards, backs of food boxes, lists of ingredients and recipes, cleaning directions, sayings on shirts. I post my reviews on "Just a girl, living, reading, watching, and writing", on Shelfari, Library Thing and Goodreads.. I am allergic to practically everything: grass, trees, weeds, animal dander, dust, mold, wheat, apples, nuts, fish and coconut. The fish and coconut are so serious I carry an Epi-pen and wear a Medic-Alert bracelet. And last but not least. I love the Yankees.

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