Celebrated Crimes by Alexandre Dumas
From 1839 to 1841 Dumas, with the assistance of several friends, compiled Celebrated Crimes, an eight-volume collection of essays on famous criminals and crimes from European history, including essays on Beatrice Cenci; Martin Guerre; Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia; and more recent incidents, including the cases of executed alleged murderers Karl Ludwig Sand and Antoine François Desrues. This book is the whole series combined.
Currently checked out from the library:
Death in the City of Light by David King
Death in the City of Light is the gripping, true story of a brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-Occupied Paris. As decapitated heads and dismembered body parts surfaced in the Seine, Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu, head of the Brigade Criminelle, was tasked with tracking down the elusive murderer in a twilight world of Gestapo, gangsters, resistance fighters, pimps, prostitutes, spies, and other shadowy figures of the Parisian underworld.
For thirty-one years, an unremarkable family man stalked, killed, and terrorized the people of Wichita, Kansas. He was a devoted husband. A helpful Boy Scout dad. A reliable, conscientious employee. A dependable church president. And behind it all, the notorious serial killer BTK–a self-anointed acronym for “bind, torture, kill.”
Now that he’s in prison serving ten consecutive life sentences, the whole world knows that Dennis Rader is BTK. But the intricate twists and shocking turns of this story have never before been told by the people who were intimately acquainted with the BTK killer and Rader the family man, or by the dedicated cops who finally caught him. “Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door” takes readers behind closed doors, revealing the full and horrific tale as seen through the eyes of the killer, his victims, the investigators, and the reporters who covered it all.
Personal Library (started, plan to finish):
The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories of a young French eccentric named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune to live on. Years later, Dorothy Sayers would describe “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” as “almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice.” Indeed, Poe’s short mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes. Today, the Dupin stories still stand out as unique, utterly engrossing page-turners.
In 1912 John Frank Hickey, “The Postcard Killer,” was one of the first known and captured serial killers. This fascinating story tells how a solitary milquetoast of a man wandered the American east coast for decades, harboring a terrifying assortment of personal demons. Many of the behavior patterns that have long since come to be trademarks of the sociopathic killer are revealed in Hickey’s long, demented life of crime. Unfortunately, the police and investigators in the early 20th Century had few if any tools to battle with a solitary individual’s compulsion to murder young newsboys who wandered the urban streets alone. From his first murder at eighteen until his capture and conviction nearly three decades later, Hickey traveled and worked at anonymous clerical or engineering jobs while he committed murders of breathtaking brazenness, sometimes attacking in open view. Hickey was well into middle age when his need for public attention drove him to taunt his victims’ families and mock the police. He began a long series of correspondence about his crimes in the form of postcards. He enjoyed knowing that they could be read by anybody while they were en route. The postcards eventually formed the net that snared him.
Sammy the Bull Gravano is the highest-ranking member of the Mafia in America ever to defeat. In telling Gravano’s story, Peter Maas brings us as never before into the innermost sanctums of the Cosa Nostra as if we were there ourselves–a secret underworld of power, lust, greed, betrayal, and deception, with the specter of violent death always waiting in the wings.
Generally considered the first English sensation novel, The Woman in White features the remarkable heroine Marian Halcombe and her sleuthing partner, drawing master Walter Hartright, pitted against the diabolical team of Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde. A gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness, and mistaken identity, Collins’s psychological thriller has never been out of print in the 140 years since its publication. Anne Perry writes in her Introduction to this Modern Library Paperback Classic (set from the “New Edition” of 1861), “[The Woman in White] has lasted, to our great pleasure, because it is superb storytelling about people who engage our minds and our imaginations.”
Mars has become divided by love. Not one, but two princes and a Jeddak are vying for the love of Thuvia of Ptarth. When she is mysteriously kidnapped, treachery threatens to throw Barsoom into bloody war.