8 True Crime Books by Harold Schechter
English | 0000|Non Fiction | True Crime| ePUB | 41 MB
A professor of American Literature and culture at Queens College, the City University of New York. Among his nonfiction works are the historical true-crime classics Fatal, Fiend,Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved. He also authors a critically acclaimed mystery series featuring Edgar Allan Poe, which includes The Hum Bug and Nevermore and The Mask of Red Death. Schechter’s newest study of popular culture, Savage Pastimes: A Cultural History of Violent Entertainment is just out from St. Martin’s Press. He lives in New York City. A true crime writer who specializes in serial killers. He attended the State University of New York in Buffalo, where he obtained a Ph.D. He is professor of American literature and popular culture at Queens College of the City University of New York.
Killer Colt, Murder, Disgrace, & the Making of an American Legend:
In September 1841, a grisly discovery is made aboard a merchant ship docked in lower Manhattan: Deep in the cargo hold, bound with rope and covered with savage head wounds, lies a man’s naked corpse. While a murderer has taken pains to conceal his victim’s identity, it takes little time to determine that the dead man is Samuel Adams, proprietor of a local printing firm. And in less time still, witnesses and a bloody trail of clues lead investigators to the doorstep of the enigmatic John Colt.
Bestial, The Savage Trail of a True American Monster:
Earle Leonard Nelson may well have been America’s first serial killer. In the winter of 1926, he began a string of murders that spanned the U.S. and Canada, horrifying and confounding both the public and the police. Bestial tells the story of Nelson’s life–from his bizarre childhood to his ignoble end–sparing no graphic detail in the process. If there is an answer to the question of why this man murdered, it is in this book somewhere. Everything about Nelson seems bizarre, from his family to his eating habits to his religious obsessions. But strangest of all was his compulsion to kill–for no imaginable reason. He killed women of all ages, from all walks of life, seemingly with no remorse. Bestial reads like fast-paced fiction, complete with action, plot twists, suspense, and eerie foreshadowing. The book is compelling and elegantly written, and the story provides chilling insights into the motivations of a man who killed for killings sake.
Deviant, The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original Psycho:
The truth behind the twisted crimes that inspired the films Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs… From “America’s principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers” (The Boston Book Review) comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation — and redefined the meaning of the word “psycho.” The year was 1957. The place was an ordinary farmhouse in America’s heartland, filled with extraordinary evidence of unthinkable depravity. The man behind the massacre was a slight, unassuming Midwesterner with a strange smile — and even stranger attachment to his domineering mother. After her death and a failed attempt to dig up his mother’s body from the local cemetery, Gein turned to other grave robberies and, ultimately, multiple murders. Driven to commit gruesome and bizarre acts beyond all imagining, Ed Gein remains one of the most deranged minds in the annals of American homicide. This is his story — recounted in fascinating and chilling detail by Harold Schechter, one of the most acclaimed true-crime storytellers of our time.
The Serial Killer Files, the Who, What, When, Where & Why of Terrifying Murders:
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.[/list]
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.
Depraved: The Definitive True Story of H H Holmes, Whose Grotesque Crimes Shattered Chicago:
“This is must reading for crime buffs. DEPRAVED demonstrates that sadistic psychopaths are not a modern day phenomena…gruesome, awesome, compelling reporting.” ANNE RULE. Here is the macabre story of H.H. Holmes, architect of the infamous ‘Castle of Horror’, whose labyrinth of trapdoors, stairways to nowhere, bed-chambers fitted with peepholes and asphyxiating gas pipes, greased body chutes, and a cellar equipped with acid vats, a crematorium, and dissecting table, became an unspeakable domain of torture and murder. With stark, ghastly detail, DEPRAVED takes you into the mind of this evil genius – who alternatively posed as doctor, druggist, and inventor to snare his prey in 19th Century Chicago – and reveals a mesmerizing tale of true detection before the age of technological wizardry.
Deranged: Shocking True Story of America’s Most Fiendish Killer:
LURED FROM THE SAFETY OF HOME — INTO THE JAWS OF HELL “America’s principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers” (“The Boston Book Review”), Harold Schechter shatters the myth that violent crime is a modern phenomenon — with this seamless true account of unvarnished horror from the early twentieth century. Journey inside the demented mind of Albert Fish — pedophile, sadist, and cannibal killer — and discover that bloodlust knows no time or place….
On a warm spring day in 1928, a kindly, white-haired man appeared at the Budd family home in New York City, and soon persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Budd to let him take their adorable little girl, Grace, on an outing. The Budds never guessed that they had entrusted their child to a monster. After a relentless six-year search and nationwide press coverage, the mystery of Grace Budd’s disappearance was solved — and a crime of unparalleled gore and revulsion was revealed to a stunned American public. What Albert Fish did to Grace Budd, and perhaps fifteen other young children, caused experts to pronounce him the most deranged human being they had ever seen.
The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, & the Murder that Shook the Nation:
An unputdownable true crime story set in the pulp-fiction obsessed world of 1930s America. On Easter Sunday 1937, Bob Irwin – a handsome, failing sculptor with a history of depression and psychopathic episodes – commited a grisly triple murder. Creeping back to the flat of his ex-landlady in a swish New York borough, Irwin killed her, her lodger, and her stunning daughter Ronnie with an ice-pick, an apparently motiveless homicide that would shock the entire country. Firmly in ‘you couldn’t make it up’ territory, and crafted like a Chandler novel, THE MAD SCULPTOR thrillingly relates Irwin’s crime, flight, and capture, his trial and its aftermath, whilst painting a warts-and-all portrait of 1930s America.
Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
In the winter of 1873, a small band of prospectors lost their way in the frozen wilderness of the Colorado Rockies. Months later, when the snow finally melted, only one of them emerged. His name was Alfred G. Packer, though he would soon become infamous throughout the country under a different name: “the Man-Eater.”
After the butchered remains of his five traveling companions were discovered in a secluded valley by the Gunnison River, Packer vanished for nine years, becoming the West’s most wanted man. What followed was a saga of evasion and retribution as the trial of the century worked to extricate fact from myth and Polly Pry, a once-famed pioneering journalist, took on the cause of Packer. Man-Eater is the definitive story of a legendary crime—a gripping tale of unspeakable suffering, the desperate struggle for survival, and the fight to uncover the truth.