Posts Tagged ‘True Crime’

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Tomorrow night (7/9/20) at 8 pm EST on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, we’ll be talking murder and mayhem with true crime author Harold Schechter, whose books have detailed the unspeakable crimes of such horrendous killers as Ed Gein, H.H. Holmes, Jane Toppan, Albert Fish, Belle Gunness, and many, many more. Harold has appeared on such shows and documentaries as Mysteries at the Museum, Serial Killers: Real Life Hannibal Lecters, Deadly Women, History’s Mysteries, A Crime to Remember, H.H. Holes: America’s First Serial Killer, World’s Most Evil Killers, Killer Kids, American Ripper, Ed Gein: The Ghoul of Plainfield, and more. Learn more about his work at: https://haroldschechter.com/ and listen to the show at: https://bit.ly/38CzzJG
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Harold Schechter is an American true crime writer who specializes in serial killers. He attended the State University of New York in Buffalo where his PhD director was Leslie Fiedler. He is professor of American literature and popular culture at Queens College of the City University of New York.
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Schechter is married to poet Kimiko Hahn. He has two daughters from a previous marriage: the writer Lauren Oliver and professor of philosophy Elizabeth Schechter.
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Since reading The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston, it occurs to me that the real monster in question may well be the Italian justice system itself, which, at every turn, willfully fails to uphold its duty and administer justice. I first became aware of this very flawed judicial system during the Amanda Knox case (which Preston also talks about in this book) but I didn’t get to see the real inner “workings” of that system until I read Preston’s book. It was astounding, disgraceful, and actually embarrassing (a Satanic cult did it? Really?) the way Italian law enforcement deflected, denied, and overall abused its power in this case. 

And that’s just the background. Front and center is the monster of Florence himself, who killed sixteen people between 1968 and 1985 in the province of Florence. In this true crime narrative, we see the crimes themselves which Preston pens, as always, with a deft and masterful hand. The style in which he narrates is journalism at its best; it manages to remain fair and objective – a true feat, given that both he and his friend, the Italian reporter Mario Spezi, were at one point named the Monster of Florence during the course of this very absurd “investigation.”

I’m glad Douglas Preston wrote this book. It not only sheds light on the heinous crimes and the political atmosphere that influenced the investigation, but it makes me glad that I live in America where I don’t have to worry about being legally accused of witchcraft and devil-worship for taking an interest in unsolved crimes. That, at least, is some form of justice.

For more, visit Alistair on Bookbub.

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Having read a good number of books on the subject of Jack the Ripper, I have to say I’ve found this one to be not only the most objective and informative, but also the most interesting. First, the author’s motive is not to point to the identity of the Ripper which, given that we will likely never know who perpetrated these crimes, I prefer.

While so many Jack the Ripper authors want to “solve” the case, Sugden instead presents all the possible theories – plausible and preposterous alike – and gives credible evidence for and against each theory. The Complete History of Jack the Ripper is comprehensible, well-researched, and clears away many of the myths surrounding the Whitechapel murders of the late 1880s while shedding new light on the case. In this book, you get a feel not only for the murderer, but for his victims as well – a rarity that I appreciate.

I recommend this to anyone with an interest in crime, history, and of course, the murders of Jack the Ripper.

For more: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alistair-cross?list=reviews

Tonight at 8 pm EST, we’ll be live at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! with true crime author Keven McQueen, discussing the Axman of New Orleans, The Servant Girl Annihilator, and a female serial killer who singlehandedly gave lesbians a bad name! Listen in any time right here: https://tinyurl.com/y6vc68k4
 
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