Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of

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I'm not ashamed to say I hadn't heard about any cases gone into detail here. The little asides, especially the ones about "murder ballads" were also fascinating. Everything about this book is a five star for your average true crime connoisseur. What is fascinating about this book is seeing what history considered "heinous" crimes, crimes that, quite frankly, would barely receive a mention in today's media. Thoroughly researched, Schechter once again delivers an encyclopedia of true crime, this time of various cases stretching over two hundred years.

There's no Jack the Ripper here. Instead, Schechter focuses on crimes that were considered grisly for that particular time period, yet are cases that are often over-looked by the majority of true crime aficionados. In addition to the researched cases, the sidebars contain tidbits of further information about the crimes, the timer period, even ballads.

True crime fans will definitely want to add this to their reference collections. The skull on the cover didn't bother me at all. Even cozy mysteries had skulls on their covers for years, especially during the s, so I've long since gotten over finding skulls creepy. Out of this collection of once-famous American serial killers, the Smutty Nose Butcher is the only one I recall ever hearing about before. That was on a program on one of the Discovery or History channels.

If the greater detail this book provides for the case is correct, the program's pick for the murderer is unlikely. I found the cases interesting. I particularly appreciated the illustrations, photographs, quotations from contemporary sources, and the added material after the cases often comparisons with other cases or information about the period, as well as murder ballads, if there were any.

Edmund Pearson's "Rules For Murderesses" on page is funny as well as grim. Of the main cases, the Bath School Disaster of was the most harrowing. As the author states, it combined features of the Oklahoma City Bombing with the Columbine Massacre, and added a suicide bomber. The period covered is to Valorous F. In case you're wondering, those three Robinsons were not involved in the same crime. Peter committed murder in New Jersey in Henrietta did it in Troy, New York, in , and it wasn't her real name. Sarah Jane did most of hers in Boston in The author wonders why Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Bordon are still remembered when these other crimes have been forgotten.

I suspect it's because their cases were never solved.


  • Psycho USA Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of.
  • Psycho USA : Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of by Harold Schechter (2012, Paperback).
  • Archie Comics 140 (September 1963)!

Theodore Dreiser's theory about why some men murder their women so they can move up socially with another woman see page doesn't make me feel any more sympathy for such killers than Marilee Strong same page felt for them. I don't care how inconvenient those men found those women -- they had no right to kill them.

I'm sure Dreiser would have been far less sympathetic if the series of crimes he'd observed as a novice reporter had been of women killing inconvenient boyfriends or husbands in order to pursue upward social mobility. I'm happy to add this book to my reference collection.

10 Killers That America Forgot | HuffPost

True Crime buffs who can't get enough will probably want to add it to theirs. Persons who like to lament about the depraved times we live in and our country's lost innocence should read this book. So should persons who, like myself, get tired of those laments and would like to have some 'reasons that ain't so' readily at hand.

I hope one of those Discovery or History channels buys this book and does a series of programs based on these cases. I think they would make fascinating, if unpleasant, viewing!

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First of all, I want to say that this book is so much bigger than I thought it would be; and that's a good thing! I, too, found the cover disturbing, and would put the book face down when I was not reading it. There are so many tales of horror, murder and mayhem, it's hard to believe that they are now forgotten, while some, like Lizzie Borden remain in infamy forever.

I've read a lot of true crime books, but this one has to be at the top of the list. If you like to read true crime stories, you really should read this book. On Shelf. East Regional - Adult Non-fiction. Quick Copy View. Place Hold. Add a Review.

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Kinda creeped out and horribly excited about reading this book!! I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed this book! I absolutely LOVED how Schechter would state what authors were influenced by certain murders and where they used that inspiration. I found that to be a wonderful surprise when I started the book. You hear about all of these horrific s Kinda creeped out and horribly excited about reading this book!! You hear about all of these horrific stories from not too long ago and the media makes it seem like it is the first incident of it's kind Such an intriguing book I need to learn to slow down and enjoy a story without rushing through it just to see what happens next!

Very interesting book - easy to pick up and put down because there are tons of small stories in this mammoth book! Oct 31, Juanita rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-stars , true-crime , schechter. Worth the read and a complete page-turner. Schechter is a really profound writer. He has a way of making complex terminology really simple and gives life to past villains that have been forgotten by history. There were some cases that were simply shocking to me that we'd allowed to drop from our collective memory that he resurrected with ease. Ca't wait to read his next book!!!

Jul 30, Peacegal rated it liked it.

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Show this to people who claim that "things are so much worse these days. Feb 13, Claudia rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , crime. This was quite a mixed bag of goods for me. Real crime and serial killers are something that I am weirdly interested in; and when this book promised to talk about the notorious kind of serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy, but focusing on killers who had for some reason be forgotten, I was hooked. The cover makes it look like a gritty investigation into the worst kind of crime, too.

But what you get is quite different. Yes, the murder is there, and it is bloody enough it's not for th This was quite a mixed bag of goods for me. Yes, the murder is there, and it is bloody enough it's not for the faint-hearted , but the historical remove served to make it seem almost unreal in some cases no pun intended. What bothered me, though, was the set-up of the book. The individual murderers are described in fairly short chapters that could almost be called vignettes, and in some cases, the author talks at great length about several other cases that he might perhaps have wished to include but didn't have the space for before embarking on the actual case in question.

And there is little depth to the chapters. While I realize that with some of them, a lot of the details might simply be irretrievably lost to time, it reads in some instances more like a tabloid newspaper serialization than like gritty investigative journalism.

The weirdest part for me, however, was that at the end of each chapter was tucked on an addendum. In some cases, this described yet more vaguely similar cases that didn't get their own chapters or changes in criminal persecution, which I found quite interesting. But most of them presented ballads or poems or nursery rhymes that have evolved around these crimes, some of them in full length and different versions. While I'm sure these would be very interesting to people interested in folklore and how crime is incorporated into shared cultural knowledge, this is simply not what the book promises to be on its cover and what I wanted to read about.

I wanted the book to tell me more about the actual police work used to bring the killers to justice, the development of forensic methods and police work; not so much about ballads. The narration was a bit uneven and seemed to jump around a lot, digressing from the cases at hand and delving into lengthy by-ways that seemed hardly related to the topic. In all, I would say an interesting book, but one that failed to develop its full potential and also suffers from misleading marketing by the publisher.

10 Killers That America Forgot

I was on the waiting list at my local public library for months to check-out this book but I have to say, the wait was worth it! Very good information and nothing that I have read in other true crime books. It amazes me the creative ways that humans devious to rid themselves of other human beings, the immoral ways to kill, then the complicated methods of disposal.

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