The Murder Of The Century by Paul Collins
We could all pretty much take any number of nasty murders we have heard or read about from history and probably tag them ‘the murder of the century’ but Paul Collins might have indeed found the one that defines the late 1800’s.
Not that I’m about to give you the skinny about the love triangle-body parts found-murder cabin escapade this fantastically researched book is based on, but I can tell you that from the summer of 1897 to well into the year and beyond, newspapers fought tooth and nail to beat one another to fantastic headlines and New Yorkers were riveted to the murder and dismemberment of one man. The case became a publicity circus with magazine magnates Hearst and Pulitzer vying for readership and The Murder of the Century is every much a story about news tactics of the day as it is the murder it relates in chilling details.
In a time known for its sensationalism, this case gave a rabid public what they loved and Collins brings the late 1800’s alive in true expert descriptiveness. You feel the grit of NYC tenements and the wide open country that was Queens at the time and the personalities Collins so expertly draws are larger and richer than any fiction could ever supply.
My derby hat is off to Paul Collins and his The Murder of the Century, it’s a great read.