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True Crime History

Send proposals via mail or e-mail to:
Will Underwood
The Kent State University Press
1118 Library
Kent, OH 44242-0001 USA
wunderwo@kent.edu
The True Crime History Series, aimed at both a general readership and a scholarly audience, features effectively written, well-documented studies of notable criminal cases from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, primarily American. Books in the series will often focus on once-sensational crimes that, at the time of their occurrence, captivated the public and will explore the social and cultural factors that help explain their significance. The series also includes studies of real-life crimes that served as the inspiration for important works of American fiction.

Death of an Assassin

| Filed under: Books, Military History, Recent Releases, True Crime, True Crime History
Ackerman cover

From the depths of German and American archives comes a story one soldier never wanted told. The first volunteer killed defending Robert E. Lee’s position in battle was really a German assassin. After fleeing to the United States to escape prosecution for murder, the assassin enlisted in a German company of the Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Mexican-American War and died defending Lee’s battery at the Siege of Veracruz in 1847. Lee wrote a letter home, praising this unnamed fallen volunteer defender. Military records identify him, but none of the Americans knew about his past life of crime.

 


The Killing of Julia Wallace

| Filed under: Books, Recent Releases, True Crime, True Crime History
Goodman Cover

The brutal murder of Julia Wallace in 1931 became one of Britain’s great unsolved murders. People began arguing about the case almost immediately and continue to do so to this day. Julia was the middle-aged wife of a mildmannered Liverpool insurance agent, William Herbert Wallace. By all accounts they were a quiet, unassuming, devoted couple. In January 1931 William Wallace received a telephone message to come to an address in Liverpool the following evening to discuss an insurance policy. Unable to find the house after searching for hours, Wallace determined there was no such address and returned home. There he found Julia bludgeoned to death on the parlor floor. In addition to the terrible shock and his unbearable loss, Wallace was accused of the crime and ultimately convicted.

 


The Lincoln Assassination Riddle

and | Filed under: American History, History, Recent Releases, True Crime, True Crime History
Williams cover

Most Americans are aware that their sixteenth president was mortally wounded by a man named Booth at a Washington theater in April 1865. These are facts that nobody can dispute. However, a closer look at this history-changing catastrophe raises questions that have still not been fully answered. The passing of the 150th anniversary of the United States’ first presidential assassination is an ideal time for students and scholars to consider these questions.

 


Hauptmann’s Ladder

| Filed under: True Crime History
Cahull cover

Hauptmann’s Ladder is a testament to the truth that counters the revisionist histories all too common in the true crime genre. Author Richard T. Cahill Jr. puts the “true” back in “true crime,” providing credible information and undistorted evidence that enables readers to form their own opinions and reach their own conclusions.

 


Nameless Indignities

| Filed under: True Crime, True Crime History
Elmore_web

Upon discovering that her great-great aunt was the victim and central figure in one of Illinois’s most notorious crimes, author Susan Elmore set out to learn more. She uncovered a perplexing case that resulted in multiple suspects, a lynch mob, charges of perjury and bribery, a failed kidnapping attempt, broken family loyalties, lies, cover-ups, financial devastation, and at least two suicides.

 


Guilty by Popular Demand

| Filed under: True Crime, True Crime History
Osinski-hr

The townsfolk of Logan, Ohio, a mined-out area of the Appalachian foothills, cheered as an innocent man was convicted and sent to death row. The occasion was the conviction of Dale N. Johnston. His trial ended nothing; the tragedies had just begun. What really happened on that bitter cold day in January 1984 was the total collapse of the local criminal justice system.

 


The Supernatural Murders

| Filed under: True Crime, True Crime History
GoodmanSupernatural-web

This anthology of thirteen true crime stories includes the mysterious slaying of Charles Walton, who was found slashed and pierced to death in an area notorious for its associations with black magic; the murder of Eric Tombe, whose body was located because of a recurring dream in which his mother saw Eric down a well; the terrorizing of Hammersmith, London, in the early nineteenth century by the nocturnal appearance of a “ghost”; the Salem witchcraft trials; the murder of Rasputin, who was believed by some in Russia to be a miracle worker and by others to be a dangerous charlatan; a Scottish tale in which evidence given by the ghost of the victim was allowed at the murderer’s trial; and the bizarre goings-on at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York, where Ronnie DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family—the new occupants were subjected to all manner of sinister events, including the presence of poltergeists, or were they?