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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.

The Belle of Bedford Avenue

| Filed under: Forthcoming, True Crime, True Crime History
The Bell of Bedford Avenue by Virginia A. McConnell. Kent State University Press

At the turn of the 20th century, many affluent Brooklyn teens and young adults were bucking the constraints of their immigrant parents and behaving badly: drinking, having sex, staying out all night, stealing, scamming local businesses—and even more serious activities. The culmination for twenty-year-old Walter Brooks was being murdered in a seedy Manhattan hotel in 1902.

 


Six Capsules

| Filed under: Forthcoming, True Crime, True Crime History
Six Capsules by George R. Dekle Sr. Kent State University Press

As Ted Bundy was to the 20th century, so Carlyle Harris was to the 19th. Harris was a charismatic, handsome young medical student with an insatiable appetite for sex. His trail of debauched women ended with Helen Potts, a beautiful young woman of wealth and privilege who was determined to keep herself pure for marriage. Unable to conquer her by other means, Harris talked her into a secret marriage under assumed names, and when threatened with exposure, he poisoned her.

 


The Insanity Defense and the Mad Murderess of Shaker Heights

| Filed under: History, Recent Releases, Regional Interest, True Crime, True Crime History
Tabac Cover

They have no witnesses. They have no case. With this blunt observation, Mariann Colby—an attractive, church-going Shaker Heights, Ohio, mother and housewife—bet a defense psychiatrist that she would not be convicted of murder. A lack of witnesses was not the only problem that would confront the State of Ohio in 1966, which would seek to prosecute her for shooting to death Cremer Young Jr., her son’s nine-year-old playmate: Colby had deftly cleaned up after herself by hiding the child’s body miles from her home and concealing the weapon.

 


Death of an Assassin

| Filed under: Award Winners, 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, 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, Audiobooks, History, 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: Audiobooks, Award Winners, 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.