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The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars (2011)

por Paul Collins

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7873927,721 (3.4)34
On Long Island, a farmer finds a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discover a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumble upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most baffling murder mystery. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Reenactments of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell's Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio, a hard luck cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor, all raced to solve the crime. What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hinging on circumstantial evidence around a victim whom the police couldn't identify with certainty, and who the defense claimed wasn't even dead. This book is a tale of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.… (mais)
  1. 00
    Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend por Harold Schechter (gtown)
    gtown: Two great non-fiction accounts about murder and media frenzies in 1800s New York, showing that not much has changed since then.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 39 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Ugh. The subject matter is great but the writing style is awful. DNF at page 50. ( )
  kwskultety | Jul 4, 2023 |
It is ironic to think that our day and age of social media and headline stories and appeal is any different than the news that existed much earlier; it's just that the mechanisms and sources of that news are expanded and more diverse. But, people were interested in sensationalized stories long before our modern age. ( )
  MikeBiever | Jul 21, 2021 |
In The Murder of the Century, Paul Collins reminds us that our collective penchant for coverage of sensational crimes is ageless. His book covers the details of a grisly murder in NYC which occurred in 1897. While the murder, how it was solved, and details of the trial were excellent, the involvement of the newsmen of the time was as much a part of the story.

As opposed to our current access to 24-hour cable TV coverage, newspapers were the medium which filled people's insatiable need for crime story details at the beginning of the 20th Century. In that competitive world of newspapers, getting the news out early was key. How the reporters gathered their information, and the competition between the biggest names in the NY newspaper business, Pulitzer and Hearst, plays a significant role in the book. It was interesting to see, in that incipient stage of "yellow journalism", how important reporters were in both crime scene investigations, and in creating news if need be.
( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
An entertaining, light weight read. ( )
  stevesbookstuff | Nov 7, 2020 |
Really good and fascinating to start, but petered out toward the end. The writing was good and I appreciated the history of journalism in America. Very timely in the current political climate. I just lost interest after a while and had to slog through the second half. ( )
  klnbennett | Oct 7, 2020 |
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On Long Island, a farmer finds a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discover a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumble upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most baffling murder mystery. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Reenactments of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell's Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio, a hard luck cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor, all raced to solve the crime. What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hinging on circumstantial evidence around a victim whom the police couldn't identify with certainty, and who the defense claimed wasn't even dead. This book is a tale of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.

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