Butcher's Work

True Crime Tales of American Murder and Madness

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Pub Date 28 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 18 Oct 2022
University of Iowa Press, University Of Iowa Press

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A Civil War veteran who perpetrated one of the most ghastly mass slaughters in the annals of U.S. crime. A nineteenth-century female serial killer whose victims included three husbands and six of her own children. A Gilded Age “Bluebeard” who did away with as many as fifty wives throughout the country. A decorated World War I hero who orchestrated a murder that stunned Jazz Age America. While other infamous homicides from the same eras—the Lizzie Borden slayings, for example, or the “thrill killing” committed by Leopold and Loeb—have entered into our cultural mythology, these four equally sensational crimes have largely faded from public memory. A quartet of gripping historical true-crime narratives, Butcher’s Work restores these once-notorious cases to vivid, dramatic life.

A Civil War veteran who perpetrated one of the most ghastly mass slaughters in the annals of U.S. crime. A nineteenth-century female serial killer whose victims included three husbands and six of her...

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ISBN 9781609388539
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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

I like Harold Schechter's books and this one was no different. It was interesting and told stories I'd not heard before.
I'd recommend this book to add to your true crime library.

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My biggest pet peeve with true crime is people not only copy and paste but will totally rewrite the same story over and over again. That is not a problem with this book. Not only of these stories obscure, but they are so interesting. In One of the stories the murder victims preacher sold the case and found the culprit. There were so many stories that I hadn’t heard of and he would only reference popular ones to get to the ones unheard of before. I truly enjoyed this book and although I haven’t finished it yet is it super long I wanted to write this review so others could enjoy Butcher’s Work bye Harold Schechtner. This isn’t the first book I have read by him and I must say I look forward to reading more. I received this book from net Gally and I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own.

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This is a well written body of work packed full of in depth case information. The description of the time the cases take place put you in a front row seat to the mayhem.

I very much enjoyed reading this book. Even tho I knew that cases quite well as is I learned things I didn’t.

A true crime lovers must read!

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I've enjoyed Schechter's books in the past and liked this one as well. It's always a good thing when I can find true crime cases that I've never heard about before after reading it for nearly 50 years now. This book tells about some that were new to me, so a bit obscure to the average reader. They made Leopold and Loeb (whom I just finished reading an upcoming new book about) look like rank amateurs. I was especially mesmerized by the "Bluebeard" who got so many women to marry him under so many names. Then he would make off with most or all of their assets.

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Wonderfully researched and beautifully written - this true crime book is sublime. Remarkable stories that were all new to me (and I have been reading true crime books since I was a teenager). Each new story starts with a similar tale either before this story or after and is so incredibly interesting. You will find this book hard to put down. First book I have read by this author but definitely not the last. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publishers for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion

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This book was amazing. You get to see some of the lives of the people who committed murder and what they went through in court. I recommend this book for those who love history and true crime.

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Once again Schechter delivers with four examples of some of the of the least known and vicious killers to have lived. Each is told with great detail from court documents witness testimony, and the killers themselves. Not only are the crimes horrific but the diagnosis of doctors, police interrogations, and media reporting are just a shocking. For true crime fans this is a must read.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an arc of this work! This is a solid entry into the true crime genre. Schecter is a master of telling these tales. It is for the true crime fan who wants more than just the well known stories. I would definitely recommend!

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Not all sensational murder cases have maintained notoriety through time. Harold Schechter brings four such cases forward, relating them to modern readers using references to the shocking murders we know. These cases are thoroughly researched and fleshed out, including quotes from source materials (some of which convey people's views when the murders occurred). Many think that public obsession with true crime is a modern trend. Schechter shows that's not true and was possibly even more disturbing in the past.

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