This book will definitely interest fans of true crime and/or history. Set out in easily digestible chapters, each one focuses on a historical murder, some of the weapons or things it inspired (like plays or plaster casts), and the basic facts of the case. They don't go into great depth, but would be a good starting point for people to get a handle on some of the lesser known cases.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair view, opinions are my own.
The idea of "murderabilia' (or murder memorabilia) is a topic that has gained a lot of traction recently with the seeming explosion of true crime media. The book illustrates, however, that collecting 'souvenirs' of horrific events is not a new phenomenon. And this might be the books most important contribution; the human experience has always included a certain morbid fascination.
Schechter will be known to many avid true crime fans as having written several definitive accounts on some of the most interesting cases. His attention to detail and ability to combine facts of a case into a compulsively readable narrative, has always been stand out. Unfortunately, some of that is lost in this format. Each section starts with a picture of the said murderabilia followed by about a page of information on the case. When initially I picked up this book, I was hoping for a Schecther's own musings on the the collecting of memorabilia; his thoughts on the ethicality and on how each pieces are collected. Instead, this book is like itself a piece of murderablilia. You have a collection of pieces from various crimes, in a more savory format without a lot of the moral hangups.
This makes an excellent primer and coffee table book (if you are the type to put books about murder in your living room) and gives you a piece of murderabilia without having to support questionable avenues.
I thought this was a brilliant concept. I love learning about the history of a topic through objects and I think this worked really well for looking at a chronology of murders. I also liked how brief they were but that said, I would have liked to have known more about the relevance of the object. This is not for all cases but some would only summarise the murder case and not give much/any attention to the object that had been picked to represent it.
I thought it was a really well researched and interesting read though. Thank you for the arc!
Working in a library I find murder mysteries very appealing to me, because I like to solve the mysteries before the end of the book. This book was very appealing to me because the criminals get caught by leaving the smallest things at the crime scenes. Some of these stories I have heard of and still found them very interesting.
An interesting read with a lot of details only complaint is that it states its about the 100 objects but there is really no reference to the objects- just the details of the crime itself.. Great for a true crime fan though.
This is an entertaining visually compelling book of objects that are associated with well-known crimes and murderers. Trivia buffs will enjoy this look and the collection of objects that make fascinating conversation pieces.
I enjoy Harold Schechter's writing. He is knowledgeable on the topics, but he handles it delicately and without gratuitous details. I would recommend this for casual true crime readers or those who want something with short chapters to read in small doses. I like my stories to be more in depth and focus more on one topic than cover short snippets about a lot of things. I still learned new facts about cases I hadn't known before. I enjoyed this book.
I think this was incredibly well researched and executed. I loved the short (3ish page) chapters (if that’s what we are calling them). The pictures were great, and overall this was just an interesting book to read.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
The concept of this book immediately grabbed my interest. The short 1 to 3 page of each of the 100 objects are perfect to read in short spurts.
The criminals in this book range from the not-well-known to the more infamous of the recent past. Some of these are really gritty and very disturbing. All of them are interesting.
Any true crime reader will enjoy this book.
3.5 I struggled with the rating on this. The book is incredibly well-researched. It's obvious Schechter put a lot of time and effort into this and I can only imagine how long it must have taken him to do all the research and still be able to whittle it down to one to three pages of succinct fact. It was interesting and I learned quite a bit. However, I thought the book was going to delve into the actual pieces of murderabilia a little more because of the title. Perhaps that was my fault - maybe I misunderstood the description. But I was a little disappointed that I didn't learn more about the objects that have come to be known in relation to the murder(s), and the title ended up feeling a bit misleading. In general, I did like the book and this will be a good addition to the true crime reader's collection.
Synopsis: (from Netgalley, the provider of the book for me to review)
From the veteran true-crime master, Harold Schechter comes Murderabilia, a history of the crime told through the dark objects left behind.
The false teeth of a female serial killer from 1908, the cut-and-paste confession of the Black Dahlia killer, the newly cracked cipher of the Zodiac killer, and the shotgun used in the Clutter family murders, which were made famous by Truman Capote's true crime classic In Cold Blood—these are more than simple artifacts that once belonged to notorious murderers. They are objects of fascination to the legion of true crime obsessives around the world. And not merely for fleeting dark thrills, but because they represent a way to better understand those who we typically label monsters in lieu of learning how they actually became one.
In Murderabilia, veteran true crime writer Harold Schechter presents 100 murder-related artifacts spanning two centuries (1808–2014), with accompanying stories of various lengths. A visual and literary journey, it presents a history unlike any previously told in the true crime genre, one that speaks to the dark fascination of true crime fans while also presenting a larger historical timeline of how and why we continue to be captivated by the most sensational crimes and killers among us.
An utterly fascinating book on what was left behind, this is a look into murder and crime and how the artifacts are now almost as famous as the crimes themselves. Of course, now, with AFIS and DNA and all those databases, it is usually much easier to solve the crime based on what you can find on the computer but this book shows how it was done old-style in the past when there was not necessarily those tools to help one with.
This is an excellently written and beautifully formatted work written by my favorite true crime researcher. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the accuracy and dry wit of Mr Schechter. He never fails to write compelling non fiction. I wholeheartedly recommend this to any true crime fan!