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American Murder: Criminals, Crimes, and the Media
American Murder: Criminals, Crimes, and the Media
American Murder: Criminals, Crimes, and the Media
Ebook1,178 pages

American Murder: Criminals, Crimes, and the Media

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How would you treat a murderer? If you’re from Hollywood and he’s notorious, you might turn him into a folk hero. Separate the facts from the many legends and revisions that have blossomed around these killers in this frightening look at the bloody real lives of movie’s infamous antiheroes.

You’ll find a blood-curdling assortment of the “criminal elite” in American Murder: Criminals, Crime and the Media, a rogue’s gallery of our most famous killings, killers and other scoundrels (and some that ought to be more famous than they are). A collection of high-profile murderers, gangsters, assassins, psychopaths, such as O.J., Amy Fisher, Robert Blake, Susan Smith, Claus Von Bulow, the Menendez brothers, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck, Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bugsy Siegel, Jesse James, John Dillinger, Charles Manson, Albert Fish, T. Cullen Davis, Ronald DeFeo, Jr., Edmund Kemper, Beulah Annan, Bonnie and Clyde, Billy the Kid, Charlie Starkweather, as well as an assortment of lesser known killers with some incredible tales!

With numerous photos and illustrations, this tome is richly illustrated, and its helpful bibliography and extensive index add to its usefulness. American Murderexplores the legends as depicted in movies, stories, and songs. You’d not want to meet any of them in person – either the real or Hollywood versions!

Release dateFeb 1, 2008
American Murder: Criminals, Crimes, and the Media
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    Book preview

    American Murder - Mike Mayo

    About the Author

    Mike Mayo writes mostly about Hollywood and film. A print and broadcast journalist, he hosted the nationally syndicated Movie Show on Radio from 2001–06 (it was renamed Max and Mike on the Movies after ownership changes in 2005 and will eventually return as a podcast). Mayo continues to do weekly radio reports with stations in Richmond; Lynchburg, Virginia; Atlanta; and Detroit/Windsor, Ontario; and is a frequent guest on Wisconsin Public Radio to talk about movies. His work also appears in the Washington Post.

    For Marcia,

    As Always



    Criminals, Crime, and the Media

    Copyright © 2008 by Visible Ink Press®

    This publication is a creative work fully protected by all applicable copyright laws, as well as by misappropriation, trade secret, unfair competition, and other applicable laws.

    No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine or newspaper. All rights to this publication will be vigorously defended.

    Visible Ink Press

    43311 Joy Road #414

    Canton, MI 48187-2075

    Visible Ink Press is a registered trademark of Visible Ink Press LLC.

    Most Visible Ink Press books are available at special quantity discounts when purchased in bulk by corporations, organizations, or groups. Customized printings, special imprints, messages, and excerpts can be produced to meet your needs. For more information, contact Special Markets Director, Visible Ink Press, at www.visibleink.com or (734) 667-3211.

    Art Director: Mary Claire Krzewinski

    Typesetting: Graphix Group

    ISBN-13: 978-1-57859-196-1

    Mayo, Mike, 1948-

    American murder : criminals, crime, and the media / Mike Mayo.

         p. cm.

    ISBN-13: 978-1-57859-191-6

    ISBN-10: 1-57859-191-0

    1. Crime in popular culture--United States--Case studies. 2. Crime in mass media–United States--Case studies. 3. Murder in mass media--United States–Case studies. I. Title.

    HV6789.M36 2008



    Front and back cover images used by permission of AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS except Body with Toe Tag used by permission of iStockphoto.com, Bonnie Jacobs

    Printed in the United States of America

    All rights reserved

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    Table of Contents


    Abbott, Burton

    Abbott, Jack

    Abu-Jamal, Mumia

    Adonis, Joe

    Allen, Floyd

    Ames, Aldrich

    Anastasia, Albert

    Anderson, William

    Annan, Beulah

    Arbuckle, Roscoe

    Archer-Gilligan, Amy

    Arnold, Stephen


    Bailey, Harvey

    Ball, Joe

    Barker, Kate

    Barnes, Leroy

    Barrow, Clyde (and Bonnie Parker)

    Barrows, Sydney Biddle

    Barton, Mark

    Beck, Martha

    Becker, Charles

    Beckwith, Byron de la

    Bembenek, Lawrencia

    Bender Family

    Berkowitz, David

    Billington, John

    Bjorkland, Rosemarie

    Black Hand


    Blake, Robert

    Bledsoe, Jerry

    Bonanno, Joseph

    Booth, John Wilkes

    Borden, Lizzie

    Boston Strangler

    Brando, Christian

    Bremer, Arthur

    Buchalter, Louis

    Bundy, Ted

    Buntline, Ned

    Burke, David

    Burke, Elmer

    Burke, Jimmy

    Burns, Robert Elliott


    Capone, Alphonse

    Cardinella, Salvatore

    Carpenter, Richard

    Carter, Rubin

    Cassidy, Butch

    Castellano, Paul

    Chapman, Gerald

    Chapman, Mark David

    Chessman, Caryl

    Chowchilla School Bus Kidnapping

    Cleveland Torso Killings

    Cline, Alfred

    Cohen, Mickey

    Coll, Vincent

    Collins, John Norman

    Colombo, Joe Sr.

    Coneys, Theo

    Cook, William

    Cooper, D.B.

    Corll, Dean

    Corona, Juan

    Costello, Frank

    Cowley, Samuel

    Crane, Bob

    Crane, Cheryl

    Crater, Judge Joseph

    Crowley, Francis

    Cullen, Charles

    Cunanan, Andrew

    Czolgosz, Leon


    Dahmer, Jeffrey

    Dalton Gang

    Darrow, Clarence

    Davis, T. Cullen

    DeFeo, Ronald

    Diamond, Jack

    Dillinger, John

    Doolin, Bill

    Doss, Nannie

    Dunne, Dominick

    Durrant, Theo


    Ferguson, Paul

    Finch, Bernard

    Fish, Albert

    Fisher, Amy

    Fleiss, Heidi

    Floyd, Charles

    Frank, Leo

    Frazier, John

    Fromme, Lynette (and Sara Jane Moore)


    Gacy, John

    Gallo, Joey

    Gambino, Carlo

    Gein, Ed

    Genovese, Vito

    Giancana, Salvatore

    Gillette, Chester

    Gilmore, Gary

    Glatman, Harvey

    Gohl, Billy

    Gotti, John

    Graham, Barbara

    Graham, John

    Gravano, Salvatore

    Guiteau, Charles

    Gunness, Belle


    Hagan, Thomas

    Hanssen, Robert

    Hardin, John Wesley

    Harris, Clara

    Harris, David

    Harris, Eric and Dylan Klebold

    Harris, Jean

    Harvey, Julian

    Hearst, Patricia

    Heirens, William

    Hennard, George

    Hill, Virginia

    Hillside Stranglers

    Hinckley, John