From veteran true crime master Harold Schechter comes a unique look into the history of 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, 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 objets 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.
About the Author
Harold Schechter, a two-time Edgar nominee, has published more than 30 true crime titles, including five 100K+ copy bestsellers. His most recent work, Maniac: The Bath School Disaster and the Birth of the Modern Mass Killer, just published (March 9, 2021). He has taught literature and myth criticism for more than 40 years at Queens College/CUNY and is a murderabilia collector himself.
"Schechter’s prose has the punch of a campfire ghost story and the objects run a satisfying gamut from intriguing curios to the stuff of nightmares. It adds up to a strange and fascinating tour of the macabre."—Publishers Weekly
"Short chapters and copious illustrations make Murderabilia a great choice to leave on the night table to dip into before bed."—BookPage
"I am extremely interested in [Murderabilia]. Think about it, a history of crime in 100 objects. What objects? And why?"—Nancy Grace, Crime Stories with Nancy Grace
"Not just a history of true crime but a cultural history... Love this book."—Last Podcast on the Left
"It is the rare reference book that is compulsively readable, but Murderabilia is one... These two-to-four-pages-long articles provide fertile ground for true-crime fans or students researching specific cases or types of crimes."—Booklist
"A perfect choice for a book group that likes a body count; or a serial killer aficionado’s coffee table; or for the friends you never see because they’re addicted to Life After Lockup. Murderabilia could and should launch hundreds of true crime novels."—The Washington Post
"A fascinating tour of criminological history."—Katherine Ramsland Ph.D., Psychology Today
"It is a measure of [Schechter's] research and gift for storytelling that the reader not only learns new details about familiar murders but about murders that are just as gruesome but lost to time.... The book not only saves you the trip but gives you 99 other reasons to be an armchair detective."—Air Mail