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The American psyche is profoundly intertwined with the sordid; murder is what fascinates us the most. As a veteran movie reviewer, radio host, and podcaster, Mayo is particularly interested in how the media feed the legends of murderers. His expansive introduction speculates about the transformation of hardened criminals into glamorous movie idols unrelated to historical truth. Although focused on murders in the United States, this is a familiar mix of sensational stories with an undefined scope, including murders with a celebrity element or crimes involving high drama. Profiles range from a few paragraphs to pages of detail, and entries span the entire time line of American history, including articles citing crime in the Colonies. The photos sprinkled throughout do not shy away from the gruesome. Overall, there are about 300 tales of horror, from Blackbeard to Osama bin Laden, with lots of mafia figures and outlaws in between.