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Laughing Gorilla: A True Story of Police Corruption and Murder
     

Laughing Gorilla: A True Story of Police Corruption and Murder

by Robert Graysmith
 

The New York Times bestselling author of Zodiac now uncovers one of the most bizarre cases in the annals of American crime.

San Francisco, 1926: A series of women are slashed to death and dismembered. Incredibly, eyewitness reports claim the perpetrator was a hulking brute with razor-claws for hands who lumbered on all fours and laughed

Overview

The New York Times bestselling author of Zodiac now uncovers one of the most bizarre cases in the annals of American crime.

San Francisco, 1926: A series of women are slashed to death and dismembered. Incredibly, eyewitness reports claim the perpetrator was a hulking brute with razor-claws for hands who lumbered on all fours and laughed maniacally before shredding the nude flesh of his female victims. The tabloid press called him the Laughing Gorilla and loved every sensational beat of the story. For Inspector Charles Dullea of the San Francisco Police, the last honest cop in one of the most notoriously corrupt departments in the country, the serial killings raised a haunting question: who could commit such crimes? Nothing prepared Dullea for the answer.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A sprawling tale of police corruption and a horrifying series of bizarre, gruesome murders. True-crime vet Graysmith (Amerithrax: The Hunt for the Anthrax Killer, 2003, etc.) paints a vivid portrait of a dynamic era, a Dick Tracy-esque world of gritty cops enforcing order in a fog-shrouded port city. Out of this milieu came the Gorilla Men-a breed apart with broad shoulders, barrel chests, long arms and huge, grasping hands, who drifted across the country and laughingly indulged the murderous impulses flashing behind their vaguely simian features. One was a brain-damaged, Bible-thumping necrophiliac who strangled and dissected his victims. Others autopsied their victims in seedy motels or littered the fringes of society with dismembered torsos. Graysmith includes plenty of sordid details. The book is a vast reservoir of information about dozens of killings and the investigating agents, suspects and witnesses, plus details about labor disputes, graft, Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue, the construction of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, prohibition, newspaper and radio production, local architecture, a solar eclipse and more. The story's hero is Captain Charles Dullea-the lead investigator on the original Gorilla Man case and one of the few honest cops on the SFPD-but Graysmith covers so much ground and draws so heavily from the stilted language of official documents that the narrative suffers from repetition and a lack of depth. A compellingly wicked web hard-boiled in broad but shallow waters. Agent: Joel Gotler/IPG

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425230145
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Robert Graysmith is the New York Times bestselling author of Zodiac, Zodiac Unmasked, Auto Focus: The Murder of Bob Crane, and Unabomber: A Desire to Kill.

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