Master Detective: The Life and Crimes of Ellis Parker, America's Real-Life Sherlock Holmesby John Reisinger
Ells Parker, a detective known the world over in the early 1900s as the "American Sherlock Holmes," solved one case by accurately predicting where the criminals would appear next. He was the man members of other law enforcement agencies turned to when they were baffled. Even Scotland Yard thought he was brilliant. So how did he land behind bars, dying tragically in prison?
Here, told for the first time, is the full story of an enigmatic man and his incessant pursuit of the truth. Ellis Parker�s place in history has been mired in controversy and Master Detective, through access to crucial unpublished information, sets the record straight by finally providing a complete picture of the man---and the circumstances surrounding his tragic fall.
The man who would come to be known as the greatest detective in the world--and who, tragically, would die as a convicted criminal in prison--initially showed no interest in law enforcement. But fate intervened when Ellis Parker was still in his teens----someone stole his father�s horse and wagon, and Parker unknowingly made a decision that would change not only his own life but would also end the promising careers of many future criminals.
He did so very easily, in fact. Over the next forty years and long before the advent of today�s cutting-edge forensic science tools he would solve over ninety-eight percent of the murders in his New Jersey county, sometimes never even leaving his desk. Drawing on the emerging discipline of psychology and his uncanny deductive reasoning skills, he was a "profiler" before the term existed, earning the "American Sherlock Holmes" nickname and a worldwide reputation for solving cases that simply baffled everyone else.
Then he involved himself in what promised to be the biggest case of his career: the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932. From that moment on, things began to go wrong--terribly wrong--as he drove himself to unimaginable depths in pursuit of the truth. The genius who once solved a murder by deducing why the killers were not wearing overcoats died in prison, on the eve of an almost certain presidential pardon.
Master Detective tells the full story of Ellis Parker and this little-known aspect of the Lindbergh case for the first time. Until now, most of what has been written about Parker has been contradictory or vague; the authors of many published accounts can�t decide if he was a selfless hero or an ego-driven publicity seeker. In order to uncover the mysteries surrounding such an enigmatic figure, John Reisinger gained inside access to Parker�s family and their records through several of his surviving relatives. What emerges is not only a fascinating look at America in the early years of a tumultuous century, but also a portrait of an exceptionally talented and driven man who, in the end, would stop at nothing to get to the truth.
John Reisinger is the author of Evasive Action and Nassau. He is an engineer and former Coast Guard officer, and lives in Maryland.
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