A Matter of Degree: The Hartford Circus Fire and the Mystery of Little Miss 1565

Overview

A MATTER OF DEGREE is a true story and the definitive account of a renowned fire investigator and the nine-year mission of the heart that led to the discovery of arson and political conspiracy in the 1944 Ringling circus fire, an American tragedy equal in scope to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. LT. RICK DAVEY's internationally publicized re-investigation of the celebrated case resolved all of the mysteries swirling around the suspicious blaze that destroyed the Ringling circus and killed 168 people including a ...
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Overview

A MATTER OF DEGREE is a true story and the definitive account of a renowned fire investigator and the nine-year mission of the heart that led to the discovery of arson and political conspiracy in the 1944 Ringling circus fire, an American tragedy equal in scope to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. LT. RICK DAVEY's internationally publicized re-investigation of the celebrated case resolved all of the mysteries swirling around the suspicious blaze that destroyed the Ringling circus and killed 168 people including a beautiful but unknown 8-year-old girl who was known for 50 years as "Little Miss 1565."

A Matter Of Degree has been chosen as a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's BOOK OF THE YEAR Awards in the history category for 2001.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930601246
  • Publisher: Willow Brook Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 317
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Read an Excerpt

A soaking sun rose in the morning sky. Even as the day began, there was no escape from liquid heat as it dripped like candle wax on the city below. Brave souls waded through the thermal tide, certain that this would be a day to remember. Like most American cities, Hartford had seen its share of suffering by the summer of 1944. Thousands of families had lost loved ones in the years since World War II began, but the community was bonded together by a shared sense of purpose, and by the belief that each loss was a contribution to a larger sacrifice, a heroic sacrifice that would surely benefit the world. Mythical as that perception might have been, it served as a unifying principle. Month-old memories of the D-Day invasion were still fresh on a scorching summer morning. The Fourth of July holiday, coupled with the prospect of an Allied victory in Europe, placed the people of Hartford in a festive state of mind. Thousands of residents, most of them women and children, would soon gather beneath a square mile of canvas to witness a rite of summer entertainment called "the greatest show on earth." They would find the time to follow the rhythms of their hearts, to escape to a netherworld of sad-faced clowns and ferocious animals and dangers on the high wire, a netherworld that promised to reveal its mysteries once the canvas threshold had been crossed....
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Prologue
Chaps. 1-29
Epilogue
Afterword
Author Notes
Appendix
Index
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2002

    Filling in the Blanks

    The focus on this book is on the exemplary investigative work of one of the co-authors, Rick Davey, who managed to solve a nearly 50-year-old mystery about the identity of one victim. Anyone familiar with the 1944 Hartford fire that claimed 168 lives knows the story of Little Miss 1565, the girl whose body went unclaimed for years despite the efforts of many to identify her. In his search to identify her and return her to her family, Davey uncovers something more. Davey dug up evidence that a man who had confessed in 1950 to setting the fire should have been considered a prime suspect but instead ignored by Connecticut authorities who seemed satisfied with their original finding that the fire was an accident. This book shows how hard the investigator worked, and puts an order to the huge amount of information that exists about the fire. But the book is flawed by the failure to keep longwinded accounts of the investigator¿s own life to a minimum. Yes, he¿s a player, and a major one. But we didn¿t need to know about gangs in his housing project or a lot of other details. So, read this book. Just skip over some of the lesser material and focus on Davey¿s good deeds here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2001

    a great book

    what great research rick davey did to uncover the political goings on during the aftermath of this tragic fire.although the circus was blamed for most of the deaths, hartford davey learned, should have been accountable for thier irresponsiblity with the permits and fire inspections.even though im a little up in the air about little miss 1565, im going to trust daveys judgment on her, and the suspect who might have set the fire. this book a must for anybody interested in this tragedy.

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