Mysterious Persons in History

Mysterious Persons in History

5.0 7
by Fred Neff

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
While many people have seen Harrison Ford play Dr. Sam Sheppard in the movie "The Fugitive," few people know the real facts behind the true story of Dr. Sheppard's fight to prove his innocence after the tragic murder of his wife. In this book, the facts surrounding Dr. Sam Sheppard's life and the stories of seven other unsolved mysteries are shared in great detail. Other unsolved mysteries featured include the murder of Lizzie's Borden's parents, the baffling circumstances surrounding Napoleon Bonaparte's death, and the dramatic events that led to John Dillinger's murder in the 1930s. Fans of real-life mysteries will enjoy this intriguing book.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9The puzzling circumstances surrounding the cases of Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden have continued to fascinate readers and researchers over the past 100 years. Neff relates the evidence behind the investigations into the notorious events involving these two figures, along with six other less widely known cases. While the topics are sensational and macabre, the descriptions are written in a basic and plodding manner. Black-and-white photos and reproductions of the alleged murderers and victims are of average quality. The cover is confusing as it pictures a medieval scene that none of the chapters covers. Even though this is a subject that may interest teens, this book will not grab them.Janet Woodward, Franklin High School, Seattle, WA

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.57(d)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

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Mysterious Persons in History 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mysterious Persons In History is the type of book that I would have really enjoyed reading and discussing way back when I was in secondary school. It teaches history through the vechicle of the study of fascinating persons in history. The people discussed in the book are Napoleon Bonaparte, Dr. Sam Sheppard, William Taylor, The Black Dahlia, John Dillinger, and Sir Harry Oaks. These people are not only interesting personalities, but lived at significant times in history. The author Fred Neff, who is an experienced lawyer in Minnesota, does an exemplary job of providing the historical background for these individuals while presenting the mysteries surrounding them. Minnesota lawyer Fred Neff brings to his writing a special perspective as a former prosecutor and a person who has done public defender work. As an accomplished trial lawyer Fred Neff beautifully presents the facts, while at the same time weaving in questions as to witnesses credibility, versions of the facts, and the evidence available. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Dr. Sam Shepard. Attorney Neff, who has extensive experience handling criminal cases, presented facts unknown to me before reading his book and explored the evidence in a fascinating way. This is not a new mystery to me, but Minnesota lawyer Fred Neff's approach and take on the evidence is not only new but fascinating. It is a great advantage to have lawyer Fred Neff, who has prosecuted and defended in criminal cases, review the story since he understands how the evidence can and was used in the courtroom. Mysterious Persons in History is a book that makes history come to life and opens the mind. I had fun learning history and applying logic to the mysteries covered in Minnesota lawyer Fred Neff's very fine book and would recommend it for readers from teenagers to senior citizens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mysterious Persons in History is marvelously presented by lawyer Fred Neff who has received accolades such as St. Paul Citizen of the Month, Commendation from the Sibley County Attorney's office, HLS Justice Award, Lamp of Knowledge Award from the Twin Cities Lawyers Guild, and Presidential Medal of Merit attesting to his recognized excellance. His book Mysterious Persons in History is divided into chapters on individual historical mysteries: Lizzie Borden, Jack The Ripper, Sir Harry Oaks, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dr. Sam Sheppard, The Mysterious Death of William Taylor, The Black Dahlia and John Dillinger. Just as a trial starts with the presentation of testimony and accompanying evidence so does each of these chapters. As the chapter unfolds author Fred Neff challenges the so called historical facts by showing alternative versions of the facts, conflicts in the evidence and the credibility of witnesses. Through the process the reader not only learns history, but becomes mentally engaged in thinking through solutions. This is not only entertaining but very educational for adults and their young charges. My niece and I got really involved in the mystery of Lizzie Borden and we have gone on to read a number of other books on Lizzie Borden. This has brought about lively discussions on both the books contents and the general solution to the Borden mystery. Mysterious Persons in History is precisely the kind of book the schools need to get students involved in learning. As an adult reader I really like reading a mystery book such as this one by outstanding lawyer Fred Neff, who obviously knows how to investigate,analyze,synthesize and present information. Fred Neff lawyer created a book that I can recommend to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of mysteries and even more so a fan of real life mysteries. Mysterious Persons in History, written by lawyer Fred Neff is a great read. The book covers 8 different individuals from the past including Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, Sir Harry Oaks, Dr. Sam Sheppard, the Black Dahlia and John Dillinger. It also looks at the death of Napoleon Bonaparte and whether he was murdered or died of natural causes, and the mystery surrounding the 1922 death of movie director William Taylor. This well researched book provides information in a clear and interesting manner. The author, Fred Neff, is a lawyer who has received a number of awards including the Citizen of the Month Award from the City of St. Paul, a Commendation for Distinguished Service from the Sibley County Attorney's Office, the HLS Justice Award, the Lamp of Knowledge Award from the Twin Cities Lawyers Guild, the Presidential Merit Award in 1990 and the WCCO Good Neighbor Award as well as others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a voracious reader in general with a strong interest in history I was delighted to find the book Mysterious Persons In History. Even though I have read a lot about Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden before coming to this volume, Fred Neff the lawyer who authored the book brought a new perspective to these mysteries. Other mysteries involve Sir Harry Oaks, Napoleon, Dr. Sam Shepard, William Taylor, The Black Dahlia and John Dillinger. An excellant bibliography is included in the book. I like this talented lawyer Fred Neff's style of presentation which combines history with a court room type of examination of the evidence. There is excellant coherence in the books composition and the presentation shows definite originality.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The reader can play Sherlock Holmes by reading the historical examination of eight of the greater unsolved mysteries covered in the book on Mysterious Persons in History by Fred Neff. Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, Sir Harry Oaks, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dr. Sam Shepard, William Taylor, The Black Dahlia and John Dillenger are all covered in this book. Stories on each of these historical figures capture the reader's attention with its fascinating approach to the facts that are involved in each mystery and related unanswered questions. The reader really gets invovlved in each of the eight mysteries just as though he or she was a detective solving the mystery. This book is a must read for true life mystery fans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mysterious Persons in History with its interesting Historical approach and fast paced style fascinates the reader from cover to cover. It presents the stories of some of the most mysterious people that ever lived. There are chapters on the Black Dahlia murder case, the murder of Napoleon Bonaparte, Lizzie Borden and others. These are stories that involve controversial situations that remain mysteries to today. Mysterious Persons in History gives the reader the chance to explore these mysteries and possibly find a solution. If you like mystery stories than you will love this book because it presents each story in such a way as to allow you to be the investigator. The book gives the facts and clues necessary for a solution to each mystery. The process of reading the book is not just fun reading but rivets you to its pages. This book is highly recommended for anyone who loves a mystery.