John P. King is a retired teacher of Latin and French at Red Bank Regional High School. Since owning a historic home in Highlands and running it as a bed-and-breakfast with his wife, Helen, he has been researching and writing about all aspects of the rich history of Highlands, New Jersey. He is a member of the Highlands and Atlantic Highlands Historical Societies, having held offices in each group. Over the years, he has contributed a large number of "historical vignettes" to local newspapers and has written and edited several history books on Highlands. Recent works that especially delight him are his Clam Chowder and Other Highlands Stories for Children and My Grandpa Adolph and Me, a children's story about Atlantic Highlands. King recently finished a work that returned him to his educational roots in Greek and Latin, "Murder and Mayhem in the Ancient World," which is in search of a publisher.
Wicked Tales from the Highlandsby John P. King
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The Highlands was first sighted by Henry Hudson himself and is known as the place where the Jersey shore begins. Its beaches are perennially crowded with sunbathers, swimmers and families. But buried under the sands, the Highlands hides sins from the past. Sandy Hook claimed North America's first European murder victim, a crewman on Hudson's Half Moon. During Prohibition, mobsters supplied Bay Avenue businesses with plenty of booze. A man accused of shooting another with a cannon performed an Old West style jailbreak. And sometimes, soldiers stationed along the shores caused more trouble than they prevented. Read about these and other wicked deeds committed in New Jersey's Highlands.
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John King is a skilled historian with complete mastery of times past in the Monmouth County, N.J. area. I have relished his previous chronicles about “the Highlands” in the “Images of America” and have eagerly awaited a sequel to his fascinating narrative “Murder and Mayhem in the Highlands.” I was not disappointed. This work, “Wicked Tales from The Highlands” spans a 250 year history of this region of the New Jersey shore that is so amazingly rich in history and one of the most curious places on the entire east coast. King portrays diabolical bone chilling murders other bizarre incidents and frames the events in a tableau of Monmouth County history. Eerie but engrossing episodes manage to capture the spirit of many eras and the natural beauty of the place. This well researched work encompasses Henry Hudson, bootleggers, clammers, the great depression and the evolution of the place from primitive fishing villages to tourist meccas with great hotels and crowded beaches. Readers anywhere will appreciate these riveting and engrossing stories. And if you happen to live at the shore these tales come alive with many familiar names and places. King has a robust writing style and starts each vignette with an arresting headline. The book is a welcome addition to New Jersey historical collections and I look forward to hearing more from this talented writer. Robert A. Mayers, author of “The War Man”