New York's criminal history is well documented, but some stories remain neglected. Others are almost entirely forgotten. William Kemmler, the first convict ever to sit in the electric chair, remains a familiar name. So does Chester Gillette, immortalized in Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy. The incredible tale of "Iron" Mike Malloy is part of New York legend. Others, no less important, are overlooked.
Examples include Martha Place, the first woman in the electric chair; "Paper Box Kid," Oreste Shillitoni, who shot his way out of Sing Sing Prison's notorious Death House; Doctor Robert Buchanan, who made an important contribution to forensic science; Carlyle Harris, a household name in the 1890s who rarely draws attention today; and Eddie Lee Mays, New York's 695th (and last) execution.
Crime writer Robert Walsh takes you on a journey through a rogues' gallery of some of New York's most notable crimes and criminals. Alongside them are some forgotten felons, whose stories, though less memorialized, are as fascinating as any.
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About the Author
ROBERT WALSH has spent many years studying crime and criminals, particularly more obscure cases. Robert grew up on Dartmoor, site of England's most notorious prison. Dartmoor's most infamous inmates, such as "Acid Bath Murderer" John George Haigh, inspired his interest in the subject. His print work has appeared in Real Crime Magazine and Crime Magazine and been cited in books, academic texts, and articles. His online credits include Narratively, Crime Traveller, New Internationalist, and his own website, www.crimescribe.com. Robert was also an expert consultant to BBC Radio Four's series Punt PI for its episode on the Baker Street Bank Robbery.
Table of Contents
1 Grover Cleveland: President, Politician, and Hangman 9
2 Roxalana Druse: New York's Last Woman to Hang 18
3 Harry Carleton, John Greenwall, and the End of New York's Rope 28
4 William Kemmler: The First Man Ever to be Legally Electrocuted 38
5 Carlyle Harris and Robert Buchanan: Morphine Murderers 48
6 Martha Place: The First Woman in the Electric Chair 58
7 The Assassination of President William McKinley 67
8 Chester Gillette: An American Tragedy 77
9 Oreste Shillitoni: Escape from the Death House 86
10 Gerald Chapman: America's First Public Enemy Number One 96
11 The Castellammarese War 106
12 Michael Malloy: The Man Who Would Not Die 116
13 Murder Incorporated 125
14 The Lonely Hearts Killers 136
15 Willie Sutton: King of the Bank Robbers 144
16 Eddie Lee Mays: New York's Last Execution 151