Nittany Nightmare: The Sex Murders of 1938-1940 and the Panic at Penn State

Nittany Nightmare: The Sex Murders of 1938-1940 and the Panic at Penn State

by Derek J. Sherwood


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 As the Great Depression hit, Penn State College was cash-strapped and dilapidated. Cuts to athletic scholarships left the football program a shambles and the school a last resort for many students. In 1937, underfunded state police, fighting a losing battle against striking miners and steel workers in Johnstown, called in the National Guard.
There were not enough police to cover the state, and it showed. Then someone started killing young women in the area. Between November 1938 and May 1940, Rachel Taylor, Margaret Martin and Faye Gates were abducted and sexually assaulted, their bodies dumped within 50 miles of the college.
As the school grew into Pennsylvania State University and the Nittany Lions became a world-class team, two demoralized police agencies were merged, forming the precursor of the Pennsylvania State Police. Gates's murderer was captured and convicted. The killer(s) of Taylor and Martin, however, have gone unidentified to this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476677996
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 07/21/2019
Pages: 311
Sales rank: 212,610
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Derek J. Sherwood, author of two previous books on the alleged crimes of Dr. Richard Charles Haefner, lives in Windsor, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction 7

 1. Pinchot Progressivism and a Little New Deal 13

 2. What a Wonderful World… 24

 3. “Prexy” Hetzel, the NCAA and the Purist Policy 35

 4. Mamie 50

 5. A Match Made in the Coal Fields 60

 6. “The Last Losers” 79

 7. Meet Me at Kingston Corners 85

 8. The Hig Turns the Tide 103

 9. Red-Eye Greyhound from Jersey 110

10. The Public Information Office Stumbles, the Motor Police Scramble 131

11. A Likely Suspect 139

12. Rumblings from Old Main 145

13. The ­Bogey-Bo 156

14. Hetzel Meets Adams 164

15. The Secret of Spook Hollow Road 173

16. Seniors Depart and a New Lion Is Born 179

17. Another Sex Attacker? 187

18. …And a Long Shot 192

19. Another Sex Maniac Unmasked 195

20. The Best Is Yet to Come 203

21. “Not Dave Alston!” 210

22. The War Years 218

23. We Are Penn State 227

24. The (Almost) Perfect Season 233

25. The Road to Nowhere 243

Epilogue 251

Chapter Notes 275

Bibliography 287

Index 297

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