An interesting slice of history - not only for the storyline itself but that it helps put today's behavior of the press into perspective. Reading stories like this one, it isn't people that have changed but the technology at their disposal.
This is really not about "The Murder of the Century" - it's really about the tabloid newspapers in New York City at the end of the 19th century. Pulitzer and Hearst owned warring papers, both using sensationalism and "yellow journalism" to try and increase their readership and outdo their rivals. Headlines were bold, scandal was encouraged, and Hearst even created a "murder squad" of reporters with badges and guns to search for evidence before the police could find it, and make "citizen's arrests" if need be to protect The Journal's scoop. From colour to faster presses, it was a time of changes in newspaper publishing, and the murder of a masseur was just some of the fuel that stoked the fire of tabloid journalism competition. Sure, there was a murder, a dismemberment of the corpse. a missing head, and a scandal in the city, but that's all secondary to the real focus of the book.
It was an interesting book, but not terribly compelling or succinct. Narration was just OK.
This is an interesting story that's as much about the end of an era, and the beginning of yellow journalism as it is about a sensational, and now forgotten murder. I definitely think it's worth a listen if you find either true crime or history interesting.
Just did in headline
So many...hearing about police, investors, the city and newspapers in that era were all very interesting.
Everything! Every character he portrays is teriffic. Love listening to him!
Not one...this isn't a moving book, it's much more.
This is not your average " true crime" book at all. It's a great listen!
I like crime stories and this story was more about the Tabloid wars and reporters than it was about the crime itself. I finished the audible but I was dying for it to be over. I wish I never bought it.
Again I am a crime buff and would have enjoyed listening more about the crime than the media hype from it.
One good thing about the book was the end, there was an update on what happened to all the people that was involved in the crime, that is the best way to end a book like this.
I really just got through this listen. It wasn't particularly interesting. I didn't find myself really listening on to found out what would happen. It was a very relaxing listen.
The narrator did a great job- if I had not enjoyed his performance so much, I probably would have given up about halfway through the book.
I think so. It wasn't a riveting story, but it was okay. I did feel like it really took me back to a certain time and place. I would suggest this to anyone who likes real crime stories but maybe wants to tone down the sensational details of the crime.
I was so bored at first, I almost gave up, but I am glad I persevered. Once the suspects were identified, I found it interesting. It was interesting to read about this crime in the context of the culture and technology at that time. The end of the book could have been shorter,
This is a story about a murder, but the twist is that the victim has no head. This tends to make identifying the body a bit difficult, particularly before the era of fingerprints, computer databases and DNA. There were many theories as to who did it, including the fact that the victim was still alive. Even at the end, I was not convinced of exactly what happened and how much culpability each suspect had.
The story itself was three stars for me, but the extra star comes from the narration. Once the trial started, I was enthralled with the different voices. They really came to life, particularly the defense attorney.
On a funny note, I live in NY State and taxpayers get frustrated with Albany's lack of action, I was amused to read that a bill regarding alternate jurors took 33 years to pass in the early 1900s and even then a reference was made to Albany's inaction.
Good book. Held my interest, but nothing special. It does show that not much has changed in the way society, the press, the police and prosecutors handle a big case. I'm a retired police officer and detective who worked in a very large city. That said...
The press take something obscure and make it big, sensationalizing every dark corner of a person's life as if that makes them guilty. The police try to do as little as possible until forced to move forward, then move in all the wrong directions, because they are the easiest directions to go in. The prosecutors don't seem to care who did it, just want to ride the wave of a big case and make a name for themselves. The people and the juries seem to swallow it all, hook, line, and sinker.
Of course not all cops, not all prosecutors, not all press, and not all society are like the above description. Most are not, but it seems more and more we are less concerned with justice and more on rattling our heads and demanding revenge.
Think it's not true? Look at how many people are being released from long prison terms and death row after DNA evidence is clearing them. People don't seem to mind bending our civil rights until they are the targets of an unjust persecution.
Possibly. If I read more on the trial covered in the story from other sources.
Just generally the scenes of the accused in prison and the way they reconciled their infamy!
My 15 minutes of fame due to the media!
Worth a listen. Leaves you with the sense that the media has always been ridiculous and makes heros of the wrong sort. The real news goes unnoticed.