True Crime is a 900 page history of American crime writing. This weighty (2+lbs.) book encompasses writers
from Cotton Mather (an execution sermon) to Dominic Dunne (of present day Court TV). The stories vary in
length from a few pages to novella length. The motivations for the crimes have always remained the same through
the years: greed, lust, evil, stupidity, passion.
One of the most fascinating chapters is the real life account of Mrs. Ruth Snyder and her lover, Henry Judd Grey,
a corset salesman. They killed her husband for his insurance money and thought they had a perfect crime. They wound
up in Sing Sing's electric chair. Damon Runyon recounted the case, which inspired the movie Double Indemnity.
Other cases in American crime feature Charles Manson, the Lindberg kidnapping, Garfield's assassination,
Leopold and Loeb, but also feature ordinary people.
The editor prefaces each chapter with a brief discussion of the author and the subject.
This is a must for any aficionado of this genre. With 900 pages there is a wealth of material to keep one reading
for days to come.