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They called it Satan’s Circus—a square mile of Midtown Manhattan where vice ruled, sin flourished, and depravity danced in every doorway. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was a place where everyone from the chorus girls to the beat cops was on the take and where bad boys became wicked men; a place where an upstanding young policeman such as Charley Becker could become the crookedest cop who ever stood behind a shield.
Murder was so common in the vice district that few people were surprised when the loudmouthed owner of a shabby casino was gunned down on the steps of its best hotel. But when, two weeks later, an ambitious district attorney charged Becker with ordering the murder, even the denizens of Satan’s Circus were surprised. The handsome lieutenant was a decorated hero, the renowned leader of New York’s vice-busting Special Squad. Was he a bad cop leading a double life, or a pawn felled by the sinister rogues who ran Manhattan’s underworld?
With appearances by the legendary and the notorious—including Big Tim Sullivan, the election-rigging vice lord of Tammany Hall; future president Theodore Roosevelt; beloved gangster Jack Zelig; and the newly famous author Stephen Crane—Satan’s Circus brings to life an almost-forgotten Gotham. Chronicling Charley Becker’s rise and fall, the book tells of the raucous, gaudy, and utterly corrupt city that made him, and recounts not one but two sensational murder trials that landed him in the electric chair.
Bone Voyage: A Journey in Forensic Anthropology
A husband preserved in mothballs, a vigilante victim encased in red mud, and convicts beaten and burned in a prison riot are only a few of the cases of death examined here by forensic anthropologist Stanley Rhine. Drawing on cases he worked for the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, Rhine demonstrates how unidentified skeletal remains indicate race, sex, age, height, and ultimately identity and how the specialist decodes skeletal anomalies to establish cause of death. Blunt trauma, gunshot and knife wounds, and other injuries receive his attention.
Step by step the author explains the techniques used to solve forensic mysteries. At the end of each case, he explains what lessons the forensic anthropologist learns from the bones. Rhine also explores specific problems and tasks: working mass disasters; recovering bodies from the field; defleshing bones; examining charred and badly decomposed remains; testifying before juries; and others.
The Devil's Bones
A burned car sits on a Tennessee hilltop, a woman's lifeless, charred body seated inside. Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton's job is to discover the truth hidden in the fire-desecrated corpse. Was the woman's death accidental . . . or was she incinerated to cover up her murder?
But his research into the effect of flame on flesh and bone is about to collide with reality like a lit match meeting spilled gasoline. The arrival of a mysterious package—a set of suspiciously unnatural cremated remains—is pulling Brockton toward a nightmare too inhuman to imagine. And an old nemesis is waiting in the shadows to put him to the ultimate test, one that could reduce Brockton's life to smoldering ruins.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
Monadnock Moments..Historic tales from Southwest New Hampshire
Inspired by beloved local storyteller Fritz Wetherbee, Historical Society of Cheshire County director Alan F. Rumrill collected their sotires in his series, "Monadnock Moments" broadcast on Keene radio station WKNE from 1985 to 2005. Here he has gathered one hundred of his most interesting vignettes and paired them with historic images, chronicling the lives of business man, politicians and soldiers and spinning tales of disaster, murder and adventure that all had their roots in towns of southwest New Hampshire.
Judgement Day for the Turin Shroud
When a body is found beneath a construction site near the Catskill Mountains, New York City deputy chief medical examiner Jake Rosen is called to the scene, where he meets his match: Philomena “Manny” Manfreda, a beautiful crusading attorney. Together they stumble upon a decades-old mystery involving a long-shuttered mental institution, shocking medical experiments, and a troubled love affair.
50 Years of DNA
Crick and Watson's discovery of the structure of DNA 50 years ago marked one of the great turning points in the history of science. Biology, immunology, medicine and genetics have all been radically transformed in the succeeding half-century, and the double helix has become an icon of our times. Published in association with Nature, this fascinating exploration of a scientific phenomenon provides an engaging account of the background and context for the discovery, its significance and afterlife. A series of essays by leading scientists, historians and commentators offer unique perspectives on DNA and its impact on modern science and society.
The Poison Squad
From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blum, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change
By the end of nineteenth century, food was dangerous. Lethal, even. "Milk" might contain formaldehyde, most often used to embalm corpses. Decaying meat was preserved with both salicylic acid, a pharmaceutical chemical, and borax, a compound first identified as a cleaning product. This was not by accident; food manufacturers had rushed to embrace the rise of industrial chemistry, and were knowingly selling harmful products. Unchecked by government regulation, basic safety, or even labelling requirements, they put profit before the health of their customers. By some estimates, in New York City alone, thousands of children were killed by "embalmed milk" every year. Citizens--activists, journalists, scientists, and women's groups--began agitating for change. But even as protective measures were enacted in Europe, American corporations blocked even modest regulations. Then, in 1883, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, a chemistry professor from Purdue University, was named chief chemist of the agriculture department, and the agency began methodically investigating food and drink fraud, even conducting shocking human tests on groups of young men who came to be known as, "The Poison Squad."
The Poisoner's Handbook
Murder and the birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
The Killer of Little Shephards
A true crime story and the birth of forensic science.