Annal: 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Fact Crime

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2007.

Book:Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

James L. Swanson

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history—the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry troops on a wild, twelve-day chase from the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.

At the very center of this story is John Wilkes Booth, Americas notorious villain. A confederate sympathizer and member of a celebrated acting family, Booth threw away his fame, wealth, and promise for a chance to avenge the Souths defeat. For almost two weeks, he confounded the manhunters, slipping away from their every move and denying the justice they sought.

Manhunt is a fully documented work, but it is also a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as youve never read it before.

Book:The Beautiful Cigar Girl

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Murder

Daniel Stashower

A gruesome murder, a stunned city, and Edgar Allan Poe come to life with vivid detail in this shocking true story by award-winning author Daniel Stashower.

On July 28, 1841, the battered body of a young woman was found floating in the Hudson River. It was soon discovered to be the lovely Mary Rogers, a twenty-year-old cigar salesgirl who had gone missing three days earlier. By nightfall, news of the girl’s death had spread and sent Manhattan into a spasm of horror and outrage.

In the months that followed, the gruesome details of the murder pushed American journalism into previously unimagined realms of lurid sensationalism. But despite media pressures, New York City’s unregulated and disjointed police force proved unable to mount an effective investigation, and the crime remained unsolved. …[more]

Book:A Death in Belmont

A Death in Belmont

Sebastian Junger

In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a shocking sex murder that exactly fits the pattern of the Boston Strangler. Sensing a break in the case that has paralyzed the city of Boston, the police track down a black man, Roy Smith, who cleaned the victim’s house that day and left a receipt with his name on the kitchen counter. Smith is hastily convicted of the Belmont murder, but the terror of the Strangler continues.

On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvo—the man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler’s crimes—is also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers’ home. In this spare, powerful narrative, Sebastian Junger chronicles three lives that collide—and ultimately are destroyed—in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.

Book:Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine

Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine

Joseph K. Loughlin, Kate Clark Flora

Combining the drama of a true crime story with the detail of a police procedural, Finding Amy chronicles the investigation into one of the most shocking murders in recent Maine history. Twenty-five-year-old Amy St. Laurent was attractive, intelligent, and responsible. One October evening, she went out to show a friend from Florida the exciting nightlife of Portland’s Old Port section. She played pool. She danced. And then she disappeared. The police investigation into her murder riveted the state of Maine for months.

This inside account of the investigation alternates between Kate Clark Flora’s objective tale of dedicated police work and the dramatic recollections of then-Lieutenant Joseph K. Loughlin, who oversaw the case. From the first call to a Portland detective about a missing woman to the police’s growing certainty that she had been murdered, from the heroic efforts to locate the…[more]

Book:Ripperology: A Study of the World's First Serial Killer and a Literary Phenomenon

Ripperology: A Study of the World's First Serial Killer and a Literary Phenomenon

Robin Odell

Ripperology—a sometimes obsessive interest in studying the crimes of Jack the Ripper—is a subject of timeless interest that has suffered from confusion, exaggeration, and hyperbole for over a century. Jack the Ripper was probably the first serial killer to appear in a large metropolis at a time when the general populace was literate and the press was a force for social change. The press was also partly responsible for creating many myths surrounding the Ripper.

Robin Odell's Ripperology is the first study to present a sequential history of literary investigations of Jack the Ripper's crimes and to address the seven principal phases of Ripper speculations: the initial wave of journalism that followed the 1888 murders; the “revelations” of highers-up in Scotland Yard who pretended to know more than they actually did; the period between 1925 and 1949 when sensational and factually shaky book-length “solutions” were proposed, including the theories…[more]

Book:Strange Piece of Paradise

Strange Piece of Paradise

Terri Jentz

In the summer of 1977, Terri Jentz and her Yale roommate, Shayna Weiss, make a cross-country bike trip. They pitch a tent in the desert of central Oregon. As they are sleeping, a man in a pickup truck deliberately runs over the tent. He then attacks them with an ax. The horrific crime is reported in newspapers across the country. No one is ever arrested. Both women survive, but Shayna suffers from amnesia, while Terri is left alone with memories of the attack. Their friendship is shattered.

Fifteen years later, Terri returns to the small town where she was nearly murdered, on the first of many visits she will make “to solve the crime that would solve me.” And she makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Slowly, her extensive interviews with the townspeople yield a terrifying revelation: many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst. Terri then sets out to discover the truth about the crime and…[more]

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