Annal: 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Fact Crime

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2012.

Book:Destiny of the Republic

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Candice Millard

James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.

But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments,…[more]

Book:Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender

Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender

Ron Miller

Sarah Pender was an attractive, outgoing, intelligent woman with great potential. But the straight and narrow had no appeal for this depraved young woman dubbed “the female Charles Manson”, who knew how to get what she wanted from men—even if it meant murder.

Book:The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter

Mark Seal

A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man.

The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.

Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she’d wed a Rockefeller. …[more]

Book:The Murder of the Century

The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

Paul Collins

On Long Island, a farmer finds a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discover a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumble upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects.

The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era’s most baffling murder mystery. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Reenactments of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio—a hard-luck cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor—all raced to solve the crime. …[more]

Book:The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge

The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge

T.J. English

It was a time of hope and desperation, a time of reckoning…

In the early 1960s, the Mad Men era, a mood of menace gripped New York City. The crime rate was growing and violence was becoming a daily reality for citizens in every neighbourhood. At the centre of the unrest was a poisonous divide between two camps: the deeply corrupt and racist police of the era and the African American community. Then, on 28 August 1963—the day on which Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and declared, ‘I have a dream’—two young white women were murdered in their Manhattan apartment. The killings struck fear through the city and ignited a ten-year saga of racial violence and unrest.

An epic true-life story of murder, injustice and defiance, The Savage City draws on interviews with participants and extensive research to tell the stories of three very different New Yorkers—an innocent man wrongly accused of murder, a corrupt cop and a militant Black Panther—and to explore this traumatic decade in the city’s history.

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