... gentlemen, I propose to guide your studies, from Cain to Mr. Thurtell. Through this great gallery of murder, therefore, together let us wander hand in hand, in delighted admiration, while I endeavor to point your attention to the objects of profitable criticism.
Our Guide to the Bloody Delights of South Africa The website is Famous South African Crimes. Our guide is Mr. Rob Marsh, who offers for download his entire book, a collection of infamous cases. Some of the juicier-sounding tidbits, as listed in the index:
The Case of Dorothea Kraft, or, When witchcraft fails - The first woman hanged in the Union of South Africa, 1918
Petrus Hauptfleisch - 1925 - an infamous case of matricide.
Maria Lee - 1947 - arsenic poisoner
But there's all sorts of other cases for you folks who indulge in stories of wife killers, husband killers, assassinations, mass murders, spree killers and whatnot.
Ditto, Australia The leading authority on crime Down Under is The Australian Police Journal. In sixty years of publication, "for police officers and for true crime enthusiasts it has become the magazine of record" (The Australian). The current issue, for example, features stories about Ned Kelly, the Wickham Terrace Massacre, and other tidbits for the true crime fanatic. Alas, you have to have a subscription.
True Crime Carnival 58 The true crime bloggers have their weekly dispatch, which is now picked up by Google Alert.
True Crime Conquers the Laundrymat The Long Island, NY authorities have decided to end their fugitive problem by publishing a true crime magazine that they will distribute for free. "The county is launching a magazine that will profile most wanted felons and alert residents of local crimes," reports the local media. "Fugitive Finder Magazine will be funded by advertisers and distributed to about 200 supermarkets, coin-operated laundries, video stores and other locations. The county says it will circulate 25,000 copies."
Lessons from Maria Marten If you like me just love very, very well written short pieces on historic true crime cases, check out this piece written by Jonathan Kay for the National Post:
Last month, a dock worker from Ipswich, England, was charged with killing five local prostitutes. This month, George Svekla, an Alberta man who'd already been charged with murdering a prostitute (and carrying her body around the province in a hockey bag), was charged with killing another, one of at least 13 prostitutes slain in the Edmonton area since 1988. In Detroit, a 37-year-old man was recently charged with killing seven prostitutes over the last five years. And then there is Robert Pickton, the 57-year-old British Columbia pig farmer who has been charged with killing no less than 26 women, most of them Vancouver prostitutes.
Westerners now live in the safest societies known to humankind -- so safe that a single deadly car crash, club-land shootout or even military casualty is enough to make the front page. Yet behind the headlines, legions of dead streetwalkers get cast off into industrial scrubland or riverbeds without much notice...
To gain perspective, look beyond the parade of modern slaughter, and cast your mind back to Maria Marten, a molecatcher's daughter who lived and died in the English town of Polstead two centuries ago...
The Best True Crime Movies Ever? I wasn't expecting to agree with many picks on MTV's Top 10 True Crime Movies. What does MTV know about true crime. Some of its programming is a public nuisance in and of itself. But many of these I've got to agree with:
10. St. Valentine's Day Massacre
8. Reversal of Fortune
7. French Connection
6. Heavenly Creatures
5. Dog Day Afternoon
4. Rope / Compulsion
3. All The President's Men
2. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
1. In Cold Blood
Not a bad list. We could quibble, yes? There are no documentaries on the list and a lot of feature films are missing -- Anatomy of a Murder is one. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil also (that is not a chick flick!)
Meanwhile, Zodiac comes out in March, and the Black Dahlia film is getting good reviews -- one suggesting that the film is best viewed with a serving of tuna casserole. If this makes sense to you, kindly advise why.