Murder Maps: Crime Scenes Revisited; Phrenology to Fingerprint; 1811–1911

Thames & Hudson. Oct. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9780500252451. $35. CRIME
Social historian Gray has compiled a detailed rogues’ gallery of some of the most infamous murders committed in Europe, North America, and Australia between 1811 and 1911. During this time, the public became fascinated with true crime, and excerpts from sensational publications are reproduced here, from pamphlets to pages from the tabloid Illustrated Police News. Gray starts with an introduction to the evolution of investigation techniques developed at this time, from the earliest use of fingerprint analysis to crime scene photography. Hundreds of murderers, both well known (Jack the Ripper, H.H. Holmes) and those who may be less recognizable, are profiled, with a brief retelling of their life and crimes, photographs, maps of key sites, and categorization of each profile by type of murder (infanticide, sexual, political) and method of investigation (crime scene photograph, fingerprint analysis).
VERDICT Gray blends an eye for gruesome detail with impressive visuals and a helpful bibliography to make this a popular addition to true crime collections.
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