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Publisher's Summary

This is the first truly comprehensive book examining the life and career of the murderer who has become one of America's great supervillains. It reveals not only the true story but how the legend evolved, taking advantage of hundreds of primary sources that have never been examined before, including legal documents, letters, articles, and records that have been buried in archives for more than a century. Although Holmes is just as famous now as he was in 1895, this deep analysis of contemporary materials makes clear how much of the previously known story came from reporters who were nowhere near the action, a dangerously unqualified new police chief, and lies invented by Holmes himself.
©2017 Adam Selzer (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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Customer Reviews

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By Shaun Wheeler on 09-08-17

The truth

I've read several of the books on Holmes and watched American Ripper. It's just my personality to test everything and I kept thinking, "Where's the evidence?" Although I do enjoy the sensationalized story for fictional and entertainment purposes, I appreciate Mr Selzer's mind frame (like mine) to test the story against the evidence to make a clear line between fact and fiction.

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8 of 10 people found this review helpful

By Nick on 02-09-18


the narrator reads in a lifeless monotone voice and the author is all over the place. bummer of a book.

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Customer Reviews

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By Christopher Macaulay on 08-25-17

Great book loved it

Good in depth book made me feel like i was there covered all the angles

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By brando on 02-18-18

fascinating factual book

I've read about Holmes and his murder castle in the past and have watched quite a few documentaries about him too, the latest being The American Ripper in London, they all smacked of sensationalism with incredible hype that I wondered how on earth people believed any of it. This book was like a breath of fresh air, kept to the facts, which in themselves are bad enough, but also dismissed the absurd that was recreated in the tabloids at the time and which are still being repeated today. The author gave a good account of just about everyone that was involved so much so that I could picture them and even have an understanding of what they were about. There's no denying that Holmes was a scoundrel and more than likely a serial killer and this book lays out the facts to support all this but it also describes clearly the hysteria that became attached to Holmes and his resulting execution... (I'm surprised he wasn't burned at the stake to be honest). This book gave me the two subjects that interest me the most, history and crime, the descriptions of the time and places really made me feel I was there and the in-depth knowledge of how the tabloids and the court system operated at the time provided me with a better understanding of how Holmes became so infamous. The reader provided a voice that was easy to listen to.

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