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Publisher's Summary

In the horrifying annals of American crime, the infamous names of brutal killers such as Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, and Berkowitz are writ large in the imaginations of a public both horrified and hypnotized by their monstrous, murderous acts. But for every celebrity psychopath who's gotten ink for spilling blood, there's a bevy of all-but-forgotten homicidal fiends studding the bloody margins of US history. In this book you'll meet:


Robert Irwin, "The Mad Sculptor": He longed to use his carving skills on the woman he loved, but had to settle for making short work of her mother and sister instead.
Peter Robinson, "The Tell-Tale Heart Killer": It took two days and four tries for him to finish off his victim, but no time at all for keen-eyed cops to spot the fatal flaw in his floor plan.
Anton Probst, "The Monster in the Shape of a Man": The ax-murdering immigrant's systematic slaughter of all eight members of a Pennsylvania farm family matched the savagery of the Manson murders a century later.
Edward H. Rulloff, "The Man of Two Lives": A genuine Jekyll and Hyde, his brilliant scholarship disguised his bloodthirsty brutality.

©2012 Harold Schechter (P)2016 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Roger B. on 08-24-17

True crime enthusiast's dream

Excellent collection of unusual cases that people have forgotten. Well organized and well written.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Julie on 09-06-16

Like listening to someone read a card catalog...

What would have made Psycho USA better?

A story--any kind of story--would have made this title better. It's like someone got together a whole bunch of newspaper articles from the pre-internet era, culled the sensationalism--not just sensationalism but really anything that might lead to an emotional response--and began to read.

What was most disappointing about Harold Schechter’s story?

There was no story. No connection between the vignettes, no higher-order commentary or analysis. No historical context. Just endless droning.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator didn't have a lot to work with, but in what must have been an effort to imbue the text with some sort of interest, he adds a sing-song element to his reading that makes it come off rather cartoon-like.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

This title may have some redeeming qualities, but several chapters were enough to get me to stop looking.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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