By Harold Schechter
With such acclaimed works as The Devil’s Gentleman, Harold Schechter has earned renown because the dean of true-crime historians. Now, during this gripping account of riding ambition, doomed love, and brutal homicide in an iconic American kinfolk, Schechter back casts his gaze into the sinister shadows of gaslit nineteenth-century big apple City.
In September 1841, a grisly discovery is made aboard a service provider send docked in reduce ny: Deep within the shipment carry, sure with rope and coated with savage head wounds, lies a man’s bare corpse. whereas a assassin has taken pains to hide his victim’s id, it takes little time to figure out that the lifeless guy is Samuel Adams, owner of a neighborhood printing company. And in much less time nonetheless, witnesses and a bloody path of clues lead investigators to your doorstep of the enigmatic John Colt.
The scion of a wealthy Connecticut kinfolk, Colt has defied his parents’ efforts to mould him right into a gentleman—preferring to flout authority and pursue pleasure. mockingly, it's the ordered technological know-how of accountancy that for a time lends him respectability. yet now John Colt’s ghastly crime and the next sensational homicide trial deliver infamy to his surname—even after it turns into synonymous together with his visionary more youthful brother’s groundbreaking invention.
The embodiment of yank luck, Sam Colt has risen from negative huckster to industrious inventor. His maximum fulfillment, the revolver, will convey him untold hundreds of thousands at the same time it transforms the yankee West. In John’s hour of desire, Sam rushes to his brother’s side—perhaps end result of the mystery they percentage.
In Gilded Age ny, a urban awash with treacherous schemers, lurid dime-museum curiosities, and the tawdry excesses of penny-press journalism, the Colt-Adams affair conjures up tabloid headlines of startling and grotesque hyperbole, which in flip force legions of thrill-seekers to John Colt’s trial. The dramatic felony complaints will hearth the mind's eye of pioneering crime author Edgar Allan Poe and gasoline the righteous outrage of journalist Walt Whitman.
Killer Colt interweaves the fascinating tales of brooding, outstanding John and innovative, enterprising Sam—sharp-witted and engaging brothers on tremendously divergent trips, certain via an abiding mutual devotion and a secret they're going to disguise to the tip. Harold Schechter has mined the darkly macabre vein of a bygone period and taken forth a mom lode of storytelling gold.
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Additional resources for Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend
LK Herb took some pictures. Tom knelt beside me and tried to lift the book, but met resistance. s wired to her ribs,? he said, his expression a mixture of revulsion and anger. It took a few minutes to locate a pair of wire cutters, and the paramedics did the job while I stared out over the river, rubbing my belly, thinking back to my last encounter with Luther. d made me. ll be seeing you. Soon.? I shivered, suddenly very cold. Herb stood beside me. Did Phin and Harry talk to you about Lake Geneva??
Herb said. No cameras.? Killer probably parked there, had his gear in the trunk. Or he had it waiting for him on the scene when he arrived with the vic. You check the walkway with an alternate light source?? Herb nodded. No blood.? I clucked my tongue, thinking. So he lured her down here, or brought her down unconscious, and killed her on the spot. Fingernails?? Clean,? Herb said. Often victims would scratch their attackers, giving us DNA evidence. Clean nails meant the murderer had been in control for the duration of the crime.
Ve gone out, just like tonight. re the first woman who invited me to sit down.? m glad I did,? Jessica said. I go out a lot, too.? By yourself?? Yeah. so hard to meet people.? To meet the right people.? Exactly.? She laughed. s so fake.? s an epidemic,? Rob said. s really on their mind. s all a game these days.? m right there with you, Rob.? The streets were quiet, the last of the revelers stumbling out of bars in search of their cars or a late-night cab. Straight ahead, the downtown rose into the night like a range of luminescent mountains, and Jessica could smell the river.