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From the assassination of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901, to the mass killing at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, the 20th century saw many murderous events that are difficult to contemplate but have become a part of the national history. This reference book is divided into three parts. Part One, arranged chronologically, details 53 of the most famous murder cases of the 20th century in the United States. In Part Two, over 300 entries (alphabetically arranged by criminal) provide descriptions of crimes and are subdivided into male, female, and juvenile murderers; pair and group murderers; hate crime murderers; and school killings. Part Three features crime events related to over 40 selected victims. Cross references guide the reader to additional information. An index is included.
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R. Barri Flowers is a literary criminologist and novelist. He is also the author of Domestic Crimes, Family Violence and Child Abuse (2000), Drugs, Alcohol and Criminality in American Society (1999), The Prostitution of Women and Girls (1998), Female Crime, Criminals and Cellmates (1995), and The Victimization and Exploitation of Women and Children (1994). His coauthor and wife, H. Loraine Flowers, is a crime researcher, and author of children’s books. They live in Beaverton, Oregon.From Booklist:
This volume aimed at "researchers, writers, scholars, students, criminal justice professionals, laypersons, and others with an interest in the crime of murder" covers selected homicides from 1900 to 1999.
The book is arranged in three parts. Part 1, "A Century of Murders," surveys each decade from the 1900s to the 1990s, beginning with the assassination of President McKinley and ending with the killings at Columbine High School. Part 2, "A Century of Murderers," is an alphabetical listing organized by types of killers (male, female, juvenile), subdivided by categories such as "Serial Killers," "Caretaker Killers," and "Killers of Celebrities." There are also categories for group murders, hate crimes, and murders in U.S. schools. Part 3, "A Century of Victims," has two subdivisions: "Adult Victims" and "Child Victims."
Entries are brief, with most taking up less than half a page. Cross-references help link the three parts. A list of references including Internet sources and an index of names conclude the volume.
Despite its subject matter, the volume generally manages to avoid sensationalism. The preface states that it is suitable for academic study in disciplines such as criminal justice and criminology. It would also appeal to public library true-crime buffs. Information on some of the same crimes can be found in The Encyclopedia of Modern Murder, 1962-1982 (Putnam, 1985) and World Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Murder (Paragon House, 1992), but these titles are not as current. RBB
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