The California Snatch Racket: Kidnappings During the Prohibition and Depression Eras

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9781884995637: The California Snatch Racket: Kidnappings During the Prohibition and Depression Eras

Bringing a dark and forgotten era into vivid life, this fascinating history explores a booming criminal enterprise that was spawned in California in the 1920s and 1930s. Exposing a spree of kidnappings referred to as the ""snatch racket,"" true accounts of the crimes and the unfortunate victims are revealed. Driven by greed, desperation, or sheer stupidity, this detailed discussion explains that the ransom artists preyed indiscriminately on Hollywood socialites, wealthy heiresses, and even the poor--while each new disappearance brought new headlines and sales to the newspaper companies. Illustrating the manner in which even the simplest capers would often run tragically awry, 15 bizarre and often ironic tales are presented, including how a modern city rose to lynch a pair of kidnappers, the college kids who chose to imitate Leopold and Loeb, and the famed evangelist who faked her own abduction to cover up an affair. Early forensic techniques are described, including the first documented call tracing using a bevy of operators in a phone chain, as well as the birth of the modern symbiotic relationship between the news media and high-profile crime, demonstrating how the sensationalism of personal tragedy became a source for increased media sales.

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From the Author:

While researching a series of events for a future book, Lane and I kept running across fascinating headlines that led us into an amazing set of stories that occurred during the prohibition and depression years.  Those were hard times in this country and California suffered with the rest.  Among those stories was a series of kidnappings that grew to a crescendo and then tapered off as laws were written to curtail them.  These were kidnappings for profit for the most part, a practice still common elsewhere in the world but nearly extinct here except in films.  Lane remarked that we needed to share these stories and from that grew The California Snatch Racket - Kidnappings in the Prohibition and Depression Eras.  We hope you enjoy reading those tales.

From the Inside Flap:

Smith & Rogers rip back the candy-coating on the land of sunshine, Hollywood dreams and beach parties exposing the seedy underworld of gangsters and brutal kidnappings during prohibition and the depression in, 'The California Snatch Racket.' History buffs and true crime aficionados will relish this inside look into the Golden State's vicious past.
Kathleen Antrim, bestselling author of CAPITOL OFFENSE
 
In THE CALIFORNIA SNATCH RACKET, James R. Smith and W. Lane Rogers expose the murders, kidnappings and scams in abduction for profit, a crime that blossomed into a cottage industry in the 1920's and 1930's across the country. Smith and Rogers crafted a fascinating study into the history of the times and the crime through meticulous research and riveting storytelling.  A must read for anyone interested in the evolution of criminal activity or in the prohibition and depression eras in the United States.
Diane Fanning, bestselling author of ten true crime books including MOMMY'S LITTLE GIRL
 
The horrible crime of kidnapping for ransom, where the victim is often the most innocent of all, has a remarkable presence in the Golden State. "Snatch Racket," with tales mostly of the '20s and '30, when newspaper accounts were at their most lurid, is an engaging series of yarns about the rich and famous to, sadly, the very young. Throughout, though, the book captures the flavor of the time and the impact of the events on the average guy, all with the urgency of an angry Tommy-gun. 
Pat Craig
Critic, Bay Area News group
 
A fun and informative jaunt back in time to an era long forgotten. Many of the cases amazed me.
Kathryn Casey, bestselling author of BLOODLINES, SINGULARITY and SHATTERED
 
A dark history that succeeds brilliantly as neo-noir crime-writing, SNATCH RACKET is smart, enthusiastically detailed and a damn good read!
 Ron Franscell, bestselling author of THE DARKEST NIGHT
 
True-crime readers will be fascinated by the meticulous research and case write-ups in this book detailing the era when kidnappings were so prevalent. A detailed look at the decades when kidnapping was king, The California Snatch Racket takes the reader into a world of cold-hearted criminals, desperate family members and determined law officers.  Don't miss this one.
Sandie Kirkland, Booksie's Blog

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Book Description Linden Publishing Co Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Bringing a dark and forgotten era into vivid life, this fascinating history explores a booming criminal enterprise that was spawned in California in the 1920s and 1930s. Exposing a spree of kidnappings referred to as the snatch racket, true accounts of the crimes and the unfortunate victims are revealed. Driven by greed, desperation, or sheer stupidity, this detailed discussion explains that the ransom artists preyed indiscriminately on Hollywood socialites, wealthy heiresses, and even the poor--while each new disappearance brought new headlines and sales to the newspaper companies. Illustrating the manner in which even the simplest capers would often run tragically awry, 15 bizarre and often ironic tales are presented, including how a modern city rose to lynch a pair of kidnappers, the college kids who chose to imitate Leopold and Loeb, and the famed evangelist who faked her own abduction to cover up an affair. Early forensic techniques are described, including the first documented call tracing using a bevy of operators in a phone chain, as well as the birth of the modern symbiotic relationship between the news media and high-profile crime, demonstrating how the sensationalism of personal tragedy became a source for increased media sales. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781884995637

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Book Description Linden Publishing Co Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Bringing a dark and forgotten era into vivid life, this fascinating history explores a booming criminal enterprise that was spawned in California in the 1920s and 1930s. Exposing a spree of kidnappings referred to as the snatch racket, true accounts of the crimes and the unfortunate victims are revealed. Driven by greed, desperation, or sheer stupidity, this detailed discussion explains that the ransom artists preyed indiscriminately on Hollywood socialites, wealthy heiresses, and even the poor--while each new disappearance brought new headlines and sales to the newspaper companies. Illustrating the manner in which even the simplest capers would often run tragically awry, 15 bizarre and often ironic tales are presented, including how a modern city rose to lynch a pair of kidnappers, the college kids who chose to imitate Leopold and Loeb, and the famed evangelist who faked her own abduction to cover up an affair. Early forensic techniques are described, including the first documented call tracing using a bevy of operators in a phone chain, as well as the birth of the modern symbiotic relationship between the news media and high-profile crime, demonstrating how the sensationalism of personal tragedy became a source for increased media sales. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781884995637

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Book Description Craven Street Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 393 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 1.2in.Bringing a dark and forgotten era into vivid life, this fascinating history explores a booming criminal enterprise that was spawned in California in the 1920s and 1930s. Exposing a spree of kidnappings referred to as the snatch racket, true accounts of the crimes and the unfortunate victims are revealed. Driven by greed, desperation, or sheer stupidity, this detailed discussion explains that the ransom artists preyed indiscriminately on Hollywood socialites, wealthy heiresses, and even the poor--while each new disappearance brought new headlines and sales to the newspaper companies. Illustrating the manner in which even the simplest capers would often run tragically awry, 15 bizarre and often ironic tales are presented, including how a modern city rose to lynch a pair of kidnappers, the college kids who chose to imitate Leopold and Loeb, and the famed evangelist who faked her own abduction to cover up an affair. Early forensic techniques are described, including the first documented call tracing using a bevy of operators in a phone chain, as well as the birth of the modern symbiotic relationship between the news media and high-profile crime, demonstrating how the sensationalism of personal tragedy became a source for increased media sales. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781884995637

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Book Description Linden Publishing Co Inc. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, California Snatch Racket: Kidnappings During the Prohibition and Depression Eras, James R. Smith, Bringing a dark and forgotten era into vivid life, this fascinating history explores a booming criminal enterprise that was spawned in California in the 1920s and 1930s. Exposing a spree of kidnappings referred to as the 'snatch racket', true accounts of the crimes and the unfortunate victims are revealed. Driven by greed, desperation, or sheer stupidity, this detailed discussion explains that the ransom artists preyed indiscriminately on Hollywood socialites, wealthy heiresses, and even the poor - while each new disappearance brought new headlines and sales to the newspaper companies. Illustrating the manner in which even the simplest capers would often run tragically awry, 15 bizarre and often ironic tales are presented, including how a modern city rose to lynch a pair of kidnappers, the college kids who chose to imitate Leopold and Loeb, and the famed evangelist who faked her own abduction to cover up an affair. Early forensic techniques are described, including the first documented call tracing using a bevy of operators in a phone chain, as well as the birth of the modern symbiotic relationship between the news media and high-profile crime, demonstrating how the sensationalism of personal tragedy became a source for increased media sales. Bookseller Inventory # B9781884995637

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