The Curious Case of the Mad Professor

A True Tale of Endangered Species, Illegal Drugs, and Attempted Murder

By Peter Kobel
(Lyons Press, Hardcover, 9780762773770, 288pp.)

Publication Date: July 2013

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In the late 1970s, one of the biggest scandals in New York University history unfolded. Professor John Buettner-Janusch was convicted for manufacturing LSD and methaqualone. He served three years in prison, but five years after that he sought revenge by sending poisoned chocolates to the judge who convicted him and others. But before he was infamous, Buettner-Janusch was a scientific star. His trials captured national headlines, but the mad scientist’s full story has never been told—until now.

About the Author

Peter Kobel has worked as an editor at Entertainment Weekly, Saveur, and ARTnews and has written for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other publications. Author of the critically acclaimed Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture, he now writes about environmental and conservation issues. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Praise For The Curious Case of the Mad Professor

· Critical acclaim for Silent Movies:



New York Times

“This isn't a coffee table book, though any coffee table would be lucky to be graced by it. The excellent text manages the trick of being exhaustive without being exhausting, while the photos—and stills, and posters, and lobby cards—are enchanting.”

Wall Street Journal


“The definitive visual history of silent film.”

New York Daily News


“A handsomely designed and illustrated pictorial history of the voiceless cinema.”

Los Angeles Times


“If you ever wondered why film buffs get weak in the knees about the movies made before talkies, this book can help you understand. . . . It is beautifully designed with a dazzling array of movie stills, posters and promo material drawn from the Library of Congress' memorabilia collection.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“A ravishing, oversize, million-pound study of the silent movie era.”

Washington Post Express

“Lovingly detailed . . . An essential addition to any film or design lover's library.”  —Encore magazine

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