American Murder (Paperback)

Criminals, Crimes, and the Media

By Mike Mayo

Visible Ink Press, 9781578591916, 425pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2008

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Investigating the way Hollywood scoops up notorious criminals and turns them into legends, this entertaining who'swho guide provides thumbnail sketches of such killers as Ma Barker, Black Beard, Al Capone, John Wesley Hardin, and Charles Starkweather. Noting that some figures are glamorized in popular culture (Jesse James), while others are demonized (Charles Manson), this encyclopedic collection explores the legends' emotional truths as depicted in movies, stories, and songs. Facts of the real cases behind these notorious criminals are also presented, including the landmark rulings that pioneered new approaches to criminal justice.

About the Author

Mike Mayo is a former host of the nationally syndicated "Movie Show on Radio "and frequently comments on the movies for Wisconsin Public Radio. He is the author of "VideoHounds Horror Show" and "VideoHounds DVD Guide." He lives in Chatham, New Jersey.

Praise For American Murder: Criminals, Crimes, and the Media

"There are many true-crime compilations from which to choose, but a stronger focus on movies and how they have altered the legends may make this [book] worth purchasing. It’s likely to be a hit."  Library Journal

Mayo’s breezy and often-irreverent style sheds some fascinating light on events about which we think we know, and subjects ranging from outlaws and mobsters to serial killers. Despite its grim subject matter, it's a fun read."  The Roanoke Times

"Written in an informal style . . . this encyclopedia offers a rogue's gallery of famous U.S. killings, killers, and other scoundrels."  Reference & Research Book News

"An encyclopedic look at America's love affair in the media with lawbreakers . . . An excellent resource, and is recommended."  American Reference Books Annual