Review From User :
I LOVE true crime, as I should have been a detective rather than a banker. I have read several of this author's books, but most have seemed o be more of an encyclopedia of crime. This one - wow - was so thorough and exploratory. Seems well-researched and well-written, especially challenging since the crimes occurred in the late 1800s.
I especially appreciate Schechter's relating the past to current times. I abhor the media's constant proclamation "this xyz of 2019 is the worst ever", "this unprecedented xyz of 2019", "blah blah blah", or "the good ole days", as if the past was full of rainbows & unicorns & lollipops! My parents say it, teachers say it, the media says it - and it just isn't true. There have always been murderers, crime, shootings, racial problems, overly-explosive media, 'overly-violent books/tv/media/movies/games', bad apples, as well as wonderful peaceful charitable individuals..... and there always will be. I appreciated Schechter's reminder of how cleaner and safer we are in America, largely because we continue to learn from past mistakes (such as short prison sentences for sexual crime, that has been rectified.). If only Americans would read history, we might realize how amazing we have it right now.
Lastly, Schechter describes the arguments for & against the death penalty, as well as for & against the death penalty for children - from a criminal justice standpoint, and Christian standpoint, and political standpoint, bringing together many of the critical issues including justice, retribution, punishment, safety, forgiveness, a mother's blind love, vengeance & revenge, -- his exploration of these issues were so well done that I have no idea what Mr. Schechter's personal opinion is about the issue. I wasn't touched or influenced by his own preference - which given our pathetic bias by most media - was refreshing. Personally, I am still conflicted by these issues, and enjoyed hearing many sides of the issues without incredulity & judgment.
The depictions of the crimes are not for the squeamish, take note.
Media Size : 1.1 MB