The man from the train : the solving of a century-old serial killer mystery /

"From legendary writer Bill James, in collaboration with his daughter, Rachel, a compelling, dramatic, and meticulously researched narrative about a century-old series of unsolved axe murders across America, and how the authors came to solve them. A hundred years ago, a traveling axe murderer h...

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Main Authors: James, Bill, 1949- (Author), James, Rachel McCarthy, (Author)
Language: English
Published: New York : Scribner, 2017.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
Subjects:
Format: Printed Book Book Nonfiction
Summary: "From legendary writer Bill James, in collaboration with his daughter, Rachel, a compelling, dramatic, and meticulously researched narrative about a century-old series of unsolved axe murders across America, and how the authors came to solve them. A hundred years ago, a traveling axe murderer horrified the nation, leaving a ghastly trail from Florida to Washington State and looping back again. He was a very clever fiend, and he'd worked out a method whereby he could murder perhaps a hundred people without being caught. Piecing together information from thousands of sources, baseball writer Bill James set out to create a full picture of what the man had done, and drew up a plan for how the monster might be identified--never really expecting that his plan would work. But it did. Using twenty-first-century research tools beyond the imaginations of people one hundred years ago, James and his coauthor sorted through hundreds of similar cases, compiling a list of thirty-four habits that identify The Man from the Train's crimes. Beginning with the murders of eight people in Villisca, Iowa, in 1912, the authors chased the story backward through the years eventually finding its origins near the end of the nineteenth century. Innocent people were executed for crimes that the real killer had committed. Innocent people were also murdered by lynch mobs for his crimes. Riveting and immersive, with writing as sharp as an axe, Wye Man from the Pain paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of small-town justice systems overwhelmed by the crimes and exploited by opportunists. The authors' groundbreaking research will convince skeptics, amaze aficionados, and change the way we view criminal history."--Jacket.
"Between 1898 and 1912, families across the country were bludgeoned in their sleep with the blunt side of an axe. Jewelry and valuables were left in plain sight, bodies were piled together, faces covered with cloth. Some of these cases, like the infamous Villisca, Iowa murders, received national attention. But few people believed the crimes were related. And fewer still would realize that all of these families lived within walking distance to a train station. When celebrated baseball statistician and true crime expert Bill James first learned about these crimes, he began to investigate others that might fit the same pattern. Applying the analytical acumen he brings to baseball analysis, he empirically determined which crimes were committed by the same person. Then after sifting through thousands of local newspapers, court transcripts and public records, he and his daughter Rachel made an astonishing discovery. They learned the true identity of this monstrous criminal, and in turn, uncovered one of the deadliest serial killers in American history. Riveting and immersive, with writing as sharp as the cold side of an axe, The Man From the Train is a groundbreaking approach to true crime that will convince skeptics, delight aficionados, and change the way we view criminal history"-- Provided by publisher.
Physical Description: xi, 464 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781476796253
1476796254
9781476796260
1476796262