News

Harold's article for Library of America

Harold Schechter recently wrote an article for Library of America about five chilling true-crime classics. Read it here: https://www.loa.org/news-and-views/1146-five-chilling-true-crime-classic...

Book Launch for Man-Eater at Morbid Anatomy Museum

Date: Monday, August 10th
Time: 8pm
Admission: $5 ( Tickets Here )
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY
*** Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing

More info HERE

Man-Eater Schechter

Man-Eater appearing in stores August 4, 2015

PRE-ORDER TODAY!

In the winter of 1873, a small band of prospectors lost their way in the frozen wilderness of the Colorado Rockies. Months later, when the snow finally melted, only one of them emerged. His name was Alfred G. Packer, though he would soon become infamous throughout the country under a different name: “the Man-Eater.”

After the butchered remains of his five traveling companions were discovered in a secluded valley by the Gunnison River, Packer vanished for nine years, becoming the West’s most wanted man. What followed was a saga of evasion and retribution as the trial of the century worked to extricate fact from myth and Polly Pry, a once-famed pioneering journalist, took on the cause of Packer. Man-Eater is the definitive story of a legendary crime—a gripping tale of unspeakable suffering, the desperate struggle for survival, and the fight to uncover the truth.

Morbid Anatomy Museum Lecture

A History of Serial Murder from One Million, B.C. to the Present with Harold Schechter
May 5 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm | $8

An Illustrated Lecture with Harold Schechter, author of “The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers” and “The Whole Death Catalog”

Admission: $8 ( Tickets Here )
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn.

Copies of “The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers” will be able for sale.

Most people believe that serial murder is a modern phenomenon beginning with the infamous crimes of Jack the Ripper, but this conception is not borne out by the historical record. While the term “Serial murder” is a relatively recent one, the kinds of outrages committed by serial killers are an age-old phenomenon. Tonight’s illustrated lecture will present an historical survey of this phenomenon, with special attention devoted to certain sensational cases that have had a lasting impact on our culture.

Harold Schechter’s essays on crime, psychopathology and media violence have appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the International Herald Tribune. He has written for network television (Law & Order, The Cosby Mysteries) and been featured as an expert on PBS’ History Detectives, as well as various shows on cable channels, including Investigation Discovery, A & E Biography, and Court TV. Among his more than thirty published books are a series of historical true-crime narratives about America’s most infamous serial killers, several encyclopedic works (The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, The Serial Killers Files, Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of), and an anthology of American true crime writing published by the Library of America. He is also the editor of the Kent State University Press True Crime History Series. His most recent book is The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, The Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation (New Harvest), a nonfiction account “as gripping as the cleverest Golden Age mystery,” in the words of the Wall Street Journal.

Researching and Writing Narrative Non-Fiction

Harold Schechter will be teaching a week-long writing course in Provincetown, MA from August 2-7, 2015. Download THIS BROCHURE to learn more and to sign up.

Mad Sculptor nominated for a 2015 Edgar Award

The Mystery Writers of America today announced the nominees for the prestigious 2015 Edgar Awards. Harold Schechter's The Mad Sculptor has been nominated for an award in the "Best Fact Crime" category. Awards will be presented on April 29, 2015.

Morbid Anatomy Schechter Lecture

Lecture at Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn

January 27, 2015 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm | $8

Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn.

Most people believe that serial murder is a modern phenomenon beginning with the infamous crimes of Jack the Ripper, but this conception is not borne out by the historical record. While the term “Serial murder” is a relatively recent one, the kinds of outrages committed by serial killers are an age-old phenomenon. Tonight’s illustrated lecture will present an historical survey of this phenomenon, with special attention devoted to certain sensational cases that have had a lasting impact on our culture.

Link: http://morbidanatomymuseum.org/event/a-history-of-serial-murder-from-one...

4-Part Interview with Harold online

Click here to see this 4-part interview with Harold.

The Wall Street Journal Review

From the March 21, 2014 issue.

"Even the most baffled detective may take heart from Sherlock Holmes's sage pronouncement in "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" (1891): "As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is, the less mysterious it proves to be." The 1937 triple homicide of Veronica Gedeon, an attractive model who posed for artists and crime magazines; her mother; and an English boarder at their Beekman Place apartment on Manhattan's East Side luridly demonstrates Holmes's wisdom. Despite, of necessity, taking the culprit's identity for granted, Harold Schechter's account of the crime, "The Mad Sculptor," is as gripping as the cleverest Golden Age mystery.... Mr. Schechter's rediscovery of this long-neglected tale merits gratitude."

For the full review click HERE.

New Yorker "Briefly Noted" review

"This history revives a tabloid sensation of 1937, when a mother and daughter were found strangled in their Manhattan apartment. The fact that the daughter was a twenty-year-old nude model who left behind a "seemingly endless stream of boyfriends" made the case, as Schechter writes, a "perfect storm of prurience." The killer turned out to be sculptor, taxidermist, and failed seminarian who had spent his adult life in and out of mental institutions. The book delves deeply into his biography–calling special attention to his odd ideas about visualization and time travel–but is most engaging when it stick to the particualrs, prurient or otherwise, of the crime and its investigations."

View the review online HERE.

Publisher's Weekly Review Excerpt

"The author displays a talent for mixing lurid pulp narrative, dead-on procedural facts, and tabloid rag copy. Despite a full confession from Irwin, his defense attorney Samuel Leibowitz, “The Great Defender” with a notable record and clients such as Al Capone and the Scottsboro Boys, twisted the jury around his finger and walked away with a draw. Ambitious, bold, and evocative, Schechter’s storytelling grabs the reader in a similar manner to Capote’s searing In Cold Blood."

Full review HERE.

Library Journal Review Excerpt

"Schechter (American literature, City University New York) shares another rigorously researched true crime story in the latest in his series that delves into American serial killers (e.g., Fatal; Fiend; Bestial; et al.). Dusty court records and archived newspaper articles serve as the cornerstone for a disturbing retelling of three gruesome murders that occurred in Manhattan’s ritzy Beekman Place over Easter weekend in 1937 and the subsequent cross-country manhunt, arrest, and trial of Robert Irwin, a twisted artistic genius whose homicidal rampage was predicted years before by forensic scientist and psychiatrist Fredric Wertham. Front-page coverage of the deaths of “art beauty” ­Veronica Gedeon, her mother, and a boarder in their home by a “sex fiend killer” gripped the nation as Irwin evaded arrest until his surrender to journalists from the same newspaper made famous in the play The Front Page.
VERDICT Resurrecting a huge national tabloid sensation covered by the likes of Walter Winchell, this fascinating tale of a charismatic and savvy madman will thrill historical true crime fans"

Booklist Review Excerpt

"In large part because it sold newspapers, exceptionally lurid reporting of murders often “shook the nation,” especially in post-Depression America. The tabloids sold well if they got the scoop, and if they invented much of it, few cared. So the case of the Mad Sculptor was one in a string of “read-all-about-it” crimes, this one made more newsworthy because the primary victim, Veronica Gedeon, had modeled for several true-crime pulps, so in addition to the details the newsmen and -women whipped up, they also published photos of her posing, cowering and scantily clad, “a half-naked beauty in mortal distress.” The murderer, Robert Irwin, was not only a burgeoning sculptor but also under the psychological wing of Fredric Wertham, most notorious today, perhaps, for his best-seller,Seduction of the Innocent (1954), which fingered comic books for making criminals of children. To top off the case, Irwin’s attorney was Samuel Leibowitz, who later won great renown for freeing the Scottsboro Boys. Schechter (Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of, 2012) adds another page-turner to his stable of atmospheric, highly readable true-crime works."

HuffPost Article by Harold Schechter

Harold recently wrote an article for HuffPost on famous literature inspired by true-life crimes. See it HERE.

New York Times mention of The Mad Sculptor

The Mad Sculptor mentioned in the Feb 6 2014 issue of The New York Times HERE.

Lecture @ Flagler Museum Feb 16th and 23rd

2014 Whitehall Lecture Series: Crimes of the Century. The entire series will be available online. More info here: http://www.flaglermuseum.us/programs/lecture-series

Kirkus Review

Read this REVIEW from Kirkus.

Book Launch @ Powerhouse Arena - February 25 at 7pm

with Robert Kolker

Tuesday Feb 25, 2014, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

THE POWERHOUSE ARENA [Dumbo]
37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

For more information, please call 718.666.3049
RSVP appreciated: RSVP@powerHouseArena.com

Mysterious Bookshop - Feb 27, 6:30pm

Harold will be reading and signing The Mad Sculptor at The Mysterious Bookshop on February 27, 2014 at 6:30pm.

58 Warren St, Lower Manhattan.