The Ten Biggest Mob Trials of All Time

The Ten Biggest Mob Trials of All Time

Mobsters and mouthpieces, snitches and stool pigeons…history is a graveyard of colorful and controversial gangland prosecutions, and these are my candidates for the all-time Top Ten: 10. Waxey Gordon (1933). After a painstaking investigation that included over 200,000 deposit slips, 100,000 telephone records, and a thousand witness interviews, New York’s “boy prosecutor,” Thomas E. Dewey, […]

Fighting Boredom as a cop?

Back when I was a beat cop working 999 Response (911 calls) in Liverpool, England, I had a partner named Jimmy. Jimmy was one of those old school cops who had joined the job as a cadet aged 16, and was coming up to having over thirty years in the uniform. We hit it off […]

Top Ten Mysterious Disappearances

Top Ten Mysterious Disappearances by Dr Gillian O’Brien

Top Ten Mysterious Disappearances Dr Patrick Henry Cronin I have to start with this one, for it was an account of Cronin’s disappearance that led me to investigate the story behind his kidnap and murder in Chicago in 1889, which has recently been published as Blood Runs Green: The Murder that Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago. […]

Bow Street: Birthplace of the London Metropolitan Police Force

Bow Street: Birthplace of the London Metropolitan Police Force by Daniel L. Friedman, M.D. and Eugene B. Friedman, M.D. Central London’s Bow Street was the birthplace of what was to evolve into the Metropolitan Police Force. Its Magistrates’ Court was a glowing departure from the apathy and corruption so prevalent and dominant in the latter […]

The Real Sherlock Holmes

The Real Sherlock Holmes On a cold winter’s evening in December 1886, Arthur Foster left the Queen’s Theatre, Manchester, England, with a pocket full of gold and a bejeweled lady on his arm. Stepping carefully through the throngs of hawkers and street sellers, the striking couple hailed a hansom cab. As they settled inside the […]

Poe’s Inspiration for Marie Roget

Poe’s Inspiration for Marie Roget Seldom does one hear or read of an 18th-century murder mystery. No, it’s clear that that the private commission of and public fascination with homicide flourished in the 19th century— the homicides increasing, the journalistic and fictional fascination growing as the United States and Europe became more and more urbanized. […]

Criminals Who Go Dormant

Criminals Who Go Dormant…for a While

Criminals Who Go Dormant Serial criminals. They capture our imagination—in novels and real life—because they’re sort of like the bogeyman. It’s bad enough that someone in your life could hurt you (most violent crime is perpetrated by someone the victim knows), but to be targeted from a distance by someone you don’t even know is […]

The Hidden History of Grand Central Station

  The Hidden History of Grand Central Station   Like many people who read crime fiction, I enjoy “smart” thrillers—not just car chases and shootouts—books from which I’ve come away with a good measure of suspense and entertainment, but also enriched by something I’ve learned in the hours spent inside the story. In each of […]

Black Horizon: Ripped from Tomorrow’s Headline

Black Horizon: Ripped from Tomorrow’s Headline The marketing folks who promote my novels like to say that “James Grippando’s books are ripped from headlines.” I disagree. Like many writers, I stay on top of current events, but I don’t retell the past. I look for trends and forces that are destined to collide in the […]

Identity Unknown: Forensic Science and Crime

Identity Unknown: Forensic Science and Crime Forensic identification is a branch of forensic science that has played an increasingly significant role in crime solving over the past three decades. A body whose identity cannot be determined by next of kin is often confirmed by fingerprint, DNA, or dental records comparison. Presumptive identifications can result in […]

Of Prose, Professionals, and Politics

Of Prose, Professionals, and Politics You don’t spend twenty-five years as a Los Angeles trial lawyer without rubbing up against a few memorable characters. Some, in my case, were household names—Richard Pryor, for example, whom I represented for over a decade—but most you’ve never heard of and, in many cases, you should be grateful you […]