The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery

By Bill James  and  Rachel McCarthy James
Read by John Bedford Lloyd

17.08 Hours 09/19/2017 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781508241492

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Using unprecedented, dramatically compelling sleuthing techniques, legendary statistician and baseball writer Bill James applies his analytical acumen to crack an unsolved century-old mystery surrounding one of the deadliest serial killers in American history. 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 murders in Villasca, Iowa, 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 horrors, he began to investigate others that might fit the same pattern. Applying the same know-how he brings to his legendary 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. In turn, they uncovered one of the deadliest serial killers in America. Riveting and immersive, with writing as sharp as the cold side of an axe, The Man from the Train paints a vivid, psychologically perceptive portrait of America at the dawn of the twentieth century, when crime was regarded as a local problem and opportunistic private detectives exploited a dysfunctional judicial system. James shows how these cultural factors enabled such an unspeakable series of crimes to occur, and his groundbreaking approach to true crime will convince skeptics, amaze aficionados, and change the way we view criminal history.

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Summary

Summary

Finalist for the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime Book

Using unprecedented, dramatically compelling sleuthing techniques, legendary statistician and baseball writer Bill James applies his analytical acumen to crack an unsolved century-old mystery surrounding one of the deadliest serial killers in American history.

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 murders in Villasca, Iowa, 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 horrors, he began to investigate others that might fit the same pattern. Applying the same know-how he brings to his legendary 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. In turn, they uncovered one of the deadliest serial killers in America.

Riveting and immersive, with writing as sharp as the cold side of an axe, The Man from the Train paints a vivid, psychologically perceptive portrait of America at the dawn of the twentieth century, when crime was regarded as a local problem and opportunistic private detectives exploited a dysfunctional judicial system. James shows how these cultural factors enabled such an unspeakable series of crimes to occur, and his groundbreaking approach to true crime will convince skeptics, amaze aficionados, and change the way we view criminal history.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Impressive…An open-eyed investigative inquiry wrapped within a cultural history of rural America.” Wall Street Journal
“Truly spectacular…It’s fun to watch these amateur detectives solve a puzzle. And solve it they do…The final twist in the story—set tens years after the Villisca murders on the other side of the Atlantic—gave me chills.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The Man from the Train is a beautifully written and extraordinarily researched narrative…This is no pure whodunit but rather a how-many-did-he-do.” Buffalo News
“One of the most readable works of nonfiction I’ve ever picked up…James has a conversational style of writing that draws the reader in, even when he departs from murders to offer short history lessons on nineteenth-century detectives-for-hire (pretty bad), nineteenth-century newspapers (not great), and mob justice (truly horrifying)…Even more remarkable than the exhaustive research and addictive narrative, the [authors] actually seem to solve the case and reveal the identity of the Man from the Train. Skeptics may balk, but I’m convinced.” Raleigh News & Observer
“Bill James successfully transfers his detail-oriented mind-set to true crime in this suspenseful historical account.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fans of historical true crime will enjoy the conversational and fast-paced writing about these unsolved murders and an early twentieth-century serial murderer.” Library Journal
“It’s easy to get caught up in the elaborate search and the authors’ conclusions, which are plausible. Fans of true crime—as well as detectives in homicide bureaus—will relish this book.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Bill James

Bill James made his mark in the 1970s and 1980s with his Baseball Abstracts. He has been tearing down preconceived notions about America’s national pastime ever since. He is currently the senior adviser on baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox, as well as the author of The Man from the Train.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Rachel McCarthy James

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 17.08
Audience: Adult
Language: English