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Sara Schaff

One Christmas, I almost stole a pair of designer jeans from the daughter of a famous rock star. I was staying with my aunt and uncle in the rock star’s New York loft apartment—the three of them were old friends. Neither the rock star nor his daughter were in town.

This week I went to a key shop a few miles from my home. I wanted only one key made, but I’ve learned when you go to a hardware store, for example, sometimes your new key does not work. This is frustrating and annoying.

from Harold Schechter’s Murderabilia

           Among many other signature events, from Charles Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic flight to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the Roaring Twenties are known for a trio of courtroom melodramas that, thanks to the tabloid press, generated unprecedented levels of media hysteria.

Naazneen Diwan

You’re the only girl in the muhallah that rides a bicycle and you do it with joy and intense pleasure. Your papa taught you to ride when you were five years old, taking laps around the apartment complex.

from Harold Schechter’s Murderabilia

The tabloid tradition of bestowing horror-movie nicknames on serial killers—“The Vampire of Sacramento,” “The Werewolf of Wisteria,” “The Plainfield Ghoul”—reflects the general perception of these psychos as creatures of almost mythic evil.

So here you are, and here’s the door, and the door is still open (as if your presence here, now is the reason everyone tried those months or years ago to make sure the doors didn’t jam shut).

from Harold Schechter’s Murderabilia

As early as 1892, while working as a reporter in Chicago, Theodore Dreiser began to notice a recurrent type of crime, symptomatic of America’s obsession with what he called “money success.”

Amy Kiger-Williams

This man showed up in my dream once.  In the dream, I was working behind the counter at a CVS.  I don’t know why I was there.  I don’t know who was watching my kids, either: it was a Saturday, no school.

from Harold Schechter’s Murderabilia

Though almost entirely forgotten today, the 1897 murder of Mrs. Louisa Luetgert by her husband Adolph was not only one of the most widely publicized crimes of its time but a case of genuine historical significance.


No.  1 Reference to falling.
No.  2 Reference to walls tumbling down or being broken through.
No.  3 Eyes as location, e.g. “In your eyes.”