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Harold Schechter

from Harold Schechter’s Murderabilia

At around nine A.M. on Saturday, September 18, 1841, a thirty-four-year-old carter named Richard Barstow was driving his wagon down lower Manhattan. It was a raw, drizzly morning.

Feisal G. Mohamed

The whirlwinds of moving house recently swept me into the checkout line of my local K-Mart, waiting an inordinately long time to purchase a single infant safety item.

Harold Schechter

from Harold Schechter’s Murderabilia

The oldest form of true crime literature is the one folklorists call “murder ballads,” a genre dating at least as far back as the Middle Ages, when these sung or recited verses spread the news about shocking real-life homicides among the illiterate peasantry.

Feisal G. Mohamed

Taking offense seems now to be one of the chief arts of conversation, and we all know people who do it with remarkable energy. Tell a joke that is off color by even the slightest shade .  .  .

Harold Schechter

from Harold Schechter’s Murderabilia

            Some murders inspire ghoulish fascination not because they are especially grisly but because the methods used to dispose of the victims are so gruesome.

Feisal G. Mohamed

God may not be dead, but He doesn’t get invited to many cocktail parties. In our elaborate and unwritten code of social conduct, we allow Him to make only the rarest of appearances, and even then on closely circumscribed terms .  .  .

Harold Schechter

from Murderabilia

Like every other atrocity that human beings have perpetrated against their own kind, child-snatching is undoubtedly as old as the species. 

by Feisal G. Mohamed

It is a blessing and a curse of democracy that the prime topic of conversation in our daily lives is politics, which is only occasionally displaced by other forms of sport, spectacle, and catastrophe.