By J. Dennis Robinson
The cold-blooded ax homicide of 2 blameless Norwegian girls at their island domestic off the coast of latest Hampshire has gripped the area in view that 1873, beguiling travelers, inspiring artists, and fueling conspiracy theorists.
The killer, a good-looking Prussian fisherman down on his success, was once speedy captured, convicted in a broadly publicized trial, and hanged in an unforgettable gallows spectacle. yet he by no means confessed and, whereas in felony, won a circle of admirers whose blind religion in his innocence nonetheless casts a shadow of doubt. A fictionalized bestselling novel and a Hollywood movie have additional clouded the truth.
Finally a definitive "whydunnit" account of the Smuttynose Island ax murders has arrived. renowned historian J. Dennis Robinson fleshes out the proof surrounding this tragic theft long past flawed in a charming precise crime page-turner. Robinson delves into the backstory on the rocky Isles of Shoals as an remoted centuries-old fishing village used to be being destroyed by way of a latest luxurious inn. He explores the neighboring island of Appledore the place Victorian poet Celia Thaxter entertained the elite artists and writers of Boston. It was once Thaxter's robust essay concerning the murders within the Atlantic Monthly that stunned the yankee public.
Robinson is going past the headlines of the burgeoning yellow press to discover the deeper classes approximately American crime, justice, economics, and hero worship. Ten years ahead of the Lizzie Borden ax homicide trial and the fictitious Sherlock Holmes, americans met a sociopath named Louis Wagner—and many got here to like him.
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