Violent dealth is amazingly apt to remind us of vigorous life; these ten stories of classic North Carolina murders which occurred between 1808 and 1914 represent a much neglected part of the exciting history of the state. Victims include a Confederate general, a lovely orphan girl, a pathetic little boy, and a highly offensive political boss. The motives are the usual ones -- gain, revenge, "elimination," and jealousy. The plaintive history and untimely death of Naomi Wise -- "poor 'Omi" they called her in Randolph County over five generations ago -- strikingly counterparts Dreiser's An American Tragedy; Ida Bell Warren, the veritable Lady Macbeth of Forsyth County; the arsenic poisoner of old Fayetteville; the kidnapping of Kenneth Beasley near the site of the Lost Colony; the almost perfect crime, the murder of the hated Reconstruction Senator "Chicken" Stephens of Caswell County, which in spite of the efforts of Claude G.
Bowers and others went unsolved for years; the mad jealousy of Frankie Silver of Burke County which ended with bitter justice at the end of the law's noosed rope, the first woman hanged in the state -- these and other lively stories of famous North Carolina murders make fascinating reading. The stories, told with authority and inviting informality, employ material from newspapers, court records, letters, family collections, and numerous works of local history. They evoke a feeling for a past time and place as well as for the untidy events themselves.
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(235mm x 140mm x 16mm)
The University of North Carolina Press
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Annals of crime from the Tarheel state cover ten murder cases, mostly from the 19th century and underline not only the drama of the killings but also the courtroom histrionics of the region and period. The shooting of General Grimes, the poisoning of Simpson, the disappearance of school teacher Clements, the unidentifiable body that fishermen found, the kidnaping of 8 year old Kenneth Beasley, the slaying of pregnant Naomi Wine, the death of Col. Nimrod Jarrett, the well-kept secret of the assassination of State Senator "Chicken" Stephens, the ballads that grew out of the killings of Charles Silver and Laura Foster - this is the roster of North Carolinian murders and it makes colorful - and sometimes challenging - reading. For the true-crime fanciers. (Kirkus Reviews)
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