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Crimes of the Centuries

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Other Author: Steven Chermak, PhD, is a professor in the school of criminal justice at Michigan State University and lead investigator affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START).


This multivolume resource is the most extensive reference of its kind, offering a comprehensive summary of the misdeeds, perpetrators, and victims involved in the most memorable crime events in American history.

This unique reference features the most famous crimes and trials in the United States since colonial times. Three comprehensive volumes focus on the most notorious and historically significant crimes that have influenced America's justice system, including the life and wrongdoing of Lizzie Borden, the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the killing spree and execution of Ted Bundy, and the Columbine High School shootings.

Organized by case, the work includes a chronology of major unlawful deeds, fascinating primary source documents, dozens of sidebars with case trivia and little-known facts, and an overview of crimes that have shaped criminal justice in the United States over several centuries. Each of the 500 entries provides information about the crime, the perpetrators, and those affected by the misconduct, along with a short bibliography to extend learning opportunities. The set addresses a breadth of famous trials across American history, including the Salem witch trials, the conviction of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the prosecution of O. J. Simpson.

• Supports national standards curriculum

• Offers an extensive selection of primary documents to encourage critical thinking and reading practice

• Includes photos and illustrations to help bring content to life

• Features sidebars with illuminating crime facts and interesting anecdotes


"For all those fascinated by true crime, the work is a trove of detail. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels." - Choice

"This straightforward reference is for students and adults who can handle occasionally brutal details." - Library Journal

"[T]he set's depth of exposition and analysis and breadth of coverage make for a strong, engaging contribution to the reference rogues' gallery." - Booklist