Villains, Scoundrels, and Rogues: Incredible True Tales of Mischief and Mayhem
How often have we been scared witless by some movie villain—Hannibal Lector, Freddy Krueger, and the like? The old saying goes “truth is stranger than fiction.” But that doesn’t go far enough. Truth is more evil than any screenwriter can dream up, at least not without the help and inspiration of real villains. This fascinating little book is filled with well-researched and very well-written accounts of twenty-eight exceptionally nasty people. The inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was a quiet, Wisconsin farm boy whose crimes were so unspeakable the editors of a major Chicago newspaper published a statement saying they would be relieved when Ed Gein was out of the news. Or how about the lady who immigrated from Norway and had a nice family before she dispatched two husbands, seven of her own children, and at least thirty-one more—all in the name of money. Not all in this book are soaked in blood. Some are thieves of epic proportions, others con-men, spies, hedonists, and some simply fools, like the policeman who got drunk and left President Lincoln unprotected in the Ford Theatre. Author Paul Martin doesn’t know the meaning of the word boring.