Chronicle of Murder: A Dark and Bloody History of Our Age by Brian Lane
The 20th century saw the rise of the motiveless murder and the serial killer, the development of forensic science and the use of DNA and psychological profiling as weapons against it. In this book, true crime expert Brian Lane examines year by year, from 1900 onward, every major murder case in the light of its investigative, forensic, social or legal significance. In over 200 cases listed there are not only landmark cases for criminologists but also grim highlights of popular mythology. The roll call includes Dr Crippen, Charles Manson, the Kray Twins, Bonnie and Clyde, the Moors Murderers, the Waco massacre and Beverley Allitt. Also here is the notable case of the last woman to be hanged in Britain, convicted murderer Ruth Ellis, whose execution hastened the abolition of the death penalty in the UK. More recent crimes include the shooting of Gianni Versace by a gay prostitute, the murder of Alberto Adriano in Germany by killers dressed as Neo-Nazis, and Britain's Sky-Diving case in which the sabotage of Steven Hilder's parachute caused him to fall to his death. This is a compelling catalogue of killers and society's desperate attempts to capture and comprehend them.