Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Crime of the Century: Richard Speck and the Murders That Shocked a Nation Paperback – May 10, 2016
|New from||Used from|
Rare Books by Legendary Authors
Discover collectible books by legendary authors on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"The Crime of Century is the brilliantly written and factual precise recreation of the brutal murder of eight nurses by Richard Speck fifty years ago in a Chicago hospital town house. No crime fiction can match this page-turning account of human evil and courtroom drama.William J. Martin, Speck's prosecutor, and Dennis L. Breo wrote the first edition of this stunning and powerful book in 1993. As the 50th anniversary of the horrible crime approaches, a second edition packed with new information from the lone survivor of that evil night along with fresh, chilling material makes the book even more compelling than its original. You won't put it down."
"One of the finest true crime books ever written. We're confronted with new faces of evil every day, but to me the real face of evil will always be Richard Speck and the horrific murders he committed 50 years ago. This book hits you like a locomotive, detailing how Speck's crime shattered our innocence. It is a heart-breaking story, but heart-warming, too, because of the courage and integrity of Corazon Amurao, whose survival to identify Speck at trial is a triumph of the human spirit over unspeakable evil. It is also a memorial to the eight young nurses who were slain. Go out and buy The Crime of the Century as soon as possible."
~Rick Kogan, prominent Chicago newspaper columnist, radio personality, and author.
"A case that shattered notions of personal safety."
~Jim Williams, CBS Chicago
"A definitive account of the crime and of the incredible courage of Corazon Amurao, who not only survived but confronted Speck in court."
~Paul Caine, WTTW Chicago Tonight
"It was so unfathomable--a massacre for no apparent reason by a remorseless stranger against a group of women he didn't know. And it introduced a term to the American public that has since then become all too familiar: random mass murder."
~Corky Siemazko, NBC News
"Richard Speck attack survivor Corazon Amurao: 'Somebody up there was hiding me from him. God was so nice'...the book is a detailed account of the crime and the drama of the trial."
~Rose Sobol, Chicago Tribune
"The barbarity of the attack shocked the nation. People were terrified that this monster was among us."
~The "Morning Show," WGN TV Chicago
"The women thought he was going to take the money and leave until he pulled out a knife and started ripping bed sheets into strips. He used these strips to bind hands and feet and gag his captives... About four and a half hours after the ordeal started, he walked out the door and disappeared. Miraculously, he overlooked Corazon Amurao."
~Mara Bovsun, New York Daily News
"Chicago woke up to a nightmare...for three days, the city, and the nation, were gripped with fear."
~Phil Rogers, NBC Chicago
"Richard Speck opened the floodgates to a tragic phenomenon (mass murder) that haunts us today...The victims can never be forgotten...the brave Corazon Amurao speaks lovingly of her colleagues. So should we all."
~Oak Park, Illinois, Wednesday Journal
"I was nine years old and living in the suburbs of Chicago when Richard Speck committed his horrible crime. Even at that age, I knew this was something enormous. As the years went on, the crime slipped into the back of my mind. However, it was all brought to the forefront when the now infamous prison tapes of Speck were made public in 1996. This prompted me to read The Crime of the Century by Dennis and Bill.The amount of information that had never been released before, the stories of the dedicated police, lawyers, ordinary citizens, and even skid row bums to bring Speck to justice, the courage and determination of Corazon Amurao, and, mostly, the vignettes of Suzanne, Nina, Pat, Merlita, Mary Ann, Valentina, Pamela, and Gloria that brought them back to life as individuals was fascinating, moving, and inspiring. The amount of facts and details is enormous, but structured in such a way that it is easy to follow. As a professional producer/director in Chicago theatre, I realized this would be an incredible stage play, and for the next 3 1/2 years, I worked with well known playwright Rebecca Gilman adapting the book and the story to the stage. The production was a tremendous hit, introducing many people to the stories of the heroes of this horrible event."
"I am now very happy to see the book re-issued with an updated afterword touching on some of the events relating to the case since the book's original publication, including the prison tapes, the disappearance of Speck's brain, the update of Cora's life, and even our play. Having met many of the individuals involved with the crime, including cops, lawyers, friends, and even family members of the eight victims (and becoming friends with some of them), I know this book treats them all with the honor and respect they deserve. Rebecca Gilman has said to me, 'you can't appreciate the good in people until you understand the bad.' This book delves into the horrifying evil of Speck, but, more importantly, into the remarkable good of hundreds of others. It's a fascinating journey into the first of the modern day mass murders we now have become used to. I highly recommend The Crime of the Century as a must read."
~Greg Kolack, Producer of the stage adaptation, The Crime of the Century.
"The Crime of Century is the brilliantly written and factual precise recreation of the brutal murder of eight nurses by Richard Speck fifty years ago in a Chicago hospital town house. No crime fiction can match this page-turning account of human evil and courtroom drama. William J. Martin, Speck’s prosecutor, and Dennis L. Breo wrote the first edition of this stunning and powerful book in 1993. As the 50th anniversary of the horrible crime approaches, a second edition packed with new information from the lone survivor of that evil night along with fresh, chilling material makes the book even more compelling than its original. You won’t put it down." -- Bernard Judge
From the Inside Flap
The alarm rang at five-forty A.M. in the bedroom of Judy Dykton; she was determined to get in some final licks for the neurology exam. She switched off the fan that had been working overtime against the summer heat and heard a noise that sounded like the whimpering of an animal, but paid no attention.
She walked to the basement of the town house, took some clothes that had been drying overnight, and returned upstairs. Again she heard a sound, and this time it was more distinct, like a little child crying or calling out. She opened a blind and looked out and saw a woman standing across the street, looking up at 2319, toward the crying voice. Opening the window, Judy could now clearly hear Cora's cry:
"Oh, my God, they are all dead!"
Cover photos of the nurses are (top, from left) Mary Ann Jordan, Nina Schmale, Patricia Matusek, Valentina Pasion, and (bottom, from left) Gloria Jean Davy, Suzanne Farris, Merlita Gargullo, and Pamela Wilkening.
"Fast-paced detective work and high drama in the courtroom combine to make The Crime of the Century a first-rate thriller.
- James R. Thompson, governor of Illinois 1977-1991
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
“The Crime of the Century,” authored by Dennis L. Breo and William J. Martin, is an excellent non-fiction account of this shocking crime and its aftermath. Dennis Breo is a journalist and author of five previous books. William Martin, currently a Chicago-area criminal defense attorney, was the lead prosecutor of Richard Speck. Together, they tell a fast-paced, often chilling, and always fascinating story of how Richard Speck murdered the eight student nurses, and of how the Chicago police were able to quickly track him down and arrest him two days later.
Most of “The Crime of the Century” deals with the efforts made by the State Attorney’s office to convict Richard Speck of the charges brought against him. Although the evidence against Speck was strong, it was no “slam-dunk;” Assistant State Attorney Martin and his capable team of assistant prosecutors and detectives had a lot of work to do to get the conviction they wanted. That included protecting the one student nurse who survived Speck’s attack and witnessed what happened. Opposing Martin and his team were the best lawyers in the Public Defender’s office. Among them was the formidable Gerald Getty, considered one of the most capable criminal defense lawyers in Illinois.
“The Crime of the Century” is certainly one of the best true crime books I’ve read in many years. It was originally published in 1993, and was updated in 2016 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the murders. Throughout the book, Breo and Martin provide precise and accurate accounts of the crime and the investigation that followed, and they do so while showing great sensitivity to the victims of this vicious crime and their families.
I found “The Crime of the Century” a most compelling read… so much so that it was nearly impossible for me to put down. I finished reading this 576-page book in less than two days.
There certainly have been more than one "Crime of the Century" in the US in the 1900's. Two - Speck and the Leopold and Loeb Murders - happened in Chicago. What is it about my hometown that has given rise to such a high murder rate, both before and after Speck? Speck, as the author points out, was a volcano ready to go off in the hot, humid summer of 1966, where race riots were already happening in other areas of Chicago. But this crime was not of a racial nature; Richard Speck and his victims were white and Filipino. Speck was just a drifter - with a special, soft-spoken charm that was reassuring to his victims - who took advantage of the nearness of the victims to ease his frustration with the world around him that just didn't seem to give him a break. And what of the nine student nurses - one hid herself under a bed during the killing spree - who were picked out almost on a whim? Breo gives good biographies of these women and their families. The one nurse who saved herself is highlighted in the book. He also does a good job covering the trial and the legal tangle afterward.
I think Dennis Breo's book is very written in solid terms. Non-sensationalist, even. But maybe that's because as a 15 year old, I lived through that horrid summer and had heard the worst. A very good book.