The World's Most Mysterious Murders (Mysteries and Secrets) Paperback – June 1, 2003
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Reading of murder stimulates a powerful response. We are repelled by the horror of it, but, simultaneously, our natural curiosity is strongly aroused. We want to know who did it, and why.
Most unsolved murders have no apparent motives - or too many motives. The murders of Sir Harry Oakes in 1943, one of the richest men in Canada, and Christine Demeter, found dead in a blood-soaked garage in Mississauga in 1973 - remain unsolved.
In fact, history is full of unsolved murders. Who killed King William Rufus, Edward II, and the Princes in the Tower? Who was Jack the Ripper? Was James Hanratty really guilty of killing Michael Gregson?
These mysteries and more are contained in The World's Most Mysterious Murders.
From the Inside Flap
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1. Misstatements of fact: In the opening section on the death of King Tut, the authors seem to have seen a program about Tut's death, and incorrectly remembered the details. Although some historians feel that there might be evidence of damage to the back of the skull, a cat-scan done in 2005 disputes this, and even if there were damage, it is unclear whether it may have occurred during the excavation in the 1920's. Also, Tut's surviving widow did send a letter to the Hittites following her husband's death, but nowhere does she state that Tut was murdered.
2. Bad editing: In the section on Julius Caesar, the authors abruptly start talking about the pirates of the Mediterranean. Why? Well, it seems that Caesar was held captive by them. How and when did it happen? We'll never know, because that information is missing.
3. Bad research: Or maybe no research at all. Some of the things in this book contradict facts I have read in other sources. But despite the claims on the back cover that Patricia Farnsworth did the extensive research for this book, I can find no references or bibliography listed.
4. Extremely obscure chapters on murders that you never heard of. And you never heard of them because they were boring to begin with, and including their own badly written poems on the subject doesn't improve anything.
5. The ultimate: the worst illustrations you will ever see. Some are photos ("Maria Martens' murderer lived near this tree," and by gosh, it is a photo of a tree). But even better: what appears to be drawings made by a 6 year old using a number 2 pencil. Most of these drawings show one eye grossly distorted in relationship to the other, except for the drawing of Richard III. His eyes are the same size, but with his hair drooping on either side of his face he looks like a 40 year old housewife with a headache.
Someday, I hope to forget all of this.