Bloodlands is a true crime series in which author Harold Schechter introduces readers to six horrendous crimes almost lost to history. Each of these short nonfiction books can be read in under two hours.
As an Amazon Original Stories series, Bloodlands is available to Prime members for free, whereas nonmembers must buy each book separately or the entire collection as a whole.
Part 1 – “Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie”, “The Pirate”, and “The Brick Slayer”
“Sociologists refer to these periodic alarms as ‘moral panics’ and describe them as a form of mass hysteria, typically ignited by a handful of shockingly similar crimes that happen in rapid succession.”
A child’s death at the hands of an adult is something that can never be easily accepted or forgiven, even by people who never met the child or their family. One death is a tragedy, two deaths are a sad coincidence, but what about three, or four, or even five? An epidemic is beginning to sweep across the nation, warns the newspaper headlines; an outright flood of sexual predators, preying on your children! Mobs of angry citizens gather in the streets, yelling for stricter punishments, for death, for castration, for something.
Schechter did an excellent job of describing the hysteria from all angles: the police being pressured by the mobs outside their doors to quickly make an arrest, the courts debating on how best to protect the public from sexual predators, the citizens who are worried about murderers stalking their neighborhoods, and the grieving families of the victims.