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The Big Policeman

The Rise and Fall of America's First, Most Ruthless, and Greatest Detective
Conway, J. North (Book - 2010 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Big Policeman


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Baker & Taylor
"Philip Marlowe, 'Dirty Harry,' and even 'Law & Order'--none of these would exist as they do today were it not for the legendary career of nineteenth-century New York City cop Thomas Byrnes. From 1854 to 1895, Byrnes rose through the ranks of the city's police department to become one of the most celebrated detectives in American history, and paved the way for modern-day police methods, both good and bad..."--Dust jacket flap.

Globe Fearon Co
A story bursting at the seams with murder, mayhem, and intrigue--the astonishing career of Thomas Byrnes, the 19th Century New York City detective who closed the city's most notorious murders and robberies; perfected and popularized "the third degree;" and became one of the most celebrated detectives in American history.


The remarkable career of one of America’s greatest detectives?
a story of murder, mayhem, and intrigue

Philip Marlowe, Dirty Harry, and even Law & Order?none of these would exist as they do today were it not for the legendary career of nineteenth-century New York City cop Thomas Byrnes. From 1854 to 1895, Byrnes rose through the ranks of the city’s police department to become one of the most celebrated detectives in American history, a larger-than-life figure who paved the way for modern-day police methods, both good and bad.

During the age of Gangs of New York, Byrnes solved many of the most sensational and high-profile cases in the city and the country. He captured Manhattan’s Jack the Ripper copy-cat killer; solved the murder of prostitute Maude Merrill, who was killed by her jealous lover?her own uncle; solved the largest bank heist in American history; arrested anarchist Emma Goldman for inciting a riot in Union Square; and accomplished much more. For both good and ill, according to the New York Times, Byrnes ?shaped not just the New York City Detective Bureau but the template for detective work . . . in every modern American metropolis.” He not only pioneered crime scene investigation, but also perfected the brutal interrogation process called ?the third degree.” He revolutionized the gathering of evidence and was the first to use mug shots and keep criminal records. But when Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt investigated the corruption that had plagued the department for decades, the man one prominent journalist had dubbed the ?big policeman” was forced to resign.

Bringing the Gilded Age to life as he did in his acclaimed King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America, J. North Conway narrates in thrilling, vivid detail the crimes, murders, corruption, and gritty police work associated with the father of the American detective.

 

 

 



Baker
& Taylor

Traces the life and career of the legendary New York City detective who was at the heart of many sensational and high-profile cases in the nineteenth century and pioneered modern crime scene investigation and interrogation practices.

Authors: Conway, J. North (Jack North)
Statement of Responsibility: J. North Conway
Title: The big policeman
the rise and fall of America's first, most ruthless, and greatest detective
Publisher: Guildford, Conn. :, Lyons Press,, c2010
Characteristics: xi, 323 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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Report This Oct 02, 2011
  • Library_Dragon rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

An otherwise interesting account of the life and times of Thomas Byrnes, one of New York City's most famous 19th-century cops, is marred by the author's attemtps to introduce extraneous information. Each chapter on Byrnes alternates with a short chapter that consists of random factoids about whatever year the previous case is set in, such as the common laborer's average wage, the price of bread, or popular songs of the time. These strange bits of information, while interesting, distract from the larger narrative sweep of Byrnes' life and career. One might be better off merely reading the crime-related chapters and skipping the errata.

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