The Mad Sculptor

The Mad Sculptor

The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder That Shook the Nation

Book - 2014
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"On Easter Sunday in 1937, a grisly triple homicide in Manhattan shocked the nation. The young man who committed the murders would become known as the Mad Sculptor. The perpetrator, the son of evangelist parents, Robert George Irwin, was a brilliant young sculptor with a deeply disturbed psyche; Irwin was obsessed with sexual self-mutilation and was frequently overcome by outbursts of violent rage. Irwin's primary victim, Veronica Gedeon, was a figure from the world of pulp fantasy -- a stunning photographer's model whose scandalous seminude pinups would titillate the public for weeks after her death. Irwin's defense attorney, Samuel Leibowitz, was a courtroom celebrity with an unmatched record of acquittals and clients ranging from Al Capone to the Scottsboro Boys. And Dr. Fredric Wertham, psychiatrist and forensic scientist, befriended Irwin years before the murders and had predicted them in a public lecture months before the crime. The chilling story of the Easter Sunday murders -- a case that sparked a nationwide manhunt and endures as one of the most engrossing American crime dramas of the twentieth century. Harold Schechter’s prose evokes the faded glory of post-depression New York and the singular madness of a brilliant mind turned against itself"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston : New Harvest, ©2014
ISBN: 9780544114319
Branch Call Number: 364.15232 SCH 2014
Characteristics: xiv, 352 pages, [8] unnumbered pages of plates ; 24 cm


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Apr 27, 2015

Amazing book. It is true but reads like a novel. Was he crazy? Yes!
For some time he lived in Oregon.
It's a most interesting exploration of the insanity defence.
I can't recommend it enough.

ChristchurchLib May 20, 2014

"Sculptor Robert Irwin had a history of mental illness marked by fits of rage before he gruesomely murdered three women in 1937. The Mad Sculptor recounts details of his life and the events that followed the murders, incorporating fascinating information about the lurid journalism of the era. Accounts of the New York police detectives' work, Irwin's connections with the women he killed, his previous psychiatric treatments, and his sensational trial produce a chilling reading experience. Those who appreciated the bleakly atmospheric reportage of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood will find The Mad Sculptor similarly riveting." Biography and Memoir May 2014 newslettter

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