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Avatar for KaliO KaliO said:
New York City has always been a tough town. But when you’re an Irish immigrant who escaped the notorious Five Points neighborhood to fight in the Civil War, join the city’s burgeoning police force, and rise to power through a combination of ruthless cunning and innovative detective work, things are tougher and more complicated than you could ever imagine. Such is the life story of Thomas Byrne (1842-1910), New York City’s premiere police chief during the 19th century. This biography by historical writer J. North Conway traces the career of the man who implemented now-standard crime-fighting techniques like mug shots and police line-ups and who got his best results when he “gave ’em the third degree,” a phrase he coined and which meant beating confessions out of suspects. Byrne solved the major crimes of his day—the case of “America’s Jack the Ripper,” the ballsy robbery of the impenetrable Manhattan Savings Bank, the theft and ransom of a millionaire’s dead body—but got caught up in the corrupt Tammany Hall-dominated politics of the day. Byrne was a complicated man with his own set of morals, and the story of his rise and inevitable fall is sensational, compelling history.
posted Jan 18, 2011 at 8:40AM
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