The Murder of the Century

  • by Paul Collins
  • Narrated by William Dufris
  • 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Long Island, a farmer found a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discovered a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumbled upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime were turning up all over New York, but the police were baffled: There were no witnesses, no motives, no suspects.
The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most perplexing murder. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Re-creations of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell's Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio - an anxious cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor - all raced to solve the crime. What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hinging on circumstantial evidence around a victim that the police couldn't identify with certainty - and that the defense claimed wasn't even dead.
The Murder of the Century is a rollicking tale - a rich evocation of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re-creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.

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What the Critics Say

"Wonderfully rich in period detail, salacious facts about the case and infectious wonder at the chutzpah and inventiveness displayed by Pulitzer's and Hearst's minions. Both a gripping true-crime narrative and an astonishing portrait of fin de siecle yellow journalism." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A dismembered corpse and rival newspapers squabbling for headlines fuel Collins's intriguing look at the birth of 'yellow journalism' in late 19th-century New York. [A]n in-depth account of the exponential growth of lurid news and the public's (continuing) insatiable appetite for it." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

non fiction of the best kind

Where does The Murder of the Century rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Rates highly


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect of the story is that it is true and it tells the story of the war between two great newspapers - Hearst and Pulitzer.


What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

That it is an interesting, shaded performance, he does show the different characters really well.


Any additional comments?

Hooked my interest from the beginning and held it.

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- Smask

Evocative murder mystery

A highly evocative and always engaging real-life murder mystery and courtroom drama as well as a social history of a forgotten era.
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- Tommy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-06-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.