Murder Maps USA: Crime Scenes Revisited, Bloodstains to Ballistics

Thames & Hudson

Do you remember Murder Maps, Phrenology to Fingerprint 1811–1911? The book we designed and modestly saying in 2020 was awarded as ‘highly recommended’ at the British Book Awards in the trade illustrated category alongside our beloved Fragile Self book, again awarded as highly recommended in self-published category. This is the second book in the series Murder Maps USA covers the murders committed across the USA between the Civil War and World War II. The typography pays tribute to the typographic diversity of the nineteenth century, -American calerondons, English antique faces- but also the fonts feature powerful and idiosyncratic personalities just like the Wild West duels, gangland shootouts, America’s criminal underworld the book covers. The detailed information of the forensic cases is neatly and obsessively structured since the era that saw the first murderer convicted using fingerprints and the birth of the FBI laboratory.

Each case, forensically re-evaluated by Adam Selzer, is illuminated by chilling crime scene photographs, surviving exhibits and unnerving mugshots. From political assassinations to Wild West duels, and from the violent sprees of serial killers to gangland shootouts, this bloodthirsty tour of America’s criminal underworld uncovers the macabre particulars – and pioneering police work – of each case, in an era that saw the first conviction using fingerprints and the birth of the FBI laboratory.