Posted on October 29, 2010 by jnickras
Fulker, John. Shards & pellets & knives, oh my! Wilmington, Ohio; Orange Frazer Press, 2007.
The literary career of John Fulker would seem to have a very narrow audience. The longtime attorney from Troy has written four collections of fictionalized-true-crime stories about murder in Miami County. While this could very easily pigeon-hole many authors into local fan-fare, Fulker’s focus on legal procedurals could bring his writings to a larger audience… of lawyers. Turned off? Please read on.
Fulker’s most recent work, Shards & Pellets & Knives, oh my!, focuses on three twentieth century murders. The crimes, while brutal, lack pizzazz and would not find themselves as plots on reruns of Law & Order. But, there is an ethical element to each story that kept me interested. The second installment, ‘Pellets’, involves a victim who died unexpectedly several weeks removed from the violence and the final tale, ‘Knives’ has the whole ‘insanity’ plea to work through. I do not want to give away anything from the first and longest of the stories, ‘Shards’, but there are ethics to be discussed.
Filed under: Crime, Miami Valley | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 7, 2010 by jnickras
Bellamy, John Stark. Cleveland’s Greatest Disasters!: 16 Tragic True Tales of Death and Destruction. Cleveland. Gray & Company, 2009.
Despite its sensationalist cover and title, Cleveland’s Greatest Disasters! is a well-thought-out document of the kind of disasters that met rapidly expanding industrial cities around the turn of the century through the War years. Bellamy, who has written six anthologies of Cleveland true crime, takes a look at non-natural disasters in the Cleveland area (every story occurs in Cleveland proper, but the Ashtabula Bridge Disaster of 1876 and the Cuyahoga Falls Interurban/train crash of 1940.) Except for a brief mention of the Cuyahoga River fire of 1969, no disasters covered occur after 1955. Are we safe now?
Even if you do not want to sit down and read disaster after disaster, I would recommend reading author’s Preface. Bellamy talks about the art of disaster writing (from A Night to Remember to The Perfect Storm) to how he chose the Greatest Disasters. He concludes that four stories must be included in such an anthology: The Collinwood School fire of 1908 (it will be proved that the doors opened outward), the East Ohio Gas Company explosion of 1944, the Ashtabula Bridge disaster, and the Cleveland Clinic fire of 1929. I would recommend reading each of these four chapter as they are not only the disasters for Clevelanders to know, but each is very thorough and some of Bellamy’s best writing. (more…)
Filed under: Cleveland | Leave a Comment »