True Crime: Michigan: The State’s Most Notorious Criminal Cases – Book Review

Published Date: June 7, 2011

Publishing Co.: Stackpole Books

Pages: 136

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The perfect coffee table/bathroom book for any Michigander home.

This easy-to-read true crime novel highlights some of Michigan’s most notorious crimes. From our polygamist king, a couple of serial killers, the original gangsters of Detroit (ones even Al Capone wouldn’t mess with) to the wild west of the Upper Peninsula, if there is one thing Michigan isn’t, it’s boring.

Despite living my entire life in the Great Lakes state, there were plenty of stories about cases I had no idea about in general or I just didn’t realized they had happened here. For example; the largest school massacre in US history happened in Bath, Michigan in 1927 and the culprit was raised in the town I currently call home. (Not exactly something they put on the welcome billboard and I’m sure the historical society likes to keep in the dark.)

Do you have to be from Michigan to enjoy this? Of course not, however, I do think it adds a personal connection to the stories if you are.

13 thoughts on “True Crime: Michigan: The State’s Most Notorious Criminal Cases – Book Review

  1. The crazy thing is that I don’t even think why the perpetrator behind the Bath School Massacre did what he did was ever discovered. I did hear that Michigan has been the site of some pretty notorious criminals, so this book would have quite a lot of stuff to highlight.

    1. There wasn’t a 100% answer but a combination of raised taxes for the new school, plus his wife’s medical bills and a foreclosure notice on his farm. His suicide note was simply a wooden plank that read, “Criminals are not born, they are made.”
      I feel like they could actually highlight more stories but when I went to the author’s page they have about 10 other books on stories in Michigan so I guess I’ll just have to check those out too.

  2. I really enjoy books like this – especially with the “local” touch. I’ve got a good little collection of books by Andrew Rule and John Silvester. While it’s doubtful you could find anything by them locally, but I’d give them a very high recommendation if you happen to see any of their stuff – particularly Leadbelly – which unfolded in the suburbs around me a decade or so ago.

  3. Michigan has a polygamist…king? Wow. That was enough for me to immediately add this to my list. I don’t have any connection to Michigan, I’ve never even been there and I think that definitely adds something to stories like this, like you say, but I want to read it anyway. I love lesser known crime stories. I watched a documentary (I think it was an ID one) about a woman maybe-serial killer living in the Upper Peninsula and the setting was eerie enough. Would be interested to know something more about that area. Great review!

    1. Thanks! We HAD a polygamist king back when Mormonism was splitting leaders. I’ll let you read it to find out the rest though. I think it’s an interesting book even without being from Mchigan. You’ll have to let me know what you think when you get around to reading it!

      1. You’re very welcome. ❤ I'm glad it worked out since it was a total gamble. I figured with it being True Crime and Michigan it was a safe bet for you though. 😉

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