Crimes of the Centuries
3 volumes [3 volumes]
by Steven Chermak and Frankie Y. Bailey, Editors
January 2016, 1080pp, 8 1/2x11
3 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-593-0
$358, £276, 312€, A491
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-594-7
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The Black Sox scandal almost killed America’s favorite pastime.

This multivolume resource is the most extensive reference of its kind, offering a comprehensive summary of the misdeeds, perpetrators, and victims involved in the most memorable crime events in American history.

This unique reference features the most famous crimes and trials in the United States since colonial times. Three comprehensive volumes focus on the most notorious and historically significant crimes that have influenced America’s justice system, including the life and wrongdoing of Lizzie Borden, the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the killing spree and execution of Ted Bundy, and the Columbine High School shootings.

Organized by case, the work includes a chronology of major unlawful deeds, fascinating primary source documents, dozens of sidebars with case trivia and little-known facts, and an overview of crimes that have shaped criminal justice in the United States over several centuries. Each of the 500 entries provides information about the crime, the perpetrators, and those affected by the misconduct, along with a short bibliography to extend learning opportunities. The set addresses a breadth of famous trials across American history, including the Salem witch trials, the conviction of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the prosecution of O. J. Simpson.


  • Supports national standards curriculum
  • Offers an extensive selection of primary documents to encourage critical thinking and reading practice
  • Includes photos and illustrations to help bring content to life
  • Features sidebars with illuminating crime facts and interesting anecdotes
Steven Chermak, PhD, is a professor in the school of criminal justice at Michigan State University and lead investigator affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START). His published works include Greenwood's Crimes and Trials of the Century as well as Praeger's Media Representations of September 11 and Famous American Crimes and Trials. He received his doctorate in criminal justice from the State University of New York at

Frankie Y. Bailey, PhD, is a professor in the school of criminal justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her published works include Praeger's Famous American Crimes and Trials as well as Blood on Her Hands: The Social Construction of Women, Sexuality, and Murder and The Red Queen Dies: A Mystery. She received her doctorate in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany.


Best Reference Titles of 2016—Library Journal, March 2, 2017


"For all those fascinated by true crime, the work is a trove of detail. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels."—Choice, November 1, 2016

"This straightforward reference is for students and adults who can handle occasionally brutal details."—Library Journal, May 6, 2016

"[T]he set’s depth of exposition and analysis and breadth of coverage make for a strong, engaging contribution to the reference rogues’ gallery."—Booklist, May 26, 2016
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