2. 'The Murder of the Century,' by Paul Collins
In "The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars," NPR's "literary detective" Paul Collins examines a mysterious 1897 crime known as the Guldensuppe "Scattered Dutchman" murder case. The grisly disposal of the corpse – body parts were scattered around different New York City neighborhoods – and the unknown identity of the victim fueled the public imagination and soon newspapermen and business rivals William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer were using the unsolved crime as the front line of an ever-escalating war for readership. The period details in this narrative are at least as fascinating as is the strange culmination of a case that relied on circumstantial evidence.