The title refers to the toughest rap in murder cases and the author is the late TV panelist, radio chatter, purveyor of gossip via syndicated column, and Hearst reporter, who, like a perfumed vulture, descended on sensational murder trials across the country for over a quarter of a century. Miss Kilgallen may have been a Hearstling but her style was strictly Daily Newsy; to equal parts of murder and mayhem add a double portion of sex, flavor with leaden innuendo and cover the intellectual gap with big pieces of the trial record. Two of the cases covered here in the retrospective completed before her death are from the era when Hearst gave Kilgallen star billing at trials along with the defendants--the Finch-Tregoff case, where the doctor and his receptionist thoroughly bungled the murder of the doctor's wife, and the Sheppard case, wherein the Cleveland osteopath was sentenced for the murder of his wife. (According to the author's foreword and a publisher's note, this book was held up until after the Sheppard appeal. D. K. supplied Dr. Sam's lawyer with an affidavit that questioned the impartiality of the presiding judge at his first trial.) Four other cases are dismal dredgings of the '30's. Miss Kilgallen never achieved more than the gossip level in these reports and her lip-smacking approval of the death penalty whenever it was rendered jolts like the chair. The reader-potential, however, is up there around the circulation of the Daily News--biggest in the country.