ON THE TRACK OF MURDER: Behind the Scenes with A Homicide Commando Squad by Barbara Gelb

ON THE TRACK OF MURDER: Behind the Scenes with A Homicide Commando Squad

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and in 1972, 1691 of them were homicides. Only a little over fifty-six percent of these murders were solved; 955 killers commited murder, walked away from their victim, and never were apprehended or brought to justice. That was the year the New York City Police Department created an experimental task force to deal exclusively with Manhattan's most difficult homicide cases--those mysterious, notorious (but sometimes anonymous) murders where it becomes obvious that it is ""astonishingly easy for a killer to disappear in the overpopulated and disordered maze of the city."" Dubbed ""McQueen's Commandos"" for the sergeant who headed the group, the closely knit squad of ten men quickly chose a name ""solely for the satisfaction of shortening it to its acronym: Special Homicide Investigating Team."" Author Gelb goes behind the scenes with this commando squad, sparing readers none of the bloody details involved in the sex murder of a young woman in a squalid Upper West Side SRO hotel; the case of ""Charlie Chopoff,"" a pervert who killed and mutilated five little boys; and a double homosexual burning-murder in Greenwich Village. Also: the killing of an off-duty cop in a Lincoln Center bar; the kidnapping and shooting of a nice, middle-class lady from Rego Park, Queens; and the electric cord strangulation of two quiet Japanese working women. The cases most likely to be solved are ones witnessed by a number of people in broad daylight, and perpetrated by criminals with records. Exciting police work, which will do little for your peace of mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1975
Publisher: Morrow