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Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008

Got Murder? The Shocking Story of Wisconsin's Notorious Killers

Book Review

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Years before Jeffrey Dahmer, many in Wisconsin wondered if the state hadn’t nurtured more than its normal share of demented killers. In the 1960s the great Wisconsin writer August Derleth even devoted a book to the subject. In Got Murder? local journalist Martin Hintz, a Shepherd Express contributor, devotes a chapter apiece to several of the most infamous, including Ed Gein, the body snatcher who inspired Hitchcock’s Psycho, and Julian Carlton, the servant of Frank Lloyd Wright who axed seven people to death at Taliesin. Hintz, who doesn’t buy the theory that Wisconsin is especially prone to bizarre murder, surveys his killers in a tone compounded of shock, social science and, inevitably for its subject, titillation.