‘The crime of the century’ was a catchcry often used throughout the twentieth century … crimes that fascinated, haunted and reviled us – crimes that transcended national boundaries and became iconic signposts in history. Now into the new millennium, the world has already experienced further horrific and tragic events that have shocked the world. Respected true crime author Alan Whiticker details the background and historical context to 100 of the most iconic crimes the world has experienced… these are the crimes that changed the world.
The crimes in this book are by no means a definitive list - there have been countless crimes that have been committed over the past 100 years that could have been included. Crimes committed under the guise of civil, international or even world war have not been included because they could fill an entire book of their own. Crimes that Changed the World provides the reader with an overview of a wide variety of crimes over the past 100 years that are today remembered for their historical, social and cultural impact. In detailing these crimes, themes appear decade after decade - political assassination, acts of espionage and terrorism, crimes of passion, kidnapping, theft, underworld murders, sex crimes and society scandals. Over the years, the development of murder terminology ... the ‘spree’ murderer, the ‘mass’ murder and the ‘serial’ murderer, these terms weren’t used a century ago. The crimes in this book also highlight the development of DNA technology, crime scene and accident investigation, data collection and computerisation that are now commonplace. Crimes that Changed the World begins with the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, which precipitated the start of The Great War. The decades that followed heralded a modern era of iconic and violent crimes breathlessly reported in all their gory detail by a developing mass media readily consumed by the general public. These crimes should be remembered, however, so that we can is some small way understand them better and learn from them.