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Summary

During the Depression, economic anxieties found an outlet in a series of child murders that triggered an irrational nationwide hysteria: pedophiliac psychopaths were overrunning the country.

As America was brought to rage and fury by the press and the FBI, lynch mobs took to the streets, reason gave way to doomsday scenarios, and one father was even driven to murder his three daughters to “save them” from a degenerate crime wave. A terrifying cautionary essay, Panic explores the combustible mix of unfounded fears, moral crusades, and the dangers of collective thinking.

Panic is part of Bloodlands, a chilling collection of short addictive historical narratives from bestselling true-crime master Harold Schechter. Spanning a century in our nation’s murderous past, Schechter resurrects nearly forgotten tales of madmen and thrill-killers that dominated the most sensational headlines of their day.

©2018 Harold Schechter (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Panic

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Profile Image for Texaspaz
  • Texaspaz
  • 14-10-20

Too sensational

It was like finding a historical copy of the national enquirer. Telling horrible stories of horrible stories. I needed more forensics or background.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Liana
  • 02-12-20

Good

Interesting and insightful. Tells the individual stories couple with the effects on the community and beyond. Great yet understandable analysis and theories. Narrator clear and concise but not harsh

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for J. Ehrenberg
  • J. Ehrenberg
  • 23-09-18

Good performance but tough listen

This was decent overall. The story itself is hard to listen to, but the performance is good.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Kat
  • Kat
  • 26-06-21

Unnecessary and gratuitous collection of violence

I don’t really write reviews but this book made me sick to my stomach. The narrator was good but the content was awful. It is a collection of stories about violence against children that has no discernible reason for its existence. I generally like true crime but there were no insights, no real meaning for creating the collection of these stories, and I kept waiting for some reason for this book to be written.. And in my opinion, there is none. There were loose attempts to connect events across decades but it felt like a superficial attempt at best. Wish I had passed on it. Sigh….

2 people found this helpful

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  • karlena haas
  • 26-05-21

Too Much

I never thought I would say there was too much detail in a book, but this book has too much for the general public.
My God kids have access to this. Saying that they were found dead with their panties off should have been enough, but he goes on to talk about him trying to fit in it in and it shoving her body.
This book is a pedophiles wet dream and should be listed as ADULT CONTENT ONLY!!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Nikolas P. Robinson
  • Nikolas P. Robinson
  • 03-10-21

Depressing Evidence That Society's Not Evolved

Harold Schechter's Panic showcases an early American example of moral panic, mass hysteria, and pattern recognition gone horribly awry.
This well-researched narrative begins with details of a tragic event, the result of the sort of irrational, hysterical panic arising in the 1930s surrounding the fear of child rapists and murderers surging across the American landscape. One father's need to protect his daughters from a danger he perceived as being right around the corner erupts in a disastrous and heartbreaking conclusion.
From that awful event, Schechter traces backward to the small number of isolated incidents that had been blown up and made to seem like part of a growing trend. Each of these individual cases was certainly terrible, but they were hardly part of a nationwide surge in that sort of criminal activity.
Looking at the world we live in today, one can see that we haven't grown beyond this sort of outrage-driven crusade where we perceive the boogeyman du jour in every shadow.
Steven Weber's narration is perfectly suited to this gripping non-fiction essay. I'm pleased to see that he continues to narrate other short samples of Schechter's larger body of work contained in Bloodlands.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Country Bookworm
  • 30-10-20

It was sad

I thought I was getting a scary book. This was about child molesters. So, I guess it is scary but not what I expected. I gave the story two stars because I don't like stories about children being hurt.

1 person found this helpful

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  • HJLII
  • 28-09-21

A look at evil.

Another good book by this author with a minor unnecessary distraction about music and race. Also near the end it seemed the author discounts the assaults and murders of children in comparison to WWII.

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  • Longtime buyer/reader
  • 16-08-21

Very Interesting

I was surprised at the subject and the years they occurred. It has gotten more out of control today with the child sex trafficking that is going on. A very good listen.

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Profile Image for Mr. Rocky L Loveless
  • Mr. Rocky L Loveless
  • 09-08-21

Book meant for many topics.

Tragic, but good book. One could also attribute the rising panic for rising American racism and anti-police sentiment to the panic generated by the media.