The Mad Sculptor
written by Harold Schechter
Collins | ISBN 9781781853085
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On Easter Sunday 1937, Bob Irwin - a handsome, failing sculptor with a history of depression and psychopathic episodes - commited a grisly triple murder. Creeping back to the flat of his ex-landlady in a swish New York borough, Irwin killed her, her lodger, and her stunning daughter Ronnie with an ice-pick, an apparently motiveless homicide that would titillate the entire country. Ronnie was a racy pin-up who posed for the covers of pulp detective novels; her mother a beautiful Hungarian emigré. Irwin went on the run for three months, sparking a tabloid hunt that ended when a Hearst newspaper paid a vast fee for his exclusive story. Irwin engaged Sam Liebowitz: a star attorney who had defended Capone, and never lost a client to the chair. Firmly in 'you couldn't make it up' territory, and crafted like a Chandler novel, THE MAD SCULPTOR thrillingly relates Irwin's scandalous crime, flight, and capture, his trial and its aftermath, whilst painting a warts-and-all portrait of 1930s America.