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Notorious New Jersey

100 True Tales of Murders and Mobsters, Scandals and Scoundrels

Notorious New Jersey is the definitive guide to murder, mayhem, the mob, and corruption in the Garden State. With tabloid punch, Jon Blackwell tells riveting accounts of Alexander Hamilton falling mortally wounded on the dueling grounds of Weehawken; Dutch Schultz getting pumped full of lead in the men’s room of the Palace Chop House in Newark; and a gang of Islamic terrorists in Jersey City mixing the witch’s brew of explosives that became the first bomb to rock the World Trade Center. Along with these dramatic stories are tales of lesser-known oddities, such as the nineteenth-century murderer whose skin was turned into leather souvenirs, and the state senator from Jersey City who faked his death in a scuba accident in the 1970s in an effort to avoid prison.

Blackwell also sheds light on some historical whodunits—was Bruno Hauptmann really guilty of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby? Who was behind the anthrax attacks of 2001? Not forgotten either are notorious characters who may actually be innocent, including Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and those who have never been convicted of wrongdoing although they left office in scandal, including Robert Torricelli and James McGreevey.

Through 100 historic true-crime tales that span over 300 years of history, Blackwell shows readers a side of New Jersey that would make even the Sopranos shudder.

Author Information

JON BLACKWELL is a journalist who has often written about New Jersey. He was an editor at the Asbury Park Press and a reporter at the Trentonian and is now a copy editor at the New York Post.


Jon Blackwell takes a walk on the wild side of New Jersey history to introduce the reader to the Garden State's leading crooks, con men, killers, and other lowlife, all described in fast paced, entertaining style. You wouldn't want to invite these characters into your living room, but they make for a lively reading experience.
— Marc Mappen, coeditor of the Encyclopedia of New Jersey

Definitely take the tour-a bullet-riddled ride you won't forget.
— Rob Polner, coauthor, New York Notorious: A Borough-By-Borough Tour of the City's Most Infam


Audience: General/trade;