California’s Deadly Women: Murder and Mayhem in the Golden State 1850–1950

Michael Thomas Barry

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There's an old saying in the news business: If it bleeds, it leads. The nightly California news and other media outlets are filled with stories of crime, killing, and sorrow. Within these pages rediscover 46 of the most notorious murders and shocking crimes committed by women in the state of California between 1850 and 1950. Examine the accounts of such notorious murderesses as the “Black Widow,” Louise Peete; “Tiger Woman,” Clara Phillips; the “Duchess,” Juanita Spinelli; and many more. Written in chronological sequence and enhanced by 50 photographs, each entry provides a concise overview of the crime, background information, and final dispositions. At one point these California crimes horrified the collective imaginations of the state—and nation—but many have faded away from our historical consciousness. They’re back. This book is an indispensable reference tool for anyone interested in California history and crime.

Size: 6" x 9" | 50 b/w photos | 176 pp
ISBN13: 9780764355301

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Michael Thomas Barry is the award winning author of seven nonfiction books that includes Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949 and In the Company of Evil Thirty Years of California Crime, 1950-1980. Among his many literary awards are the 2011 and 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards (silver and gold medals). Michael is also a columnist for, where he pens the column, "This Week in Crime History." He resides with his wife, Christyn, and their golden retriever, Jake, in Orange, California.