Review of Murder in all Ages
Murder in All Ages. Being a history of homicide from the earliest times, with the most celebrated murder cases faithfully reported, arranged under controlling motives and utilized to support the theory of homicidal impulse. By MATTHEW WORTH PINKERTON, Principal of Pinkerton & Company's United States Detective Agency. With sixteen illustrations. Chicago: A. E. Pinkerton & Co., 1900. Pp. xviii +574. $2.50
IN the way of fiction there has been no lack of attention to the field in which the detective works, but heretofore the detective himself has not undertaken to give in a systematic way the results of his special knowledge, and the appearance of this volume, the first in a series on the
( 128) "History of Crime," is a matter of considerable importance to sociologists. The criminologist proper has very largely regarded the anatomical aspects of his subject. His contact with criminals has been occasional and brief. He has seen the criminal after his capture or incarceration, has measured him and applied other tests to make it possible to recognize him again, and his methods have resulted in theories of a criminal type of man rather more than in anything else. But the detective spends his life in studying the habits of criminals while they are at large and members of society, and he is in a better position to get at the criminal on the side of his interests and mental make up. Consequently the standpoint of the detective will probably in the end give better results to the sociology and pedagogy than will that of the criminal anthropologist.
Mr. Pinkerton's analysis and classification of motives in the most celebrated murder cases in history are a valuable contribution to the literature of this subject, and his personal knowledge of the causes célébres of the present generation makes his treatment of these particularly interesting. Two additional volumes of this series will be issued soon, and their appearance will be awaited with interest.
W. I. THOMAS.