The Brick Slayer by Harold Schechter

The Brick Slayer

A series of brutal home invasions terrified Los Angeles in 1937. They ended in Chicago a year later with the arrest of African American teenager Robert Nixon, igniting racial tensions in an already appallingly divided city.Tortured in custody and portrayed by the press in the most lurid and flagrantly racist terms, Nixon faced an all-white jury. It would be the fastest conviction in the history of Cook County. Used as inspiration for Richard Wrig...

Details The Brick Slayer

TitleThe Brick Slayer
Release DateJun 28th, 2018
PublisherAmazon Original Stories
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, History

Reviews The Brick Slayer

  • Minke
    3.5 I felt that with all the complex themes involved in this case the short formate of these true crime novels just wasn't enough for a thorough examination of the case. The story was interesting, I just felt that it needed to be longer.
  • Amber Machado
    I enjoyed this short story! A lot! While this was soo much information packed into the short story the author does a tremendous job of getting the information in there. While there were parts of the history i would have liked elaborated for a short story this is a great piece.
  • Eddie
    No storyJust a list of facts about a murderer. It did however give me other reading materials. Some sick stuff though.
  • Netanella
    3 stars only because I felt the treatment of such a complex story as this one needed more than what was given in this novella bite-sized package. A series of murders in the 1930s in Los Angeles and Chicago, the perpetrator a black youth with intellectual challenges, depicted as the "Brick Moron" in the newpapers. Racism, police brutality, torture-induced brutality -- there is so much going on here that this story deserves a fuller treatment. Also...
  • Ronald Koltnow
    THE BRICK SLAYER is the third of Harold Schechter's BLOODLANDS collection, six short true crime essays detailing a particular criminal or event over a hundred year period in American history. The first is THE PIRATE, about murder at sea committed by a man named Albert Hicks in 1860. The second is THE LITTLE SLAUGHTERHOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, about the murderous Bender clan in Kansas in the 1870s. Laura Ingalls Wilder's father appears in this. Unfortu...
  • Faerie_Kaelie
    Vile. Absolutely fucking vile, and just another depiction of male privilege. “...examination of bigotry, suppressed rage, and the making of a murderer.” Richard Nixon was a rapist. He was a murderer, we know, but a rapist too. Where is that in the bio? Where are the mentions of the brutal and most horrendous tortures that he committed against women and children in the bio? I can’t find such comments amidst the drizzle of “police brutality...
  • Danielle Bonam
    Harold Schechter is hands down the greatest True Crime author. His research is all encompassing, I cannot imagine how he finds the time to research every single tid-bit of a crime, but he does and we reap the benefit.In his latest Amazon Kindle Collection, The Bloodlands, Schechter explores 6(ish) murders of early American history. I say 6(ish) because although each story has a central murder, they all look at other comparable killings and overar...
  • Toni
    Bloodlands CollectionBloodlands collection – 6 books The Pirate, Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie, Brick Slayer, Panic, Pied Piper, Rampage Crime stories, whether in movies, TV or books always reflect the morality and mortality of humans – as cautionary tales to warn us…me especially. The bigger the human flaws or outsized characters; the villain(s) or defenseless victim(s), the press (broadsheet & tabloid), psychiatrists, police, and/o...
  • Fishface
    A Good, Maybe Great ReadI was thrilled to find a whole book on Robert Nixon. There was so much more to the story than I realized...Quite a few layers to peel back. And because of all the time that's passed I also wonder how much of this story is never going to be known. There are also some serious questions about his guilt, even aside from the distortions caused by the brutal police tactics of the period. You won't be sorry if you read this one. ...
  • Beverly
    This was the story of a young black man, Robert Nixon, who murdered a number of different women from 1936 to 1939. His crimes were so well known that they actually became the basis of the book Native Son written by Richard Wright. This set of books that I'm reading by Harold Schechter are written more as summaries of the situations so, you get the facts and not much more. But that makes them enlightening but quick to read.
  • Andrea
    While this crime could have used deeper coverage in a longer work, there were interesting elements here as with all the shorts I’ve read so far in this series. The work focuses more on the press coverage and how the crimes were discussed both in public and in the courts than with the crimes themselves. Very interesting tie-in with Richard Wright’s Native Son.
  • Jessica Christian
    This true crime story was short, but well researched. I am definitely starting to get into true crime novels. It is eye opening to see the way racial discrimination affected the outcome. I liked that the author stated facts only, allowing the reader to form their own opinions. I wish this was a bit longer than it was, but it was enjoyable the way it was.
  • Lisa
    Horrendous crimes"The Brick Slayer" is not just about the brutal murders of several women and one child. It is also about the rampant racism and ruthless torture to obtain a confession that was commonplace in 1930's America. Horrific murders and shameless public officials make this Bloodlands installment very intriguing.
  • Ash
    This is a great book in a great series for those that are interested in crimes and more of the facts behind them and the ideas of the time surrounding them. I enjoyed the story and the reader of the audio book.
  • Seth
    Short account of the murders that Robert Nixon seemed to have committed in Chicago and Los Angeles in the 1930s and also about police torture. I bought the bundle from Amazon, this one was fine, the other ones seemed more intriguing.
  • Carl Deskins,III
    Review of a true crime book tbat is superior written!!!!!!!I choose to rate this book as a good book but one that lacks a certain degree of imitation because of the dryest of its subject matter.!!! It is too strict and breeds contempt!!!!! This book is an object of hate.!!!!!
  • Hari Brandl
    This is True Crime writing near the top of the genre. Taught prose, concise writing, no sentimentalizing either victim or perpetrator, reading like a well-written newspaper article. And short! Makes me wonder why other authors need to take up 350 pages to present the same material.
  • Patrick
    3.5 ActuallyThese short true crime stories are very very well researched. I really like the history lessons. The author is without an agenda and lets us firm our own opinion at the end.
  • Katie Thompson
    Well done again. Harold Schechter has again proven that he is a brilliant researcher who backs each of his statements with citations, and he brings a storytelling talent with him to tell these gruesome true tales.
  • Charleen Kelly
    Well written and easy to read, informative, and brutal..The Brick Slayer is a disturbing historical glimpse into the social injustice common in parts of the U.S. in regards to crime, punishment and the color of a person's skin.
  • Graham
    Sad story for all involved Of course you feel badly for the victims, but this story also made me ashamed of how some law enforcement treats suspects and the judicial system treats the accused. I want to read Native Son now.
  • saradevil
    Fairly interesting, especially given the impact the events depicted had in African American fiction.
  • Laura
    True crimeHaving read Native Son in college, I recognized this story. Another good true crime story with a lot of details.
  • pat
    Thanks This was a great read and was informative and factual.. if you like true crime and it’s place in history give it a try..
  • Cyndi McIntire
    BricksI find it hard to review this book it is gruesome. Prejudice an unfortunate chapter in our history and I wonder if he really did it
  • Kayla
    This book was just sad. I thought he did a really good job of emphasizing the racism and sexism of that time and how it influenced the reporting of the case. It was a quick and entertaining read.
  • Rebecca Harding
    Very fascinatingThe author's use of research made this a fascinating read. It was very quick and to the point. Unbiased information.
  • Sean Kottke
    Perhaps more effective as a story of the miscarriage of justice than a true crime story
  • Nicole
    History that's easy to take inI love how the author was able to make history easily understandable and even enjoyable. If only he wrote my college textbooks, lol.