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Big Policeman: The Ris...
 
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J. North Conway
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Big Policeman: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Byrnes, America's First, Most Ruthless, and Greatest Detective

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The remarkable career of one of America's greatest detectives--a story of murder, mayhem, and intrigue

Philip Marlowe, Dirty Harry, and even Law & Order--none of these would exist as they do today were it not for the legendary career of nineteenth-century New York City cop Thomas Byrnes. From 1854 to 1895, Byrnes rose through the ranks of the city's police department to be
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ebook, 336 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Lyons Press (first published November 9th 2010)
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  40 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Rose
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Big Policeman chronicles the career of Thomas F. Byrnes, who headed the New York City Police Department’s Detective Bureau from 1880 until 1895. Among the cases he oversaw or personally investigated were the Manhattan Savings Bank robbery of 1878, the snatching of millionaire merchant Alexander T. Stewart’s corpse from St. Mark’s churchyard, and the Ripper-style murder of aging barfly Carrie Brown in 1891. These and other lesser known investigations are recounted in detail by J. North Conway ...more
Shayne
Jul 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book claims to be about the life of late 19th century New York City Police Chief Thomas Byrnes, however it contains only minimal information about the man himself. The author includes newspaper articles about Byrnes' cases in their entirety but provides scant details about the life of Chief Byrnes, the man who published "Professinal Criminals of America" in 1886. I hoped to read a biography about Thomas Byrnes, who is credited with coming up with many modern approaches to crime investigation ...more
Dee
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Really enjoyed this book. Very interesting on how Tom byrnes was a man ahead of his time. Although his methods of interrogation were not quite appropriate, he was the forerunner in some of our common police procedures. He was the one who started the mug shot, the lineup and keeping files on criminals. I also enjoyed the time period and the interesting facts about A.T. Stewart, and the crimes of the last 1900's in NYC. ...more
Carlos Vallarino
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't as good as I expected, more cases than the history of this crook. But in the end it was interesting seeing what the world was in those days. The guy that got acquitted of a crime because he was a former member of the cabinet of a president, while the others went to jail, including Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who later wrote a book about the corruption of the system. ...more
Skjam!
An average biography with an interesting central character.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the book is its reminder of how criminal cases are not in real life tied up neatly at the end. Maybe you caught the right person, or maybe you just beat him into confessing. Sometimes the most likely suspect goes free in the end, or only some of the criminals are ever caught.
Gregory Delaurentis
Excellent novel. The story about Thomas Byrnes could be written as fiction and it would be as fantastic a story as any detective novel written today. And the most interesting part of it all is that it was completely real.
G.R. Williamsom
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, a well-told story about a truly ruthless New York detective, who was a master criminal chaser as well as a master publicity manipulator.

I really enjoyed this book.
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