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Blonde Rattlesnake: Burmah Adams, Tom White, and the 1933 Crime Spree That Terrorized Los Angeles

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Nineteen-year-old Burmah Adams, a hairdresser and former Santa Ana High School student, spent her honeymoon on a crime spree. She and her husband of less than one week, White, an ex-con, robbed at least twenty people in and around downtown L.A. at gunpoint over an eight-week period. But the worst of their crimes was the shooting of a popular elementary school teacher, Cora ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by Lyons Press
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Showing 1-47
Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  20 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Valerity (Val)
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 1900-s
3.5 out of 5 Stars

This turned out to be an interesting read about a media-heavy story back in the nineteen thirties about a five-days married couple, Burmah Adam White and Tom White, who were tracked down by law enforcement after a crime spree in Los Angeles that really had people on edge. They’d met at a dance, and had a rather whirlwind courtship of only a couple of weeks that coincided with the crime spree. It’s no surprise her family wasn’t a fan of the match, especially her dad,
...more
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
Blonde Rattlesnake is a thought provoking book. Not particularly immersive or nail-biting, it nonetheless tells Burmah Adams White's story in a fairly unbiased way, unlike the newspapers and radios of the time of her arrest and trial. While the book includes some of those, the author also includes quotations from Burmah herself, as well as from her mother. Unlike many biographical fiction books, there is not any creative nonfiction here, it is strictly written in a journalistic style.

...more
Patrick
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most true crime fans know the story of Bonnie & Clyde. Their story is woven into the fabric of American folklore. A less well-know couple, Burmah Adams and Tom White had their own eight weeks of fame (or infamy), not in the mid-west, but in sunny Los Angeles. L.A. could well be taken as ground zero for noir style crime stories, especially if they were true.
The time is 1933. A pretty young blonde, Burmah, once a promising student in high school. In her senior year she decides she wants
...more
Michelle Kidwell
Blonde Rattlesnake
Burmah Adams, Tom White, and the 1933 Crime Spree that Terrorized Los Angeles

by Julia Bricklin

Rowman & Littlefield

Lyons Press

History , True Crime

Pub Date 01 Jun 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Blonde Rattlesnake through Rowan Littlefield and Netgalley:

Burmah Adam’s was born in January of 1914 leaving her only nineteen at the time of the crime spree that terrorized Los Angeles. Tom White w
...more
Dorie
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Blonde Rattlesnake
by Julia Bricklin
due 6-1-2019
Rowan & Littlefield/Lyons Park
5.0 / 5.0

Blonde Rattlesnake is a fun and engaging crime story, written well and easy to become immersed in. It intimately captures the terror and chaos caused by Burmah Arline Adams White, 19, and her husband, 28 year old, Thomas White. Their crime spree across Los Angeles during the summer of 1933, committing robberies at gunpoint; one that left a woman blind, and many others hurt, was headline news. Named the
...more
SundayAtDusk
This story was interesting enough, but never really pulled me into it. There seemed something superficial about it, but probably only because author Julia Bricklin didn't take the "creative nonfiction" route, didn't embellish it with made-up dialogue and such. She stuck with the facts of the case. The main fact being that Burmah Adams accompanied her husband on multiple robberies, driving the getaway car. Was she an ice-cold gangster moll, as the male dominated press tried to make her out to be, ...more
Casey Wheeler
I decided to read this book based on the description which sounded interesting. While the author does a decent job I found the book to not be overly engaging and somewhat repetitive, but it is short and a fast read. Bricklin does give brief background on a large number of individuals involved in the case which was helpful in gaining a better understanding of the events that took place.

I recomend this book only for those looking for a quick read on a very short crime spree that captur
...more
Aga Durka
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True crime novels are not really my favorite genre, but I do like to venture out from time to time and read something that I would not normally read. When I decided to read “Blonde Rattlesnake” by Julia Bricklin, I was not expecting much, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the author did great job at researching this book, and her writing style kept me interested in the story. I have learned great deal about the 1930s (Great Depression and Prohibition time) criminal justice ...more
Jordan
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blonde Rattlesnake is the tale of Burmah Adams and Tom White, a married couple of 5 days at the time of arrest and death, and their crime spree in Los Angeles in 1933. I was very much looking forward to reading this book based off of the description and that I had never heard of Burmah Adams before. Overall the book was enjoyable but I had a hard time staying immersed throughout the entire story. I do appreciate that this book was all facts and the author didn't creative liberty to embellish the ...more
Pat Wahler
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew nothing about Burmah Adams or Tom White prior to picking up this book, and found the story to be a fascinating one. What factors could drive a nineteen-year-old Depression-era woman, previously of exemplary behavior, to participate in a vicious crime spree with her brand new husband? The author offers several possible explanations, allowing the reader to make up his or her own mind. A glimpse into the details of Burmah's trial were interesting to read and in sharp contrast to what one mig ...more
Kristine
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Blonde Rattlesnake by Julia Bricklin is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late May.

The blonde of the title is Burmah White, who, with her husband Tom, offer rides to people to shake them up for their money at gunpoint, as well as holding up business counters. At the start of the book, it initially seemed like a whole lot of court proceeding notes, but, then, no, the entire thing is court proceeding notes. No interpretation, no behind the scenes, no insight on who the Whites were prior t
...more
Robbie White
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting true crime story of a very young woman and her husband and the robberies they committed in California during the Depression. It was so shocking to see the difference in the way the media and the court treated her back then versus my perception of she would be treated today. Was she a bad girl or a good girl with a bad husband??

I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Agnes Muscoreil
NetGalley got me this book and I thank them! I had a hard time with the story, it never really got me hooked and I found myself putting the story down, then trying it again later.
Jacquelyn White
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May 25, 2019
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Lois Lane
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Jan 31, 2019
Agnes Muscoreil
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for this true crime story. I had a hard time with this book, just did not keep my interest and I kept putting it down, to come back to it at a later date. Maybe it needed a bit more emotion in it, seemed to just be like a newspaper account. I never did figure out if she was a rattlesnake or just a confused young lady.
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Jun 27, 2019
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