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The Murders That Made Us

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This book was a true crime rarity that mixed well-placed humor with some pretty terrible crimes. 

Being city-focused, it follows a variety of crimes in San Francisco, both well-known and lesser recognized. I think this is a great choice for newer true crime readers who might need a little break between the rough stuff. 

It also combines the overall cultural history of the city throughout different time periods and connects them to crimes.
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An interesting and informative book regarding the criminal history of San Francisco and its surrounding areas.  From crimes to capture and sentencing even death row. 
An illuminating read I found it fascinating.
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This was a well researched read into the history of San Francisco & some of the murders that defined the city.  From corruption & vigilantism to serial killers, the author has a tongue-in-cheek way of delivering the information so that it is never boring.  He also has the best description of Charles Manson that I've ever read - a failed folk singer and inept pimp who smelled like hot garbage.  This is a good read for true crime fans.
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This story is an intriguing one for all fans of true crime. I enjoyed how the author wrote about different cases in San Francisco that I wasn’t aware of. While I wish some do them had more details or were discussed more, it was still quite a read.
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The Murders That Made Us: How Vigilantes, Hoodlums, Mob Bosses, Serial Killers and Cult Leaders Built the San Francisco Bay Area. Bob Calhoun brings us the story of the San Francisco Bay Area unfolds through its most violent and depraved acts. From the city's earliest days, where vigilantes hung perps from buildings and newspaper publishers shot it out on Market Street, to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the Zodiac Killer, crime has made the people of San Francisco who they are. Murder and mayhem are intertwined with the city's art, music, and politics.
This was a really interesting read. Covering a lot of popular topics that I was aware of but also a lot of stories that I had never heard of before. Such a wide range of aspects of true crime covered from vigilantes, hoodlums, mob bosses, serial killers and cult leaders, there is plenty to keep any true crime fan intrigued; but I feel like some of the smaller stories could have been fleshed out a bit more. 
My favourite aspect was the personal touch on which he started the book with a murder that his own mother was a suspect for, but unfortunately he never spoke to her about it before she passed. I also really enjoyed ready about Patty Hearst, the early day vigilantes and the riots after Harvey Milk’s assassination.
Some dark but informative stories creating a perfect read for any true crime fan.
TW: child death, death, gun violence, rape, violence and murder, police brutality, kidnapping, mass shooting and suicide attempts. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
3.5/5
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An interesting read about the crime and murders in San Francisco. The author provides many stories to tell the tale of the city. The only regret for me was some stories seemed too short and could have been expanded on in greater detail. However, overall, a great book for the true crime enthusiast.
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I read a lot of true crime titles and I found this brisk history of the San Francisco area, through the prism of crime, fresh and interesting. A good mix of the infamous and the more niche cases. Calhoun's book got me intrigued enough to seek out more information about the Jonestown massacre. Great for true crime buffs and history nerds.
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Good compilation of crime stories from the San Francisco area. I liked that there were enough details in each story to give you a good idea of the whole scene without going into so much detail that fewer stories would be able to fit.
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This is an historical tell all centered on the city of San Francisco. It's just loaded with stories about the goings on in that city from the time of prospectors down to the Zodiac killer and more. Very well written, covers many cases in enough detail so that the reader feels pretty well filled in. Nice, clear writing, very few typos if any. Very good.
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Thank you to Netgalley and ECW Press for the arc of The Murders That Made Us by Bob Calhoun.

5 Stars- This follow the 170 year history of San Francisco and their crimes and how it actually likes to their art, music and even their politics too...  it was such an interesting read to read about the crimes and murders in San Francisco.  I loved reading this, i highly recommend for all who like reading true crime

Highly recommend
5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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I may be biased, having grown up in the Bay Area, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fun to learn about famous names I grew up hearing about but not the history behind them.
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The author uses humor throughout with gruesome details on some pretty vicious killings in San Francisco’s history. Being a retrospective of both notorious and not-so-notorious killings, the reader will likely be familiar with some cases but find out about others for the first time. Also, because it’s a retrospective, some cases weren’t too deeply discussed, so I definitely will be looking to read some of the resources the author notes in this book.  Great book, especially if you’re familiar with the city.
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The Murders That Made Us by Bob Calhoun is a quirky little book. It tells the story of the San Francisco Bay area through the last 150 years or so through the crimes that took place there. At first glance, the idea seems more than a little absurd, but as you get in the book it does actually cover a fair amount of history from lynching and newspaper shootouts to Jim Jones and the Twinkie defense murder of Harvey Milk and others. All of this ends up wrapped in the unique culture of the day in San Francisco.

A book about some fairly grizzly murders and other crimes would seem to be very dark and brooding but somehow Calhoun manages to keep the tone fairly upbeat and the pace quick. This really helps the reader get lost within this very unique history. It’s really hard for me to ask anything more from The Murders That Made Us because it’s already a completely unexpected book in that one would not expect one to be able to do a history around such a macabre topic. 

The Murders That Made Us is a fun twist on the history of a great American city.
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This is a well-written book about murderers and con men and how true crime is intertwined with the art, music, and political scenes in the history of San Francisco. The author's deadpan and tongue-in-cheek humor was a bonus that turned a dry historical overview into an enjoyable read.  True crime buffs will enjoy this book. 

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book to read and review. The opinions expressed here are my own honest opinions written voluntarily.
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This book is a marathon, it is by no means a quick read (at least not for myself). My only gripe about this book is that I found the first excerpt/chapter a little random. I understand why the author would want to include it as it is about his family I just found it strange and unfitting. The organization of this book is something that I would personally edit. It at the same time it does not detract from this book! If you have interest in American crime, you will love this book. If you are a criminal minds fan, you will love this book!
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This book should not, perhaps be as entertaining as it is, I mean who wants to admit they laughed out loud at a book about murders? I did. I couldn't help it. The author has a natural way with tongue-in-cheek humour and deadpan delivery. 

Aside from the humorous aspects of this book, it was entertaining because it discussed some of the lesser known cases of murder that aren't commonly rehashed in other books of this sort. It was detailed enough to keep me interested, but never boring.

If you are looking for something that will infom you but also give you a giggle or two, however morally inappopriate, this is a book that you should read. I really had a lot of fun with it, and am still surprised, considering the subject matter. 

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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A phenomenal book. Wonderfully written and thought provoking, I already know a number of people who will be getting it for their birthday this year. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy in return for my unbiased review.
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This is going to sound a bit odd, especially talking about a murder book, however, the author was witty, charming, and sometimes downright laugh out loud.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The author did a great job moving the timeline along for the San Fransisco area and which murders stood out.
A couple of small criticisms....some of the stories ended abruptly and I wanted some closure...like what happened to the street urchin "little dick"? 
Secondly, some of the stories were not about murders but sensational con men. I felt that the book did not need about 3 of these sections.
Thirdly, the hoarding house...what happened there? We heard about the walk through but WHAT HAPPENED?! 
And finally, the last murder drug on and on. This was the one where I was like...I think this is a bigger deal to the author then to any San Franciscans. 

OVerall a good book about murders that shaped an American city.
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This was an average read. If you're a true crime buff you'll probably enjoy it. It had nice photographs which I really like. 
Stories were not as detailed as I like.  More historical than sensationalist.
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This is definitely the type of nonfiction book that interests me, it is a true crime book that does a really good job at explaining the darker side of San Francisco’s history. While it covers some more well-known events, like the gold rush, 1906 earthquakes, and the Zodiac killer, it also talks about topics and event that I have never heard of. I really enjoyed reading this book and finding little parts where I had a lightbulb moment; where I would learn one little piece of information that would connect the dots for me and give me a whole new insight. I think that this book takes nonfiction true crime to a new level and goes much more in-depth than all other similar books I have read. 
There were some chapters with stories that seemed unrelated and unnecessary; but even if the stories did not seem well connected, they still provided an interesting and pleasant read. There were also some chapters that were hard to follow; with an overabundance of information and crimes not being in chronological order, it sometimes got hard to read and understand. I also wished certain chapters went more in-depth with their crimes and topics, for example I would have loved to learn more about the notorious serial killers of California in chapter 13. 
The only part of the book where I was troubled was the end, where the topic of COVID-19 comes up. Reading a depressing pessimistic outlook on the future did not sit well with me, especially when you want to be hopeful things will get better. Nevertheless, this book was enjoyable and fascinating, even with its dark undertones. I could definitely see myself buying a physical copy of this book once it is published.
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