The Big Policeman

The Big Policeman

The Rise and Fall of America's First, Most Ruthless, and Greatest Detective

Book - 2010
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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 become one of the most celebrated detectives in American history, and paved the way for modern-day police methods, both good and bad.
Publisher: Guilford, CT : Lyons Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781599219653
Branch Call Number: 363.25 BYR 2010
Characteristics: xi, 323 p. : ill

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k
kalio
Jan 18, 2011

New York City has always been a tough town. But when you?re an Irish immigrant who escaped the notorious Five Points neighborhood to fight in the Civil War, join the city?s burgeoning police force, and rise to power through a combination of ruthless cunning and innovative detective work, things are tougher and more complicated than you could ever imagine. Such is the life story of Thomas Byrne (1842-1910), New York City?s premiere police chief during the 19th century. This biography by historical writer J. North Conway traces the career of the man who implemented now-standard crime-fighting techniques like mug shots and police line-ups and who got his best results when he ?gave ?em the third degree,? a phrase he coined and which meant beating confessions out of suspects. Byrne solved the major crimes of his day?the case of ?America?s Jack the Ripper,? the ballsy robbery of the impenetrable Manhattan Savings Bank, the theft and ransom of a millionaire?s dead body?but got caught up in the corrupt Tammany Hall-dominated politics of the day. Byrne was a complicated man with his own set of morals, and the story of his rise and inevitable fall is sensational, compelling history.

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