Blood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard
On 23 November 1849, in the heart of Boston, one of the city's richest men vanished. Dr. George Parkman, who owned much of Boston's West End, was last seen that afternoon visiting his alma mater, Harvard Medical School. Police scoured city tenements and the harbour but a Harvard janitor held a much darker suspicion: that their ruthless benefactor had not left the Medical School building. His shocking discovery engulfed America in one of its most infamous trials, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. John White Webster, Harvard's professor of chemistry. A baffling case of red herrings, grave robbing and dismemberment; it became a landmark in the use of medical forensics. Rich in characters and atmosphere, Blood & Ivy explores the fatal entanglement of new science and old money in one of America's greatest murder mysteries.
Paul Collins is the author of nine books of nonfiction. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and chair of the English Department at Portland State University.