Wanted in America

Posters Collected by the Fort Worth Police Department, 1898-1903

978-0-87565-730-1 Cloth
8.5 x 11. 136 pp. 50 color photos.
Pub Date: 11/14/2019
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This book of genuine wanted posters distributed by law enforcement agencies at the turn of the twentieth century will change your perspective on the genre. Wanted in America: Posters Collected by the Fort Worth Police Department, 1898–1903 features fifty posters and the fascinating true crime stories behind them. While some of the offenders are virtually unknown today, others, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, remain household names. You will meet fugitive pickpockets, embezzlers, robbers, kidnappers, murderers, and more, along with their associates and their victims. They are a cross-section of America—men and women of all ages, social classes, and many races and nationalities. Though the notices were created on a local level, they reflect national social and economic changes in a growing population.

The fifty posters published here represent only a small sample of the hundreds available for research. The stories behind the posters demonstrate how twentieth-century advances in mass media distribution, law enforcement techniques, transportation, and communication impacted the ability of lawmen to locate the fugitives they sought and the ability of the suspects to stay on the run. They reveal that the game of cat and mouse continued as both hunter and hunted found ways to use technology to their advantage.

Over thirty-five professors, journalists, and historians generously contributed their talents to research and craft the essays that accompany these posters. The tales themselves run the gamut from amusing to puzzling to horrific. These may not be the wanted posters of popular imagination, but they are the real thing—which makes them all the better.

Published by Texas Christian University Press