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Brooklynite’s new book investigates 1870s murders in the borough

Brooklyn BookBeat

March 25, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Robert E. Murphy’s latest book, “The Three Graces of Raymond Street,” will be on sale April 1. Photo courtesy of the author

Well versed in the history of Brooklyn, Robert E. Murphy has delivered fascinating cultural pieces about the area and continues to do so with his new work “The Three Graces of Raymond Street.”

Beginning with an introduction explaining its ripped-from-the-headlines title, “The Three Graces of Raymond Street” promises a thorough investigation into the circumstances of three Brooklyn murders allegedly committed by young women in the early 1870s.

And it delivers.

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A Brooklynite himself and author of “Brooklyn Union: A Centennial History” and “After Many a Summer: The Passing of the Giants and Dodgers and a Golden Age in New York Baseball,” Robert E. Murphy provides enthralling accounts of the events surrounding each case. He is especially meticulous in citing the role of the press, exploring how the papers sought to degrade or empathize with the three young women whose lawyers all prepared insanity defenses. His sleuthing also reveals the political, religious, and social climates of the time period and sheds light on the development of the modern city.

Reminiscent of the obsession surrounding the O. J. Simpson trial, the murders that rocked Brooklyn almost 150 years ago are fascinating, sensational stories.

Terry Golway calls the book “a terrific read.” It is for sale beginning April 1.

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