Folsom's 93
From 1895 to 1937, 93 men were hanged at California’s Folsom State Prison, and this book is the first to tell all of their stories, recounting long-forgotten tales of murder and swift justice, or sometimes, swift injustice that hanged an innocent man. Based on a treasury of historical information that has been hidden from the public for nearly 70 years, the full stories of these 93 executed men are presented in this collection including their origins, their crimes, the investigations that brought them to justice, their trials, and their deaths at the gallows. This wealth of previously unpublished historical detail gives a vivid view of the sociology of early 20th-century crime and of the resulting prison life. Readers take a trip back in time to the hard-boiled early 20th-century California that inspired the novels of Dashiell Hammett and countless other crime writers. Illustrated throughout with authentic and haunting prison photographs of each of the condemned men, the crimes and punishments of a vanished era are brought into a sharp and realistic light.

Folsom's 93 Details

TitleFolsom's 93
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 1st, 2013
PublisherLinden Publishing
ISBN-139781610351720
Rating
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, History

Folsom's 93 Review

  • Kerrie
    January 1, 1970
    Folsom's 93 is a fascinating book chronicling the stories of the 93 men who were executed in Folsom Prison between 1895 and the final hanging at the prison in 1937.The book is broken down chronologically into seven sections, each encompassing about a five year time span. A brief historical account of what was happening in California during that time period begins each section before moving into the stories of the prisoners.One of the things that makes this book so compelling is the mugshot of ea Folsom's 93 is a fascinating book chronicling the stories of the 93 men who were executed in Folsom Prison between 1895 and the final hanging at the prison in 1937.The book is broken down chronologically into seven sections, each encompassing about a five year time span. A brief historical account of what was happening in California during that time period begins each section before moving into the stories of the prisoners.One of the things that makes this book so compelling is the mugshot of each man. Before reading each entry, I found myself looking at the photo, trying to decide if the prisoner looked like a killer and I imagined what I would think of him if I saw him walking down the street.The stories themselves read like excerpts from crime novels. Like the one detailing a group of prisoners attacking the guards, taking some hostage and escaping. I couldn't put it down because I had to find out if and how they were going to get caught. I was intrigued (and a little horrified) by the story of Frank Belew who poisoned his siblings and then acted like the grieving brother. After reading some entries, it was clear the judicial system needed someone to punish for the crime, even if the evidence proved contrary. One story in particular I found compelling and has stuck with me, was the one of Jacob Oppenheimer. It made me seriously dig deep into my own beliefs about the treatment and the rights of prisoners.Not one to read this type of book, I was surprised and how much I wanted to keep reading. I would tell myself, just one more story. Then I would finish that one and say the same thing again, just one more. If you are someone who enjoys history or are fascinated by human psychology or love crime thrillers, then you should read this book. I absolutely recommend it.
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  • Maggie D'Amato Goins
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this well-written account of these men and their crimes. Thank you Ms Moore.
  • Linda Marie Marsh
    January 1, 1970
    Around the turn of the century Folsom prison executed 93 men. This book is a collection of the true stories of the what and why of each guy, written only because of an unexpected find of records in an attic!When you watch the news these days and see what a guilty man gets sentenced, it's a social injustice. 'Life' does not mean life in prison, death sentences get commuted, and prisoners have 'rights'. No so, back in time when that cell door clanged till you were hanged.I can EASILY see see this Around the turn of the century Folsom prison executed 93 men. This book is a collection of the true stories of the what and why of each guy, written only because of an unexpected find of records in an attic!When you watch the news these days and see what a guilty man gets sentenced, it's a social injustice. 'Life' does not mean life in prison, death sentences get commuted, and prisoners have 'rights'. No so, back in time when that cell door clanged till you were hanged.I can EASILY see see this book by April Moore becoming a tv show on the Investigation Discovery channel......i'd be one who'd watch! ps- i honestly had NO idea that death by hanging took SO long! Too many westerns where death is instantaneous.....ohhhhhh no.
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  • Katherine Addison
    January 1, 1970
    [Website: folsoms93.com.]Does what it says on the tin. 93 convicted murderers you have almost certainly never heard of. The mug shots of all 93 are the best reason to pick up this book if you happen to find it.Some of these 93 men were clearly guilty; some of them were guilty but insane (by 21st century standards); a couple were pretty clearly insane even by early 20th century standards (but were hanged anyway). It's not always easy to tell from Moore's writing whether her account of a given cri [Website: folsoms93.com.]Does what it says on the tin. 93 convicted murderers you have almost certainly never heard of. The mug shots of all 93 are the best reason to pick up this book if you happen to find it.Some of these 93 men were clearly guilty; some of them were guilty but insane (by 21st century standards); a couple were pretty clearly insane even by early 20th century standards (but were hanged anyway). It's not always easy to tell from Moore's writing whether her account of a given crime is what did happen or what the prosecution alleged happened, so I can't say for certain whether any of these 93 men were actually innocent of the murders for which they were hanged. (The cavalier pre-Miranda treatment of defendants' rights did on several occasions make my skin crawl.)I am not a fan of the death penalty, and the evidence provided by this book certainly did not change my mind. Several of these murderers are horrifying (Elton M. Stone, David Fountain, Adolph Julius Weber, Earl Budd Kimball, Tellie McQuate, Walter Lewis), but so is Governor Friend Robinson, who, despite being a Quaker, was such a blind believer in capital punishment that he refused on principle to listen to any appeals. For that matter, so is Governor James "Sunny Jim" Rolph, who was opposed to the death penalty, and was generous with reprieves, but who thought that lynching was perfectly okay. And one's understanding of Rolph's opposition to the death penalty changes a little bit when he says things like, "I'm not inclined to let men hang when their crimes involve infidelity of their wife and breaking up of their home." Because if it's your wife's fault you murdered her, then surely you must be more deserving of mercy than other murderers. [/sarcasm]Also, hanging, where you might die instantly, but you might just as easily hang there, strangling, for as much as fifteen minutes, is surely one of the least merciful forms of execution available.
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  • Michelle Arredondo
    January 1, 1970
    Folsom's 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men by April Moore...a book I was very curious about. I have a dark passion for reading and learning about the life of crime..the criminal mind and the history of crime. It's such a fascinating subject that goes on and on and on without end. When I discovered that this book was in existence I wanted it to become a part of my library....It's a very interesting read. The lives of 93 criminals...all a part of the Folsom Prison system. We Folsom's 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men by April Moore...a book I was very curious about. I have a dark passion for reading and learning about the life of crime..the criminal mind and the history of crime. It's such a fascinating subject that goes on and on and on without end. When I discovered that this book was in existence I wanted it to become a part of my library....It's a very interesting read. The lives of 93 criminals...all a part of the Folsom Prison system. We learn of their crimes, their prison sentences, and who these people were. It's in-depth and eerie and gives you so much to think about when it comes to our judicial system. I did enjoy the book from front to back...the pictures were certainly a bonus. Haunting..riveting...and keeps you wanting to learn even more. Highly recommend this book if you are up for a serious read. Thanks as always to the wonderful peeps at goodreads for giving me the opportunity to receive this book free in exchange for an honest review to which I gladly and voluntarily gave.
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  • Dean Miller
    January 1, 1970
    Folsom's 93 is a great piece of nonfiction story telling. There are 93 stories and each one is told through eye witness accounts, court documents, local news articles and quotes from the prisoners themselves. The writing style of Mrs. Moore transports the reader to the time and place of each event.This was one of the key components that brings this reviewer's rating to a full five stars. The information contained in this fine book is not only an accounting of the lives and crimes of the executed Folsom's 93 is a great piece of nonfiction story telling. There are 93 stories and each one is told through eye witness accounts, court documents, local news articles and quotes from the prisoners themselves. The writing style of Mrs. Moore transports the reader to the time and place of each event.This was one of the key components that brings this reviewer's rating to a full five stars. The information contained in this fine book is not only an accounting of the lives and crimes of the executed inmates, but serves as an outstanding document to the current settings, racial discrimination, growth periods of California and the changing times of not only the judicial and penal systems, but of the local economies and livelihoods of the communities surrounding Folsom Prison.Folsom's 93 will serve as a historical tribute and road map to a time a place that could have been easily forgotten. Truly, one of the finest debut books to be found.
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  • Sheala Henke
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating collection of stories behind the mysterious faces of those who didn't live to tell their own tale. The author paid great mind to the research involved in pooling together the inter-weavings of each man's life, crime and history. To further ignite a curious mind, these stories are paired with a mugshot of each prisoner and the details behind the sentences of each of the men hanged at the California's State Prison.
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  • Patricia Stoltey
    January 1, 1970
    Folsom's 93 is an important piece of prison history for the state of California, a biography of the 93 men who were hung at Folsom before the practice was discontinued, and a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the victims and their families as well as the families of the convicted men. The book is highly readable, and the sidebar historical notes interesting, even to those of us who are not Californians.
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  • Mitch
    January 1, 1970
    Not bad. Not to the fault to the author, but some stories were a little thin due to the lack of records, etc...
  • Ysidro
    January 1, 1970
    If you're a fan of true crime and California history, then you'll love this book.
  • Steve Kemp
    January 1, 1970
    Won my copy on Good Reads . Fantastic compilation of stories of all the executions at Folsom.
  • April Moore
    January 1, 1970
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