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Fiendish Crime cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-918299-8
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-918297-4
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 216 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-918298-1
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 216 pages
  • Keywords
    • shell shock,
    • double homicide,
    • George Chisholm,
    • World War 1 veteran,
    • historical murder case,
    • 1920s Chicago,
    • insanity plea

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Fiendish Crime
A True Story of Shell Shock and Murder
by Robert James Clark

In 1928, the bodies of two young boys were found in the Indiana Harbor shipping canal of East Chicago, their identities unknown. With no missing children of their age and appearance reported in the city, the police had begun to lose hope until a breakthrough led them to the murderer: their father, George Chisholm, a Canadian World War I veteran. How could a parent commit such a crime? The case drew headlines around the country and worldwide. The death penalty loomed for Chisholm, and his attorneys planned a campaign to save him from the electric chair on the grounds of mental illness. During World War I, while serving in the Victoria Rifles of Canada for three years, Chisholm endured the horrors of trench warfare and the Battle of Vimy Ridge. After being gassed and shell-shocked on the battlefield, Chisholm returned to Canada a changed man and his mental health deteriorated. Although the war had produced epidemic levels of shell shock, it had often been viewed as “cowardice” or “nervousness,” rather than debilitating psychological trauma. And yet, its effects persisted long afterward, manifested in shocking cases like Chisholm’s. Set near Chicago during the roaring twenties—the era of Capone and Lindbergh, bootlegging, gangsters, and rapid social change—Fiendish Crime explores not only George Chisholm’s case, but also the legacy of tragedy that continues long after war.

Robert James Clark photo

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors, Robert James Clark became a certified French-English translator. In addition to his twenty-five years of freelance translation work, he has written several published articles on food, arts, and culture. History and genealogy, however, have remained his passions since youth. After spending most of his adult life in Saskatoon, he moved to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island in 2020 with his partner of thirty-five years.


Robert James Clark

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