Murder, Mayhem & Madness


By: Michael T. Keene

The author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester takes us on a journey into the past, investigating thirteen true stories of the dark side of local history. Drawing upon years of original research, often uncovering new clues, we learn some of western New York’s most shocking crimes. Was Joseph Smith of Palmyra, the found of the Mormon Church, murdered to prevent him from running for the presidency of the United States? What terrible even occurred in the village of Caledonia that led to a man being hanged twice? Who was Anna Schumacher and why did her mysterious murder in Holy Sepulchre cemetery go unsolved- until now? Who was the Batavia woman who poisoned her entire family only to eventually be set free? What stories lie behind Rochester’s first murder and the unusual execution of the killer? True crimes of passion, insanity, and greed are woven into these and other tales as we explore 150 years of Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.


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