Books on 19th Century Crime


The books below each deal with crime in one of the Great Lakes States. Complete info and links are at the bottom.

Murder Will Out brings together brief accounts of dozens of murders occurring in the early 1800s in Cincinnati.

Criminal Reminiscences and Detective Sketches is a collection of autobiographical stories of investigations by Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish immigrant who became Chicago’s first detective.

The Fighting Finches is a small booklet with many brief stories of the Finch family, who stole horses, rustled cattle and ruled their region of Wisconsin with fear for nearly three decades.

History of the Regulators of Northern Indiana is about a criminal gang that operated freely from Noble and LaGrange counties in Indiana from the early settlement of those areas in the 1830s until the state government authorized the formation of the “Regulators” in the 1850s to hunt them down. The book provides the details of the gang’s activities, often in the form of courtroom confessions.

The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock is about gangs of criminals that operated for decades from the cave located on the Illinois bank of the Ohio River. Some may remember a scene from the 1962 movie “How the West was Won”, which was partly shot in the cave.

Murder Will Out. The First Step in Crime Leads to the Gallows. The Horrors of the Queen City

Cincinnati: 1867
DeBeck, W L.Go to Book


Criminal Reminiscences and Detective Sketches

NY: Dillingham. 1878
Pinkerton, AllanGo to Book


The Fighting Finches: Tales of Freebooters of the Pioneer Countryside in Rock and Jefferson Counties

Madison: Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers’ Project, Folklore Section, 1937
Brown, Dorothy Moulding Go to Book


History of the Regulators of Northern Indiana

Indianapolis: Indianapolis Journal 1859
Mott, M.H. Go to Book


The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock; historical accounts of the famous highwaymen and river pirates who operated in pioneer days upon the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and over the old Natchez Trace

Cleveland: Clark. 1924
Rothert, Otto A. Go to Book