An LJMU Senior History Lecturer has received international acclaim following the launch of her book about one of the USA’s most notorious murders.
Dr Gillian O'Brien’s book, Blood Runs Green - The Murder That Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago, has been a huge hit in America, and reviews the circumstances of one of the country's most famous murders of Dr Patrick Cronin.
Dr Cronin's was the biggest funeral Chicago had seen since President Lincoln’s and on May 26 1889, 4,000 mourners proceeded down Michigan Avenue followed by a 40,000 strong crowd, protesting about what commentators called one of the ghastliest and most curious crimes in civilised history.
The dead man, Dr Cronin, was a respected Irish physician, and his brutal murder uncovered a web of intrigue, secrecy, and corruption that stretched across the United States and far beyond.
Borne out of Dr O’Brien’s extensive research of Irish independence and Irish immigration, the book explains how Dr Cronin, a doctor in Chicago which had a high Irish population, was a supporter of Clan na Gael, a secret republican society fighting for Irish independence.
The trial of his murder was the longest-running trial in US history but Dr O’Brien’s research indicates that the prime suspect, Alex Sullivan, was never tried for the murder.
Dr O’Brien states that Dr Cronin was suspicious of Sullivan, believed him to be corrupt and fraudulent and claimed that his rival intended to kill him. Dr Cronin was last seen alive getting into a horse-drawn carriage and his beaten body was later found in a storm sewer.
Sharon Wheeler in the THE, describes Dr O’Brien’s book as “…all that’s best in academic writing: detailed research, accessible writing – and a rattling good yarn. It certainly kept me turning the pages like the best crime novel".
The book has also received national and international coverage, including the THE, the Irish Times, the New Yorker and TIME magazine. Dr O'Brien also appeared on US TV and radio stations Chicago Tonight, NPR, WBEZ and Irish radio station Newstalk.
Blood Runs Green - The Murder That Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago is now available to buy in Waterstones, Liverpool ONE.