Cover image for The devil's right hand : the tragic story of the Colt family curse
Title:
The devil's right hand : the tragic story of the Colt family curse
Author:
Phelps, M. William.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, [2012]

©2012
Physical Description:
xix, 315 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
From the author who brought you the shocking true story that inspired "Arsenic and Old Lace" comes the horrific legacy of death and destruction in the gunmaking Colt family during the 19th Century, a legacy largely remembered for a lurid murder case that inspired Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Oblong Box" but one that encompassed so much more.
Language:
English
Contents:
Pt. 1. Clashing foils -- Black hats & ink -- Maiden voyage -- Family ties -- Mankiller -- A deathlike hue -- A greenish cast -- The devil and the gunmaker -- pt. 2. The sacrificial lamb -- Confessions of the way life used to be -- Forgive me, I am dying now -- A silent space of time -- Blood in the gutter -- Blood brothers -- Catch-penny abuse -- Prison house -- Theater of murder -- A brother's sins -- Born for blood -- A bloodthirsty heart -- "Death hath no terrors" -- pt. 3 Engine of destruction -- Blood on his hands -- A dreadful cup of vengeance -- Moving on -- The tail of a lion -- Saved by the Indians -- House of hope -- Fortune smiles -- Life springs and death blows -- His father's son -- A final blow.
ISBN:
9780762763795

9780762788460
Format :
Book

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HV6248.C646 P44 2012 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Summary

Summary

The epic story of a great American dynasty, beset by scandal, tragedy, and a dark curseFrom the author of The Devil's Rooming House and the New York Times Bestseller Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy comes the horrific legacy of death and destruction in the gunmaking Colt family during the nineteenth century, a legacy largely remembered for a lurid murder case that inspired Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Oblong Box" but one that encompassed so much more. . . .M. William Phelps reveals an unfathomable pattern surrounding repeating arms inventor Samuel Colt from the death of all the Colt children, including Sam's sea captain son's mysterious demise aboard his yacht, to the eccentric and pious life of Sam Colt's widow. But the tip of this iceberg was the 1841-42 murder case of John C. Colt, one of New York's most sensational scandals. Printer Samuel Adams went to collect a debt from bookkeeper and author John Colt and was never seen alive again. Shocking revelations followed: Did John shoot Adams with one of his brother's Colt firearms before hacking him up and packing him in an oblong box? Did Sam Colt invent the revolving pistol, or steal the idea?Part historical true-crime, part family biography and cultural history, The Devil's Right Hand is a stirring narrative about a darkly cursed American dynasty."


Author Notes

In 2012, Investigative Discovery Channel will air M. William Phelps's television show, tentatively titled "KILLER INSTINCTS with M. William Phelps" for an entire season. M. William Phelps is the author of The Devil's Rooming House: The True Story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer (Lyons Press), which tells the story of the murderer who inspired the Broadway sensation and classic film "Arsenic and Old Lace." A crime expert, lecturer, and investigative journalist, Phelps has more than 600,000 copies of his books in print since 1999. His contemporary crime titles include: Perfect Poison, Lethal Guardian, Every Move You Make, Sleep In Heavenly Peace, Murder in the Heartland, Because You Loved Me, If Looks Could Kill, I'll Be Watching You, and Death Trap. His works of history include an account of Nathan Hale's life between 1773 and 1776 set against two major battles of the American Revolution. Phelps has appeared on Court TV, The Discovery Channel, Fox News Channel, CN8, ABC's "Good Morning America," The Learning Channel, Biography Channel, History Channel, Montel Williams, Geraldo At Large, USA Radio Network, ABC News Radio and Radio America, who calls him "the nation's leading authority on the mind of the female murderer." He's written for the Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, the New London Day, and published several best-selling history "Shorts" for Amazon.com. Phelps has also consulted for the Showtime cable television series "Dexter." He lives in a small Connecticut farming community with his wife, three children and Labrador. He runs a crime forum at www.crimerant.com and can also be reached at his author Web site, www.mwilliamphelps.com.


Table of Contents

Prologue: Vanishing Actp. x
Part I
Chapter 1 Clashing Foilsp. 3
Chapter 2 Black Hats & Inkp. 9
Chapter 3 Maiden Voyagep. 16
Chapter 4 Family Tiesp. 24
Chapter 5 Mankillerp. 32
Chapter 6 A Deathlike Huep. 41
Chapter 7 A Greenish Castp. 49
Chapter 8 The Devil 6c the Gun Makerp. 56
Part II
Chapter 9 The Sacrificial Lambp. 65
Chapter 10 Confessions of the Way Life Used to Bep. 70
Chapter 11 Forgive Me, I Am Dying Nowp. 76
Chapter 12 A Silent Space of Timep. 88
Chapter 13 Blood in the Gutterp. 95
Chapter 14 Blood Brothersp. 103
Chapter 15 Catch-penny Abusep. 111
Chapter 16 Prison Housep. 121
Chapter 17 Theater of Murderp. 130
Chapter 18 A Brothers Sinsp. 139
Chapter 19 Born for Bloodp. 150
Chapter 20 A Bloodthirsty Heartp. 161
Chapter 21 "Deth Hath No Terrors"p. 173
Part III
Chapter 22 Engine of Destructionp. 185
Chapter 23 Blood on His Handsp. 192
Chapter 24 A Dreadful Cup of Vengeancep. 198
Chapter 25 Moving Onp. 203
Chapter 26 The Tail of a Lionp. 211
Chapter 27 Saved by the Indiansp. 220
Chapter 28 House of Hopep. 229
Chapter 29 Fortune Smilesp. 236
Chapter 30 Life Springs and Death Blowsp. 243
Chapter 31 His Father's Sonp. 254
Chapter 32 A Final Blowp. 259
Epiloguep. 263
Acknowledgmentsp. 268
Appendixesp. 270
Endnotesp. 278
Selected Bibliographyp. 303
Indexp. 308
About the Authorp. 316