Black Garters of Death

startling detective feb 1949 copy

Anyone thinking things were safer back in the ‘good ol’ days’ oughta think twice. Evidently a fellow couldn’t even go to the picture show back in 1949 without running into a movie-mad blonde wearing black garters of death. So, just keep walkin’, dude…

Hellcats, Vixens & Vice Dolls

hellcats vixens and vice dolls

Hellcats, Vixens & Vice Dolls – Women, Crime And Kink Of The Fifties, is a companion volume to editor David Jacobs’ Hoodlums, Hopheads & Hepcats, both books collecting particularly sleazy examples of 1950’s true crime magazine stories. It’s unclear where all of the 50 pieces in this 350+ page book originally appeared. There’s only a brief 3-1/2 page introduction from Jacobs, but the individual stories don’t list what magazine they came from, or even what year they appeared. The only clues are in the book’s front matter, where Police Dragnet Cases magazine issues from 1955 through 1961 are noted as the source for a lot of stories…possibly all of them. To tell the truth, I’m really not sure. But then, this is no scholarly tome. It’s a sleaze-read all the way, and many (though by no means all) of the pieces are retro-raunchy fun. It’s divided up into three sections: “Dope” with 7 pieces, “Vice” with 20, and “Mayhem” with the rest, those including various thieves, murders, gun molls and general bad girlz. Sure, it’d be nice to have each piece credited with a tidbit or two about the authors, their pen-names, the magazines…something. Still, reading this collection is a lot cheaper than buying up a few dozen issues of musty overpriced collectibles.

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