‘You Are Here’: Mapping Climate Change, Make Believe and Murder

By Tina Jordan

MURDER MAPS USA
Crime Scenes Revisited; Bloodstains to Ballistics,
1865-1939
By Adam Selzer
Illustrated. 224 pp. Thames & Hudson. $35.

Like last year’s “Murder Maps: Crime Scenes Revisited; Phrenology to Fingerprint, 1811-1911,” this companion volume deconstructs notorious homicides — this time solely in the United States between the Civil War and World War II, a period that, as Selzer says, saw the “birth of modern criminology and forensics.” Stuffed with archival newspaper clippings, vintage illustrations, mugshots, timelines, deeply disquieting photos and, of course, maps that plot where the killings occurred, the book is a veritable cornucopia of crime. As the cases unfold, we see science (handwriting analysis, fingerprinting and the like) slowly marshaled to solve them.

Some of the murderers featured in the book are famous, like Lizzie Borden, Richard Hauptmann and various members of the Hatfield and McCoy families. Most, however, are less well known, or in some cases not known at all: In a story that gripped Gilded Age New York City, a wealthy businessman named Benjamin Nathan, a founder of Mount Sinai Hospital, was bludgeoned to death in his home in 1870. Though the case played out in the papers for years, no one was ever arrested.

ATLAS OF THE INVISIBLE
Maps and Graphics That Will Change How You See the World
By James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti
Illustrated. 216 pp. Norton. $40.

In their previous books — “Where the Animals Go” and “London: The Information Capital” — Cheshire, a geography professor, and Uberti, a graphic designer and visual journalist, upended our ideas of what maps and atlases can be, by presenting data in imaginative and unexpected ways that make it easy to visualize complex scientific concepts.

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