Picks and Pans Review: Murder Among the Mighty

updated 03/14/1983 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/14/1983 01:00AM

by Jay Robert Nash

Material like this used to be put together for a couple of lurid pages in the New York Sunday News, where the articles and photos—with diagrams of where the body lay—were given titles like the chapter headings here: "Killer of a Secret Wife," "Murder for Love," "The Lethal Inheritance" and "Death From Pleasure." How many times is the story of Harry K. Thaw's 1906 shooting of architect Sanford White going to be rehashed? Then Nash retells more recent murders: Johnny Stompanato in Lana Turner's bedroom; Ramon Novarro ("A Perversion That Killed"); Sal Mineo's stabbing; Claudine Longet's shooting of Vladimir Sabich; Jean Harris' killing of Dr. Herman Tamower; Dorothy Stratten's death ("The Rise and Fall of a Playmate"); John Lennon's assassination; and the Claus von Bulow case ("Injecting the Big Sleep"). Sordid details, both fact and rumor, are included. Old-fashioned yellow journalism hasn't died. It's just been slipped into this overpriced, hard-cover book. (Delacorte, $17.95)

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