Finding Judge Crater: A Life and Phenomenal Disappearance in Jazz Age New York. Author(s): Riegel Stephen J. ISBN: 9780815611349 Format: Paperback Publisher: Syracuse University Press Year: 202201


On the night of August 6, 1930, Joseph Force Crater, a newly appointed judge and prominent figure in many circles of Manhattan, hailed a taxi in the heart of Broadway and vanished into thin air. Despite a decades-long international manhunt led by the New York Police Department’s esteemed Missing Persons Bureau, the reason for Crater’s disappearance remains a confounding mystery. In the early months of the investigation, evidence implicated and imperiled New York’s top officials. Drawing on new sources, including NYPD case files and court records, and overlooked evidence discovered years later, Riegel pieces together the puzzle of what likely happened to Joseph Crater and why. To uncover the mystery, he delves into Crater’s ascension into the scintillating and corrupt world of Manhattan in the Roaring Twenties and Jazz Age. In turn, the story of the judge’s vanishing in the first year of the Great Depression unfolds as a harbinger of the disappearance of his lost metropolis and its transformation into modern-day New York City.


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