In Search of the American Sherlock Holmes:
Tracking down Ellis Parker and the Second Lindbergh Kidnapping.
A literary true adventure by John Reisinger
So exactly who was the American Sherlock Holmes? As unlikely as it seems, he was a small town detective from New Jersey.
 
For 40 years, Ellis Parker, the Chief of Detectives of Burlington County New Jersey, was considered by many to be America`s greatest detective. Using his deductive abilities and his knowledge of psychology, this folksy and somewhat rumpled figure solved cases that had baffled others.  His cases read like fiction; a case involving over a hundred suspects, a case where he actually predicted where the criminals would appear next, and a murder he solved by deducing why the killers were not wearing overcoats. Then he became involved in investigating the biggest crime of his career: the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932. From that moment, things began to go wrong, and his role has remained shrouded in controversy and confusion ever since.
 
What really happened? How did it happen? That`s what I intended to find out.
 
Now, after over a year of research, I am just finishing the first draft of the only complete biography ever written about Ellis Parker. In it, I have explored his life, his methods, and his motivations.
 
 In Search of the American Sherlock Holmes tells how I first heard of this remarkable story and how I went about tracking down the details of the life of this remarkable and ultimately tragic figure.
 
Writing about a man who died over 60 years ago and left few records is a feat of deduction in itself. Much of what has been written about Ellis Parker is contradictory or vague. Almost everyone who knew him first hand is dead, and in many cases, their children are also dead. So to write about this remarkable detective, a writer has to become a detective himself. My search involved finding relatives, local officials, museums, buildings, old records, newspaper articles, and artifacts. I visited the houses where Ellis Parker lived, the house where the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped, the courthouse where Ellis Parker had his office, and even Ellis Parker`s gravesite. The information was often confusing and contradictory, but had to be analyzed.
 
The story of tracking the life of Ellis Parker is almost as remarkable as the life itself, and I will tell that story on this website in installments. Please stop by and see the latest when you have a chance. If you`ve ever wanted to write a book, if you are writing a book, if you are interested in research, or if you just like a good mystery, I think you`ll enjoy the chase. I know I did.
 
Chapter 3
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 4
Chapter 6
Chapter 5
Chapter 9
Chapter 8
Chapter 7
Chapter 12
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
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