Murdering the President: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield

Murdering the President: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield

Murdering the President: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield

Murdering the President: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield

Synopsis

Shortly after being elected president of the United States, James Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau. But contrary to what is written in most history books, Garfield didn't linger and die. He survived. Alexander Graham Bell raced against time to invent the world's first metal detector to locate the bullet in Garfield's body so that doctors could safely operate. Despite Bell's efforts to save Garfield, however, and as never before fully revealed, the interventions of Garfield's friend and doctor, Dr. D. W. Bliss, brought about the demise of the nation's twentieth president.

But why would a medical doctor engage in such monstrous behavior? Did politics, petty jealousy, or failed aspirations spark the fire inside Bliss that led him down the path of homicide? Rosen proves how depraved indifference to human life - second-degree murder - rather than ineptitude led to Garfield's drawn out and painful death. Now, more than one hundred years later, historian and homicide investigator Fred Rosen reveals through newly accessed documents and Bell's own correspondence the long list of Bliss's criminal acts and malevolent motives that led to his murder of the president.

Excerpt

Hank Garfield

Fred Rosen first called me in the fall of 2004, a few months after the publicationype="i">The Lost Voyage of John Cabot.

The book’s jacket flap and some blurbs on the Internet had identified me as the great-great-grandson of President James A. Garfield. That fact had also been on the jacket of my first novel, Moondog, a werewolf whodunit set in the hills of California, and published ten years earlier. Fred explained that he wrote true crime books, with an emphasis on investigative reporting.

Most of his work covered modern cases. Now Fred was interested in the historical drama surrounding my great-greatgrandfather’s death. We talked for a while, about the writing business, my famous ancestor, and Fred’s belief as to what the real story was: Alexander Graham Bell raced to save my greatgreat-grandfather, while Dr. Willard Bliss deliberately did the direct opposite.

“You’re not what I expected,” Fred said, after we had spoken for awhile.

“How so?” I asked him.

“Well, you sound like a pretty normal guy. I thought I was going to get one of the Kennedys on the phone.”

I was sitting at my computer in my bathrobe, playing spider solitaire, and sucking down the day’s first cup of coffee. How much more normal can you get?

I live in Maine. I make a modest living as a college English teacher and magazine writer. I’ve published five novels. I’ve raised two kids, mostly by myself, and I don’t own a car. I drink beer and follow the Red Sox. I am a pretty normal guy.

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