From the author of The Devil's Rooming House and the New York Times Bestseller Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy comes the horrific legacy of death and destruction in the gunmaking Colt family during the nineteenth century, a legacy largely remembered for a lurid murder case that inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Oblong Box”—but one that encompassed so much more. . . .
M. William Phelps reveals an unfathomable pattern surrounding repeating arms inventor Samuel Colt—from the death of all the Colt children, including Sam’s sea captain son’s mysterious demise aboard his yacht, to the eccentric and pious life of Sam Colt’s widow. But the tip of this iceberg was the 1841-42 murder case of John C. Colt, one of New York’s most sensational scandals. Printer Samuel Adams went to collect a debt from bookkeeper and author John Colt and was never seen alive again. Shocking revelations followed: Did John shoot Adams with one of his brother’s Colt firearms before hacking him up and packing him in an oblong box? Did Sam Colt invent the revolving pistol, or steal the idea?
Part historical true-crime, part family biography and cultural history, The Devil’s Right Hand is a stirring narrative about a darkly cursed American dynasty.
Phelps has appeared on Court TV, The Discovery Channel, Fox News Channel, CN8, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” The Learning Channel, Biography Channel, History Channel, Montel Williams, Geraldo At Large, USA Radio Network, ABC News Radio and Radio America, who calls him “the nation’s leading authority on the mind of the female murderer."
He’s written for the Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, the New London Day, and published several best-selling history “Shorts” for Amazon.com.
Phelps has also consulted for the Showtime cable television series “Dexter."
He lives in a small Connecticut farming community with his wife, three children and Labrador. He runs a crime forum at www.crimerant.com and can also be reached at his author Web site, www.mwilliamphelps.com.