Among the most confounding missing persons cases of the twentieth century was the sudden disappearance in New York City in 1930 of Judge Joseph Crater. It has never been resolved.
A justice of New York's State Supreme Court, Crater vanished amid political scandal. Within days, questions arose about the judge's finances and his liaisons with numerous women. As his wife secluded herself in Maine, the search for Crater absorbed the attention of New Yorkers in a way nearly impossible to comprehend today. The New York City Police Department spent nearly fifty years, off and on, trying to find Crater before it gave up. The public frenzy about what happened to the judge provided impetus for scrutiny of New York's Tammany Hall political machine - and ultimately for the vanishing of Tammany as well.
Richard Tofel's research does not offer a definitive solution to the Crater mystery, but Mr. Tofel builds an intriguing argument while his narrative recreates a New York at the end of the Jazz Age, particularly its hurly-burly politics. Vanishing Point is the first careful examination of the Crater phenomenon and includes a formidable cast of characters.
Casts intriguing new light on a famous unsolved mystery. * Kirkus *
It's a fascinating tale, even after all these years. * The Dallas Morning News *
Fans of true crime and New York City politics alike will be attracted to Vanishing Point, an excellent survey. * Midwest Book Review *
Tofel has written an entertaining account...For those who recognize the name, but don't know the fascinating story behind it, this is the book to read. * New York Post *
With a newspaperman's eye for drama, Tofel covers a great tale about a New York just beyond our living memory. * New York Sun *
Offers a portrait of Tammany personalities and their intricate political deals...The first book to piece together his [Crater's] surprising story. * The Wall Street Journal *
Excellent...a vivid portrayal...New York lawyers should find fascinating the depiction of a New York legal world...Illuminating. * New York Law Journal *
An intriguing mystery built around the author's compelling argument about the truth behind Crater's disappearance. * Smoke *
Shrewd, terse, engrossing study... * The New York Times *
Using a substantial body of evidence Tofel...offers a tentative, yet intriguing solution... -- Gracie Gregg * Times Record News, Wichita Falls, TX *
He makes the case relevant and fascinating for the reader. -- Larry Cox * Tucson Citizen *
This makes for fascinating reading. -- Eugene R. Fidell * Green Bag *
Compelling. -- Owen Moritz * New York Daily News *
A fascinating look at a great city's greatest mystery. * Kevin Baker *
Extraordinarily deft and skillfully written...[An] admirably understated book... -- Ric Burns, documentary filmmaker