Richard O Jones

Biography

About Richard O Jones
After 25 years writing the first draft of history as a writer and editor for his hometown newspaper, the Hamilton Journal-News, Richard O Jones left the grind of daily journalism in the fall of 2013 for a life of true crime. Mr. Jones, a creative writing graduate of Miami University, Ohio, spent most of his career as an arts journalist and has won numerous awards for his reviews and profiles. In 2004, he was named a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts Theatre and Musical Theatre program at the Annenberg School of Journalism. The Ohio Associated Press named him Feature Writer of the Year in 2011. Since leaving the newspaper world, Mr. Jones has become an active member of his local history community as a board member of the Butler County Historical Society, a member of the History Speakers Bureau and a regular presenter at Miami University in a program titled “Yesterday’s News.” The Michael J. Colligan History Project of Miami University presented Mr. Jones with a Special Recognition for Contributions to Public History for his coverage of the Centennial Commemoration of the Great Flood of 1913.

Photo by Sandra M. Orlett

Smashwords Interview

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When writing true crime history, I especially love the early part of the process, the joy of discovering an interesting crime and delving into it to see if it would make a good story for me. I can get lost for days in a newspaper archive following a thread. And then there's the joy of having a finished story in hand. Like Dorothy Parker famously said, the best part of writing is having written. All of the stuff in between is work and diligence and the reason I want to get paid for it.
What is your writing process?
For true crime history, I just take copious notes from the newspaper articles of the day, and then mold them into a smooth narrative in a modern vernacular. I usually do research in daylight hours and typically write late into the night, when there are fewer distractions and I can find my writing groove.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Richard O Jones online


Books

Where's Your Mother, George? The True Crime of George Schneider
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #4. Pre-release—available January 1, 2015. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 9,860. Language: English. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
Everyone in the Schneider family presumed that the widow matriarch Catharine was staying with her favorite son George on his remote Ohio farm. When George, his wife Margaret and their seven children showed up to a family dinner without her, suspicions ran high. No one could believe the story he told about a pair of highway bandits and a shallow grave.
Massacre on Prospect Hill: The True Crime of Francis Lloyd Russell
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #8. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 8,650. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » History » American
Hamilton, Ohio, was a notorious hide-out for Chicago gangsters in the era of Prohibition, and they brought with them vice and violence. The city's most horrific crime in that time had nothing to do with bootleg whiskey or fancy women, but with a hard-working bachelor trying to take care of his sick brother's family. He loved them so much, he would rather see them dead than homeless.
Man Beheaded; Dentist Sought: The True Crime of Richard M. Brumfield
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #7. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,200. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
Was the dentist Richard Brumfield mad? Or a criminal mastermind? Here's a true crime story that has it all: Poisoning, shooting, dynamite, a faked death and a real one, a mutilated corpse, a dark woman, a mystery package, a manhunt, a suicide attempt, an attempted jail break, dogged deputies, a determined prosecutor and the ever-heroic Royal Northwest Mounted Police who always get their man.
Hymns of a Raving Heart: The True Crime of S. Althea Berrie
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #6. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 9,850. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
When Fannie Berrie, the wife of the handsome pastor and famous writer of hymns S. Althea Berrie, died after a long illness and a serious bout of convulsions, no one gave it a second thought. That is, until the 52-year-old widower suddenly wed the his pretty 19-year-old secretary less than two months later, and the siblings of the dead woman paid for an exhumation and autopsy.
The Blood-Soaked Woman at the Top of the Stairs: The True Crime of Grace Lusk
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #5. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 24,690. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
Summoned to the home of his mistress Grace Lusk by telephone, Waukesha veterinarian Dr. David Roberts found his wife, Mary, dying in the parlor, a bullet through her heart, and Grace bleeding from a self-inflicted wound, standing at the top of the stairs, where she held the police chief and a doctor at bay for over an hour before she shot herself again.
The Gas Fume Fugitive: The True Crime of Charlie King
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 15,510. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
Late one fall night in 1929, the barber Charlie King opened the gas lines of his Hamilton, Ohio, home and left his five sons and wife sleeping in the deadly fumes, then hopped on a freight train heading north. In spite of a heroic effort by police and neighbors alike, Ethel King and four of her children died in the tragedy. It was a year before he would show up behind a barber chair 250 miles away
The Arsenic Affair: The True Crime of Belle Wardlow and Harry Cowdry
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 15,950. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
When farmer Lorel Wardlow died from an acute case of quinsy, the country doctor who took care of him signed off on the death certificate without an autopsy. The little town of Kyle was soon buzzing with gossip about his widow and her behavior with the farmhand Harry Cowdry, who helped take care of his boss in his last days. When the coroner got wind of the scandal, he started the investigation.
The Sleepwalking Slasher: The True Crime of Samuel J. Keelor
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Series: Two-Dollar Terrors, A Two-Dollar Terror #1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 10,860. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
Early one winter morning in 1903, Ohio laborer Sam Keelor awoke with a bloody cooper's hammer in his hand and his pretty young wife Bertha dead in their marriage bed next to him. He panicked and decided to get rid of the body, but cutting his pretty wife up into portable pieces proved to be more work than he bargained for, so he opted to cut his own throat instead. He made a mess of that, too.

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