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Publisher's Summary

With makeup and an affected Elvis pout, Tucson’s Charlie Schmid was a crude parody of a bad-boy heartthrob. In 1964, he still had a hold on girls who’d follow him anywhere. He murdered three of them.

It was the dawn of the free-love movement - perfect for a magnetic madman who’d also foreshadow its end a few years later in the malignant charisma of Charles Manson. The inspiration for a classic story by Joyce Carol Oates, Schmid, the most bizarre serial killer of any era, was the epitome of a narcissist flattered into believing he could get away with murder.

The Pied Piper is part of Bloodlands, a chilling collection of short addictive historical narratives from bestselling true-crime master Harold Schechter. Spanning a century in our nation’s murderous past, Schechter resurrects nearly forgotten tales of madmen and thrill-killers that dominated the most sensational headlines of their day.

©2018 Harold Schechter (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Christine Delea
  • USA
  • 2019-04-30

Creepy Charles Schmid, Serial Killer

Charles Schmid, the Pied Piper of Tucson, was a serial killer and a very odd, creepy narcissist to boot. That may sound strange, but I have never understood how he attracted friends, girlfriends, criminal helpers, and people who covered up for him. Looking at mid-20th Century serial killers, his oddness makes him stand out.

This book, performed by Steven Webber, is a great listen for a short drive or while doing tasks at home--it is just over an hour long.

The author does a great job of creating a portrayal of this killer, his victims, and the people around him.

Webber does a fantastic job of performing.

If you like true crime, or have recently read Joyce Carol Oates' short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", you will want to listen to this. And if you have never read the Oates' story, which is based on this case, you should do so after listening to this (or just read it anyway--it is a classic).

Recommended!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca Rakes
  • VA, USA
  • 2019-03-01

like listening to a crime show on TV

It was well read and written. felt like listening to a TV show about old crimes.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Richardson
  • 2018-12-18

enjoying the bloodland collection

I am enjoying the bloodland collection! this is my fourth book of the series. I really like the little bits of history you get in each story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. A. G.
  • Cleveland OH
  • 2018-12-04

Wonderful

I had never heard of the Pied Piper of Tucson before this. Very interesting series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Montzalee Wittmann
  • Missouri, USA
  • 2018-11-11

Another great crime history short

The Lord Piper by Harold Schechter brings the reader along on another trip down a bloody history lane. This book covers criminals that attract followers then convince those followers to help commit murder. Lots of detailed information on cases in here.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kay
  • 2018-11-05

Love this series

This is a fascinating series. I have enjoyed all of the stories I have listened to. I highly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Virginia Ruth Abeyta
  • Albuquerque, Nm
  • 2018-10-13

The Pipes Piper

The Pied Piper
By Harold Schechter
Narrated By Steven Weber
1 Hrs and 5 Mins.
It is a good book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Ehrenberg
  • 2018-09-15

Enthralling, sad, and terrifying

Great performance. This story was equal parts captivating and heartbreaking. Schmitty was an absolute monster.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Maria-Anne
  • 2018-09-13

Short True Story

I found it distressing how many people knew about it but didn't notify the police and how easy he manipulated others.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Honest Opinion
  • 2018-08-23

struggled to finish

I am not sure if the performance impacted my opinion or if it was just a subpar story but I forced myself to finish because it was short. I never did get a clear visual idea of Smitty's face full of make-up even though it was described multiple times. What/why is a "flesh colored bandage on his nose" all of the time? How could a 15 yo girl (or anyone) be attracted to this Joker-looking fellow? I cannot imagine it.