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The Annals of Unsolved Crime

Edward Jay Epstein’s book on the Kennedy assassination Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth was the first book on the case and an instant bestseller. After speaking to every member of the Warren Commission, Epstein concluded that enough remained uninvestigated that conspiracy theories would persist for years.

Ever since, Epstein has remained a skeptic — and a dogged investigator. Writing for the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, he has reported on dozens of famous crimes. His books include a dissection of Lee Harvey Oswald’s ties to Soviet intelligence (Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald), an account of Nixon-era crimes (Agency of Fear), a widely-respected study of the CIA (Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB & the CIA), and a study of surveillance tapes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (Three Days in May).

His method is simple: outline what is known and unknown, and show the plausible theories of the case. Where more than one theory exists, he shows the evidence for and against each. And when something remains to be proved, he says as much. In The Annals of Unsolved Crime, Epstein collects his investigations and adds dozens of new cases. From the Lindbergh Kidnapping to the JonBenet Ramsey case, from the Lincoln assassination and the death of Simon Bolivar to the demise of Marilyn Monroe, Epstein considers more than two dozen high-profile crimes and  their tangled histories to prove himself one of the most penetrating journalist in America.

Edward Jay Epstein studied government and received a Ph.D from Harvard in 1973. He turned his master’s thesis on the search for political truth (Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth) into a bestselling book, and has written numerous highly-praised books since then — including, most recently for Melville House, The Hollywood Economist, which investigates how Hollywood films are financed.

”A compelling and informed account of how crime and the needs of power and politics intertwine.” The Independent

”A grand figure of modern journalism…Show Epstein a juicy crime and he will show you how it has been subverted by unseen powers for their own agenda, by the inevitable incompetence of investigative authorities and by the media because it likes a simple story line.” —Michael Wolff, USA Today

“Epstein believes that conspiracies are more common than most journalists credit; for much of his career, he has reveled in the kind of tantalizing clues that could lead somewhere, or nowhere.” —Joe Nocera, The New York Times

”Armchair detectives will eat this book with a spoon. Journalism students need to read the Strauss-Kahn piece yesterday. The JFK piece is required reading for assassination buffs, And for the rest of us? ”The Annals of Unsolved Crime” is a guilty pleasure.”The Huffington Post

”Whether you’re a true crime devotee or simply someone who loves a good story, you’ll find things you didn’t know—maybe things you would never imagine—all served up in…The Annals of Unsolved Crime.”Criminal Element

”The book really crackles.”The Ledger

”Epstein often is able to provide exactly the kind of comprehensive and levelheaded analysis that is usually drowned out in the sensationalism…As a longtime investigative journalist, Epstein knows how to break down a crime scene.”—Newsday 

“Epstein is a bulldog researcher.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“A brilliant investigator.” — Lou Dobbs


“[A] terrific job. . . . There’s fun to be had in knowing specifics, and Epstein offers plenty.” —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“The mysteries of modern-day film financing … the seamy underbelly of Hollywood spreadsheets.” —THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


“A rich adventure that will change the way you look at movies.” —BUSINESSWEEK

“Edward Jay Epstein is here to tell us that when it comes to Hollywood these days, we’ve got it all wrong.” —THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD

“One of the virtues of The Big Picture is Mr. Epstein’s astonishing access to numbers that movie studios go to great lengths to keep secret . . . A groundbreaking work that explains the inner workings of the game.” —THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Hollywood has needed one of these for a long time—a user’s manual. This one could not be more complete. . . .[Grade] A.” —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“In his adroit charting of the confidence flow between the various entities and eras Mr. Epstein kicks up a lot of little surprises. . . Edward Jay Epstein is quite good.” —LARRY McMURTRY, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

“. . . [A] valuable education for those seeking to enter and under- stand the entertainment industry. . . . Factually impressive.” —JOEL HIRSCHHORN, VARIETY

“Epstein peels away the Hollywood facade and gives a nuts-and- bolts view of how the six entertainment empires—Viacom, Fox, NBC/Universal, Time Warner, Sony, and Disney—create and distribute intellectual property today. . . . [He] presents a fascinating look at the unbelievable efforts that must be coordinated to produce a film.” —BOOKLIST

“In vivid detail, he describes the current process of how a film is made, from the initial pitch to last-minute digital editing. There’s a refreshing absence of moral grandstanding in Epstein’s work. With no apparent ax to grind, he simply and comprehensively presents the industry as it is: the nuts and bolts, the perks and pitfalls and the staggering fortunes that some in the business walk away with. This is the new indispensable text for anyone interested in how Hollywood works.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“[A] meticulously reported new book.” —THE BALTIMORE SUN

“What one learns from these investigations is that the deepest, darkest secrets in Tinseltown have nothing to do with sex, drugs, blasphemy, or politics, and everything to do with money.” —THE WEEKLY STANDARD

“Edward Jay Epstein blew the lid off Hollywood’s dirty little open secret.” —THE WASHINGTON TIMES

“Compelling. . . . [Epstein] demystifies the contemporary process of film-making in the digital age.” —THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

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