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All That Is Wicked
A Gilded-Age Story of Murder and the Race to Decode the Criminal Mind
Edward Rulloff was a brilliant yet utterly amoral murderer whose crimes spanned decades and whose victims were chosen out of revenge, out of envy, and sometimes out of necessity. He could talk his way out of any crime… until one day, Rulloff’s luck ran out. By 1871 Rulloff sat chained in his cell – a psychopath holding court while curious 19th-century ‘mindhunters’ tried to understand what made him tick. From alienists (early psychiatrists who tried to analyse the source of his madness) to neurologists (who wanted to dissect his brain) to phrenologists (who analysed the bumps on his head to determine his character), each one thought he held the key to understanding the essential question: is evil born or made?