Some stuff readers of “Murder in Wauwatosa” have said:
“Hoffman sifted every available account of the crime, the search and the aftermath, but the failure to bring Schumacher’s killer to justice is only part of the story he tells. He also opens a window into Tosa and Milwaukee in the 1920s, including the ongoing journalistic battle royale between the Journal and the Sentinel, and the fear and confusion citizens felt about people with mental illness and the homeless.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Great research! You not only explain events, but put them into the context of the crime/investigation. I have two degrees in history from UW-Milwaukee, and this is the way I like to see social history presented.
“I love to read books related to history and yours is one of the top ten best I’ve ever read.”
Author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Social Media Success: Harnessing Your Inner Expert to Promote Your Business”
“What a haunting story. Well done. About every journalist I ever have known has claimed to ‘have a book’ in him that he plans to write. Almost none of them ever writes it. I am glad YOU did. It was a good read.”
Retired newspaper publisher
“Hoffman cuts through the myths and the real facts, generating an intriguing book any reader would find engaging.”
Michael John Sullivan
Long Island, New York
“As I got to the last 30 percent of the book, I just sat alone on our balcony and wept. What boys went through, what mental patients had endured and then inflicted on others, what neglect there was on those that could have used and improved with a safe place and supervision … it was so real to me because it is my town … those were streets I have passed thousands of times, those are stories of people in the recent past. Your description of how Buddy’s loss really did change Wauwatosa, Milwaukee and mental health care everywhere, and did bring on some really necessary changes in how closely people watched out for their kids, how we deal with our mental health patients and how to keep the children much safer…the parks free for families to enjoy….it was beautifully written. I learned a lot and I thank you for all the time you spent helping us appreciate how blessed we are and how Buddy’s death saved future lives. Thank you.”
Carolyn Richards Chamberlain
“I had no knowledge of Buddy Schumacher before happening across a mention of your book online. I ordered the book the same day. My personal connection to the area left me finding the story fascinating and I finished the book in just a few days. Thanks again, I appreciated your book.”
“My wife bought me your book from The Little Read store (signed copy – cool). I picked it up and did not put it down! LOVED the history of Art’s and Florence’s families. The Vreeland accounts were amazing. The book put me right into that era. Thanks for writing and sharing this!”
“You did a great job in writing the book about Buddy Schumacher. I found out some interesting things about mental health and police work. One day you will know who killed Buddy and I will know who killed JFK. In the meantime, you have a well-written book.”
Part of the first review of my book posted on Amazon.com:
A summer day, a swimming hole – but no Norman Rockwell painting… July 22, 2012
4 out of 5 stars
“Speaking with family members and digging through records both dusty and digital, Hoffman weaves together the sensationalist headlines of the day, all the gritty details, and a broader historical perspective to assemble a more complete accounting of the facts than was known by most of the contemporaries.
You won’t learn “whodunnit” in these pages, but you’ll wish Hoffman had been there to interview the players at the time – or at least to review the evidence before many of the records were destroyed.
It is both an absorbing tale of a human tragedy, and a microcosmic history of a region and period. It’s a quick read, and hard to put down – I highly recommend it.”
Timothy P. Williams
“Read your book until 3:39 a.m. One word WOW! Mrs Harwood always said to me ‘Do you know who killed Buddy?’ And I would say I don’t know anybody got killed. Thinking I was being clever. I really enjoyed this Paul. Thanks for getting it out on Kindle. Hell thanks for getting it out!”
…and you probably won’t either when you are done with the book, but you’ll surely enjoy the story. Paul (the author) happens to be a childhood friend of mine who has participated in a mutual pranking/teasing battle for our whole lives. I should really write up a giant fake review to get him, however I feel that his book is a seriously good read. While it is especially interesting to those who are familiar with the Wauwatosa area, it is a fantastic view into how the world was different back in the 20’s from murder investigations, to how the press reported sensational stories, to how society dealt with the mentally ill. Paul has done a tremendous amount of background research and made an unsolved murder in a small Wisconsin town come to life. I read it initially out of duty (this is not my usual genre of reading material) , but finished wanting to recommend it to others.
OK, now where’s my check, Paul? :-)
“I liked the background information about Wauwatosa in the 1920’s more than anything. The homeless living near the river, hopping trains. It is no wonder that my mom freaked us out as kids, to stay away from the woods down there.”
“1920s suburban Milwaukee was a world of horrifying crimes against children, the shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill, lax police work and sensational journalism. Read ‘Murder in Wauwatosa’ and you’ll pause before thinking of this bygone era as the good old days.”
Freelance writer and author
“Just finished ‘Murder in Wauwatosa.’ I was fascinated by the differences in criminal justice today compared to then. The treatment, or lack thereof, of mental illness is hard to imagine today. I am glad this piece of history has been shared with us all.”
Dana Brown Monson
Lou Ellen Watts