Reviews and Testimonials

Some nice things readers of “Murder in Wauwatosa” have said about the book:

“It’s obvious that Hoffman has extensive reporting background as he outlines the case from many angles. … He performs extensive research, dusting off records and archives. It’s done with a professional standpoint giving you the impression that Hoffman may have given us the most complete account of a mystery that may never be solved. You need a strong heart to take this journey with Hoffman. But it’s well worth re-reading it to make sure you haven’t missed anything in the little details. It’s what makes Hoffman good at his craft.”
Michael J. Sullivan
Long Island, New York
Author of the novels “Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness,” “An Angel Comes Home,” “Everybody’s Daughter” and “The Greatest Gift”

“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.”
Jim Higgins
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee, Wis.

“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.”
Nancy Cavanaugh
Wauwatosa, Wis.
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.”
Bud Herron
Retired newspaper publisher
Columbus, Ind.

“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
Brookfield, Wisconsin

“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.”
Matt Kirchner

“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.”
Sheboygan, Wis.

Part of the first review of my book posted on
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!”
Holly Cartier
Wauwatosa, Wis.

5-star review on
I don’t know who killed Buddy Schumacher…,
…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? 🙂
Art Mellor
Milwaukee, Wis.

“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.”

Catherine Breitenbucher
Freelance writer and author
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“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
Edinburgh, Indiana

“Good investigative procedures and journalism have certainly come along way even though in some ways they are the same. I liked how you brought up ‘yellow journalism,’ explained what Wauwatosa yunkles were and wrote about hobos traveling the rails.
   “So much work and research must go into writing this type of book since each bit of information has to be exact. You did this, while at the same time, you described the characters and showed the readers the emotions of the times.
   The people in Wawuatosa, Milwaukee and surrounding areas will be fascinated with your book just as we are here in Indiana. This is a subject that concerns all of us.
   Best of luck in your promotion. Do I see a movie script in the works?
Lou Ellen Watts
Amity, Ind.
5 out of 5 stars!
“I thought the book was very well written. I could tell he did a lot of research in order to reach some of the conclusions he had. At times I wish some chapters were longer but that was a personal opinion. The average person might have thought everything was sufficient. The research of doing 1925 material and finding such facts of his friends at age 8 and 9, interviewing persons that were still living and telling us facts of this murder. Great job.”
Gordon Schumacher
“Your book really held my interest because of all the names listed. Having grown up in a German Lutheran household, I knew Mount Olive and people with names of Schumacher, Wolf, Egloff and others. I knew the streets and places mentioned. Thanks for evoking old memories along with pursuing this story. I will now share my copy with family and a few friends. Thank you for writing it.”

Suzanne Kessler Frost

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