Ann Marie Ackermann’s Author Website and Historical True Crime Blog

Winner of the 2018 bronze Independent Publisher Book Award for true crime

2018 IPPY bronze medal, true crime

2018 IPPY bronze medal, true crime


Murder in 19th-century Germany

Escape through the dark alleys of a small-town

Death of an Assassin book cover

Death of an Assassin book cover, courtesy of Kent State University Press.

A failed murder investigaton

And fateful encounter with Robert E. Lee

 Up from the bowels of German and American archives emerges a most unusual story: a 19th century assassination in small-town Wurttemberg, a stymied criminal investigator, and the perpetrator’s impression on the Civil War hero.

This true story is the focus of my upcoming book, Death of an Assassin, to be released on September 1, 2017 (Kent State University Press). As the book nears completion, I’ll be blogging about historic crime in Germany and the U.S., Robert E. Lee, Mark Twain’s 19th-century travels in Germany, and interesting aspects of German culture and history. My blog focuses historical true crime in the United States and Germany and has a splash of interesting German culture here and there.

Sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter for updates and exclusive background information you won’t find in the book.

You’ll find interviews with archivists, virtual crime scene tours, book reviews of my favorite books on true crime and American history. I’ll be posting Youtube videos featuring interviews with experts of me presenting the crime scene and my research. People on my Email list will have access to those videos before I make them public.


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  1. Bonnie jean gore
    Aug 24, 2014

    Looking so forward to the manuscript..hi from lbi..sittzen mit pommes frits mit kasse und koldt wasser..zimmer frei frank..aug 28….miss ya in der pool kiddo..ocean 79 your heart out

    • Ann Marie
      Aug 25, 2014

      Thanks, Bonnie! I’m having fun writing it. Keep swimming!

    • Cyndi Stroik
      Oct 4, 2017

      Bonnie, your german is impressive. Glad you got me hooked on this wonderfully written and well researched book. It is the best historical crime story ever written. Going to order books for my historical hysterical senior citizen friends and my son and daughter who are no where near that age.

      Ann Marie ,
      Can’t wait to meet you. You are a very descriptive writer that brings this crime to life. I feel like I am part of the investigative team. Have to get back to reading. Can’t put it down.
      Schreib weiter,
      Cyndi Stroik

      • Ann Marie
        Oct 4, 2017

        Thanks so much for your kind words, Cyndi. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my book. You just made my day today.

  2. bonnie gore
    Jan 10, 2015 Frankfurt…also revisit Mittenwald…violin-maker city… Garmisch-Parchenkirken and the Zugspitze … and your neighborhood!

  3. Bonnie gore
    Jan 10, 2015

    Content on this website will be sooo appreciated by Dr. Waskie….tales of 2 cities… phila has a history of its own..hope I can talk to him about this german tale in future…

    • Ann Marie
      Jan 10, 2015

      It would be interesting to meet Dr. Waskie, Bonnie. Who knows? Maybe that will happen sometime in the future.

  4. bonnie gore
    Mar 25, 2015

    So happy about the book developing.

    • Ann Marie
      Mar 25, 2015

      Thanks, Bonnie! So am I. If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for my newsletter to get direct updates. The first one is coming out soon.

  5. Margie Miklas
    Apr 13, 2015

    Best wishes with your upcoming book! Fascinating!

    • Ann Marie
      Apr 13, 2015

      Thank you, Margie! I’m sure having fun researching and writing it and it warms my heart to know that others out there find the topic fascinating.

  6. Mark Curran
    May 23, 2015

    So interesting. !

    About 15 years ago, I began to read Southern newspapers, Southern speeches, Southern documents, mostly for family reasons, then I wrote a screenplay about a man who raised Slave Dogs, quite the business apparently, in some parts of the South.

    Anyway, I found things in Southern newspapers and speeches that I never learned in college, despite my avid interest in history, nor did I read about them in books, biographies since college, yet they were basic things.

    Im writing a book now called “WHAT THEY BRAGGED OF AT THE TIME, NO ONE DARES MENTION NOW” which is an apt if long description of what Southern leaders bragged bout then, that no one discusses now.

    Anyway, are you familiar with the gold taken from Richmond, by Jeff Davis?

    Varina Davis mentions it, in her letter to Blairs. The whole capture of Davis is amazing — and drastically different than taught — when you learn original documents, such as Varina’s letter and book.

    I actually don’t know which surprises me more — some of the things I found, or the fact it’s glossed over, forgotten, or the distorted version hit “history books” and seem to replay endlessly.

    • Ann Marie
      May 24, 2015

      Thanks for commenting, Mark. It doesn’t surprise me at all that you found surprises in southern newspapers, including stuff that people don’t talk about today. Even if the items in the newspapers are negative, it doesn’t make sense for society to sweep them under the rug. They are part of history, and for that reason, instructive.

      No, I didn’t know about Jeff Davis taking gold from Richmond, but it sounds interesting. Are you going to discuss that in your book?

  7. Bonnie gore
    Dec 16, 2015

    Dr Andy waskie due in barnegat 1:00pm..what does gen.meade need to know about the book status?

  8. bonnie gore
    Apr 18, 2016

    Glad to hear news on book..was at Kutztown university Thursday..can look at potential spots there for your book..guest appearance..Penna.Dutch speaking area..also the Sandpaper has a literate following..our neighbor Karen bosley was advisor to ocean newspaper..coming news..article or visit there very good idea..keep on “trekin”.. Anxious as always for news

    • Ann Marie
      Apr 18, 2016

      Thanks, Bonnie, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having people like you willing to support my book and look for speaking venues. Pennsylvania is a place where I anticipate a lot of interest.

  9. Tabatha Morrow
    Jul 11, 2016

    What juicy inspiration for your next book! I enjoy historical fiction a lot, so look forward to reading it.

    • Ann Marie
      Jul 12, 2016

      Thanks, Tabatha! This is a true story, and that makes it all the more amazing. It’s history packed up in true crime packaging. And I’ve love it if you read it. It will be out next year.

  10. greg hanley
    Dec 12, 2016

    Hello Ann Marie, my name is Greg Hanley. I believe I know an area in Princton Ma where remains of a serial killer is buried. I also believe this is the same person the killed Vanessa Marcott. I was wondering If you could help me by either looking at the work I produced and making a recomendation or perhaps assisting with one of your dogs. I would appreciate any feedback from you. Thank you very much.

    • Ann Marie
      Dec 13, 2016

      Thanks for commenting, Greg. I live in Europe and don’t have a cadaver dog myself (I just write about them), so I’m not in a position to assist you. If you have any information pertaining to a murder, your best bet would be to contact the police. They are the best people to arrange for a cadaver dog. A private cadaver dog owner is not likely to assist in a criminal investigation on the basis of a private request anyway.

      Good luck.

  11. Geri
    Apr 16, 2017

    Good luck on this book. It sounds like a wonderful subject.

  12. rob akers
    Oct 2, 2017


    Just met you as your doing your publicity tour for the book. So excited for you and I hope that this is the key that unlocks the secret of world domination for you and your family.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story with my brother and I. Can’t wait to get a copy of your book.

    Best Wishes,

    • Ann Marie
      Oct 2, 2017

      Thanks so much for commenting, Rob, and I wish you all the best in your publishing endeavors. I enjoyed meeting you, too. Never give up on your writing dreams!

  13. Tequilla Gravley-Gross
    Oct 14, 2020

    A murderer who isn’t listed online that is in the state of Virginia is Carson Edward Wolfe.  He killed my great Aunt Anna Belle Ratcliffe, her son and daughter Edward Walton Ratcliffe Jr and Cynthia A Ratcliffe Wolfe in 1979.  Cynthia was killed the day before her birthday.  Carson Wolfe and Cynthia Ratcliffe-Wolfe had a son named Jason Wolfe who was raised by family members.  I have the links to their graves listing on  Cynthia’s has the newspaper article that was in the paper about the event that took place.

    Anna Belle, Cynthia & Edward all died on June 28th 1979.  Anna Belle had another daughter named Roxanna and her throat was slit.  She was just a baby at the time.  

    • Ann Marie
      Nov 3, 2020

      I’m so sorry about what your family went through. That sounds just awful. I usually focus on crimes that are pre-WWII, so I wouldn’t include it on my site, but I can imagine some true crime other picking this story up. Good luck to you and thanks for commenting.

  14. Jonathan Cahill
    Mar 27, 2021

    Hi, I love your blog! very detailed and genuinely impressive. I am looking to make some extra money at the moment. I would love to write for your blog or do in depth research to free up some of your time maybe. But mainly I would just love to be involved with your blog in some way whatever that is and I really think I can add some value. So please let me know if I can help.


    • Ann Marie
      Mar 30, 2021

      Thank you, Jonathan. I don’t pay people to write guest blogs, but if you have an idea in mind and are willing to offer your piece for free, you can email me via this website with a proposal. Your topic should match the topics of this blog and be well-researched.

  15. NICE POST!

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