Death of an Assassin in the News

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Ann Marie Ackermann’s award-winning historical true crime, Death of an Assassin, continues to make international news. Read a sampling below!

March 13, 2020: Philipp Obergassner, “Morde mit verräterischen Kugeln,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany.

January-March, 2020: Ann Marie Ackermann and Isabelle Balázs, “Mord am Stadtschultheißen: Württemberg als Geburtsort der forensischen Ballistik,” Schwäbische Heimat 2020/1: 33-39.

January 16, 2020: Uwe Deecke, “Geburtsstunde der Kriminalballistik,” Bietigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

October 9, 2019: Bönnigheimerin im Innenministerium empfangen,” Bietigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

September 27, 2019: Susanne Yvette Walter, “Ein mörderischer Abend im Stadionschen Schloss,” Bietigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

September 27, 2019: Birgit Riecker, “Ein fast perfekter Mord erscheint als Buch,” Heilbronner Stimme, Germany.

September 27, 2019: Alfred Drossel, “Bönnigheim wird zum Krimi-Tatort,” Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung, Germany.

September 24, 2019: Luitgard Schaber, “Eine Schauspielpremiere zur Buchpremiere,” Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung, Germany.

September 20, 2019: Philipp Obergassner, “Bürgermeistermord kommt auf die Bühne,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany.

August 20, 2019: Michael Soltys, “Polizei und Gemeinderäte spielen Mordfall nach,” Bönnigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

August 16, 2019: “Buchpremiere mit einem Schauspiel,” Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung, Germany.

August 14, 2019: Alfred Drossel, “Stadtdetektive ermitteln im Bürgermeistermord,” Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung, Germany.

July 6, 2019: Rudolf Gebhardt, “Mit Flinte und Zylinder: Diese Woche aus Bönnigheim/Ihr Heimat Krimi,” Auf einen Blick (Nr. 27), Germany.

June 25, 2019: Uwe Deecke, “Man weiß nie, was sich alles ergibt,” Bönnigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

[D]ie forensische Ballistik war geboren.

June 14, 2019: Alexander Hettich, “Urknall der Kriminalistik,” Heilbronner Stimme, Germany.

Wie eine historische Mordermittlung in Bönnigheim die ballistische Forschung beflügelte

— Alexander Hettich,Urknall der Kriminalistik,” Heilbronner Stimme (14 June 2019).

Eine unerhört spannende Geschichte, eingewoben in ein Zeitbild von epischer Bedeutung.  [An enormously exciting story, interwoven with a time period of epic importance.]

So unterhaltsam wie informativ und überraschend ist Ann Marie Ackermanns Vortrag über den Mord am Bönnigheimer Schultes.

December 29, 2018: Helga El-Kothany, “Reokordverdächtiger Mord am Schultes,” Heilbronner Stimme, Germany.

Doch auch vor 180 Jahren gab es bereits pfiffige Ermittler.

October 2018: Ulrich Heffner, “Der Cold Case von Bönnigheim,” Innenansicht (Zeitschrift des Landeskriminalamts Baden-Württemberg).

Die Amerikanerin war Staatsanwältin in ihrem Heimatland, ehe sie nach Bönnigheim zog. Und auch dort konnte sie ihren kriminalistischen Spürsinn einsethen.

September 23, 2018: Tobias Blumm, “Gnade vor Recht ergehen lassen,” Neckar- und Enzbote, Germany. An article about a church service in which the pastor interviewed me about law and justice, using the Rieber murder as a springboard.

“Dieser Fall hat mich sofort interessiert.”

July 17, 2018: Philipp Obergassner, “Historischer Waffentest: Rätselhafter Kratzer auf tödlichen Schrotkugeln,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany.

Es gibt Geschichten, die sind einfach zu gut, um erfunden zu sein. Diese hier ist eine davon.

July 4, 2018: Philipp Obergassner, “Mord an Bürgermeister Rieber in Bönnigheim: Wie eine Amerikanerin nach 183 Jahren den Fall aufklärte ,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany.

Ann Marie Ackermann hat in Bönnigheim ihre englischsprachiges Buch Death of an Assassin verfasst und in Amerika damit viel Aufsehen erregt.

June 23, 2018: Uwe Deecke, “Fasziniert von Verbrechen,” Bietigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

Bönnigheim hofft auf einen Eintrag ins Guinnessbuch der Weltrekorde: Hintergrund ist der Mord am Bönnigheimer Stadtschultheiß Johann Heinrich Rieber im Jahr 1835….

June 9, 2018: Steve Moran, “Author Gets Just Reward to Crime Solver’s Family,”Asbury Park Press, New Jersey.

June 8, 2018: “Stadt will ins Buch der Rekorde,” Neckar- und Enzbote, Germany.

“Death of an Assassin”, in dem es um einen der spektakulärsten Mordfälle Württembergs geht….

June 7, 2018: Alexander Hettich, “Mordakte nach 146 Jahren endgültig geschlossen,” Heilbronner Stimme, Germany.

How Ann Marie Ackermann’s book “Death of an Assassin” took the author from an obscure diary to a potential world record.

June 1, 2018: “180-Year-Old Case Brought to a Closure,” True Crime: Case Files (Summer 2018). In this American e-zine, Death of an Assassin made both the cover and the lead article.

   “At first [Rupp’s descendant] didn’t believe me,” [Ackermann] said. “I mean if you got a call saying I want to pay you a 135-year-old reward, what would you do?”
Many in the audience in the library yelled out “click,” as in hanging up the phone.

May 31, 2018: Steve Moran, “Author Gets Just Reward to Crime Solver’s Family,” Beach Haven Times, Manahawkin, New Jersey.

With a possible Guinness Book of World Records recognition in the balance, a hush settled over the crowd at the May 19 Gaithersburg Book Festival as mayor and founder of the festival, Jud Ashman, introduced the amazing story of Frederick Rupp and the chance to witness the closure of a murder committed 183 years ago and more than 4,000 miles away.

May 31, 2018: Marylou Bono, “Reward is One for the Books,” Town Courier, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

2018 IPPY bronze medal, true crime

2018 Independent Publisher Book Award, bronze medal, true crime

May 29, 2018: 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award General Results. Death of an Assassin wins a bronze Independent Publisher Book Award for true crime.

Für Hinweise zum 1835 verübten Mord am Bönnigheimer Stadtschultheiß Johann Heinrich Rieber ist seinerzeit eine Belohnung ausgesetzt worden. Es hat einige Zeit gedauert, doch jetzt hat Bürgermeister Kornelius Bamberger in den USA die damals ausgelobten 200 Gulden – 1000 Euro – an die Nachfahren übergeben.

May 29, 2018: Alfred Drossel, “Nachfahren erhalten Belohnung,” Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung, Germany.

Die Belohnung von 200 Gulden sei aber damals nie bezahlt worden, erklärte Bamberger in seiner Rede beim Buchfestival. So komme es zu einem möglichen Weltrekord: die älteste Belohnung zur Ergreifung eines Mörders, die jemals bezahlt wurde.

May 29, 2018: Uwe Deecke, “Eine Belohnung gibt’s nach knapp 200 Jahren,” Bietigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

May 21, 2018: Crime solver’s descendants get reward 180 years later,” Star Malaysia. The story of the record-breaking reward makes news in Asia.

May 20, 2018: “Sohasem késő: 180 éve elkövetett gyilkosság nyomravezetőjét jutalmazzák,” Origo. The reward ceremony hits the Hungarian newspapers.

Watch the reward ceremony on C-SPAN!

May 19, 2018: Death of an Assassin. C-SPAN’s live coverage of the reward presentation at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. A world record might have been broken here.

Four descendants of Friedrich Rupp, who helped solve the murder of the mayor of the southwestern German town of Bönnigheim in 1835, are to receive a reward from the current mayor, German media said on Saturday.

May 19, 2018: Long-overdue reward presented in historical German murder case“,” Deutsche Welle, Germany.

May 19, 2018: “Egy 180 éve elkövetett gyilkosság nyomravezetőjét jutalmazzák,” Migyar Midök. The reward ceremony makes news in Hungary! The same article also appeared in a Slovakian newspaper.

May 19, 2018:Most fizették ki a jutalmat egy 180 éve megfejtett gyilkosságért,” 24.hu. Another Hungarian article.

May 19, 2018: Végre sikerült lezárni egy 180 éves gyilkossági ügyet,” Feol. A Hungarian paper picks up the story.

The letter Barbara Schaefer of Gaithersburg, Md., received three years ago sounded suspicious. It came from Germany and informed Barbara she was entitled to a share of 1,000 euros, roughly $1,200. All she had to do was travel to a town outside of Stuttgart to receive it. The letter-writer would even pay for plane tickets for her and a guest.

Barbara said it sounded pretty good to her, especially the reason for the windfall: An ancestor of Barbara’s had helped solve a murder, and she was entitled to some of the reward.

May 15, 2018: John Kelly, “The reward for solving the 1835 murder of a German mayor will be paid out in Md.Washington Post. This article was picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, msn.com and more.

Der Bürgermeister von Bönnigheim wird brutal ermordet. Der Attentäter flieht nach Amerika und wird dort zum Kriegshelden. Erst Jahrzehnte später gelingt es, die Tat aufzuklären. Wenn das kein Stoff für ein Buch ist. Bönnigheim’s mayor is brutally murdered. The assassin flees to America and become a war hero there. Only decades later is the case solved. If this isn’t material for a book….

May 7, 2018: Alexander Hettich, “Historischer Mordfall: Belohnung nach 146 Jahren,” Heilbronner Stimme, Germany. A German article about payment of the reward for solving this case after 146 years.

In the beginning, Jennifer Manion was skeptical about the promise of riches from a mysterious stranger.

May 3, 2018:Author, Mayor to Close Book on 19th-Century Assassination,” Town Courier, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

It’s the perfect ending to a detective story that began with an unlikely detective.

April 11, 2018: Chris Slattery, “Cold Case: Historic True Crime, Forensics and an Antebellum Robert E. Lee Come Together at the Gaithersburg Book Festival,” CultureSpotMC, Maryland. An article featuring interviews with me and the descendants of the man who solved the case.

April 4, 2018: “146-year-old Reward to be Paid 146 Years Later at Gaithersburg Book Festival,” Montgomery Community Media, Maryland.

“Over the past eight years the Gaithersburg Book Festival has played host to many wonderful stories,” [Gaithersburg Mayor Jud] Ashman said, “but I don’t recall one quite as intriguing as this one.”

April 4, 2018: The Gaithersburg Book Festival announces the payment of the 146-year-old reward on May 19. Mayor Bamberger and I will present the posthumous reward at 3:15 pm, and for those who can’t make it, it will be broadcast live on C-SPAN.

March 17, 2018:  Alfred Drossel, “Letzte Dienstreise führt in die Vereinigten Staaten: Schultes Kornelius Bamberger will Belohnung zur Aufklärung des Bürgermeister-Morders von 1835 übergeben,” Neckar- und Enzbote. A German newspaper article about the trip Mayor Bamberger and I will take in May to present the reward for solving the 1835 murder of Bönnigheim’s previous mayor.

March 14,  2018: Uwe Deecke, Belohnung in Maryland, Bietigheimer Zeitung. A German newspaper article about payment of the 146-year-old reward to American descendants of the man who solved the case at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 19.

November 18, 2017: Uwe Deecke, “Spätes Geständnis bei Veracruz,” Heilbronner Stimme. A German newspaper article about the solution to this murder and the birth of forensic ballistics.

November 5, 2017: Cathy Scott, Former Prosecutor Discusses New “Death of an Assassin” Book, Psychology Today.

November 4, 2017: Podcast with House of Mystery

November 2, 2017: The untold tale of a German assassin. Television interview with Virginia This Morning, Richmond.

October 18, 2017: Unraveling Mysteries, Westmoreland News, Montross, Virginia.

October 10, 2017: The Fascinating True Story of a German Assassin. Television interview on the Morning Blend show, Milwaukee.

October 10, 2017: Jenni Herrick, “Death of an Assassin” Uncoveres Strange Episode in U.S. History,” Shepherd Express.

October 7, 2017: Podcast with True Crime Uncensored

October 7, 2017:  Uwe Deecke, Bönnigheimerin ist mit ihrem Krimi auf USA-Leisereise, Bietigheimer Zeitung.A German newspaper article about my book tour in the United States.

October 3, 2017: German assassin’s story revealed in new book. Television Interview with Live at 9, Memphis.

October 2, 2017: Audrey Lee, IU alumna writes nonfiction book about a German-American mystery.  Indiana Daily Student.

September 18, 2017: A German newspaper article about my crime scene tour and Bönnigheim as the birthplace of forensic ballistics. Uwe Deecke, Bönnigheim als Geburtsort der forensischen Ballistik? Bietigheimer Zeitung, Germany.

Death of an Assassin is a great, fun read, spinning intrigue with historical facts. Ackermann is an excellent writer, who knows how to spin a good tale, and this resulting monograph is the proof. Ryan Quint, Emerging Civil War

September 1, 2017: Ryan Quint, book review for Emerging Civil War

Death of an Assassin recounts one of the most curious tales in history: a murder committed in Germany but solved in America years later.… Ackmermann does an impressive job of reconstructing the details on both sides of the affair, exhaustively tracking down names and dates through spotty records. Glenn Dallas, San Francisco Book Review

September 1, 2017: Glenn Dallas, book review for the San Francisco Book Review

Death of Assassin is an entertaining look at very human characters in a world on the edge of radical change. — Robert Davis, New York Journal of Books

August 31, 2017: Robert Davis, review for the New York Journal of Books.

Not only is this an engaging piece of history, the former prosecutor uses an appendix to present the compelling evidence and reasoning behind her identification of a 19th century German murderer. Ackerman also makes a strong case that the initial investigation may have seen the first use of forensic ballistics as a law enforcement tool.

August 27, 2017: Tim Gebhart, review for the Seattle PI.

Having written Beating the Devil’s Game, a history of forensic science, I enjoy seeing crime historians add new chapters and correct official accounts. With this book, Ackerman establishes her place in this field. Katherine Ramsland, Psychology Today

August 24, 2017: Katherine Ramsland, Birds, Bullets, and a Bad Guy: A Crime Historican Discovers Origins of Ballistics with a Link to Robert E. Lee, Psychology Today

Der Mordfall is für Ackermann gleich aus mehreren Gründen spektakulär. Er wurde este 40 Jahre, nachdem er verübt worden war, aufgeklärt. Und zwar in den USA.

April 22, 2016: Marion Blum, “Spur des Mörders führt in die USA,” Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung.”

Stone memorializes a mysterious murder: Ann Marie Ackermann guides a tour to the crime scene of Bönnigheim’s 1835 criminal case. What exactly happened on the night of October 23, 1835? [Based on] her lengthy research on the murder of former mayor Johann Heinrich Rieber, former [American] prosecutor Ann Marie Ackermann presented her results.”

September 29, 2015: Uwe Deecke, Stein erinnert an mysteriösen Mordfall,” Bietigheimer Zeitung

The most spectacular murder case in Bönnigheim and its connection to American history

March 20, 2015: “Versammlung ist spannend wie ein Krimi”,[Meeting is as exciting as a murder mystery], Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung

She actually wanted to write about Bönnigheim’s birdlife, but suddenly she found herself in the middle of a murder case: The former U.S.-American prosecutor Ann Marie Ackermann is researching the 1835 assassination of Bönnigheim’s mayor Johann Heinrich Rieber, which was solved 37 years later in America.

October 10, 2014: Dorothee Kauer, “Historischer Kriminalfall: Ex-Staatsanwältin forscht über Mord an Schultheiß” [Historical Criminal Case: Former Prosecutor Researches Murder of Mayor], Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung

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