The strange history of Mickey Spillane and New Zealand’s “Jukebox Killer”

The third in a loose series of pieces I’ve done this year for the Lithub site, CrimeReads, on the global impact on postwar American crime fiction is live. This one explores at the connections between the postwar campaign against pulp fiction, the international controversy around US author Mickey Spillane, the uniquely Antipodean youth subculture known as bodgies & widgies, & one of New Zealand’s most sensational murder cases in the 1950s, the ‘Jukebox Killer’.You can read the piece in full at the CrimeReads site via this link.

2 Responses

  1. Mike from Jersey

    Excellent piece, thank you so much for sharing it. Fascinating!
    Just an aside, when Spillane described The City(NYC) in his books, the majority of the places/streets/bars/names etc.
    were actually taken from his hometown of Elizabeth, NJ. “You write what you know” he explained to his childhood friends at class reunions when they had noted all the Elizabeth locations supposedly in NYC, and the use of friends names for

  2. Mike,
    Thanks for stopping by and for your feedback. I am glad you enjoyed it. Spillane was not alone in writing what he knew. Most (all) writers are shameless in ransacking their lives for material.

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