This is a new biography written by Mark Dugan. Thomas Blanck was said to be able to shoot the centre out of a dime at thirty feet. But he was no romanticised, stereotypical gunman of the Old West. He was an extremely dangerous, anti-social, remorseless killer. And, yet, when Blanck was caught and put on trial, he actually gained the idolisation bestowed upon the fictionalised desperadoes of western movies. While the young man had none of the redeeming qualities portrayed by Hollywood's gunslingers, his life story is just as dramatic as any celluloid scenario. This book offers a fascinating account of the life of one of America's most dangerous gunmen. But more than just a history of the man, the book presents the political, social and economic conditions that were present in the U.S. at that time, and the author puts forward various factors that may have contributed to the events that occurred -- not only Blanck's actions, but also the resulting public reaction. Blanck was a petty thief specialising in burglary and robbing saloons, and he would kill anyone, anytime, under any circumstances in order to carry out his deeds.
The first part of the story begins by introducing readers to the man and takes a brief look at his childhood in New York. It follows the outlaw as he makes his way west to the Pacific Northwest and takes a few lives in the process. The second part describes his capture and subsequent trial for first-degree murder. In this section particularly, the book gives readers a closer look into the behaviour and psychology of the killer through numerous newspaper accounts and quotes from people involved with the story at the time. The third part of the story focuses on his escape and the ensuing chase and capture, one of the "greatest manhunts on record". Part four depicts the final part of Blanck's story -- his death and burial, which isn't exactly straightforward. Lastly, there is a psychological assessment of the cold-blooded killer. The book also includes a foreword, preface, introduction, epilogue, endnotes, bibliography and index.