We're excited to host Justin Dombrowski, author of the new local book "Murder & Mayhem in Erie, Pennsylvania" for a brief speaking engagement and book signing on Sunday June 26th at 2PM in the Watson-Curtze Mansion.
From the French and Indian War to Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie, the city of Erie has a prideful place in the American story, but there also exists a seedy history of crime and murder. In 1905, Detective James “Jimmie” Higgins was mysteriously killed at Central High School, and the drawn-out manhunt for his murderer occupied headlines for months. On a cold January night in 1911, a massive explosion rocked the Erie waterfront when criminals bombed the Pennsylvania Railroad Coal Trestle, leaving it a smoldering mass of steel and debris. The unsolved murder of Manley W. Keene inspired a local newspaper to bring in the “Female Sherlock Holmes,” Mary Holland, who defied gender expectations and reshaped detective work in Erie for generations. Author Justin Dombrowski uncovers dark stories from Erie’s illicit past.
About the Author
Justin Dombrowski has been studying local history for the past fifteen years. A native of Erie, he obtained a degree from Mercyhurst University and worked with the Erie County Detective’s unit. He has worked with local historical and criminal records and files for the last ten years, as well as specializing in genealogy research with Polish records and genealogy. He has worked in the film industry since 2011, and his screenplays have been finalists in worldwide festivals and contests such as the Polish International Film Festival, Las Vegas International Film & Screenwriting, ScreenCraft Drama Competition and Top Shorts Short Film Festival (in which he was awarded Best First Time Screenwriter).