Ideal Ages:18 and up
Beginning in 1933, Eleanor Jarman was sensationalized by the press as the "blonde tigress" and "the most dangerous woman alive." Following the murder of an elderly shopkeeper, readers are given a front-row seat for Eleanor's arrest, trial, conviction, and sentencing—all documented with recently unearthed primary-source police records, court transcripts, and prison files—and her subsequent prison years. Woven in are comparisons and contrasts between Eleanor's and her escape partner's criminal histories, as well as speculation on their lives on the lam. Whether Eleanor deserved her sentence, or whether it was too harsh, is left for the reader to decide. In 1940, Eleanor escaped and managed to live out her life as, perhaps, America's longest-running female fugitive.
In Search of the Blonde Tigress sets the mystery and intrigue of this wanted woman into historic context. It also includes her family's plea, in 1993, for Eleanor to come forward and apply for clemency. Most revealing at the time was Eleanor's alias. With that information (and considering that Eleanor, born in 1901, is certainly now deceased), author Silvia Pettem documents her search for Eleanor's remains—right up to a visit to her likely grave.