Perhaps Charlestonian James Louis Petigru said it best when he declared in 1861 that "South Carolina is too small for a republic, but too large for an insane asylum." South Carolina has consistently been one of the most violent places in American history, and Charleston has served as much a hotbed of criminal mayhem as a "holy" city. While many books explore the illustrious past of this national treasure, few delve into this darker and equally fascinating side of its past. With this new book, historian Pat Hendrix takes a look at the history of crime in the Holy City. Starting with a war that nearly extinguished the fledgling city, he moves through the centuries, bringing to light such sordid tales as the Six Mile House murders, the Dutartre family cult, the murder of newspaper publisher Frank Dawson and the horrific discovery of South Carolina's first serial killer. Murder and Mayhem in the Holy City is an eye-opening foray into Charleston's underworld that calls into question the sanitized, celebrated history often told today and offers an enjoyable romp through more than three centuries of human drama.