Friday, September 10, 2010

Author to sign 'Jailing The Johnston Gang' at Stottsville Inn Sept. 23

The historic Stottsville Inn will host a book talk and signing by Chester County author Bruce Mowday on his latest book, "Jailing The Johnston Gang: Bringing Serial Murders to Justice," at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23. The free event is open to the public. The Stottsville Inn, which looks like a classy place per its website, is located at 3512 Strasburg Road, Coatesville.

"Jailing The Johnston Gang" tells the story of the law enforcement officials who "placed their own lives in danger to incarcerate brothers Bruce, David and Norman Johnston and their band of paid killers, rapists and thieves," according to Mowday.

Chester County District Attorney Joseph A. Carroll called the leader of the gang, Bruce A. Johnston Sr., the most notorious criminal in the history of the county.
While Johnston was convicted of six counts of first-degree murder, Mowday uncovered information linking Johnston to 10 murders, one of them unsolved, including the ambush slaying of two Kennett Square policemen.

Incidentally, or not, I guess, in this case, one of the first victims was murdered and buried near the Stottsville Inn, the Chester County site of the booksigning.

Mowday, a resident of Uwchlan, Chester County, covered the criminal case of the three Johnston brothers when he was a reporter for The Mercury’s sister paper, The Daily Local News in West Chester. The book was released last year by Barricade Books of Fort Lee, N.J.

While we’re on the subject, Barricade Books Publisher Carole Stuart recently announced that "Jailing The Johnston Gang: Bringing Serial Murders to Justice" will be printed in paperback this fall.

The book was released by Barricade Books in 2009 and the hardback version is in its third printing. Stuart wrote in her blog, "The book caught on and was the cleanest selling book of our list last year. To the non-book people: no returns."

"I believe this book reveals the dark side of human nature on the part of the Johnston brothers and also depicts what is best about the law enforcement community," Mowday said.
Mowday is working with Delaware County’s Jim Donahue on a new book, "Why The Hall Not," for Barricade Books. Due to be released next year, the book is about Philadelphia Phillies great Richie Ashburn’s road to the Hall of Fame and Donahue role in leading a petition drive by fans to have Ashburn inducted.

For more information about the Stottsville Inn booksigning or to make dinner reservations, call Janice Keller-DiGennaro, manager of the Stottsville Inn, at 610-857-4090.
Mowday, who has written books on the Civil War, American Revolution and Chester County history, has scheduled additional talks on Jailing The Johnston Gang. For more information, visit
I wrote about "Jailing The Johnston Gang" and how it was a basis for the 1986 film "At Close Range" (think Sean Penn, Mary Stuart Masterson, Christopher Walken, and a soundtrack including "Live to Tell" by Madonna) in a blog post in April 2009. To check out that post, click here.

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