"The Great Depression was a time of incomparable financial desperation in America. Thugs with submachine guns and square-jawed G-men have long dominated the vernacular images of fear, lawlessness, and corruption set against the decimating poverty of that decade. But little known-until now-are the many serial dramas that played out in homes and hideouts, courtrooms and cold cases across the country. In a time of panic, legal lethargy, corruption, and incompetence, there was one sure-fire means to make money, one that was seized upon by both criminals and resourceful civilians. Best of all, one likely to go unpunished: kidnapping. Gritty, visceral, and thoughtfully reported, The Kidnap Years chronicles a forgotten time in America's history when the economic hardships of the Great Depression and the low legal risk of kidnapping led to a sweep of abductions that afflicted all corners of the country"-- Provided by publisher.