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Peter Hernon lives near Chicago with his wife, Janice, and two daughters. An editor for the Chicago Tribune, he has written five books and was co-author of a bestselling book Under the Influence: The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty. He worked as a journalist in New Orleans.
* *  
"A Terrible Thunder is more than just another fashionable journalistic rehashing of a crime. In its depiction of Essex's abrupt transmogrification it raises questions about the accumulated effect of petty but persistent injustices and about the individual's capacity to endure aggrievement."
--Mel Watkins, New York Times Book Review

thunder cover
A Terrible Thunder
The Story of the New Orleans Sniper
by Peter Hernon
isbn: 1891053485

$18.00 U.S. (10% off the cover price)


Originally published by Doubleday in 1978.
This is the first softcover edition.
Design by Kevin Stone & Alice Gail-Carter
284 pages
History/Nonfiction/True Crime

Ebook: Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google, Kobo

Essex on roof
Mark Essex on the roof of the
Howard Johnson
"On December 31, 1972, revelers gathering in downtown New Orleans for the New Year's celebration found themselves running for cover as a sniper opened fire. The shooter targeted police officers, killing several over the following week before a final showdown on the roof of a hotel, where he was killed. Journalist Hernon's 1978 title unfurls the story of sniper Mark James Essex, a U.S. Navy veteran who declared war on white society. A solid title for true-crime collections." --Library Journal  


Reader Comments:

"Unfortunately, he [Essex] identified and responded to 'white people' using the very tools of whiteness I am certain
Essex's walls
the walls of
Essex's apartment
he hated: the phenotypic stigma of skin color and hair texture coupled with the violence of overwhelming force."
--Bryan Wilhite

"... in the account of Mark Essex's anger, violence, and death, I'm compelled to see the fruitlessness of most idealism. Idealism is almost always frustrated, and, when frustrated but still pursued, often leads to violence."
--Mark A. Hershberger, Mark's full essay

"I just finished reading A Terrible Thunder. Great stuff. I had been looking for that book for over a decade."
--John McCarthy

On New Year's Eve in New Orleans, 1972, Mark James Essex began one of the most violent and deadly sniper attacks on policemen that any American city had ever seen.

It was yet another tragic journey down the road of hatred, and before it ended one week later, hundreds of heavily armed police and a Marine Corps assault helicopter would be called to a burning downtown hotel to battle phantom gunmen who refused to surrender or to be killed.


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