The headline blared “True Stories of Cold-Blooded Killers!” on the very first issue of Famous Crimes. Fox Feature Syndicate jumped headlong into a rising wave of crime genre popularity with titles including Crimes by Women and Women Outlaws. The number of titles and variety of publishers with the word “crime” on the cover exploded in 1948, chasing the success of Crime Does Not Pay and Hollywood’s Film Noir.
Film Noir literally means “dark film or cinema.” Gritty, downbeat crime and detective films (such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Double Indemnity (1944)) provided moviegoers contrasting choices to upbeat musicals and comedies.
Fox Feature Syndicate was pretty good at creating eye catching crime covers that could “rob you” of your dime – but largely wasn’t known for delivering memorable crime interior content.
Purchased for its motorcycle cover, Famous Crimes #17* was published May 1950. Inside stories include:
1. The Gloved Hand
2. The Kidnapping Trio
3. Slaves of the Sahara
4. The Singing Waiter