The following email inquiry came from David Karschner:

   Enjoy reading your blog, thanks! Have a question you can hopefully help with concerning Alan Hynd and the supposedly true stories he wrote for True Detective Mysteries etc. Am doing research on a distant relative named William Watts who worked as an engraver in the Count Lustig counterfeiting ring circa 1930-1935. Hynd authored a six part series in TDM in 1937 about Lustig and Watts. While the major facts jibe with historical data the personal story regarding the two outlaws seems quite fanciful. How much truth can one rely on coming from these types of stories? Believe it or not two of the TDM episodes were found in Watts’ Secret Service file.

   Also do you have any idea on a method for contacting his son Noel Hynd?

   Any input would be appreciated.

               Thanks, David

   If anything, true crime is a category about which I can safely say that I know less than nothing, if it could be possible, so anyone who knows more than I do, or have been able to uncover so far, please chuck a life preserver my way. I’m in over my head, in other words.

   But checking with Allen Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV, emphasis on the “fiction,” I was mildly surprised to discover that there is an entry there for Alan Hynd:

HYND, ALAN (1903-1974)

* * Alan Hynd’s Murder (Duell, 1952, hc) Collection. Somewhat dramatized true crime.
* * Brutes, Beasts and Human Fiends (Paperback Library, 1964, pb) Collection. Dramatized true crime.


* * The Case of the Lady Who Took a Bath (Berkley, 1957, pb) Collection. Dramatized true crime.
* * Great Crime Busters (Putnam, 1967, hc) Collection. Dramatized true crime, intended for younger readers.
* * Great True Detective Mysteries (Grosset, 1968, hc) Collection. Dramatized true crime.
* * In Pursuit: The Cases of William J. Burns (New York: Nelson, 1968, hc) [Series Character] William J. Burns] Collection. Dramatized true crime.
* * Murder! Great True Crime Cases (Penguin, 1947, pb) Collection. Dramatized true crime.
* * The Pinkerton Case Book (Signet, 1948, pb) Collection. Dramatized true crime.
* * Prescription: Murder (Paperback Library, 1962, pb) Collection. Dramatized true crime.

Hynd 2

* * ’Til Death Do Us Part (Paperback Library, 1962, pb) Collection. Dramatized true crime.
* * Violence in the Night (Gold Medal, 1955, pb) Collection. Somewhat dramatized true crime.

   Perhaps the question asks itself. Does “dramatized” equate to “fictionalized?” I haven’t asked Al yet what his standards or definitions are in this somewhat borderline category, but when I do, I’ll add his reply as an update.

   Dave’s reply:

   Dramatized is the correct word, thanks. My problem is separating fact from fiction. For example: As Hynd writes in his articles of an important connection between Al Capone,Count Lustig and my relative William Watts I just wonder what his sources for information were? I am hoping since some of Alan Hynd’s articles were in Watts’ Secret Service files (ones I uncovered thru the FOIA) that he had some great contacts. Who knows?

   As for Noel Hynd, whom (since I never thought about it) I never realized until now is Alan Hynd’s son, he has an entry in CFIV as well. These I’ll put in chronological order:

HYND, NOEL (1947- ); Born in New York City, the son of Alan Hynd, 1908-1974, q.v.; raised in Connecticut, educated at University of Pennsylvania; crime reporter.

# Revenge. Dial 1976
# The Sandler Inquiry. Dial 1977
# False Flags. Dial 1979
# Flowers from Berlin. Dial 1985
# The Krushchev Objective [with Christopher Creighton]. Doubleday 1987
# Truman’s Spy. Zebra 1990
# Zigzag. Zebra 1992
# -Ghosts. Zebra 1993
# A Room for the Dead. Kensington 1994
# Cemetery of Angels. Kensington 1995
# Rage of Spirits. Kensington 1997
# The Lost Boy. Pinnacle 1999

   Doing some quick Googling, this list does not include, within the proper time frame of 2000 and before, The Prodigy (1997), which appears to be a supernatural horror story only.

   There are some interviews with Noel Hynd which you can easily find online, but they all seem to taken place in the late 1990s. A rather complete biography can be found at IMDB, and this led me to his most recent book, The Enemy Within, which was published by Tor/Forge in 2006. [But with nothing published between 1999 and 2006.]

   Dave is now attempting to reach Mr. Hynd through Forge.


UPDATE [02-11-07]   I’ve just heard from Al Hubin, who says:


   By “dramatized” and “fictionalized” I generally mean to imply that material was added (usually dialogue) to enhance the story, which is based on true events. The degree of “dramatization” and “fictionalization” may vary widely, and the Revised CFIV will include a good deal more of Alan Hynd’s work. (I bought copies of a number of his books in order to see what sort of thing he wrote and to be able to list the story titles.)

   All very imprecise, I’m afraid!