‘Wicked Wilmington’ historical talk set Oct. 12

October 6, 2021

Delaware historian Kevin McGonegal will present a live, online discussion of his new book, “Wicked Wilmington, Delaware,” at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12, hosted by the Lewes Public Library, the Delaware Historical Society and Browseabout Books.

“Wicked Wilmington” takes readers on a journey through crime and vice in 20th-century Wilmington, from a Tatnall Street bawdy house to the corporate boardrooms of the DuPont Company. McGonegal brings to life tales of the city’s darker side, including a professional mob killer pleading self-defense, runaway lovers caught up in an international extortion scheme, and much more. Visit the old New Castle County Workhouse, scene of a break-in by a lynch mob and the daring escape of a notorious murderer. Readers meet a police chief trying to keep his corrupt practices under wraps, agents raiding political headquarters, and a detective murdered on the street – all part of city life during that time period.

McGonegal will be joined in conversation by Dr. David Young, Delaware Historical Society executive director.

A lifelong Wilmingtonian, McGonegal holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Fairfield University and currently serves on the boards of the Delaware Historical Society and Wilmington’s Downtown Visions. He worked in the Wilmington Mayor’s Office under three mayors, including stints as director of OMB and as the mayor’s chief of staff. He has spent the last 33 years in Wilmington’s commercial real estate market and teaching for the University of Delaware’s master of public administration program.

The discussion is free to the public. Registration is required. To sign up, go to and visit the Virtual Programs for Adults page.

Participants also are encouraged to support the author by purchasing a copy of the book from local independent bookstore Browseabout Books. Each copy purchased comes with an archival bookplate signed by the author. Orders may be placed online at, by calling the store at 302-226-2665, or in person at 133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach.

To learn more about the Delaware Historical Society, go to

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