Home » The Ascension of Jerry: Murder, Hitmen and the Making of L.A. Muckraker Jerry Schneiderman

The Ascension of Jerry: Murder, Hitmen and the Making of L.A. Muckraker Jerry Schneiderman

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Bumbling hitmen. Burning corpses. A threatened son. Life in hiding. Jerry Schneiderman’s orderly world as a young, family man with a booming space-design firm died on the spot when his business partner was executed by a diabolical, five-foot-nothing assassin on a rainy night in 1979 Los Angeles, and the buzzard-eyed ringleader came for him. Though the killers behind the murder-for-profit corporation were nabbed (after it took them nearly a dozen tries to complete their job), the trauma annihilated Jerry’s family and strip-mined his trust. Recovery only came years later with Jerry’s improbable rebirth as a prank-loving, civic activist who defended the weak by milking his scars, leaving his adversaries chasing their shadows. Nineteen seventy nine, just the same, never really left him. 

REVIEWS . . . 


— “In Chip Jacobs true-crime, The Ascension of Jerry, we are whisked back to LA’s Kodachrome world of the Seventies. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Jerry, the “bright colors and greens of summer” quickly change to the real life black-and-whites of mayhem and murder. But, this is not just another Hollywood Whodunit. In the end we find it is really about one man’s search and struggle to find his own personal truths and redemption. Well written and highly recommended.” – Steve Hodel, LAPD Hollywood Homicide detective (ret.) and Bestselling author, “Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder.”

— “Jacobs delivers a seductive tour of an L.A. rife with murder-for-hire plots, political corruption and sociopathic schemes. Against this backdrop the young Schneiderman comes of age, to ultimately emerge as the last man standing. A terrific book – I couldn’t put it down! — Stephen Jay Schwartz, L.A. Times bestselling author of “Boulevard” and “Beat.”

— “Chip Jacobs’ chops as an accomplished newspaperman are on brilliant display in The Ascension of Jerry, a delightfully off-kilter true-crime tale of a hero (sorta) who is neither especially loathsome nor lovable … maybe just lucky to get out alive. Jacobs’ prose is intimate, darkly funny, and crisp as he follows the twisted path that leads SoCal businessman Jerry Schneiderman through a series of weird events – including crossing paths with some dumb-ass hitmen and some burning corpses – only to emerge as a merry prankster with a jones for social activism. (If you haven’t yet deduced that this book is not your Mama’s supermarket true-crime trash, then you’re doing it wrong. But here’s the thing: Jacobs’ ear for a good story is pitch perfect, and he tells it with all the smoggy pastel colors of post-noir LA. The Ascension of Jerry isn’t an old song in a new key, but an entirely new song about crime, fear, and a weird kind of redemption that could only happen in the general vicinity of Hollywood. Jacobs is a genuine writer, not a wannabe scribbler. He knows what makes us keep turning pages. So for those few true-crime readers who like their mayhem served up in a sumptuous story, seek this one out.” — Ron Franscell, celebrated true-crime author.

— Chip Jacobs uses his boundless reporter’s energy and well-honed sense of Southern California to tell a gripping tale of serial mayhem and the curious life of Jerry Schneiderman. It’s reassuring to see the right writer was paying attention.” – David Willman, Los Angeles Times Pulitzer winning investigative reporter and author of “The Mirage Man: Bruce Irvins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America’s Rush to War.”

— “Chip Jacobs explores the underbelly of an L.A. murder-for-hire ring that leaves many dead and a successful space planner, Jerry Schneiderman, so affected by PTSD that he embarks on a widespread muckraking campaign that targets major political forces in Los Angeles and beyond. Pitched as a “roots of Occupy story” (aside from Mark Twain’s, of course), The Ascension of Jerry: Murder, Hitmen, and the Making of L.A. Muckraker Jerry Schneiderman (A Vireo Book/Rare Bird; April 2012) will leave you closing your blinds and forever looking behind your back for the crazed psycho-killer disguised as an ordinary blue collar guy.” – Foreword magazine staff pick, late-summer 2012

— “The pay for some deals is wonderful, but the drawbacks that can come along with it may be too much to swallow. “The Ascension of Jerry: Murder, Hitmen, and the Making of L.A. Muckraker Jerry Schneiderman” follows the life of Jerry Schneiderman, whose (space planning) career prospered, then quickly spun out of control when his business (partner) ate a bullet via assassin. Fearing for his life, he was on the run for (months), before he found his … life’s calling. “The Ascension of Jerry” is an enticing true tale of getting one’s life back in the midst of … skullduggery, highly recommended.” – Midwest Book Review, September 2012

– “The story of Jerry is lled with characters that seemed to have stepped out of a James Elroy or Raymond Chandler novel. Ruthless hitmen who can never find their quarry at home at night. A co-worker whose soul is corroded by hate and greed. A beautiful, helpless woman abandoned by a handsome swindler. And then Jerry, a clueless guy just trying to work hard for his family who is caught in a whirlpool of lies, betrayal and murder. It’s a classic LA story. Raymond Chandler would’ve been jealous. “- Southern California author Mary Castillo 

— ” … a title for your shelf  … a fascinating story” – Foothills Paper, July 27, 2012 

— “Enthralled” – Tales & Ales review site





* The Ascension of Jerry makes winners’ circle at the Southern California Book Festival – Fall 2013

* Story highlighted in true-crime authors’ featurette appearing on the DVD of the Ethan Hawke/Lionsgate thriller “Sinister

* Author interview on “Connie Martinson Talks Book” – Summer 2012

Ascension of Jerry takes silver at Hollywood Book Festival – Summer 2012 

* Vroman’s bookstore bestseller

* Why is civic activism and journalism legal and who was Jerry Schneiderman?KCET, June 11, 2012

* Author interview for The Ascension of Jerry This American Wife web radio, June 8, 2012 

* “Jerry Schneiderman: The Rabble-Rouser you’ve never head about but should know” – L.A. Weekly, May 22, 2012

* “Author Chip Jacobs details Jerry Schneiderman Murder Triangle in New Book” – KCBS-KCAL TV, May 17, 2012

“Killer Prose: With ‘The Ascension of Jerry,’ writer Chip Jacobs reveals his wildest tale yet”Pasadena Weekly, March 23, 2012 (Note: the “murder corporation” referenced in this article was located near but not in the old Bullocks department store in Pasadena.)

* The Ascension of Jerry listed in Bookforum as an independent title to watch 

* Buy the Slapstick Thriller now: Amazon / KindleBarnes & Noble  / NookPublisher: Rare Bird Books



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