Pros: Alot of interesting true-crime stories in this book!
Cons: Sad and tragic!
I bought this book a week ago and I just finished reading this tonight.
Ann Rule has really done a very superb job in putting this book together. The various true-crime stories this woman has written is very well detailed and there is not a flaw to any of these stories. This woman really knows how to write and it shows. I think of all the authors put together, she is the best true-crime authors of all-time. I have always enjoyed reading her stories and none of them has ever bored me.
This is about a young woman whose name was Jami Hager. She met and fell in love with a man named Steve Sherer who was nice to her at first, but then after that, he became very posessive of her and wanted her to become the person he wanted her to be and she totally gave in.
The two got married, but their marriage was far from ideal. Jami had a very good paying job, working at Microsoft in computers, while Steve was a worthless bum who did nothing, but sit around all day drinking or doing drugs with his buddies.
Steve was not only possessive, but he was very abusive both physically and mentally to Jami and like most abusive wives, she would automatically blame herself for Steve's very abusive treatment of her and it seemed to work out because that is exactly how he expected her to be. This guy took no responsibility for any wrong-doings he himself would do. He would always either blame Jamie or someone else for it.
Jami and Steve had a child together, but things did not change.
The most degrading thing in the Sherer's marriage is when Steve wanted to engage in a three-some sexual affair. But then, he had the galls to video-tape his wife having sex with his buddy Lew Addam. What a sick psycho-perverted man he is!
Jami deserved alot better, but she remained, totally intimidated that no matter what she did, Steve would find her.
The best thing this young lady did and I was happy for the very moment that she was going to walk out of her marriage and leave the guy and life behind her forever. But on the other hand, she was not using very good judgement because she went off and an actual sexual affair with the man whom Steve had video-taped in their home.
I strongly believe that Jami was murdered by Steve, though, her body was never found and to this day, it has not.
It is just sad and tragic because now, Jami's son will never see his mother again and he will grow up wondering what happened to her. I am sure he will probably hate his father because this man was so dishonest and certainly not one to trust period.
I admire one person in this story; Jami's mother Judy Hagel because she had the courage to stand up and demand an intensive investigation that the investigators have given up so long ago regarding her missing daughter. Judy may not have been so strong while her daughter was still around, but she mustered the courage and she did.
I have read this story once in a true-detective magazine and this is about a young man whose name was Patrick Lehn.
Lehn once was going around with a woman named Kathi Jones, but Jones did not want to have anything further to do with him. Lehn could not handle the fact that the woman wanted out and go on with her own life. He was a very controlling man who seem to want to have his way. Kathi had a child, but Lehn was not the father of that child.
Anyway, Lehn and Jones have a shouting match in the middle of the night near an elderly man's house and he gets out of his car, attempts to open the door of Jones' car to grab her, but she locks her doors. Lehn starts kicking the window of her car and breaking it. Jones gets out of her car and starts running away from him. She gets the hell beaten out of her big time, I mean big time and she collapse on the ground seriously injured. Her three-year-old son gets the hell beaten out of him as well, but he is dead on the spot. Later on, Kathi dies after being removed from the respirator.
Lehn is truly a dangerous man who has no regards for the woman whose life he had destroyed. He is what I call a very self-centered and manipulative man who seems to want his way. And he had no remorse for the child whose life he has taken because of his dangerous self-centered attitude.
This is about an eighteen-year-old man named John Stickney. He was going around with a young woman who was his age for a few years until she graduated from high school and wanted to go to college in another state. When Stickney heard this, he could not handle the fact that his girl friend was going to relocate faraway.
Stickney had a low IQ, but he was capable of holding down a job and he had a construction job. Even with his good-paying job, being without his girl friend drove him crazy. What he did not realize is that his girl friend wanted to move on with her life, meaning she did not want to have anything further to do with him. Even so, Stickney drove 300 miles so that he wanted to see her and get her to go back to him which she refused to do. When he tried to drag her into his car, she fought with him and got away. This young woman had become involved with a new boy friend and she let Stickney know this. He became enraged and threatened the new boy friend's life.
The best thing I have found in this story is when Stickney killed himself with that bomb he intended to use, to kill his girl friend, but instead, it backfired and it may have injured some people, but Stickney was not so lucky, but he did not deserve to live because he has made his ex-girl friend's life a living hell and now that he can no longer harass her, she can live her life in peace.
Love And Insurance
These two gay men seemed to have alot in common. One of them was Larry Duerkensen and the other was Gareth Leifbach.
Duerkensen was a guy who had a tendency to exaggerate, but he was very clueless about the man he was sharing his life with.
What Duerkensen was not aware of is that the man he was sharing his life with, wanted to take a life insurance policy out on him, meaning he wanted Larry's life.
Leifbach was obviously the controller in this relationship. He did all of the talking when he took Duerkensen along when he was taking a life insurance policy. Even though, each men named each other as beneficiary in each's policy, Leifback was the controller.
Of course, Leifbach never succeeded in getting the life insurance money after snuffing out his partner's very existance on this earth. He was highly under suspicion and he sure got his day.
The Gentler Sex
In this story, a woman named Carole Hargis is just the opposite. She marries a man, but not for love, for murder so that she could get her hands on his life insurance money. She is a lesbian and shares her life on the side with another woman. They both hated men, but for this reason, Carole marries him so that she could get exactly what she wanted.
She and her girl friend plans the murder and once that was done, they both gave entirely different versions of the murder.
Both women are very disturbed mentally.
I think anybody, regarding their sex gender and whether they are heterosexual or homosexual should look for any clues in a relationship that may put them at risk. Tragically, these people whose lives were taken as a result of not taking any notice had to pay the price for these very self-centered, manipulative, and very wicked-minded individuals who did not have a care in the world for them period.
The Conjugal Visit
Carl Bowles was a twenty-four-year-old man with a long history of criminal activities dated from the time he was a youngster. While he was serving his time in prison, he met a man named Norbert Waitts who was also doing time. When the two got out of prison, the first thing they both did was to purchase a used car and then go on a wild crime spree. This was in the state of Oregon.
The two shot and killed an on-duty police officer and then they took a woman and her son as hostages in a near-by neighborhood. They forced her at gun-point to drive them to an area and when the car got stuck, they flagged down an unsuspecting family who were obviously taking a trip from their home state of Washington and took them as hostages as well. They were forced to drive them down to Sacramento California where they got dropped off at, and forced their way into a home of a state governor and took him and his family hostage. These two knuckle-heads had no clue who they were tampering with.
Then the family drove them out-of-state and then one of the suspects screwed up, which meant that he was going to be caught along with the other which did happened.
Bowles may have served nine years in the slammer, but he had never changed. He was very good at hoodwinking those who earned his trust and he was able to earn himself a "social card" which meant he had some off-ground priveleges, but he took advantage. What I mean is that he escaped unnoticed out a rear door of a motel room. He was on the lam for several weeks until the authorities caught up with him.
Bowles can never be trusted and I think his sentence is fair because he does not need to be walking in society.
Killers On The Road
Even in 1967, the crimes these criminals were doing were taken very seriously by the sheriff's department. Thomas Braun and Leonard Maines are the two criminals. These guys have no conscience and they prey on those who are unsuspecting.
Braun and Maines lured a young woman named Deanna Buse to her death by claiming her tires were flat. Then when an unsuspecting motorist drives up to Braun and Maines to offer help (the motorist is unaware that those two had just killed a woman and dumped her body elsewhere), the two idiots kills the guy and then gets into his car and drives off, leaving his dead body on the ground.
Then Braun and Maines kidnaps these two teenagers, (one is a guy and the other, a girl) and murders the guy, but keeps the girl with them and then assaults her and dumps her over an embankment. She is lucky to survive that horrendous ordeal and testifies that both Braun and Maines are the ones who were responsible for the murder of her boy friend and of being violently assaulted and being throwned over the embankment.
Yes, there are people like Braun and Maines and these kind of individuals need to be taken off the streets and put away. Braun got the death penalty and I think it was appropriate, given the nature of the crimes he committed and he was the aggressor between him and Maines. But it was inexcusable for Maines to be involved with a man like Braun. Therefore, he is just as guilty and I am quite surprised that he too, did not get the death penalty which I think he should have. Anyone who accompanies a murderer is just as guilty and therefore, they should pay too.
A Dangerous Mind
This story I find here is very interesting. It is about a twenty-four-year-old man with a criminal history. This man has a lower than average IQ and was learning disable. He had trouble with controlling his rages and this is what got him into alot of hot water. By the way, this man's name was Arnold Brown.
Brown went for a visit to his older sister Lorraine. Lorraine and her husband had two adopted children that were 7-years-old and the other the same age. One was a girl and the other, a boy.
The biggest problem with Brown's sister and brother-in-laws is that they are in complete denial about his problems. Instead, they always bail him out of it, no matter what. Even his own parents are the same way. And Brown is always out on parole, thanks to his very clueless family. Even when Lorraine's own daughter was killed by her brother, did she finally turn against him? No way! She continue to make excuses for him and trying to believe that he is a "good boy" and that he was "special." Evidently, Brown was taking advantage because of that.
Brown has attacked at least three children, killing one before he killed his own niece.
Brown is not only learning disabled, but he is a very mentally disturbed man and is a complete danger to society and to himself as well. Even when he was under the watchful eyes of the guards in prison, he decided to take the fast way out and that is by hanging himself.
To Kill Again And Again
Gary Grant who was a nineteen-year-old in 1971, was known to his relatives as being very quiet. This unsuspecting man was the culprit of murders that dated back two years prior. He killed a nineteen-year-old woman as she was walking home from a local library, then killed another young woman a year later as she was taking a Sunday walk, then a few months later, murders these two very innocent six-year-old boys and all of his murders occurred in broad day light.
I think this man deserved to be put away. Being learning disabled is no excuse to go and murder people. I think those with a condition should be treated the same as a person with normal intelligence. Better yet, he should have received the death penalty.
The Stockholm Syndrome
I have once read this story in a true-detective magazine in the early 1980's and this is an interesting story.
This is about a young couple who were celebrating their first anniversary of being married up in the mountains in Oregon.
The couple met a guy who was a drifter and soon, it became very apparent that the drifter was making eye-balls at the young woman, despite of the fact that she was a married woman with her husband accompanying her. The drifter murders the husband and then their dog. From that point on, he starts brainwashing the young woman and she became so programmed that at first, she made up stories of how her husband was killed, (of course, this was at the urging of that drifter!) Then when she became her normal self, she made a confession that what happened did not happen that way, that she told the authorities the whole truth.
What I admire about this young lady is that she was able to reorganize her thoughts and was able to reveal the whole truth. And as for the drifter, his cell-mate also revealed the truth as well.
I think people who brainwash others are complete losers and they definitely do not fit into society period.
There are about six to eight pages in this book that contains some of the victims and the suspects who murdered them.
I like the front covering of this book. It shows a reddish dried leaf and a computer mouse along with a diamond ring attached to it. Very creative.
Anyway, I really and truly enjoyed reading this book from beginning to end. It is a real page turner. There is definitely not a boring page I can even find in this book. This book overall, is excellent.
I give this book a 5-star rating.
The cost of this book is $7.99 plus tax and is available at some book stores. I bought this book from a Border's bookstore, but it is best to call or log online as some of these are not available.
For those who are true-crime buffs may want to consider reading this book.