Dennis McDougal - The Yosemite Murders

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Majestic Yosemite National Park Becomes Crime Scene

Oct 28, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Excellently Written

Cons:None

A true crime biography of the murders that took place on the outskirts of the Yosemite National Park in February of 1999. Is there such a thing as a "true crime biography?" I'm not sure, but in my opinion this would fall into that category because of the brilliant way that each of the characters in this tragic story were unveiled.

The author, Dennis McDougal, begins with a look into the time period prior to the deaths of Carole Sund, her daughter Juli Sund and Silvina Pelosso, the daughter of a long time friend of Carole's from Argentina who was nearing the end of a visit with the Sund family. The three woman embarked on a trip to Yosemite National Park for a few days of relaxation and taking in the majesty and beauty of nature that this park offered. What began as a short vacation would soon turn into a murder investigation that would take FBI agents and local police departments months to solve.

McDougal takes us through the story from the time Carole Sund's husband first realizes his wife, daughter and family friend are missing, to the reporting this to the police, the extensive search of the towns bordering Yosemite and the hotel in which they were staying, on through the media barrages and interrogations of locals with past criminal records and onto each piece of evidence found in the investigation process. He reenacts the murders from the evidence found and the discovery of the bodies of the three woman. He describes the agony of the families as they not only try to grieve the loss of their loved ones but search for the murder or murders still out there. Many criminals are rounded up as suspects in the murders and jailed for minor crimes unrelated so that law enforcement agencies had time to investigate them further without fear of them running.

Once the murderer is found, McDougal goes into great depth into the background of the confessed killer. I found this fascinating maybe because the mind of a murderer is so alien to me and I suppose also partly because psychology has always intrigued me. He introduces us to the family and the childhood background of the murderer and of the family.

McDougal has written a powerful book here that is not only captivating on every page but extremely informative and detailed. If you enjoy True Crime books this one is a "Must Read" and especially if you like an in-depth look into the mind of a murderer! I'll be looking into McDougal's other books too. I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend to anyone out there reading this!!


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