Tag: True Crime

First Line Friday #57

Today’s First Line Friday is a tragic and powerful memoir that chronicles one sister’s abusive marriage while interweaving the tragic story of another sister’s tragic death.  Domestic Abuse is something that needs to be stopped!

If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, or call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.  The National Natwork to End Domestic Violence: https://nnedv.org

Amy is born a fighter, six weeks early and a wispy five pounds. 

In April 2002, Janine Latus’s youngest sister, Amy, wrote a note and taped it to the inside of her desk drawer. Today Ron Ball and I are romantically involved, it read, but I fear I have placed myself at risk in a variety of ways. Based on his criminal past, writing this out just seems like the smart thing to do. If I am missing or dead this obviously has not protected me…

That same spring Janine Latus was struggling to leave her marriage — a marriage to a handsome and successful man. A marriage others emulated. A marriage in which she felt she could do nothing right and everything wrong. A marriage in which she felt afraid, controlled, inadequate, and trapped.Ten weeks later, Janine Latus had left her marriage. She was on a business trip to the East Coast, savoring her freedom, attending a work conference, when she received a call from her sister Jane asking if she’d heard from Amy. Immediately, Janine’s blood ran cold. Amy was missing.Helicopters went up and search dogs went out. Coworkers and neighbors and family members plastered missing posters with Amy’s picture across the county. It took more than two weeks to find Amy’s body, wrapped in a tarpaulin and buried at a building site. It took nearly two years before her killer, her former boyfriend Ron Ball, was sentenced for her murder.

Amy died in silent fear and pain. Haunted by this, Janine Latus turned her journalistic eye inward. How, she wondered, did two seemingly well-adjusted, successful women end up in strings of physically or emotionally abusive relationships with men? If I Am Missing or Dead is a heart-wrenching journey of discovery as Janine Latus traces the roots of her own — and her sister’s — victimization with unflinching candor. This beautifully written memoir will move readers from the first to the last page. At once a confession, a call to break the cycle of abuse, and a deeply felt love letter to her baby sister, Amy Lynne Latus, If I Am Missing or Dead is an unforgettable read.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Kitty Genovese

22253762

Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America
Author: Kevin Cook
256 Pages in Hardback

Published: March 3, 2014
Dates Read: July 20-25 2015

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

Book Summary from Amazon:

At last, the true story of a crime that shocked the world.

New York City, 1964. A young woman is stabbed to death on her front stoop―a murder the New York Times called “a frozen moment of dramatic, disturbing social change.” The victim, Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, became an urban martyr, butchered by a sociopathic killer in plain sight of thirty-eight neighbors who “didn’t want to get involved.” Her sensational case provoked an anxious outcry and launched a sociological theory known as the “Bystander Effect.”

That’s the narrative told by the Times, movies, TV programs, and countless psychology textbooks. But as award-winning author Kevin Cook reveals, the Genovese story is just that, a story. The truth is far more compelling―and so is the victim.

Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of her murder, Cook presents the real Kitty Genovese. She was a vibrant young woman―unbeknownst to most, a lesbian―a bartender working (and dancing) her way through the colorful, fast-changing New York of the ’60s, a cultural kaleidoscope marred by the Kennedy assassination, the Cold War, and race riots. Downtown, Greenwich Village teemed with beatniks, folkies, and so-called misfits like Kitty and her lover. Kitty Genovese evokes the Village’s gay and lesbian underground with deep feeling and colorful detail.

Cook also reconstructs the crime itself, tracing the movements of Genovese’s killer, Winston Moseley, whose disturbing trial testimony made him a terrifying figure to police and citizens alike, especially after his escape from Attica State Prison.

Drawing on a trove of long-lost documents, plus new interviews with her lover and other key figures, Cook explores the enduring legacy of the case. His heartbreaking account of what really happened on the night Genovese died is the most accurate and chilling to date.

16 pages of photographs


My review in 2015:

Wow! This is not the story of this case that I remember hearing in college! The little bit of this case we learned in college was wrong! There is so much more to this sad case. And everything that happened after Kitty Genovese was murdered makes it even sadder.

The author spent two years researching and learning things we didn’t know. The ending of the book with showing a step by step of Kitty’s last moments leave you with thinking about everything that happened- including a shocker that I didn’t know. I came very close to tearing up at the end.

There was some extraneous material throughout the book. It did not need to be there and I scanned over those paragraphs. There was so much that I almost rated the book 4 stars.

 

I highly enjoyed the book. It was one of my top reads in 2015.

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