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Delivered from Evil: True Stories of Ordinary People Who Faced Monstrous Mass Killers and Survived Hardcover – January 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"An idealistic college student shot by the Texas Tower sniper who entered the ministry; a survivor of the 1984 McDonald's massacre who developed a fetish for firearms; and a survivor of a 1949 rampage who buried his memories in an old suitcase ... What happens to them after the television cameras and reporters have left?"   --

"Meticulously researched, the book is graphic and chilling. In the end, it is a testament to the constancy of the human spirit." -- San Antonio (TX) Express-News

"The names of mass murderers are household words, but we rarely are able to identify their victims. Ron Franscell tells the stories of survivors of mass killings in a book that rehashes familiar stories of past crimes, but with a new twist. ... No survivor of a mass killing lives happily ever after." -- Denver Post

“In Ron Franscell’s captivating account of the darkest chapters of our history, the author skillfully reminds all of us the meaning of grace and the triumph of the human spirit.” —Gregg Olsen, New York Times bestselling author of Twisted Faith

“In an age when we glamorize killers, Ron Franscell gives a voice to the forgotten victims, a voice you won’t and can’t forget.” —Erin Moriarty, Emmy-winning correspondent for CBS’ 48 Hours

About the Author

Ron Franscell is a bestselling author and journalist whose atmospheric true crime/memoir The Darkest Night was hailed as a direct descendant of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and established him as one of the most provocative new voices in narrative nonfiction. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, San Jose Mercury-News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Delivered from Evil is his fifth book. He grew up in Wyoming and now lives in San Antonio, Texas.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592334407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592334407
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Coming May 2016!
MORGUE: A LIFE IN DEATH, by Dr. Vincent Di Maio and Ron Franscell

Ron Franscell's writing has been compared to Truman Capote, Charles Frazier and Robert Olen Butler--diverse, poetic, evocative and muscular.

This lifelong newspaperman burst onto the literary scene in 1998 with his first novel ANGEL FIRE, a poignant, mythic tale of two brothers wrestling with personal ghosts in the small town where they grew up. ANGEL FIRE was subsequently named among the San Francisco Chronicle's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century West.

After his 1999 mystery, THE DEADLINE, Ron became a senior writer for the Denver Post, writing about the entangled past, present and future of the American West. THE DEADLINE and its sequel, THE OBITUARY, have been re-published in print and digital editions by WildBlue Press, one of the most innovative new publishing ventures in America.

In 2008, his first nonfiction, THE DARKEST NIGHT, won rave reviews from true-crime legends Ann Rule, Vincent Bugliosi and Gerry Spence. The book explored a monstrous crime against two of Ron's childhood friends in the small town where they grew up, and how that crime has echoed across almost four decades. It is now a national bestseller.

SOURTOE COCKTAIL CLUB is an intimate account of Ron's extraordinary road trip to the Yukon with his son, where they drank a cocktail containing a mummified human toe and spent the longest day of the year under an Arctic sun that never set. Magical.

THE CRIME BUFF'S GUIDE TO OUTLAW TEXAS (November 2010) is a quirky travel guide taking true-crime and history travelers to some 400 outlaw- and crime-related sites all over the Lone Star State. The series continued with OUTLAW ROCKIES (2011), and OUTLAW DC (2012), and OUTLAW PENNSYLVANIA (2013). OUTLAW NEW MEXICO and OUTLAW ARIZONA were published in 2014.

DELIVERED FROM EVIL explores the entangled lives of mass-murderers and their victims, tracing the lives of 10 ordinary people who survived some of America's worst massacres. Auspiciously, it debuted on the day a deranged young gunman killed six and wounded 13 at a Tucson supermarket in one of the most shocking crimes of our day.

Ron teamed up with friend and fellow popular crime writer Gregg Olsen to produce two editions in the NYTimes-bestselling Notorious USA true-crime series--NIGHTMARE AT NOON and EVIL AT THE FRONT DOOR--an exciting blend of classic TC storytelling and 21st century technology.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Robin Cogan on December 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Your life can change in an instant. Life is fragile. Be productive. Make your life meaningful. Make your family proud. Life must go on. It has to. My dad was 12 years old the morning of September, 6 1949, when his world would be forever altered. Life as he knew it was over. As he hid in an upstairs closet, his father, mother and grandmother were brutally slaughtered along with 10 other victims. Thirteen dead, many wounded, with repercussions still felt today, 61 years later. The story of my dad, like the stories of all of the survivors in this book, is that life must go on. Will it ever be the same, will the pre-violence innocence ever be restored? What is the legacy passed onto the children of these survivors? Was it a deep dark family secret that held shame and created a legacy of fear? How does life go on after unthinkable tragedy.

Ron Franscell captured the essence of each of the survivors' voices in this unique and well researched homage to the spirit of human resilience. I can attest to the accuracy of my dad's story because I watched the level of detail that Ron absorbed for his story alone. My dad had crammed 60 years of history into a suitcase that held newspaper clippings from the darkest days of his life. My dad saved clippings about his own unthinkable tragedy, but he also would save stories about other killings over the decades. He felt the pain of the survivors each time another event unfolded in the news. He would call his kids and say, "did you hear about....., are you ok? Be safe."

My dad wanted his story told, not for the public recognition, but for educational purposes. He wanted people to know that survivors are among us and life does go on beyond the tragedy. His life was a testament to a life lived with purpose and conviction.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Betty R. Stewart on December 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely and thoroughly love this book!! I am a "Ronette," for sure, but I was truly pleased with this one!! What an interesting perspective! I don't think that I've ever seen anyone look at mass murder scenarios with so much emphasis on those who survived the terror. As always, Ron researched his subjects well and made every effort to meet and interview those involved. There is just no doubt - in my mind - that Ron is well on his way to becoming a card-carrying member of the club who have reached the apex of the True Crime greats. I adored "Outlaw Texas," but I am afraid that this one has surpassed it. A great read; my house is full of true crime and this is one of the best. Trust me, I should know. You won't be disappointed!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. Sullivan on December 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ron Franscell's DELIVERED FROM EVIL, is a unique look into a world few of us understand (even though we may try), and that's the world of survivors of mass murderers. All of these living victims were ushered into a fraternity of sorts, wherein each share a common experience of having survived a traumatic and life-shattering event. Although their hearts remained beating, they're no less victims than their deceased counterparts, and each has struggled in his or her own way to put the broken pieces of their lives back together again. Doing so is never an easy task, and it is always a very long and drawn out process. Within the pages of this book you'll find their stories, as they allow you to accompany them on a road very private and personal. By doing so, you'll come away with a far greater understanding of what it's actually like for those forced to deal with such a tragedy.

Most true crime books speak only for the dead, while covering the ensuing investigation and the ultimate outcome of the case. Here, however, Franscell has concentrated on the survivors of these horrific acts, and has eloquently brought their stories to life.

I highly recommend DELIVERED FROM EVIL for those seeking to understand what it's like to survive violent crime at the hands of the mass murderer. It is a book that needs to be on every true crime shelf in the nation. Indeed, it's the kind of book you may find yourself revisiting long after you've read that last page.
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As one of the premier crime writers of our generation, Ron Franscell stands at the top of the heap. In an era when we are constantly forced to ask "why?" when a sensational story of unexpected evil hits the headlines, Franscell delves below the surface and goes straight to the source. His skills as an investigative journalist take the reader behind the scenes, revealing startling details the public has never heard until now about some of America's most horrific mass murders. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. As a former police officer, some of the photos provoked the same kind of icy chill that ran down my spine whenever I walked into a scene of stark horror. Franscell brings into focus the fact that these unexpected acts of pure evil will forever remain an enigma to the rest of us. We stare at the pages and wonder. The madmen who did these things not only took precious human life away from those who died, but left behind scars on the living as well. Those who survived and those who witnessed the aftermath will never forget their encounter with someone who looked human, but in truth was a monster. However, the book also gives us a glimpse into something else. It delivers a message about the human spirit and the will to live in the face of sudden and unexpected terror. A riveting account of some of our darkest moments as told by one of the best in the business.
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