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Forever and Five Days Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle; Reprint edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786022272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786022274
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cathy was the lively one--the bleached-blonde star of the nurses' aides' lunchroom--the one who enjoyed scripting an ever-changing soap opera from the lives of the nursing-home staff. Gwen was the pug-nosed newcomer with a little girl's dependency and desire to please: she doted on Cathy, and was honored to be chosen as her lover. They turned a respected Michigan nursing home into their playground for frivolous games and practical jokes. Then Cathy got worried that Gwen was cheating on her, so she suggested a love pact that would bind them together "forever and five days." Gwen carried out her wishes, and smothered five patients in their beds. It's a story with a large cast of characters--the employees of the nursing home, the individual patients and their loving families, the outsiders who wondered and worried. Lowell Cauffiel does a good job of letting us into their lives, and into the world of make-believe that allowed these murders to go unnoticed for so long. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Ex- Detroit News writer Cauffiel makes an auspicious debut in the true-crime genre with this sensitive and searching story of the murders of at least six nursing home patients in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1987. The killers were two aides at the home: Cathy Wood, a divorced mother who had turned to lesbianism, and Gwen Graham, long gay. Wood was a brilliant, manipulative individual who enjoyed stirring up trouble; Graham was a harder, more physical woman, capable of violence. They told others about the slayings but were not believed, principally because Wood was known as a congenital liar who delighted in "mind games." She finally convinced her ex-husband of the murders, telling him that she and Graham had killed for fun and excitement. The authorities apprehended Wood first and she turned state's evidence. Graham got five life terms and Wood a sentence of 20 to 40 years. What makes this study noteworthy is Cauffiel's discreet handling of the killers' homosexuality (a restraint not shown by media at the trial) and the excellent concluding section of analyses by a number of psychotherapists which help explain what motivated the crimes. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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These comments make the person want to buy the book to see what the hype is all about.
K. Buchanan
His books are NOT tedious or difficult to read--they are meticulously researched and the subject matter revealed layer by layer to the interested reader.
Thomas G. Shaw
Lowell Cauffiel is a very good true crime writer who has written my favorite true crime book of all time, MASQUERADE.
Dan Bogaty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Lowell Cauffiel on November 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the interest of accuracy to serious readers, I feel it necessary to respond to Roxanne Marcianti's review here. Ms. Marcianti makes a number of charges and assumptions which have no basis in fact. First, not a single sentence of "Forever and Five Days" is "padded" and the book contains not a single passage of "fictionalization." Everything in the work has been meticulously researched and documented with hundreds of hours of taped interviews, court transcripts, police reports and other proven methods of journalistic research. Furthermore, Ms. Marcianti's charge that I did not interview the two perpetrators in this book is simply careless reading on her part. The book's "Author's Note" makes quite clear the sources of all the material in "Forever and Five Days," including stating that the perpetrators were interviewed extensively. Apparently, she didn't bother to read it, or chose to ignore it completely -- which, by the way, makes her "review" libelous in that it maliciously ignores the facts. I would suggest Ms. Marcianti apply the same standards of research and accuracy she expects in my books to her own reviewing skills.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Lynn on December 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I do agree with other reviewers-a good editor could have made the difference in this book. It was long and detailed in sections, difficult to wade through, but, nonetheless, a worthwhile story. The only part left undone for me was how the nursing home management could allow such employees to behave in the manner as they did on the third shift. Cathy and Gwen were such heartless human beings to have cheated these older people out of what little dignity they had left. It appears that Cathy will always continue her sadistic, manipulative behavior; never sorry for what she has done nor the lives she has selfishily destroyed. Ashamed to admit it, but this is one person I would like to see sitting on death row.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Thomas G. Shaw on November 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been a fan of Mr. Cauffiel's books for several years now.
His books are NOT tedious or difficult to read--they are meticulously researched and the subject matter revealed layer by layer to the interested reader. Infused in the narrative of his books is a deep respect for the parties involved and dare I say, some subtle humor as well. For me, this makes for wonderful reading. Fans of superficial, rush-to-market, cheap accounts of lurid crimes and criminals should look elsewhere, not criticize one of the finest true crime writers out there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lori on October 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read true crime constantly and to the two top "reviewers" who put down this book so blatantly....lighten up.
The book is interesting enough. I find typos in practically everything that I read anyone. I proofread for a living and I could get through it without so much annoyance. Relax people.
What hit me most, was Gwen Graham's childhood. Kids who are brought up around so much violence are always affected.
I would recommend this book to the true crime lover. It is not Helter Skeleter but it's a good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jery Tillotson on January 2, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author has done a brilliant job of creating for us a nightmarish true-life series of murders in a nursing home. We've all read occasional news stories of some nursing home employee or hospital worker being imprisoned for serially killing off patients. In this book, though, we're led to the evolution of two mentally unstable women who became lovers and then killers. We're led through the months of lover's fighting and quarrels and the games they played both in the nursing home and outside of it. What disturbed me most, though, was how devoted the lovers of one of the killers, Cathy, remained even after she was proven to be a killer. Her long-suffering husband continued loving her and taking her back even after she tried to murder him with a baseball bat. Even after he heard her confession of serial murders, he told no one until more than a year later. The lover of the second killer, Gwen, are equally hard to forgive. Her girlfriend, Robin, continued to ignore Gwen's repeated confession of mass murder and Robin destroyed valuable evidence that police needed in their case against Gwen. The author does an outstanding job of bringing this cast of killers and enablers to life. His other book, by the way, MASQUERADE, is a classic and I've read it several times. I like his style much better than Ann Rule, who spends pages and pages describing the weather and the geographical background of her murders which become highly boring. Bravo to Lowell Cauffiel for doing such a superb job once again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Skinner on March 18, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished this book yesterday and it is set in my old hometown of Grand Rapids. It is interesting to read of places I know of and it is truly a interesting book that leaves you to come to some of your own conclusions as there are two sides to the story
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's has been a while since read this book but it has never left my mind.It was interesting so it kept my attention.The end result left me wanting to know what happened after their sentence was handed down.This is one I would read over and over.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debbienotdavid on November 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Catherine Carpenter, that is how I know Cathy Wood. I know her personally because you see, I am the Debbie/David of her imagination. I am Debbie. Not David. I can tell you from experience, Catherine May Carpenter-Wood probably did the killings herself. One day while driving along in my car, she asked me if I ever wondered what it would feel like to stab someone, and that she wondered how it would feel as the knife cut into their skin. This gave me the creeps and after I dropped her off at her house, I never went back nor saw her again. She knew I was gay, she knew I was a girl and not a boy. I was out of the closet to my parents at the age of 13 and everyone that knew me knew I was gay. Lowell Caufield said in his documentary that he believed that Cathy made up a lot of things to cover up the fact that she was gay. He is right. She covered up the fact of my being a girl to her friends and family so that she would not be further mocked. Being a heavy girl, she got a lot of razzing from others. On my 28th birthday, my girlfriend and I were at the carousel bar. A drink was sent over to my table with a note on it saying "Remember me, Cathy". Of course I had no idea who it was from, it had been so many years later. Soon a large figure stepped in front of me as I was making my way up to the dance floor and it was her. I was in shock to say the least but she was smiling at me with that snear grin of hers as if to say Uh huh its me. She invited my girlfriend and I to her house and gave us directions. She said it was for an after the bar party. I didnt really want to go but my girlfriend said why not and maybe it would wake her up a little bit to be around others. We had to drive back home which was 85 miles north. When my girlfriend and I arrived, there wasnt anyone at home but Cathy herself.Read more ›
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