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Little Girl Fly Away Paperback – February 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1977 Ruth Finley, 47 years old, married, a mother and living in Witchita, Kans., began to receive disturbing letters. The letters gave way to harassment, which in turn culminated in her kidnapping and stabbing by the elusive criminal dubbed the "Poet." After four frustrating years the case was solved when a new police chief deduced that only Ruth herself could be the Poet. This deeply moving account re-creates not only the supposed crime but also the successful psychotherapy which followed. For five years, Ruth was treated by a psychiatrist named Andrew Pickens, gradually revealing that she had been a victim of childhood sexual abuse and that, while not suffering from multiple personality disorder, she still had the abused little girl in her psyche and that girl, resentful that no one had come to the adult Ruth's aid when her husband was stricken ill, became the Poet. Freelance writer Stone tells Ruth's engrossing, bizarre story with great sensitivity. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Ruth Finley of Wichita, Kansas led a normal, quiet life with her husband, family, and friends until 1977, when she became the victim of a stalker whom the police named "the Poet." He harassed Ruth through the mail and on the phone, and he even kidnapped and stabbed her. The case remained open and unsolved until 1981, when the chief of police proved that the Poet was Ruth herself. Ruth, however, had no idea of what she was doing, and the last chapters of this account deal with her seven years of psychotherapy. With the help of a doctor, Ruth retrieved memories of severe abuse, both sexual and psychological, at the hands of a neighbor. The Poet had roots in her childhood trauma. This is an unusual and compelling story written in a style that pulls the reader in. Both readers of true crime and psychological accounts will enjoy this book. Highly recommended.
- Lisa J. Cochenet, Plainfield P.L. Dist., Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (February 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671519522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671519520
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,606,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TawnTawn on May 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The first part of the book which describes 47 year old (hardly "elderly") Ruth and her husband's quiet life, and the following stalking by "The Poet" is well-written and fascinating. But the second part, which mainly recreates Ruth's therapy with Dr. Pickens, leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

Ruth supposedly lived a very quiet life, married to a quiet man, with two grown sons (one a doctor, who refused to participate in the book), working for Southwestern Bell as a secretary, living on a quiet dead end street. She worked for the phone company, then quit for at least fourteen years to stay home until her sons were in their teens, then got hired back on, and had worked there ever since.

The author doesn't bother to check out anything that "happened" to Ruth prior to the first phone call. She claims to have been branded at the top of her thighs by a stranger when she was sixteen, when she was living by herself in Fort Scott, Kansas. The stranger supposedly chloroformed her, then she remembers seeing him heat up a flat iron (was it hers? his?) on the stove. Then she woke up and she was branded at the top of her legs! But not raped or beaten or anything. No one was ever arrested, and evidently Ruth was the only one this person felt the need to "brand."

In her middle age, with her sons gone, working at her long-term stable job, with her stable husband and stable home, Ruth's (interesting) life seems to begin when the Poet comes after her. Threatening phone calls, letters, kidnappings, telephone wire cuttings, presents of feces and urine, and knifings begin to occur when Ruth is supposedly afraid her husband has suffered a heart attack and she will be "abandoned.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Star Fire on March 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I first read about Ruth Finley's problem in the "Book in Review" section of Reader's Digest. A couple of years later, I stumbled upon the hardcover copy and bought it. The book, unfortunately, stayed in my box a couple more years.
The time I started to seriously read the book was when I was in the middle of college. The beginning isn't that exciting because it's a glimpse into 2 elderly people's lives i.e. Ruth Finley and her husband.
The pace picks up when the Poet appears. (...) I really feel for Ruth because of her childhood trauma. When you read about the part where she feels sorry when her neighbour cries in remorse in childish innocence, However, you will cry for Ruth when the man turns on her again in this moment of tenderness.
The pain is magnified when Ruth cries every time her dad sends her to the neighbour's and her dad scolds her for being a 'bad girl'. It's a really ironic moment every time it occurs.
You truly understand the ugly truth of sexual abuse when you read about the neigbour's wife having to accept the abuse. And she she evens gives Ruth cookies to get her co-operation.
I've never read any book that gives such a realistic view of sexual abuse than this book.
For parents: It's a book that gives insight on the trauma a child feels and the awful picture of sexual abuse.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting aside to the BTK killer story is the little known, but true account of Wichita, Kansas resident Ruth Finley. The Wichita Police went into a frenzy when Ruth advised them that she was being tormented by an unknown male who was taunting her and sending her messages. In fact, being attacked by this evil man.

Of course, the Wichita PD was convinced that they had an opportunity to nail the BTK killer in this episode. Everything related to them by Mrs. Finley seemed to point directly to BTK. Yet, there were some things that just didn't seem to fit.

Mrs. Finley, it seems had some secrets of her own and was engaging in a psychotic scream for help. Her family was unaware, her husband was unaware, her co-workers were unaware.

In this strange, but true story, we learn that there are demons in our mind that are sometimes worse that those around us.

This is a great book for people interested in the BTK affair.

Densel Myers
Yukon, Oklahoma
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Empathetic. Enlightening. A must-read for anyone seriously (and, ahem, ITELLIGENTLY) interested in the topic of MPD.
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By K. Hoffman on July 9, 2015
Format: Paperback
Very good book. Interesting but terribly sad, however.
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