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Looking for Carroll Beckwith: The True Stories of a Detective's Search for His Past Life Hardcover – December, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This tale is improbable in more ways than one: Indianapolis police homicide commander Snow offers a dryly nonplused account of his discovery of his "past life" as 19th-century portrait painter Carroll Beckwith. Snow participated in (and taped) a therapeutic "recovered memory" session as a lark, and, once hypnotized, was jolted by a series of clear images and recollections that seemed even then strangely plausible, despite his cop's hard-nosed, empirical perspective. Later, when he walked into a New Orleans gallery at random and confronted a painting that had appeared to him in his vision, he determined to put his detective's investigative skills to work and research congruencies between his "memories" and the artist's life. Surprisingly, the evidence that he painstakingly assembled through retrieving Beckwith's journals and work from obscurity seemed fully to confirm that Snow's "recollections" were authentic. Snow relates all this ruefully, hardly eager to be perceived as "New Age." His crisp, unpretentious prose and descriptive skill go a long way in convincing one to follow his unorthodox journey. His researched account of Beckwith's lost life is impressive: Snow is remarkably sensitive to aesthetic concerns and has unearthed the compelling tale of an artist who was forced to rely on portraiture for support, and whose fast fade seemed foreordained, even as friends like John Singer Sargent found fame. Snow has the courage of his convictions: though his detective wife urged him to curtail his quest to avoid career risk, his book is provocative. Illus. not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Daybreak Books; 1st edition (December 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579541011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579541019
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert L. Snow served for 38 years at the Indianapolis Police Department, retiring in 2007 with the rank of captain. While at the police department he served in such capacities as Police Department Executive Officer, Captain of Detectives, and Commander of the Homicide Branch.

Robert L. Snow has also been a publishing writer for over 30 years. He has had over 100 articles and short stories published in such magazines as Playboy, Reader's Digest, the National Enquirer, The Writer, Police, The Saint Detective Magazine, and others. In addition, he has had fifteen books published. Almost all of Captain Snow's published works were written so that readers could use his knowledge of law enforcement to better protect themselves and their loved ones.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
With the credentials of Indianapolis homicide Commander Snow's, it will be interesting to see how the anti-reincarnation ostriches can dismiss both his research and his findings...although the reaction of his wife indicates that a need to disbelieve can survive the most stunning facts. This book is more gripping than the best mystery story because its implications are true for both the reader and the author. It would have been interesting to know how the writer's philosophy of life might have been altered by his remarkable discoveries but Snow does effectively communicate his initial shock of discovery at this dimension of life previously unknown to him. He says he leaves its deeper meaning "to the philosophers and the theologians." Readers will share the chilling effect of his standing on his own grave and holding the handwritten journal of a previous self long gone. An unusual and convincing addition to the more than 500 titles Amazon says it offers on reincarnation.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Steve Sakellarios on December 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Because of the nature of the proof offered, and because of the credibility of the author, there are only two rational possibilities--either the author is making it up, or he has proven both reincarnation and the validity of hypnotic regression as a viable tool for affirming the existence of past lives. That he got the previous personality's wife's name incorrect, tends to support the researcher's credibility and thus, to my mind, strengthens the case. It is not unusual, in cases of verifying past-life regression, to get details like names wrong (see "Mission to Millboro" by Marge Rieder, for example)--nor for the basic facts to be accurate. So Capt. Snow's results are consistent with other verified cases in this regard. This book is a wake-up call for people who want to lightly dismiss both reincarnation and hypnotic regression as being entirely fanciful.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Karmic Journey on January 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The length to which Police Captain Snow goes to prove himself wrong and then has to accept the truth is amazing. The book is not lacking in the detailed research. The style, is no nonsense and matter of fact. Highly recommended to all those interested in past lives. For those who are not, read it like a master detective story. I agree with a previous researcher that the author could have shared more about his relationship with the past and present wives. I wonder why his wife rejects her husband's evidence and research. Or maybe she's just trying to see if there is an alternate explanantion to all of the evidence gathered ? I read the book almost in one sitting. I too, do not think that the fact that the author did not get his first wife's name correct is important enough to doubt the author's story. In fact, it probably lends more credibility. The best thing I liked about the book is that Captain Snow does not readily accept any of the evidence but validates it thoroughly with police like reliable research methods. He has actually gone about trying to dismiss the results of regression therapy as not relating to past life but semms to have failed miserably in the end.
As this is claimed to be a true story, there will be people who will dismiss that as fiction. But, I do not think that any police officer will risk his reputation by coming out with a story like this, unless it were really true. Why would a police officer go through monumental amount of data about a not so famous painter and then use the information to write a book about his past life using the regression therapy as a starting point? Unfortunately, laboratory proof of reincarnation is not possible. This is as close as one can get. For further reading, I encourage those interested to read " 20 suggestive cases of reincarnation" and -"where Reincarnation and Biology intersect" by Dr Ian Stevenson.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "mycatsandme" on February 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was amazed at the length Captian Snow went to prove he, himself, had lived a past life as portrait painter Carroll Beckwith. Being a dective gave the author added diligence and preseverance in researching every detail of his regression to discover who this painter was.
Unlike the book Search for Grace: A True Story of Reincarnation by Bruce Goldberg which I found lacking in research Captain Snow leaves no detail untouched. Author Goldberg's book was interesting but in cannot compare to this indepth look at reincarnation.
Because of the author's painstaking research I found this book fascinating and hard to put down. The author also includes many pictures of Carroll Beckwith's paintings which added to the powerful image of this man having actually lived and died years before Captain Snow was born.
I was not, in any way, concerned with the fact that the author did not get the wife's name correct. Having read many other accounts of reincarnation this happens often. Names do not seem as important once a soul has left this realm of existence.
I highly recommend this book for those interested in past life regression or for those who may want more proof of its existence.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Kochenash on November 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The important thing in this story is the element of credibility. As a police detective, Captain Robert Snow is what I perceive to be a credible, honest, relayer of information. I want to believe this is not a "Snow" job!(Sorry, I couldn't help myself!) The book itself relays a message of reincarnation that is 99 percent believable. There is only one element of doubt in my mind and that is the fact that if Snow really is the reincarnate Carroll Beckwith, why does he get the name of his wife Bertha confused with the name Amanda. Perhaps this is only a necessary condition to produce an element of doubt within the mind of the reader. Otherwise, the story would be 100 percent believable.I tend to believe in reincarnation and for the most part, i believe, through hypnosis, that an individual can "go Back" to another time but there is always that scintilla of doubt. I believe Captain Snow understands this but the book would have been so much better if the names were right.
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