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Murder at 75 Birch: A True Story of Family Betrayal Hardcover – October 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525934928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525934929
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,501,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Glen telephoned his brother Neil: "Help! Come over to my house!" Neil rushed over, saw Glen lying semi-conscious on his living room floor, and called the police. The cops found Glen's wife Betty upstairs, strangled in her bed. Circumstantial evidence pointed to adulterous Glen as the killer, but some were suspicious of Neil because he didn't check on Betty himself. (One moral of this well-told story is how maddening it can be when your behavior isn't exactly what the police consider to be normal.)

Richard Pienciak has a pleasing, meticulous style that reassures readers they're being told everything he knows, without speculation or dramatization. As Andrew Vachss writes in the New York Times, "This is a reporter's book, and for those who consider journalism a true art form it is a real find. As multilayered as any novel, but handicapped by the lack of a manipulable ending, Murder at 75 Birch tells this fundamental truth: So-called facts are always secondary to interpretation." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., dentist Glen Wolsieffer, married and the father of a daughter, carried on two adulterous relationships, one of long duration. On August 30, 1986, police called to the family's home found his wife beaten and choked to death and Wolsieffer laying injured on the kitchen floor--in the opinion of some, pretending to be more seriously hurt than subsequent hospital tests indicated. Several police and legal officials believed Wolsieffer was the murderer, but interrogation proved fruitless. They then turned to his more vulnerable brother Neil, the first person to enter the house after the slaying and the one who summoned the police, pressing him with questions almost to the point of harassment; in October Neil died in an auto accident later ruled de termined to have been a suicide. Pienciak ( Deadly Masquerade ) masterfully reviews the case, arriving at the same conclusion reached by most of those involved (including a jury that found Wolsieffer guilty of third-degree murder): the dentist probably killed his wife, but proof was by no means conclusive. Wolsieffer is currently free on bail while appealing his conviction. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Ryan on July 15, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I just came across this book a few months ago. A reviewer that I follow thought it was a pretty good read and I agree. I enjoyed this book. It's the story of Pennsylvania dentist, Glen Wolsieffer, who murdered his wife Betty in 1986. I googled his name recently and found that he ultimately confessed to the murder and was released from prison around 2005 (I wonder if his paramour was waiting for him?). The author had an opportunity to speak at length with Glen. So throughout the book, there are chapters called "In His Own Words" where Glen speaks about his life and the crime itself. It's interesting to see how this man thinks. Glen's brother Neil plays a big role in this book. Although he had nothing to do with the murder, he is targeted by the media and police. So there are really two stories going on about two brothers. Glen is not a nice person and I was almost starting to think that he was going to pin the blame on Neil by the time his trial took place. He actually could have because by this time, his poor brother was dead. A good read - all new material for me. My litmus test for a 5 star is - Would I read it again? Because I said "No", I give it 4 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bogaty on November 5, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
MURDER AT 75 BIRCH deals with the murder in 1986 of Betty Wolsieffer, the wife of Wilkes-Barre, PA, dentist Glen Wolsieffer. Glen claimed to have been the victim of an intruder in their home who knocked him out before murdering Betty, and he professed his deep love for his wife. But his stories quickly fell apart. His account of his struggle with an assailant in his house the night of the murder was soon seen as ridiculous, and if Glen loved his wife, he was not faithful to her.
The reader learns that not only had Glen had a girlfriend for the past 7 years, but that within the year prior to the killing, he started a relationship with a second woman as well, effectively, at that point, cheating on both his wife and his first girlfriend. And Betty, who had learned about the first, if not the second, outside relationship was, according to her friends, planning on confronting Glen with an ultimatum about their marriage the night she was killed. Subplots abound as well.

Richard T. Pienciak is a fine true crime writer. MURDER AT 75 BIRCH is well researched and well written. As in his other true crime books (MAMA'S BOY and DEADLY MASQUERADE) he writes intelligently for adults. Pienciak does not feel the need to dramatize his work excessively and he does not attempt to tell the reader what to think. He simply presents his research in a profesionally written manner allowing the reader to form his/her own conclusions.

MURDER AT 75 BIRCH is formatted in typical true crime style, but Pienciak uses the device (also used in MAMA'S BOY with considerable success) which he calls "In His Own Words", short chapters in which Glen presents his own explanations of the events surrounding the murder.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E.P. Brookshire VINE VOICE on July 13, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It took me a while to get into this book but once I did, I found myself very interested. The suspect is a sexy cheating dentist and the crime was one seen often--an intruder somehow manages to brutally kill one person and leave a witness alive. There is always a staged crime scene. The twist in this book involves the suspect's younger brother and comes out of left field. I enjoyed this book.
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By Lauri on January 11, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you saw the movie, you'll like this book it's based on even better. I like reading true crime stories and watching them on tv. I usually see the movie first, then if I find it interesting and there's a book on it, I look forward to reading it. This book brings out much more details about the characters involved.
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