From Publishers Weekly
In February of 1976 psychologist John Langlos was found dead in his office in Downey, Calif., his clothing bloodied and torn, his head hanging down under his desk. After an autopsy, an inept deputy medical examiner concluded the cause of death was a heart attack. A few days later, Langlos's colleague, Eugene Hartman, forged the deceased's name on a check and charged purchases on his credit card. Pleading guilty to forgery, Hartman was released on probation; in 1977 he received a six-year term for assault on an elderly acquaintance. Langlos's widow, Ruth, rejecting the coroner's verdict, petitioned relentlessly to have Hartman arrested for murder and finally succeeded. He was tried in 1983 and found guilty, but was then freed because he had not had a speedy trial. Hartman then sued Ruth Langlos for malicious persecution. That case resulted in California legislation preventing an individual convicted of a crime from suing any victim of that crime. This third-person narrative by Langlos and freelancer Niemiec is a well-constructed, absorbing true-crime study.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This true-crime account, written in the fictionlike style popularized by Ann Rule, argues that psychologist Jack Langlos was murdered in his office in Downey, California in 1976, and did not die of natural causes as alleged by Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi. Langlos's widow, Ruth, and Niemiec, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press , tell of her 15-year struggle to persuade the state authorities to bring the suspected murderer to justice, only to see him released after three years due to a technicality. Many characters are introduced but few developed; and important details like the birth dates of the victim and his wife are omitted. Yet the narrative crackles with suspense. The book ends with a telephone interview between Niemiec and the alleged murderer. A strong offering for large public library collections.- Joyce Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.