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Reasonable Doubt Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 1992


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's True Crime Classics (March 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312929080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312929084
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vogel, a radio news director in Bloomington, Ill., covered the case of David Hendricks, who was convicted of the 1983 ax/knife murders of his wife and three children. "Vogel believes there is a reasonable doubt about Hendricks's guilt, and his forceful argument is convincing," concluded PW. Photos.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Steve Vogel's accounting of the horrid Hendricks family murder was laced with controversy when it first came out. At the time, those following the crime believed David Hendricks was guilty, but Vogel's book challenged the thoroughness of the police, questioned their biases and their understanding of religious matters.

The story details the events surrounding the murder of three children and their mother, and whether or not the father was guilty. The father, out of town when the police discovered the bodies, claimed an alibi. The police determined, through statements from models he used for his catalog for his company, that perhaps David Hendricks was not faithful to his wife. No affairs were discovered, but the model statements still showed a poor light on Hendrick's commitment to his wife.

Hendricks was a lay leader in a relatively small, conservative group of evangelical Christians called the Plymouth Brethren. The police did not realize that this group, though small, shared its basic theology with many Baptist denominations, as well as other better-known Christian groups. Instead, the police surmised that since divorce was discouraged in the Plymouth Brethren, Hendricks felt he needed to kill his family in order to be free of the marriage. Vogel describes the small-town ignorance of the police detectives and prosecutors by using their own trial testimoy. The prosecutor's logical jump was preposterous, but it played heavily into the trial.

The town, in a near OJ Simpson trial like frenzy, fed off the news, and the story became both local scandal and national news.

Confusing the matter was Hendrick's intense demeanor. He was well-read, and well-thought out, and by no means a man to react over-emotionally.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark on June 19, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The David Hendricks case was a media sensation in the Peoria area. This was the dawn of guerilla news tactics and the area media was only too glad to serve what would sell.

The title pretty much sums up what I believe the author was striving for. Hendricks was tried and convicted in the public's eyes long before his trial started; and Vogel I think is attempting to get the reader to actually consider all the facts of the case, not just the soundbites. Before I read the book I was pretty well convinced Hendricks murdered his family, afterward I wasn't so sure. The guy may have had a wandering eye, but that doesn't make him an axe-murderer.

Towards the end, Vogel presents a couple of the scenarios the prosecution came up with to buttress their case, but they come off as a lot of grand speculation when everything is taken into account.

Gore-hounds looking for a fast, bloody true crime tale will come away disappointed. Vogel doesn't embellish the details in what is a horrifying, heart-breaking end to three children's lives and their mother's.

His presentation is objective, however the style is a little dry. But I'm not sure I would want him to juice things up.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Familyma@aol.com on January 1, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be a very well written account of the horrific murder of four very innocent people. The book contains considerable detail of the crime, the investigation, the trial of David Hendricks, the accused. Although most of the evidence is circumstanual and there is certainly a "reasonable doubt" as to the true guilt or innocence of the accused, the book is excellent for those who crave only the true stories of life. I for one am an avid reader of only those stories that are in fact true in nature. I have never cared for fiction. This book is worth the purchase and reading. The only thing I did not care for is that the print is rather small in the paperback edition and was for me difficult to read. Otherwise the book is tops.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fascinating case and the book does it full justice I think. The only reason I didn't rate it 5 is that there are number of repetitive portions; however I did feel that the full amount of information available to jurors was presented. I liked the way Vogel approached facts, analyzed them, and then speculated on how they could cut either way toward innocence or guilt. In the end, I agree with what eventually happened and decided that, as a juror, there was not definite proof of guilt. But - I believe Vogel saw things first one way, then another, and that contributed to the meatiness of the book. Can a man be 'just too good to be true?' Obviously, but that doesn't mean he is capable of absolutely any depravity. Perhaps expectations of what being Christian means played into the ease with which some were convinced that a husband who misbehaves, could not be a 'real' religious believer. All in all, a very satisfying book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By barbarakeith on May 20, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to keep reminded myself that it was a true story and not a novel. At the end I still had doubts about the outcome.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christian Nelson on January 4, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although the shelves are filled with true crime books, it's not easy to find a good one...and almost impossible to find a great one. "Reasonable Doubt" is truly one of the great ones.

If you're a fan of the Ann Rule School, you won't like this one. Ann Rule, and writers who emulate her, usually follow a certain formula:

First, deify the victim (who is invariably female).

Second, portray her family members are minor gods and goddesses. The victim's family is usually perfect and extremely supportive of the woman who later becomes a victim. The father is strong and solid and protective, as are the brothers. The mother and the sisters also are more than anyone could hope for.

Then attack the accused man. No matter how flimsy the evidence, super magnify every detail of the accused's personality that doesn't fit into the mold of perfect all-American man.

Blah blah blah...you know the formula by now.

Steve Vogel's book isn't like that. From what I can see, he presents an objective look at the case, and allows the reader to decide whether the prosecution has a case or not.

Juries are not made up of smart people...mostly middle-of-the-roaders who watch a lot of television...thus it's easy for prosecutors to present the accused as a "strange guy" who "probably" killed the perfect victim.

Doesn't matter that there's no evidence. He must have done it because he didn't "act right" after the crime. And who else would have done it, anyway?

In this book, the guy is convicted of first-degree murder because the jury believed he killed his wife and three children (with an ax and a butcher knife) because he wanted to have sex with some models he had hired for a brochure. No other evidence of any kind.
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