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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply researched True Crime book.
Renner's book is chilling because it reminds us that the bad guys often get away. Instead of the neat closure that we find at the end of every CSI and Monk episode, we have nothing but a pile of frustrating questions. Boxes stuffed with evidence and empty prison cells. In his 13 unlucky chapters we meet grieving friends and family desperate for closure. We are...
Published on January 17, 2009 by Hugh C. Howey

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The author's a HACK! with a capital H
Sloppy writing. Inaccurate reporting. Not a true journalist….couldn't hack it as a real journalist so his writes "dime store detective" novelettes.

Don't waste your money. Wait until you see a bundle of his books at a yard sale for $.50.
Published 6 months ago by Sandra H.


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply researched True Crime book., January 17, 2009
This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
Renner's book is chilling because it reminds us that the bad guys often get away. Instead of the neat closure that we find at the end of every CSI and Monk episode, we have nothing but a pile of frustrating questions. Boxes stuffed with evidence and empty prison cells. In his 13 unlucky chapters we meet grieving friends and family desperate for closure. We are presented with enough accused that some of them must be innocent while all suffer the stigma of guilt. And we are introduced to the hardworking men and women that devote a lot of time to unraveling these mysteries with often frustrating results.

If you want the pleasure of chasing a bad guy and nabbing him, this isn't your tale. This book is for the true-crime aficionado that understands the frustration of a cold case. It is for the amateur sleuth that wants to paw through Renner's facts hoping to find a missed clue. It is for those of us that find the ice-cold splash of reality intellectually more refreshing than the perfect neatness of fiction. This book will color your awareness of the cases covered on news sites like DreaminDemon.com and give you a new-found respect for the men and women in law enforcement.

The 13 crimes are a varied bunch. You have a dead stripper that nobody cares about, a high-profile bank robber that people compared to D.B. Cooper, and everything in-between. There is a man that seemed very likely to have killed his wife, but enough doubt and missing evidence to stay a conviction. There is an apparent suicide that doesn't seem at all apparent to Renner, the boy's family, nor myself. There is the titular case of Robert Buell, who was put to death for raping and killing women in the early 80's. Strangely, though, he was abducting women in their 20's and young girls not yet in their teens. This is extremely abnormal, and the case gets twisted when we find out that Buell had a nephew living with him and that the two used to talk about grabbing women and having their way with them. And yet the nephew was never investigated...

Two of the stories feature potential D.B. Cooper suspects, the infamous thief that parachuted out of a Boeing 727 with $200,000 in cash, never to be seen again. And one mysterious suicide victim, Joseph Chandler, is most certainly NOT Joseph Chandler. To this day, nobody knows who the man was, but some have suggested that he may have been the Zodiac killer. Similar lovebird killings occurred in Ohio while "Chandler" lived there, and the name Joseph Chandler is shared with one of Jack the Ripper's victims, a killer that the Zodiac refered to in his letters to the police. This interesting detail caught blogger Steve Huff's eye who wrote on his website that it was a "tangential link, easily dismissed as coincidence... Still, hair stood up on the back of my neck when I saw it". The man's identity is still unknown.

The case that I found the strangest was that of Attorney General Ray Gricar's dissappearance. His car was found empty with cigarette ash in the passenger side on April 15th. No trace of him was ever found other than his laptop and hard drive (removed) in a nearby river. What drives me crazy is that on the last page of the story Renner tells us about a novel that an acquaintance of Gircar's wrote before his death. In the novel the murder scene is an empty car. It took place on April 15th. The vital clue in the book was the presence of a bit of cigarette ash. Ray Gricar didn't smoke.

This is a book you buy for the stories more than the storytelling. It is written with minimal flourish, as if they are long newspaper features rather than short stories. I think this style worked well for the subject matter, as Renner seems to take great pains in staying out of our way as we draw our own conclusions.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read!, December 25, 2008
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This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
I heard Mr. Renner on a Cleveland radio station and just had to buy this book. It is very well written and very interesting. Not too much detail that is hard to understand, but interesting details that keep you glued to the book. I hope Mr. Renner writes more like this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book, December 4, 2011
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This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
I had prompt delivery from seller. The book is very interesting since I was born and still live in Cleveland area. The Beverly Jarvos, Maple Hts. killing still wears on my mind since I am from Maple Hts. and my mom still lives there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book! Hope Author writes the new recent one about kidnappings, June 2, 2013
This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
Being a former cleveland gal I enjoyed this book very much. My favorite was the kidnappings of Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, my grandmother lives near by there and I know the area well, I hoped and prayed these girls would be found and Mr. Renner wrote a great chapter in this book concerning the abductions and no bodies, thank God, were ever found. In the last month a startling thing happened, after 10 long years, the girls were found and freed!! It was a miracle! The two girls along with a third, were imprisoned in a house in Cleveland only about twelve miles away from where they were abducted, it was a true miracle! Its a horror story to be sure but at least the girls are alive now.

All the stories were good in this book, as I said my favorite was the "west-side" girls because I know the neighborhood so well, I hope other stories in his book are also solved, this was an amazing story and more so now that the girls survived the horrors and hell of a sadistic predator, the details are almost too distubning too hear.

Since Mr. Renner knows the streets and area's and locations and all the details I hope he perhaps writes a book about his case since he was one of the first, if not only, too write about it. I think it would make a fine follow-up book.

You will enjoy this one through especially if you are from Cleveland. A great book too read around the fireplace on a cold snowy night!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down, October 3, 2011
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Brian K. Adams (Cleveland Oh. USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
A must read. I could not put it down spent 3 days during lunch periods to read this. I recomemnd this book very much.
Brian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cleveland in the news, July 27, 2013
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This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
Had lived in Cleveland when some of these murders took place and have never forgotten Beverly Jaroz. Factual and interesting without being judgmental.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, October 12, 2013
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This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
Unsettling but true stories from right in my own back yard. Very well written. Love tge writers sarcasm and wit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Crime must-read, June 10, 2012
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I have no connection to Ohio, but I still found this book to be a fascinating read. There is enough information about each cold case to make them all seem solvable, and I hope that someone out there is able to provide some closure for the families of the victims included. I'd heard of one or two of the cases; probably because I read the author's blog about Maura Murray's disappearance, but most were unfamiliar to me. There are some very strange coincidences in many of the cases, and some even seem as though they may be connected to others in the book. If you are from, or have a connection to Ohio, or if you are just a fan of true crime stories, definitely read this book. You never know when someone out there will finally remember or choose to provide that final piece of the puzzle that will mean justice for an innocent crime victim.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Renner - write more books!, November 19, 2008
This review is from: The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes (Paperback)
I loved this book. It went into just enough detail about each of the 12 cases, not too little and not too much detail. The cases were interesting and James Renner writes in a very gifted and intriguing way. I hope he continues his writing, especially about some of the northeast Ohio cases, which is where I'm from.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!, February 10, 2013
I loved this book! Im obsessed with the stories in the news and this book showed me some insight into some of the ones in the area!
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The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes
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