- Paperback: 322 pages
- Publisher: Independently published (June 20, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1521154309
- ISBN-13: 978-1521154304
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Innocent Blood: A True Story of Obsession and Serial Murder
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Showing 1-8 of 42 reviews
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First, I'll get the "cons" out of the way. Admittedly, there are some editing errors in the book. Although, they do not detract terribly from the storyline, I'm appalled that a second edition of this book was produced without getting all necessary corrections made first. This story and the overall writing are too good to have been handled so carelessly.
Then the "pros" are many. To begin with, there are two overlapping storylines, which gives the book complexity and keeps things interesting. Also, the reader quickly becomes engaged from the first page.
The story starts with the kidnap, sexual molestation, and murder of a 4-year-old boy named Eric Christgen in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Following is the erroneous arrest and conviction of a young man named Melvin Anderson for the crime, primarily because he's thought to be gay. And gay is the equivalent of paedophile in the mind of small town law enforcement in the 1970's. The manipulative tactics used by police to get a false confession and conviction are infuriating.
Then the second part of the storyline deals with the lifelong history of the true predator, Charles Ray Hatcher. In a nutshell, he's creepy, violent, and one of the weirdest predators I've ever read about. He also proves to be a cunning, paedophilic sociopath who is capable of feigning mental illness, manipulating forensic psychiatrists, and avoiding law enforcement detection for so long due to the use of multiple aliases. Hatcher is crazy alright--crazy like a fox.
Without divulging any more of the storyline, suffice it to say, Haney has simply written a book I couldn't put down. Kudos to the author for shedding light on such a complex set of circumstances and case. P. S. Please hire a new editor!
The main murder presented in the book was told in a rather brief, "ho hum" way. There was little about the investigation of this crime which led to the conviction of the wrong man. The court proceedings and trial were very brief when compared to other books and it left me wanting more.
Would I recommend the book to others? Probably not.
The innocent suffered not only at his hands but at the hands of our legal system and the assembly line style law enforcement used to close the case, forcing a confession regardless of the facts. I shook my head often while reading this book. It was an engrossing read, true crime fans win love.