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Murder in the Midlands: Larry Gene Bell and the 28 Days of Terror that Shook South Carolina Paperback – March 20, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lieutenant Rita Y. Shuler was supervisory special agent of the Forensic Photography Department with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for twenty-four years. She interfaced with the attorney general's office, solicitors and investigators, providing photographic evidence assistance in the prosecution of thousands of criminal cases. Her interest in photography started as a hobby at the age of nine with a Kodak brownie camera. Before her career as forensic photographer, she worked in the medical field as a radiologic technologist for twelve years. Her interest in forensic science evolved when she X-rayed homicide victims to assist with criminal investigations. Shuler received her specialized law enforcement photography training at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia, South Carolina, and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Shuler holds a special love for South Carolina's coast and is a devoted crabber and runner. She resides in Irmo, South Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (March 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596292504
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596292505
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I was 16, Shari was 17. I lived in Lexington County and went to Lexington High School. To this day, I remember the horror the day Shari was kidnapped as well as the ensuing 28 days when little Debra Helmick was taken. I prayed for them then as I do now for both of these girls and their families. Know that they are not forgotten. This book provides details from the actual kidnapping, the phone calls, the torment of Shari's family and Debra's family. The killer changed our lives forever that summer. Mrs. Helmick and the Smith families had the grace to forgive him which is clearly documented here and something we can all learn a lesson from. RIP Shari and Debra. You will be remembered always.
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book brought back memories of the 28 days of horror. We have a vacation home on Lake Murray right around from the Bell's home. We would go there thinking we were safe, not knowing he lived so close. Rita has done a very good job of telling this story. Even though we knew the outcome the book was so captivating and hard to put down. We thought we knew most everything until we read Rita's book! We have had the privledge of meeting Rita and she's such a pleasure to talk with. She is a wonderful writer. I have read her other book, Carolina Crimes, and it is just as good as Murder In The Midlands.
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Format: Paperback
I recently talked with a lady who was lliving in greenwood sc and was working part time at the movie and had gone to lunch and parked in a secluded place near where she worked and had lunch, on returning to her car she noticed a man following her so she stepped up the pace and so did he, she knew her car was unlocked so she made a dash to her car and locked the doors just as larry grabbed the handles, she reported it to the police but no one made a connection til he was arrested and the photo was on the news- A CLOSE CALL.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having lived through that June and having been Debra Mays age, I remembered the fear of living in Lexington County and what could happen if I played outside. Nice to learn the back story to this sad piece of history.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Not only was this man a killer, but also a sadist. He tormented his victims, but that wasn't enough, he continued to victimize the family of one. To keep calling them, letting them hold out hope that their love one would be returned is just vile. Death came to easy for this man, he got to live for over ten years after the murders and be forgiven by some of their families. There must be a special place in hell for people like this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book was factual but didn't answer the one question I always wondered... I grew up in W Cola, at the other end of Platt Springs Rd from the Smith family... When he was arrested, my mother and I recognized him but never could figure out where we knew him from... This didn't answer it for me... :<(
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Format: Paperback
I loved Murder in the Midlands! I lived through that awful time and coincidentally bought the house that Larry Gene Bell lived in when he was on his killing spree. From items left in the attic, I became fascinated with learning more about the murders. Rita Shuler's book is GREAT! Before I was able to read it, my college daughter and three of her friends all read the book and returned it to me in a week. One friend spent his entire night reading this book. I can't wait to read more books by this talented author!

Tamah Davis
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm NOT a reader but have always held interest in this case as I had distant connections to this involved. I read this book in 6 hours and could not put it down. The families involved are inspiring to have endured what they did and turn it into ministry and good.
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