Flynn recounts the story of Eddie Wyatt, an apparently average, happily-married man from Texas, who was responsible for a series of violent rapes. Flynn examines the effect of the revelations about Eddie on his wife Ronda and their children, and asks how it was possible for her to live with him for seven years without having the slightest inkling of sexually violent and criminal behaviour. The book goes on to examine some aspects of Wyatt's background (a tough reform school and drug abuse) that may have contributed to his crimes. In writing this book, Kevin Flynn held several interviews with Ronda Wyatt and the local Texan police, and had access to the confessions made by Wyatt after his arrest.
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Sluggish, standard-model true-crime account of a multiple rapist who concealed his crimes for seven years while married and involved in a fundamentalist church. When Eddie Wyatt was five, in 1956, his drinking and gambling father walked out the door for good. At age 11, Wyatt first entered Gatesville Reform School and began to live among the killings, dope dealings, and guard beatings that plagued the Texas prison system. In and out of jail for the next 12 years, he suddenly ``found Jesus'' while perusing a religious tract in his cell. Given his freedom at age 23, Wyatt was taken in by the Assembly of God Church, an insular Pentecostal sect that tithed and prohibited dancing, movies, alcohol, etc. Wyatt was considered a great prospect and took eagerly to religious counseling. Within the year, he married Rhonda Jean Hunter, a girl raised in the church and so sheltered that, at 16, she visited a farm and begged for an explanation when she saw a rooster mount a hen. Not long after the wedding, Wyatt joined the Navy and eventually drew permanent shore duty. Rocky Mountain News reporter Flynn (coauthor, The Silent Brotherhood, 1989) devotes the bulk of his narrative to detailing his subject's activities during this period, precisely depicting Wyatt's many assaults on women. Interestingly, the rapist, convinced he had no control over his impulses, took no relief from his rapes but, rather, was constantly depressed. When finally caught, Wyatt had committed numerous assaults, but he was tried only on the most airtight case. ``The devil made me do it'' was his defense, but he soon plea-bargained and, in 1982, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Flynn leaves undeveloped an interesting angle by giving short shrift to Judy Hayes--the first-ever woman detective in Kingsville, Texas--who contributed essential insights toward nailing Wyatt. Moreover, he leaves us to wonder whether the rapist ever got treatment or achieved self-insight. Overall, then, a torpid chronicle. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
A repeat offender in his youth, Eddie Wyatt withstood six-month stays in the notorious Gatesville, Texas, reform school for petty theft and truancy. In prison on yet another burglary conviction, Eddie was given a religious tract by a cellmate that offered him a ray of hope and the possibility of altering the unstable course of his life. After his release, he immediately started to counsel troubled, aimless youth like himself at a Dallas Christian counseling center, where he met Ronda Jean Hunter, also a counselor. She befriended Eddie, knowing of his past, and before long married him. The Unmasking tells the heartbreaking story of their seven-year marriage. Eddie's deepening anger and despair, the author shows, isolated him from Ronda, pushing him back into drugs and alcohol, then into violent sexual assaults against women. Convicted on one rape charge, Eddie served time in prison (during which time Ronda filed for divorce) and was released in 1991. In November 1992, only 14 months later, Eddie was arrested on burglary and other charges. Texas revoked his parole; he awaits trial as of this writing. Flynn, a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News , has written a riveting book. A recommended addition to true crime shelves.
- Lisa Nussbaum, Euclid P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Free Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0029103150