A Stranger in the Family: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and Unconditional Love

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9780451406224: A Stranger in the Family: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and Unconditional Love
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Who would ever connect this handsome, charming, straight-arrow son of a perfect all-American family with the gruesome crimes of a serial killer? Richard Daniel Starrett was the dangerous visitor for too many unlucky young women in Georgia and South Carolina in the late 1980s. Answering “for sale” ads in the classifieds, he was a buyer hunting for victims, not bargains, and he paid in grim coin: rape, kidnapping, murder.
 
Because of his articulate intelligence and prestigious job, no one suspected this “golden boy” of such heinous acts. This gripping, intimately detailed account by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors probes every tortured thought and twisted urge of a “boy-next-door murderer”—as well as the dynamics of the model family that shaped him. The result is both a stunning portrait of a diseased mind and the moving story of a loving family’s emotional nightmare and painful disintegration.

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The setting is the progressive South United States of the 80s, where education and hard work offer hope for the good life--until mental illness brings tragedy. This is an unusual true-crime book because it's neither a whodunit, nor a manhunt, nor an account of a trial. Instead, it's a character study of a sadistic sexual predator who is all too human in his desperate need for love, and of his family members who need, just as desperately, to believe that their love for him will make them whole again. Authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith are adept at teasing out the many-layered subtleties of the criminal mind. Here they create a thought-provoking portrait by alternating passages from the well-educated killer's own diary, with the unfolding narrative of how the revelations of his crimes are affecting his family. It includes a surprising twist, and a powerful scene of confrontation near the end.

About the Author:

Steven Naifeh is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Mr. Naifeh, who has written for art periodicals and has lectured at numerous museums including the National Gallery of Art, studied art history at Princeton and did his graduate work at the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University. He has written many books on art and other subjects, including four New York Times bestsellers. His biography Jackson Pollock: An American Saga won the Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. It also inspired the Academy Award–winning 2000 film Pollock, starring Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden, as well as John Updike’s novel, Seek My Face.

Gregory White Smith is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Smith has been profiled in The New Yorker, The New York Times, USA Today, and People, and have appeared on 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Charlie Rose, and the Today show.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Who would ever connect this handsome, charming, straight-arrow son of a perfect all-American family with the gruesome crimes of a serial killer? Richard Daniel Starrett was the dangerous visitor for too many unlucky young women in Georgia and South Carolina in the late 1980s. Answering for sale ads in the classifieds, he was a buyer hunting for victims, not bargains, and he paid in grim coin: rape, kidnapping, murder. Because of his articulate intelligence and prestigious job, no one suspected this golden boy of such heinous acts. This gripping, intimately detailed account by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors probes every tortured thought and twisted urge of a boy-next-door murderer --as well as the dynamics of the model family that shaped him. The result is both a stunning portrait of a diseased mind and the moving story of a loving family s emotional nightmare and painful disintegration. Seller Inventory # AAS9780451406224

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Who would ever connect this handsome, charming, straight-arrow son of a perfect all-American family with the gruesome crimes of a serial killer? Richard Daniel Starrett was the dangerous visitor for too many unlucky young women in Georgia and South Carolina in the late 1980s. Answering for sale ads in the classifieds, he was a buyer hunting for victims, not bargains, and he paid in grim coin: rape, kidnapping, murder. Because of his articulate intelligence and prestigious job, no one suspected this golden boy of such heinous acts. This gripping, intimately detailed account by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors probes every tortured thought and twisted urge of a boy-next-door murderer --as well as the dynamics of the model family that shaped him. The result is both a stunning portrait of a diseased mind and the moving story of a loving family s emotional nightmare and painful disintegration. Seller Inventory # AAS9780451406224

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