True Crime Joe McGinniss Cruel Doubt

ISBN 13: 9780671679477

Cruel Doubt

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9780671679477: Cruel Doubt

Describes the bludgeoning of North Carolina housewife Bonnie von Stein and the murder of her husband, a crime for which her own son, Chris, is arrested

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Reporting on the same crime as Jerry Bledsoe in Blood Games (see above), McGinniss (Blind Faith, 1988; Fatal Vision, 1983, etc.) again shows why he heads the ranks of true-crime authorsdelivering a page-burner of shifting suspicions, macabre ironies, and reversals of field too extreme for fiction. In the early morning of July 25, 1988, in the town of Washington, N.C., Bonnie Von Stein, 44, and her second husband, Lieth, were attacked in their bedroom by a stranger wielding a club and a knife. Lieth was killed and Bonnie survived with stab wounds, head lacerations, and a collapsed lung. Having almost no clues, detectives turned their attention to Bonnie's college-age son and daughter. When the children were brought to intensive care, they seemed bored by their mother and completely indifferent to their stepfather's death. As she recuperated, Bonnie also seemed too cool, too efficient to the local gumshoes. When it was discovered that Lieth had left two million dollars, she too became a suspect. Eventually the investigation narrowed to Chris Pritchard (Bonnie's son) and his college buddies. Instead of going to class, they played weeks-long games of Dungeons & Dragons, acting out fantasies fueled by alcohol, Ecstasy, pot, and much LSD. Eleven months after the attack, Pritchard was charged with murder and a long manhunt began for the ``Dungeon Master,'' a shady figure named Moog. Pritchard had sent Moog and another player to his family house: If they killed the parents, there would be enough money for Ferraris, top-end stereo equipment, and serious computers. Covering the trial, McGinniss draws a chilling portrait of Pritchard's lawyer agonizing over the good chance he has of getting Pritchard off. The lawyer dislikes Pritchard's insolence and tells his colleagues he fears the boy will murder again if acquittedso he cuts a deal with the D.A. ensuring that Pritchard will not be executed, but will do life. Exciting reading that edges out Bledsoe's account and, no doubt, will hit the charts and find a home there. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Personable, cocky North Carolina college student Chris Pritchard, fond of marijuana, coke and LSD, and obsessed with the acting-out fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons, conspired in 1988 with two fellow D & D players to have his mother and wealthy stepfather murdered so that he could inherit $2 million. Bonnie Von Stein, his mother, suffered threefold--as a victim (she was stabbed while in bed next to her murdered husband), as a suspect and as a mother clinging to denial, protective toward the son who plotted her death. In a gripping, understated narrative, McGinniss ( Fatal Vision) lets the story tell itself. Readers learn from court testimony, interviews with Pritchard in prison and psychiatric reports that the young man felt sorely abandoned by his father, who deserted his family when the boy was three. Covering the same case as Jerry Bledsoe's forthcoming Blood Games (Dutton), McGinniss's crisply written account is a somewhat more forceful, but not entirely successful attempt to explain this distorted mother-son relationship. Literary Guild special selection; author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Simon & Schuster, New York, 1991. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. FIRST PRINTING of the First Edition. A riveting true account of a small-town murder, of a seemingly ordinary family whose illustions about each other were shattered in 1988, taking the reader 'to the limits of love and betrayal' and through a maze of complicated twists and turns. Hardcover with dust jacket, 460pp. A very nice copy. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 00007119

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