Righteous Carnage: The List Murders

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9780684192000: Righteous Carnage: The List Murders

At about 9 oclock on the morning of November 9, 1971, soon after sending her three children off to school, Helen List sat in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee. She was still in her nightgown and slippers.John List came up behind her and put a 9mm German-made Steyr automatic pistol to the side of her head and fired once. She died instantly. The bullet smashed into the opposite wall... John made his way up the stairs to the third floor where his 85-year old mother, Alma, wearing a housedress, was preparing breakfast in her efficiency kitchenShe was standing near the storage room that adjoined her kitchen when a 9mm bullet ripped through the side of her scull. Alma List was dead before her body crumpled in a heap on the floorThe righteous carnage had begun.

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About the Author:

Timothy B. Benford's books include: the novels, The Ardennes Tapes, and Hitler's Daughter and in nonfiction: Righteous Carnage; The World Warr II Quiz & Fact Book(2 vols); World War II Flashback; The Space Program Quiz & Fact Book; The Royal Family Quiz & Fact Book. Benford resides in Mountainside, NJ, with his wife Marilyn.James P. Johnson's book include: A "New Deal" for Soft Coal; The Politics of Soft Coal; Westfield, From Settlement to Suburb; and New Jersey: A History of Ingenuity and Industry. Johnson and his wife Carolyn reside in Westfield, NJ.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Chilling account of the multiple murders that shocked newspaper readers and TV viewers in 1971, and stunned them 18 years later when the killer was at last caught through the auspices of a popular TV program. As Benford (author of several quiz books) and Johnson ably explain, the mother, wife, and three children of John Emil List were found shot to death and carefully laid out in their unheated Westfield, N.J., home. The only family member missing was List himself--who admitted his guilt in a letter to his Lutheran pastor. Reclusive, deeply religious, and seemingly devoted to his family, List was an unlikely mass murderer, with an unlikely reason for gunning down his family: Facing financial difficulties and fearing that his wife and children were falling away from religion, List decided to assure their eternal salvation by murdering them. He then ran off to start a new life as one Robert Clark, remarried, and was caught nearly two decades later when his picture was broadcast on TV's America's Most Wanted. Drawing on interviews with List neighbors and law officers, the authors have uncovered some astonishing sidelights to the case. List's wife, Helen, for instance, was apparently dying of tertiary syphilis; and there is evidence that daughter Patricia was dabbling in witchcraft. Well-organized and fast-paced, with convincing insights into the minds of List and his victims: a true-crime success. (Eight-page photo insert--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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