Similar Transactions: A True Story

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9780996383707: Similar Transactions: A True Story
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S. R. Reynolds has never forgotten the mishandled case of fifteen-year-old Michelle Anderson, a vibrant beauty who went missing from Reynolds' Knoxville, Tennessee, neighborhood years earlier. Aided by her old professor, famed forensic anthropologist Dr. William Bass--founder of the University of Tennessee's "Body Farm"--Reynolds picks up the trail of this long-cold case.

As she presses neglected pieces of the puzzle into place, Reynolds unearths a string of heinous kidnappings and rapes across the South, crimes that span decades. She meets with victims and former investigators who worked on the case. A picture begins to form. Patterns appear. And all evidence points to one man: convicted sex offender Larry Lee Smith.

As a result of Reynolds' efforts, the Knoxville Police Department reopens the cold case of Michelle's disappearance, but Larry Lee is about to be released from a Georgia prison, where he served time for a related crime--a "similar transaction." What transpires in this story is amazing on many levels. The book was recently among the top five non-fiction books named by Everything Nonfiction's Emilio Corsetti.azing on many levels.

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About the Author:

Born and raised in Frederick, Maryland, I lived for many years in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the University of Tennessee, I majored in criminology and correctional studies while minoring in cultural anthropology. I obtained a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Alabama. Today my husband and I reside in North Alabama.

While I was a resident in Knoxville, a 15-year-old girl, Michelle Anderson. My son had been a classmate of hers. After she disappeared, I had some contact with a couple of persons related to her case, and I knew the case was being mishandled, but my concerns had fallen on deaf ears. Not long after that I accepted a job offer in Alabama and moved away. But the case stayed with me. I had often wondered what had become of Michelle.

It was nearly a decade later, after having moved to Alabama from Knoxville, as I watched one of the new forensic shows on television, that I finally learned of Michelle's fate. Her remains had been found outside Knoxville two years to the month after she'd gone missing. My old professor, Dr. William Bass, led the team that excavated the site. He was featured on the show discussing the case.

Fast forward to 2007. I run into Dr. Bill Bass when he is giving a talk in Guntersville, Alabama, about a new book he and his co-author, Jon Jefferson, have just published (Jefferson Bass, Harper-Collins). Obtaining his phone number, I call Dr. Bass concerning the old, very cold case of Michelle's disappearance. He sends me his forensic report from 1989 and some additional materials. My investigative journey begins.

Seven years later, I have identified the man most likely to be Michelle's abductor and murderer, serial rapist Larry Lee Smith, and I have gotten the KPD to re-open her cold case. My book, Similar Transactions, tells the rest of this amazing story. Frankly, this was a tough story to tell. To help with the flow, I do not write in the "first-person." Instead, I use a "novelistic" style. I identify myself in the third person. Most of the readers have liked this approach. The awards are a pleasant surprise, but even more meaningful is your feedback after you've read the book.

Review:

The Knoxville Mercury, Clay Duda
What Happened to Michelle Anderson?
To some extent, that's still a mystery nearly 30 years after the 15-year-old disappeared from North Knoxville. ... Knoxville police didn't initially investigate the disappearance as a homicide, instead treating Anderson as a runaway even though she was last seen catching a late-night ride home with Larry Lee Smith, a convicted sex offender....

In 2007, Sasha Reynolds began researching and writing about the decades-old murder mystery, which had haunted her for years. ... As Reynolds researched Anderson's case, Smith sat in a Georgia prison for sexually assaulting another teenage girl. But as his sentence ran out the author found herself pulled into a real-life drama. It's an account she lays bare in her first book, Similar Transactions, released in January [2016] by Simpson Point Press.

Book Case
Cleverly Structured Crime Memoir is Impressive
A gripping and exciting read. I was impressed with the lengths S. R. Reynolds went to get this story. She proves to be a bold investigator, tracking down key documents like police and FBI files, forensic reports, court and interview transcripts, even a medical and psych evaluation (how did she get her hands on that?!). 

When the author suddenly appears in her own book halfway through ... you realize, by distant associations, that she was on the periphery of this story the whole time. ... Cleverly structured... I look forward to many more books by this author.

The Planet Weekly, William BarshopPut This On Your Reading List Right Now
The research paints a gruesome picture of a criminal, from past to present. If you couldn't put down In Cold Blood, or you were addicted to Serial, put this on your reading list right now.

Knoxville News Sentinel, Susan Alexander
Knoxville Murder is Topic of Compelling New Book
Sasha Reynolds is a former Knoxville resident who lived in the same North Knoxville neighborhood as the Anderson family when 15-year-old Michelle Anderson disappeared in 1987. ... Reynolds' extensive investigation into Anderson's disappearance and the police department's response to it ... resulted in Similar Transactions, her account of the crime and suspected murderer Larry Lee Smith. Reynolds' investigation ... included meeting with and interviewing former victims, the reopening of a cold-case investigation ... and Smith's ultimate conviction and life sentence for yet another sexual assault -- a similar transaction. The story moves along compellingly through most of its nearly 400 pages. ... It's a thorough look at a local crime that largely escaped notice in the Knoxville community and deserves recognition, even decades after the fact.

Everything Nonfiction blog, Emilio Corsetti III
A Whispersync Winner
Similar Transactions tells the true story of serial rapist Larry Lee Smith, who preyed on adolescent girls. The author, Sasha Reynolds, became interested in learning more about Smith after he became a suspect in the murder of one of her son's classmates. 

The author paints a detailed picture of his [Smith's] upbringing, his perverted behavior, his sketchy family history, and his life in and out of prison. I won't spoil the ending, but rest assured that Larry Lee is unlikely to strike again, and we can all thank author Sasha Reynolds for her part in that outcome.

I read and listened to this title using Whispersync. ... I found the female narrator's voice to perfectly fit the material. ... Kudos to the author for sticking with it and getting this story out there...

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9781979142168: Similar Transactions: A True Story

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ISBN 10:  1979142165 ISBN 13:  9781979142168
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishi..., 2017
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