Thomas Cook is known mainly as a horror/suspense author but after reading this book I found Thomas Cook to be an excellent true crime writer as well. He brings all the characters to life and renders the true horror of these crimes without becoming melodramatic. This true account is about 3 escaped convicts, led by Carl Isaacs, who, along which the teenage Billy Isaacs, picked up along the way, murder 6 members of the Alday family. Wayne Coleman, Carl's older half-brother and George Dungee aren't as cunning and bright as Carl so it was easy for them to follow Carl along his murderous path of trying to fulfill his outlaw dreams. Before their crime spree at the Alday's they murder a young man, Richard Miller, who foolishly followed them into the woods because they looked suspicious.
The victim who suffered the worst fate was Mary Alday. After the Alday men were killed, she was kidnapped, terrorized and raped by the criminals before being killed. Capturing these men proves elusive at first but, through a suspense filled rendering, they are finally captured in a surprising, less suspenseful manner. Beyond this horrible crime, the author is able to show how crazy our justice system has become. In essence, the first trials, which was during the mid-1970's, due to the preponderance of evidence, was relatively swift. All 3 men got the death penalty. Billy, since he was an adolescent and didn't do any of the killings, was sent to a juvenile facility. At this point, I would say justice was served. But those who make the laws and the attorneys participating didn't think so and appeal after appeal got the 3 men new trials over a decade later at great cost to the town and the rest of the Aldays both financially and emotionally. To read how unnecessarily complex and expensive convictions can become, especially when there's no question as to the perpetrators' guilt, is to wonder what has become of our justice system where violent offenders get more consideration then the victims' loved ones who often have lost everything as the Aldays have.
This is a fascinating true-crime account of a shocking mass murder in Georgia. A group of men had broken out of prison when they happened upon a hard-working farm family. This is a chilling true story of one family's continuing nightmare in a legal system gone mad.
true story of mutiple murder in the 1970's, however, it is full of details and more details and makes for some tedious reading if you can stick with it.
Very interesting story and well written