After the particularly gruesome ax murder of a man purported to be a drug dealer and homosexual, three popular high school seniors are soon implicated. Local law enforcement officers and the county prosecutor are at a loss to explain to the shocked community, how three of their "best" young people, active in church, sports, and school could possibly be involved. This author is paricularly strong in characterization, and the clearly presented background history and psychological profiles of each young man are absolutely fascinating. While all three eventually get prison terms for their roles in this crime, one boy in particular whose home life had been the worst, and whose remorse had seemed the most sincere, is shown to be deserving of a second chance. The actual murderer, who was a Sunday school teacher, class president and most popular, turns out to be one of the scariest characters ever. This is one of the best true crime books I've read. I hope author Jones will give us more.
I really enjoyed reading this book. This is what is on the back of the book:
The crime was so appalling, the killers so unlikely, that is must have been an act of madness.
They were the golden boys of Huntington, Indiana: Jarrod Wall, a 17-year-old Sunday school teacher, track star, top student, and local hearttrob, and his friends Erick Esch, a high school football hero, and John Jesus Velasquez. They were well-liked, all-American teens. Until one night when Jarrod and Erick entered the house of local car collecter Eldon Anson and burglarized the bachelor's home-and Jarrod murdered him with repeated hatchet blows to the skull....
But even more shocking were the revelations to come.
At first, the stunning crime seemed an unmotivated, inexplicable act. But in fact it was a cold-blooded slaying of a man none of them knew. So why Anson? Wall's private demons erupted years later in prison, revealing his overwhelming shame and a perverse sense of honor that drove him to enact revenge upon an innocent stranger-a crime that stunned the community, and foever stripped the mask of innocence off the face of evil.
Even the adults in his life saw nothing out of the ordinary in this privileged and popular teen. He was admired by many and adored by others. Yet lying just beneath the surface was an explosive anger waiting for the right circumstance to erupt. And erupt it did on a perfectly innocent victim.
This is a book that makes you wonder when the seeds of rage are planted. In the womb? Life experiences? As the debate rages on we are still left with child killers and still left wondering why. We wonder what burden our youth carry to keep such a secret and remain loyal even to their detriment.
What cause a Golden Boy to be so vicious? His motive for the killing does not ring true to me. It is something more, hidden deep in his physic. Something he may have been born without. Were there warning signs? I think not as the book really uncovers none. Even his friends did not see the killer in him. Yet one must believe that youth of this age would be experienced enough to recognize the signs if there were any. How much maturity would our youth have to have had to see behind his cover? Even the adults in his life saw nothing out of the ordinary in this privileged and popular teen. He was admired by many and adored by others. Yet lying just beneath the surface was an explosive anger waiting for the right circumstance to erupt. And erupt it did on a perfectly innocent victim.
8 pages of startling photographs (at least they're not shocking)
Back cover: "The crime was soappalling, the killers so unlikely, that it must have been an act of madness. They were the golden boys of Huntington, Indiana..."
Interesting story about several young men and how being in the wrong place and time can have life long consequenses