First off, I never read true crime. Second, I have only read a limited number of memoirs. That said, this book took me by surprise and sucked me in. I had a hard time putting it down and when I finished the last sentence, I actually said "wow" out loud. The fact it is written by a relative of the victims makes it all the more heartbreaking. I would recommend this one.
I had been wanting to read this for a long time, now I have. Happily the account of the crime wasn't as graphic as some accounts, but of course this was written by a family member of the victims. A shocking and gripping story.
Well-done account of the pain of the victims in this family tragedy. The writer was justly angry when the murderers became the victims while awaiting execution and the murdered relatives were all but forgotten.
An excellent memoir and true crime saga. It made me think about some issues, such as the death penalty and victims' rights. It took me about 50 pages or so to really get into it, then I couldn't put it down.
Very well written. I was impressed with the authors ability to remove herself and write objectively. This family went through a harrowing experience yet they continue to have an open mind and faith in their hearts. I really felt like I knew the family when I was done reading...I highly recommend this book.
canders reviewed A Rip in Heaven : A Memoir of Murder And Its Aftermath on
Helpful Score: 4
A true story about 2 sisters who were brutally raped and murdered one night on a bridge. Definitely a book that makes you think about victims and how they are treated by the press as well as our legal system. A great book!
If it means anything to you, I gave this book five stars, when I seldom read a book that is worthy of that type of praise. This was an exceptional true crime account told by the cousin of the victims. The message it leaves you with is one that I hope people will retain; "remember the victims". In a media sensationalized world of hype for criminals it is important to remember the innocent lives that are affected by their deeds. Just think about it; we all know about Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Ramirez - but how many of their victims do we remember? I plan to always remember the names Robin and Julie Kerry; the girls who lost their lives one night under the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St Louis.
When I picked this book up I was not sure how I would like it. I tend to like real stories and this one was so good. I did not know much about this story because I do not live around there but I couldn't put the book down. I carried it with me everywhere and any free minute I had was reading the book. Once I was done I wanted to know more and went to the website and found more information. A great read!
This is not a book that will let you laugh and relax. I would suggest that you not place it on your bedside table for relaxing reading before you fall asleep. I tried that and found myself reading on and on and getting more and more awake. This is a story that makes you question police methods and assumptions, that makes you question the abilities of the media to get at the truth, that makes you sympathetic with people who are accused of crimes (and sometimes publicly convicted without any trial held). Ms. Cummins, intimately involved in the story herself, does a good job of telling the story. It is the story of two of her cousins, who were murdered, and of her brother, who was witness to the crime, but accused of perpetrating the crime by police personnel who assumed rather than investigated. It is a good read.
I can not believe that in this day and age murder could take place and there would not be one, half smart enough officer, in St' Louis, to even question if the young man they arrested might possibly be telling the truth. They treated him so badly without positive proof. Maybe my faith in the police dept. is off kilter. This is a very profound read and will stay with you for some time.
Fantastic book. I do like reading true crime stories in general, but I believe this book would appeal to those who don't usually like them. Also, I think this book would be beneficial for anyone considering a career in criminal justice. Over all, I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend.
Story of true crime. What happens to these girls & to the male counsin is disgusting. I found many upsetting details but even more shocking was the PD & media's twist. I wish I could say I felt better after reading it. Instead, I was more enraged at the justice system today and the lack of empathy for the victims & their families.
This is a clip of my review on Amazon.com:
Not all, but most of us have grown up with fond memories of family gatherings - whether frequent or infrequent, with cousins near in age whom we admired or admired us, all of the good times thought about during the course of our daily lives.
For this family, happiness and normal life as they knew it came to a sudden hault as a horror they never expected unfolded before them. Read this book. The author is able to give you a true account of what really went on because she is the sister of one of the victims, Tom and cousin to the other two victims, Julie and Robin.
This is not your usual true crime novel. This book is written by a relative that knew the victims. However, she isn't overly emotional and gives a good accounting of the facts. I highly recommend this book - it has stayed with me for two years - unforgettable!
This was a riveting story of three cousins who were assaulted on the Chain of Rocks Bridge near St. Louis in April of 1991. The victims' cousin (and sister to one) wrote the book. It is very well written and and a very moving account of the horrific incident.
I had trouble putting it down.
A heartbreaking account of the aftermath of murder. Cummins tells the story of the murder of her two cousins, the accusations against her own brother, and her family's free fall into grief, rage, terror, and helplessness.
Seeing how the police and media can be ruthless in the desire to name a suspect is incredibly depressing, and this book made me wonder why we so often forget the victims and their families and focus our attention and fascination on the murderers themselves.
Cummins clearly explains that this is her version of what happened and is careful not to weigh in on either side of the death penalty.
this has got to be the saddest story i ever read. when i first bought the book i was on vacation visiting husband's family in a really small town in illinois, where there really wasn't much going on...i found a bookstore there and saw the book on the shelf. actually i only bought it to pass the time while waiting arrival of other family members. once i started reading the book i couldnt put it down. i read the whole book in one day...its so sad definately worth reading. the troubles this one family face
particularly the young man that watched these 4 men push him and his cousins off the bridge at 75 feet to their death only the boy to survive the ordeal and then be accused of murdering them himself.
what this one family went thru is still so unbelievable that it could actually occur here in the us. tragic and sad story...but worth reading.
Heather reviewed A Rip in Heaven : A Memoir of Murder And Its Aftermath on
Helpful Score: 1
This is a really good book it talks alot about the victims and how they are forgotten so soon,but there murders are drug into the spotlight and drag the tradgedy on for the families of the victims . Also explains alot about how people can be led to make false confesssions.Makes you see how the innocent can be charged.Great writting the charaters really come to life.I give it two thumbs up!!Not you'r average crime read.
What a great book. Makes you wonder if all police departments are so inept. Since the story is written by one of the family members it is a deep insight in the lives of the victims of crime. Very well written.
This is the true story of three cousins (Julie, Robin, and Tom) who went out late one evening; only one returned alive. Did Tom kill his cousins, or were they attacked by others? Four black men were eventually found guilty of the crime, even though there was no evidence. Did they do it? Or did Tom get away with murder?
When I ordered this book I did not realize that I had all ready read it. It is a very good book, a true story that will have you on the edge of your seat. About a family who went to see relatives on spring break in Missouri. The boy and the two girls went to take a last look at this bridge before the boy was to start home the next day. Good research and the writing was excellent.
Mary M. (emeraldfire) - , reviewed A Rip in Heaven : A Memoir of Murder And Its Aftermath on
Jeanine Cummins and her brother and sister had always believed themselves to be invincible; tough street-wise teenagers who were entirely capable of taking care of themselves. The truth was that these supposedly 'street-smart' city kids could not have been living a more sheltered childhood. Truly, life in the big city could never have prepared Tom, Jeanine, and Kathy Cummins for anything. Indeed, nothing could have ever prepared the Cummins family for the type of brutality that they were about to encounter; or for the tragedy that would ultimately destroy life as they knew it.
When their parents packed nineteen-year-old Tom, sixteen-year-old Jeanine and fifteen-year-old Kathy into the family van for the trip to Missouri, the teenagers were absolutely delighted. They would be spending spring break with their cousins, and they couldn't possibly have been more excited at the prospect of seeing their family again - most especially the Kerry sisters; Julie and Robin. As a matter of fact, the Cummins siblings were extremely close to twenty-year-old Julie and nineteen-year-old Robin, and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. Although nobody could possibly have anticipated the horror that they would experience on the night of April 4th, 1991.
A Rip in Heaven is Jeanine Cummins' story of that night, the horrifying night when her cousins Julie and Robin Kerry and her brother Tom were brutally assaulted. What started out as a simple walk to the Chain of Rocks Bridge - which spans the Mississippi River just outside of St. Louis - to read a poem written by Julie, turned into a harrowing ordeal for the three innocent young people. When Tom finally managed to escape their attackers and flag down help, he believed that the nightmare would soon be over.
However, he could not have been more wrong in his assumption. Tom, his sister Jeanine, and their entire family were only at the beginning of a horrifying odyssey through the aftermath of a violent crime; about to enter a world of shocking betrayal, endless heartbreak, and utter disillusionment. Ultimately, this was a trial by fire from which no family member would emerge unscathed.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was a heartbreakingly sad and shattering account of a brutal crime, but I was utterly shocked by the treatment of the victims by the very people who were charged with their protection. I found that the perseverance of the Cummins family was truly admirable and I applaud their dedication to Julie's and Robin's memories. I would certainly give this book an A+!
This a story that makes you realize that something so horrible and tragic can happen to anyone. This families life was turned upside down because of four men, media, and police doing wrong. It is a wonderful story and I cried throughout it.
Back Cover: A Rip in Heaven is Jeanine Cummins's story of a night in April 1991 when her two cousins Julie and Robin Kerry and her brother, Tom, were assaulted on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River just outside St. Louis.
When, after a harrowing ordeal. Tom managed to escape the attackers and flag down help, he thought the nightmare would soon be over. He couldn't have been more wrong.
Tom, his sister Jeanine, and their entire family were just at the beginning of a horrific odyssey through the aftermath of the violent crime, a world of shocking betrayal, endless heartbreak, and utter disillusionment.
It was a trail by fire from which no family member would emerge unscathed. A Rip in Heaven is the intimate, immediate, and unforgettable story of what victims can suffer long after they should be safe.
"A Rip in Heaven" is a heartfelt memoir that brought tears to my eyes. I read it so quickly because it was hard to put down. I cried at the horrific acts that the authors cousin and brother were subjected to. I was also horrified at the way both the police and the media handled the whole horrible situation. The author's brother was treated as a suspect instead of the victim that he was and then the media constantly reported inaccurate or downright false information. Plus, as the years passed by the deaths of the two beautiful girls were forgotten and instead the horrible murderers were brought into the spotlight and sometimes even pitied. It really scares me to read how quickly the media forgot the deaths and focused instead on the killers and what was happening to them. This was a very disturbing read that moved me and startled me
This is a memoir, but read like a fiction story. Three teen cousins sneak out one evening and go down to the river to hang out. Four teen thuds rape and kill the two female cousins. The male cousin is able to swim and save his life, but is arrested for the crime. It has a bittersweet ending.
when i started reading this i wasn't very interested. but i stuck with it and im so glad i did. this was a wake up call to the fact that people in this world are crazy. and others overcome horrible things.
Written by a cousin of the murder victims and sister of the surviving victim, this true-crime book is personally-inspired and fact-driven. The personal tie lends a poignancy to the book that one doesn't get from the usual true-crime books written by 3rd parties. It is that aspect of it that drew me into the book and wouldn't let go. The details of the heinous crime as recalled by the lone survivor, Tom Cummins, are devastating. One can feel his desperation, his bone-deep exhaustion, and, ultimately, his survivor's guilt.
Ms. Cummins did an excellent job of imparting the sense of rage and despair felt by the victims' family as Tom was bullied by the police and, later, as the youngest murderer was portrayed as a "victim" by the media years later when his execution date loomed close while the victims, Julie and Robin Kerry, were relegated to the hazy background if mentioned at all. As Ms. Cummins concluded, the victims and their loved ones are often forgotten in the aftermath of a crime and this is a sad reality of our criminal justice system and of our society in general.
A very interesting and intense book. Lovers of true-crime books will enjoy it, but so will victim advocates and those interested in death penalty cases.
This is nonfiction. It is written by Jeanine Cummins about the night her brother and 2 cousins were brutally assualted on the Old Chain Bridge in Mississippi. The story tells of the horrific act and the aftermath of a violent crime. It reads of what her family went thru to see justice done. It deals with how the victims can suffer long after they should be safe.
I was truly moved by this book and would recommend it to anyone who has been the victim of a crime, knows someone who was, or perhaps just needs to see what the media can and will do to get a"sensational" story.
The corner of the book was chewed by my dog, however, no pages are missing or unreadable.
First of all, I was unaware of this tragedy before I began reading the book. However, I was hooked from the beginning because of the location that this crime took place because I have relatives in the exact same area(s). I was compelled to continue reading whenever I had the chance to find out the outcome. Kudos to the author for having the courage to tell the real story!