America's Most Hated Woman: The Life And Gruesome Death Of Madalyn Murray O'Hair
America's Most Hated Woman The Life And Gruesome Death Of Madalyn Murray O'Hair Author:Ann Rowe Seaman Why did Life magazine dub her "the most hated woman in America"? Did she unravel the moral fiber of America or defend the Constitution? They found her hasped in a shallow grave, sawed up, and burned. Thus ended Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the "atheist bitch" whose 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case ended school prayer. Her Christian-baiting lawsuits span... more »ned three more decades; she was on TV all over the country, foul-mouthed-witty, and passionate, launching today's culture wars over same-sex marriage and faith-based initiatives. She was a man-hater who loved sex, a bully whose heart broke for the downtrodden. She was accused of schizophrenia, alcoholism, and embezzlement, but never cowardice or sloth. She was an ideologue who spewed toxic rage even at the followers who made her a millionaire. She was a doting mother who approached prospects to mate with her lonely children, and whose cannibalistic love led them to their grave. She thrived on her fame, but just as the curtain of obscurity began to lower, the family vanished in one of the strangest of America's true crimes. This is the real story of "the most hated woman in America," by the only author to interview the killer and those close to him and to witness the family's secret burial in Austin, Texas.« less
Amy reviewed America's Most Hated Woman: The Life And Gruesome Death Of Madalyn Murray O'Hair on + 23 more book reviews
I added this book to my list on a whim. When Madalyn went missing in 1995, I was in the third grade. When her killers were convicted in 1999/2000, I was in middle school. I remembered nothing about this woman, except the fact that she was a self-proclaimed atheist.
This book sails through Madalyn's life from before the time she was born and her mother Lena tried to abort her to when she is in her 70s with diabetes and walking with a cane. It was shocking to find out just how crazy and nutty this woman's life was; from the inner-workings of her lawsuits against various school boards, states and the government to her daily life working for the "Cause" and her strange relationship with her son, Garth, and granddaughter, Robin.
This woman was beyond what I would call eccentric, she was down right loony. I could barely keep up with what all she had going on and I found myself gasping for breath when I was reading through her laundry list of daily activities, let alone how many lawsuits she had going on at one time.
I also was astounded at the amount of money Madalyn stole from her followers, buying herself, Garth and Robin many luxuries such as cars and Rolex watches. Yet people still gave copious amounts of money to her under the guise of the "Cause" and she didn't have a real day of "work" in her life, unless you can call work putting out Atheist newsletters and badgering local government about religious trivialities (such as swearing on the Bible before taking the stand as a witness or serving on jury).
The last part of the book became terribly mysterious, drawing out the details of Madalyn's disappearance and subsequent murder. Throughout the book, there were chapter inserts that centered on the life of David Waters (who was convicted of kidnapping and killing the O'Hairs) and what led up to his streak of criminal activities.
The last two chapters finally spilled the details (or at least what Waters confessed) concerning the kidnapping and killing of Madalyn, Garth and Robin.
Without saying too much more, I am glad that I read this book but it did leave me feeling uneasy (as most true crime novels do). Still, this book wasn't a "true" true crime novel, as it didn't focus completely on the crime. The first 2/3 of the book are about Madalyn and the last about what happened to her when she disappeared.