THE HUNTING OF CAIN: A True Story of Money, Greed and Fratricide by Dan E. Moldea

THE HUNTING OF CAIN: A True Story of Money, Greed and Fratricide

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The main problem with this true-life whodunnit is that, from the subtitle on, we know who did it, or at least who arranged it. Tracking down the actual triggerman--the process by which investigators linked the dead body of Dean Milo, Akron barber/beauty-supply mogul, to a young Kentucky speed freak with no front teeth--took longer. What Moldea's account of the investigation lacks in drama is partly offset by the story of the Milo family, an American success story that turned very sour. When Deal Milo took over day-to-day running of the business his immigrant parents had founded, it was very much a family affair: brother Fred, sister Sophie, and brother-in-law Lonnie all played roles in managing the firm. Anxious to make it grow faster and to have a free hand in decision-making, Dean recapitalized the company, with his parents' and siblings' approval, placing voting control in his own hands. The company boomed, but from there on it was all downhill within the family: resentment of Dean; family squabbles; negotiations about buying Fred out; a slick transfer of $300,000 out of the company by Fred and Sophie; Dean's firing of his siblings; a welter of lawsuits; and then a dead body. Who did it? ""It's Fred,"" said Dean's widow just a few days after the funeral. And sure enough it was Fred who put the murder scheme into motion. Several schemes, in fact, that left a tangled trail for police (and a tough, cooperative private eye) to follow, complete with such characters as a druggie go-go dancer, several spacey drifters, some ex-employees of Milo's company, various Phoenix low-lifes, a tattooed fat man, and finally ""the Kid,"" who was promised $2000 for the killing but only collected $600. Fred collected a life sentence, and the battle for control of Milo Corporation goes on between Dean's widow and the rest of the family. All in all: not gripping, but tightly written, fast-moving, and far from dull.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1983
Publisher: Atheneum