DYING TO GET MARRIED by Ellen Harris

DYING TO GET MARRIED

The Courtship and Murder of Julia Miller Bulloch
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Edge-of-your-seat account of the ten-week marriage and bizarre death of a young St. Louis executive, whose charred remains were discovered bound with adhesive tape in a burning garage in May 1986. Before her marriage, Julia Miller had suffered a series of mental breakdowns and was desperately lonely. She placed a personal ad in a local newspaper and was thrilled when one Dennis Neal Bulloch responded. Bulloch was apparently an ideal marriage prospect, a handsome, rising young executive with all the proper business and social connections. Julia was swept off her feet, and the couple soon married. Unfortunately, Bulloch's yuppie facade concealed several highly sinister quirks: He was a womanizer and a financial manipulator, and was into sexual bondage. Julia was soon disillusioned and may have been contemplating divorce when her naked body, strapped into a rocking chair with 76 feet of tape, was found in the burning garage. Her husband, immediately suspected of the crime, was apprehended in California and returned to St. Louis for trial. There, he claimed that Julia's death was the result of a sex ritual, initiated by Julia, that had gone out of control: Discovering her dead, he had panicked and set fire to the garage. Incredibly, the jury accepted this tale, and Bulloch was convicted merely of involuntary manslaughter. He was later convicted of arson and of destroying evidence; at present, he is out on appeal. Harris, a former reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, keeps the narrative moving briskly and is especially effective in delineating the manners and morals of various strata of St. Louis society. On a deeper level, she investigates the implications of Bulloch's ``she-made-me-do-it'' defense for the prosecution of sex crimes. A bang-up job--suspenseful and harrowing. (Eight pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 1-55972-091-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1991