A cool-tempered combination of police science and forensic anthropology that tells of satanic murders in Fall River, Mass.- -where Lizzie Borden chopped up her parents. Scammell, a free-lancer who writes about aerospace, medicine, and archaeology, was assisted by Douglas Ubelaker, a ``bone man'' from the Smithsonian, in writing this true-crime exposÇ that reads more like an adventure in evidence-gathering. Revolving around Carl Drew—a Satanist and pimp with Manson-like powers who ordered his followers to kill two young prostitutes and 20-year-old Karen Marsden, whose skull fragment is the main piece of evidence in the forensic jigsaw puzzle—the ``lurid metaphysics'' of devil worship and ritual sacrifice take back seat here to detailed accounts of how police and prosecutors made sense out of a murder case with no body. Instead, they had to rely on bones, hair clumps, torn clothing, and the contradictory testimonies of the accused and his accomplices. Unfortunately, Scammell often resorts to the Dragnet- style Q&As to integrate the mounds of interrogation transcripts. He is most interesting when he wanders from the narrative path and treats us to brief histories of skeletology, religious cults, and even Lizzie Borden's life. For the most part, though, Scammell's misplaced emphasis on technicalities makes us forget the real hideousness of the case. Though neatly written and edited, Scammell's story of sex, slaughter, and Satanism is too dry to live up to its subject.

Pub Date: June 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-06-016327-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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