STALKED: A True Story by La Vonne with Barbara Davis Skalias

STALKED: A True Story

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The writing in this terrifying tale is neither sophisticated nor nuanced, but the facts -- presented bravely and unstintingly -- are powerful. This is the closest thing imaginable to a modern-day slave narrative: the story of a woman basically imprisoned by a brutal repeat attacker and by an impotent and incompetent police force. Divorced and living alone with her young daughter, Skalias was first raped in 1977 by Lanny Gene Bevers Jr., a man she had known glancingly through his brother, who had done some yard work for her husband. Despite the rapist's threats that if she went to the police he would kill her and her daughter, Skalias identified him. She methodically recounts the steps leading up to the trial, including Bevers's extradition from Germany, where he was serving in the military, and her own lie detector test, taken in order to ""prove"" that she was raped; one officer offhandedly comments that this is the first rape he's ever heard of that didn't involve ejaculation. Finally, Bevers's fingerprints on the window he had broken to enter her house led to a 20-year prison sentence. Assured that the parole board would alert her before releasing Bevers, Skalias was shocked to awaken one night seven years later and find him standing in her bedroom with a stocking over his head. The second rape was even more brutal; Bevers severed her thumb and beat her beyond recognition. Despite her insistence that she recognized Bevers and his methods, the police almost forced her to implicate another suspect when she was heavily sedated. Meanwhile, Bevers began to make increasingly threatening phone calls to Skalias. The reproduction of transcripts of those calls is one example of the straight-on tactics used here in a constant emotional assault by Skalias and Davis, former Tarrant County district attorney's victim assistance coordinator. Skalias has since been relocated and given a new identity; her story is being made into an ABC TV movie. Frightening and enlightening.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1994
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Summit Group