Immortalized in the spellbinding documentary Dear Zachary, this angry, raw, and brutally honest true crime memoir of murder and loss chronicles a system's failure to prevent the death of a child.
In November 2001, the body of a young doctor named Andrew Bagby was discovered in Keystone State Park outside Latrobe, Pennsylvania, five bullet wounds in his face, chest, buttocks, and the back of the head. For parents Dave and Kate, the pain was unbearable? But Andrew's murder was only the first in a string of tragic events.
The chief suspect for Andrew's murder was his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner? Whom was also a doctor. Obsessive and unstable, Shirley Turner lied to the police and fled to her family home in Newfoundland before she could be arrested. While fending off extradition efforts by U.S. law enforcement, she announced she was pregnant with Andrew's son, Zachary. The Bagbys hoping to gain custody of Zachary moved to Newfoundland and began a long, drawn-out battle in court and with Canadian social services to protect their grandson from the woman who had almost certainly murdered their son. Then, in August 2003, Shirley Turner killed herself and the one-year-old Zachary by jumping into the Atlantic Ocean.
Dance with the Devil is a eulogy for a dead son, an elegy for lives cut tragically short, and a castigation of a broken system.
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A Whole New Level of Anguish
Will never forget this story
Yes. But I'll need time to digest this and ponder before listening again. It's quite emotional. From intense sadness to a anger ablaze, I was tossed about with each chapter. At times, I had to stop the book and just think for a minute about what was unfolding.
Excellent, fabulous narrator. I'd not heard him before this but now I'll try to find more books narrated by him. Truly talented. His inflection was spot on all the way through. This story is purely maddening and Edwards captures the anger.
I've watched Dear Zachary three times. The first time I saw the film, I'd never heard of the case. For that reason, when the film reveals Shirley Turner's final actions, I literally gasped and covered my mouth in horror. Absolute horror. I did not see it coming. But... the Bagbys did.
Conversely in the film, the viewer is exposed to not only remarkable footage of Andrew, who was clearly one heckuva guy, a gem in every way, but to his parents. From the first time I saw the film I knew they were a cut above. So when I saw this book on audible, I didn't even need to read the reviews or the synopsis. I bought it. I had to see further inside the hearts of these two people. Forget Shirley Turner. It was the Bagbys I wanted to know more about.
The reader will be amazed by the intestinal fortitude of these two. Their resilience, their determination, and even their melt downs are full of strength and full of love not just for Andrew but, for Zachary and for each other. Love of that depth is far too rare.
I've wondered throughout this book about Shirley's children and how they cope with such a horror in their family history. They are victims of her in a terrible way, forever linked with a beast that they likely still love in whatever manner love survives such an atrocity. Can't imagine the twisting and tearing at the emotions for them.
Albeit a dreadful story, it was beautifully written and brilliantly narrated. Like so many other readers, I send my warm, heartfelt wishes of wellness and peace to the Bagbys.