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Publisher's Summary

An estranged husband who was a former high school sweetheart.... A suitor spurned after a night of boozing and dancing.... A secret early-morning lover.... These were three of the five viable suspects police were investigating after 23-year-old Catherine Janet Walsh's parents discovered her half-nude body in her bed that Saturday morning of a sultry Labor Day weekend in 1979. But there was not enough evidence to convict any of them.
Thirty-two years later, thanks to the emerging science of DNA forensics, Detective Andrew Gall, who was the initial responding officer to the murder scene, had a prime suspect in this cold case. Sperm left on the stored evidence - a nightgown, a robe tie to bind the young secretary's hands, and a bandana used to strangle her - pointed to one of the five men who had motive and/or opportunity to kill her. But this true saga of liquor- and sex-tinged murder that disrupted a small riverside blue-collar town where crime was rare and everybody was related or friends, was only beginning. Now came the trial - no prosecutorial slam dunk, despite the scientific and forensic evidence - as the story of the murder was told in a courtroom drama involving internationally renowned forensics and DNA experts, conflicting character testimony, questionable alibis, and compromised memories of one long night and early morning of dancing, drinking, partying, and death.
©2015 Steve Hallock (P)2015 Steve Hallock
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Shoshana Hathaway on 11-22-15

A Really Cold Case

The events of this True Crime book are related carefully, and the reader is guided through this complicated case. In addition, the author provides the background context that make the people interesting, believable and multi-dimensional.

The book is beautifully documented, too, with extensive transcripts from testimony, police interviews and forensic reports. This documentation adds to the interest, and deepens the understanding of what happened over a very long period of time.

However, this book is more than the story of a crime. It presents significant information on the science behind the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigation, and also presents some of the issues surrounding this relatively new forensic tool, including political, ethical and moral issues that are being considered, and the potential effects the use of DNA information could have on criminal investigation and prosecution, both positive and negative.

Although reading some of this material required concentration, which removes this from escape reading, I found this book both interesting and thought provoking, and I was impressed with its meticulous attention to detail.

Kevin Pierce provided his always superb narration. He reads nonfiction in a low key style, but he is never bland, monotone or lacking in expression. He never dramatizes, but doing so would be inappropriate and distracting in this kind of book, and he always finds, and stays in, just the right “key”.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of AudioBookBlast dot com.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Gayle on 10-04-15

A Bit Too Technical

I feel Janet Walsh's story got somewhat lost in all of the scientific DNA explanations. Thankfully though, DNA allowed the 34 year old cold case to be solved~sadly by the time the perpetrator was convicted, Janet's younger brother was the only survivor of her family.

Audiobook provided for an honest review...

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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