Murder in the Stacks

  • by David DeKok
  • Narrated by Eddie Frierson
  • 15 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On the day after Thanksgiving in 1969, Betsy Aardsma, a 22-year-old graduate student in English at Penn State University, was stabbed to death in the stacks of Pattee Library at the university's main campus in the small town of State College. For more than 40 years, her murder went unsolved. Aardsma was smart, pretty and kind, and the Pennsylvania State Police could not figure out why anyone would want to kill her.
This book reveals the story behind what has been a scary mystery for generations of Penn State students, naming the likely killer and explaining why the police failed to bring Richard Haefner, also a Penn State graduate student, to justice. Much of the blame goes to Penn State itself, and especially to the killer's thesis adviser. The suspected killer, who died in 2002, was a pedophile who sought out women as cover for what he was. Although there is no known link between Haefner and Jerry Sandusky, the notorious former assistant football coach at Penn State, the listener will learn that more than one pedophile found a safe haven at the school during the same years. More than a simple true crime story, the book weaves together the events, culture, and attitudes of the late 1960s, memorializing Betsy Aardsma and her time and place in history.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well read and extensively researched.

At times the audio was inconsistent. The structure threw me off in the beginning but once I got used to switching between the different people involved, it became easier. Overall, great book that kept my attention.
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- Carlie


Sad to think that so many years have gone by and this murder of such a promising young lady remains officially unsolved. But author David Dekok seems to have found the killer and solved the case. This isn't a conspiracy theory or wishful thinking but an incredibly well investigated examination of the evidence. Dekok is a veteran journalist and it shows as his writing paints a compelling picture. A fascinating book and one that I hope will lead to the State of Pennsylvania closing this open cold case. It is a shame that this ruthless killer with a short temper got away, literally, with murder. Highly recommended! And there is a new afterward in the audiobook only that is NOT in the print edition as even more was uncovered after the original publication of the print book. If you enjoy true crime this is about as good as it gets!
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- Eddie38

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-10-2015
  • Publisher: David DeKok