With an extraordinary talent for staring evil dead in the eye, New York Times bestselling author and journalist Aphrodite Jones plunges readers into the front lines of a modern nightmare. On November 25, 1996, in their home in the lakeside community of Eustis, Florida, Rick and Ruth Wendorf were savagely beaten to death with a tire iron. The Wendorfs' new Ford Explorer was stolen, but this was no routine robbery gone bad. This was a crime carried out by one Roderick Ferrell, a sixteen-year-old self-avowed Antichrist. His human sacrifice was a testament to the unique and sinister bond of four brainwashed teens. Heather Wendorf was a straight "A" student, a petite blonde with wide-set brown eyes. Yet she had been heard to wish her parents "off the face of the planet." Heather never dreamed that when she joined her friends for a joyride one fall evening, her wish had already come true. Including exclusive interviews with every living character involved in the case, The Embrace will forever change the way we look at one of the fastest-growing religious movements in the country, and its most vulnerable fold: our children.
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Although this is an older book, I was in a vampire mood, so I gave this one a shot, being pretty familiar with the case already. Well, for starters, let's just subtitle this book "Poor Innocent Heather", and get that out of the way right now, because the author must have written this with that thought in mind.
Heather, one of Rod's most dearest and closest friends, shares everything with him. Her daily thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, secrets, AND of course her ongoing complaint that she wished her "abusive parents were dead". One night he does her that very favor in order to please her. She then claims to have "nooooo idea" that he was going to do that, nor that she even knew the 2 murders were taking place as she waited patiently outside in a car for him along with their mutual friends.
After eventually being arrested with the others who were with her that night, she admitted okay "MAYBE once" she MIGHT have said that about her parents, but of course she didnt really MEAN it. More like she was thinking to herself: "Yes, I SAID that I wished they were dead...but YOU actually did it Rod, so this is ALL on YOU". And then feigned complete total innocence. Even while Rod was driving the dead parents' car around immediatly after the fact, and showing her items that were taken from the house ...she held fast onto that "I didn't know annnythinnng" story.
Everyone involved with this crime (for having knowledge about it or participating) is either still in prison, or has already been released after doing time. Heather was the only one that did not get charged/sentenced. What she DID get was property and insurance money. I saw the news footage and photos at the time, and she sure was looking oddly guilty to me. I can't help but see this as a "the one that got away with it" story, but you may not, and I respect that.
This book does have quite a few little tidbits in it that I previously had not known, which made it interesting to me. There's also considerable background info on Rod, his childhood, relationships, friends, his Mom, their vampire lifestyle, and the crime, trial, etc. It does delve considerably into Rod's rambling personal occult related thoughts at that time, which can be rather draining (pardon the pun) after a while though.
This narrator...ohhh myyy gawwwd. This was REAL hard to get through, and I deserve a medal for it. THE most UNSUITED person on the planet was obviously selected for narrating this. Her WAY TOO "cheery happy sing-songy childrens fairy tale" voice was in SUCH contrast to the subject matter! Yes, I did listen to the preview first, but thought surely it wouldn't be that bad once I got used to it. Nope. Wrong. She was just bursting with Disney worthy glee and joy throughout the entire book. I was honestly anticipating a song any minute. When she acted out certain character voices...like Heather whining, Lol, I wanted to kill myself. Good luck if you take this challenge on. Maybe get the book instead.