Nov 232018
 

Too Good a Girl: Remembering Olene Emberton and the Mystery of Her Death
True Crime/Memoir
Setting – Indiana
Life Sentences Publishing LLC (July 3, 2018)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 069215115X
ISBN-13: 978-0692151150

In the mid-sixties, the small, midwestern farm town of Tipton, Indiana, seemed like the safest, most serene place in the world. That changed October 16, 1965, when Olene Emberton, a quiet, 17-year-old Tipton High School senior disappeared after a Saturday night date. Two days later, her body was found alongside a remote country road, her clothes neatly folded and stacked beside her. Lacking any witnesses, clues, a confession, or even a cause of death, the case was never solved. More than 50 years later, with dogged determination, Olene’s classmate, Janis Thornton, explores the mystery. Presented as part true crime, part oral history, and part memoir, “Too Good a Girl” weaves together the strands of the tragedy that stunned a community and tore a family apart. The truth is there. It is only up to the reader to determine which truth is the right truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story is personal for author Janis Thornton. For more than 50 years this case has gone unsolved and it has bothered her each and every day. She has researched and done interviews with as many people connected to the case as she could. She wanted to publish her book back in 2007 but she wasn’t going to print with Olean’s family approval. In 2016 she got approval from the family and worked hard to produce this book. She was Olean’s classmate, but now with adult eyes, she is able to look back at how Olean Emberton’s death rocked the small town of Tipton, Indiana. She clearly lays out her findings and the evidence but doesn’t go so far as to say she solved the case. She has a clear suspect, but she ends the book in a way that lets the reader decide for themselves if there is enough proof.

For residents of the small town of Tipton, this book will have great meaning. Ms. Thorton takes an eerie death and writes a compelling account in a very respectable way. I truly appreciated the perspective she brought to this case.

It is hard to say I enjoyed a story about such a heartwrenching death, Olean is not some fictional character in the mysteries I usually read. She was “Too Good Of Girl” to die this way and her story will stick with me for a long time. Well written and well researched, the author had a difficult task telling a story that needed to be told.

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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Nov 062015
 

then no one can have herThen No One Can Have Her
Pinnacle (October 27, 2015)
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
True Crime
Setting – Arizona
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0786032570
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She thought she had married her soulmate. But when Carol Kennedy could no longer tolerate her husband’s reckless womanizing and out-of-control spending, the artist, therapist and mother of two had to let him go. Just weeks after their divorce, Carol was found in her Arizona ranch home–bludgeoned to death with a golf club. Her ex, Steven DeMocker, was the prime suspect. Yet it took the authorities months to arrest him–and years to convict. . .

Packed with twists and turns, this powerful real-life account reveals every bizarre detail of this compelling case. Bestselling author and award-winning journalist Caitlin Rother presents an unforgettable story of love turned to obsession, and a family torn apart forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Caitlin Rother is a great true crime storyteller. I have read and reviewed Naked AddictionI’ll Take Care of YouLost Girls and Dead Reckoning. Each of those stories blew my away. I can’t say the same for this story.  Steven DeMocker was sentenced to life in prison back in early 2014 for killing his ex-wife in 2008. Rother takes us through the case that depended heavily on circumstantial evidence.

Unlike the previous books I was familiar with this case having seen in covered on 48 hours last year. I think my prior knowledge limited my enjoyment of this story. I disliked Steven DeMocker from the moment I saw his face on the news and then seeing in again in the CBS program.

Rother does take us step by step and it almost as if we are right in the investigators back pockets. It does take them an awfully long time to charge and convict this man and so many mistakes are made. I think reading all these steps just aggravated more and more. I feel so sorry that a wife finally trying to break free out of an awful marriage was killed before even having a chance to start over. It was so hard for her to finally put herself first. Steven was unfaithful to her from the start and whenever she tried to leave him he pulled her back in. Money was his motivation and he was unethical there too.  The games he played after her death over the life insurance money just made me sick. This family was truly destroyed.

The story didn’t blow me away, it made me angry. The author did stir up my emotions all over again so in that way this story is well told. My opinion of Steven DeMocker was set before I even started reading and nothing I read changed my mind.  So for me there was no new real information to take away here but it is well written and well researched. If you are not familiar with this case Ms. Rother fills this book with details that could make it a compelling read for you.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Links to my reviews for:

Dead Reckoning

Lost Girls

I’ll Take Care Of You

Naked Addiction

To find out more about Caitlin Rother and her books visit her webpage here.

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule for Then No One Can Have Her

October 28 – Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
October 29 – Maureen’s Musings
October 30 –  The Woman Condemned
November 2 – Just a Girl, Living, Reading, Watching and Writing 
November 3 –  As I Turn the Pages
November 4 – Colloquium
November 5 – Destiny’s Book Reviews
November 6 –  Escape With Dollycas
November 9 –  Jersey Girl Book Reviews
November 10 – Ellen Wallace
November 11 –  Wild Blue Press
November 12 –  Educated Reader

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jan 092014
 

I'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU
I’ll Take Care of You
True Crime
Pinnacle Books (January 7, 2014)
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0786032556
E-Book File Size: 2143 KB
ASIN: B00DV1IVIS
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Nanette Johnston Packard, a sexy divorcee, liked to meet men at the gym and through personal ads. Soon after she began dating millionaire Bill McLaughlin, he moved her and her kids into his bay-front home in Newport Beach. But one man was never enough for Nanette…Eric Naposki, her NFL linebacker lover, fulfilled Nanette’s wilder cravings. Together they schemed to make her fiance’s fortune their own. When McLaughlin was gunned down, authorities had suspicions – but no proof. Pulitzer-nominated writer Caitlin Rother explores this chilling story of a woman who seemed to have it all – until justice finally had its day.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Rother is excellent at what she does with these stories, her book Dead Reckoning made my Best Reads of 2011 and Lost Girls was another awesome read.

I was not familiar with this case until I picked up this book. The author starts with a Prologue that gets everyone up to speed and I appreciate this.

Nanette Johnson Packard may not have completed high school but she was smart enough to draw several men into her web of lies. She even convinced one of them to kill for her.  The scary thing is the way she lies reminds me of someone I personally know, which has me imagining the destruction this person could cause. That is what makes books like this so chilling, these are real people. People whose neighbors say they never noticed anything or there was no way that person would do that. 

Rother investigates this story so completely and writes so well at times you forget this story is not fiction. The people she brings to life on these pages are REAL!!! These things actually took place. This time it was a cold case and they almost got away with it.  The author takes us in depth into the case. The science that has evolved that helped solve the case.  The truth the came to light because of hours of exhaustive investigation when the case was resurrected in 2008.

With true crime stories, you know the criminal(s), the killer(s), the outcome. Because I wasn’t familiar with this case though I was waiting for the final twist. This entire story was twisted. The lies, the deception, the greed. Thankfully the victim’s family finally received justice. But had someone not chosen to dig into this case more thoroughly the outcome could have been so different.  This is family that truly suffered and deserved closure.

I started this book and it was after 2 in the morning when I finished. I just couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this one and anything else written by this author.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Check out the rest of Caitlyn’s Tour

2014 Blogger Review Tour
I’LL TAKE CARE OF YOU

1/6/14: Truecrimezine

1/7/14: Psychotic State

1/8/14: Café of Dreams Book Reviews

1/9/14: Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book

1/10/14: Jersey Girl Book Reviews

1/13/14: Maureen’s Musings

1/15/14: As I Turn the Pages

1/16/14: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

1/17/14: Destiny’s Book Reviews

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

.

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Jul 122012
 

Caitlin Rother is one of the best at writing True Crime stories!

New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored eight books, including Poisoned Love (Kensington, December 2011), Dead Reckoning (Kensington, February 2011), Twisted Triangle (Wiley, 2009), Body Parts (Kensington, 2008), Deadly Devotion (Simon & Schuster/Pocket, July 2011), NYT bestseller My Life, Deleted: A Memoir (HarperOne, October 2011), and Naked Addiction (Dorchester, 2007).

Rother, a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist with more than 310,000 copies of her books in print, has also been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and The Daily Beast. She has done dozens of TV and radio appearances as a crime expert on Nancy Grace, the Jay Thomas Show, E!, the Oxygen Network; Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record,” Investigation Discovery, “America at Night,” American Radio Network, XM and numerous NPR/PBS affiliates. Rother also works as a book doctor/editorial consultant and teaches journalism and creative writing at University of California, San Diego Extension. She has done dozens of TV and radio appearances as a crime expert on shows including Nancy Grace.

Her latest true crime project, Lost Girls (Kensington, July 2012), chronicles the rape and murder of two innocents, teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, by sexual predator John Gardner.

Lost Girls
Pinnacle Books
Kensington Publishing Group

Lost Girls


The desperate search for two lost innocents, Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, led authorities to a brutal predator hiding in plain sight: John Albert Gardner, a convicted sex offender who could have been returned to prison several times over. Pulitzer-nominated writer Caitlin Rother delivers an incisive, heartbreaking true-life thriller about a case that galvanized its community, first by grief and goodwill, then by anger and injustice, as it came to grips with a flawed system that failed … and adopted a law that will forever change how we keep our children safe.

 

“I was out of control … I was aware of what I was doing and I could not stop myself. I was in a major rage … at my whole life and everyone who’s hurt me and I hurt the wrong people.” — John Gardner

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Caitlin Rother is one of the best at writing True Crime stories! Her books grab you and hold on tight.

Chelsea King would have been 20 years old this year, she and I share a birthday, though I am much older. I know her family does not support this book but it does draw worldwide attention to a very flawed criminal and mental health system. It also shines a light on Chelsea’s Law and awakens parents everywhere to a very real problem. Every state should have similar legislation. We must protect out children in every way possible.

The events of this story rocked California and people around the nation to their core. Many have hit the review sites telling us not to buy this book. How are we supposed to learn about these predators if there aren’t books like this? Rother gives us an in depth study into one monster’s life, much more than we would ever get from a basic news article. I do not believe she wrote the book to hurt the victims. This is what she does, she is a excellent true crime storyteller. She researches and investigates thoroughly and makes this tragic story to a level we can all understand. I believe she has presented accurate information in an extremely well written tome. She delves into Gardner’s past for clues for his behavior but in no way condones anything he did.

Living in the Midwest this story was not front and center of my news watching or reading at the time like it was for those who live in California. Rother gives us a clear and concise account of the story. People reading this story may have their eyes opened to be aware of people’s behavior around them. This book shows us the people around the predator are usually blind to things that should raise red flags about an individual. It is hard for a parent or sibling to believe a member of their own family could commit such heinous acts. After reading a story like this a neighbor or co-worker may see behavior that needs to be brought to the attention of law enforcement. They may be able to act in advance and save a child. Laws that have been enacted to protect children may be more well known and a predator living too close to a school or park may be identified.

I understand the family’s hurt in reliving this story but if one child is saved because we are now more aware after reading this book, isn’t it worth it?

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 102012
 

 

Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
Penguin Books
Published by The Penguin Group

Paul French, a historian and an expert on China, takes us back to Peking in 1937. The Japanese are surrounding the city. Superstitions are running high. The Chinese believe in things like the “dreaded fox spirits”.

Paula Werner was just a school girl, a bit headstrong and free thinking, living with her father in Peking unless she was away at boarding school. Her father was a scholar and a retired British Consul. She had gone out to spend time with friends but never returns home.

Then a body was found murdered, mutilated, organs removed, it even appeared the killer tried to cut her arm completely off and her face is almost unrecognizable.  The body is later identified as Paula Werner.

Because of her father’s British connection the investigation became quite a circus. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Dennis is brought in from Tientsin to assist the Chinese detectives but both governments really tie their hands to where, who and how they can investigate. With the suspect list growing and few actual clues, will the crime be solved before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a very well researched story. It is a time in history that is pretty unknown in general history of the world taught in school in the U.S.  French presents the information methodically but I almost felt overloaded by all of it. The lengthy descriptions of buildings, streets and alleys.  The history of the time set forth in paragraph and after paragraph of dates and events and their effect on the nation. While all very interesting I felt the story of Pamela Werner got a bit lost at times. The roadblocks met by the detectives were immense and removed the expected drama of searching out the killer. Her father’s continued dedication to getting  justice for his daughter was unwavering. His need to employ private detectives to find the truth, but never enough evidence to arrest or convict was heartbreaking.

I know the author had to follow the facts and this is a true telling. It took a great effort for me to finish this book.  History enthusiasts will appreciate all the detail but everyday readers of true crime and mystery will find themselves like me skimming over the pages to get to a solution that never really comes because of the restrictions/corruption by both the Chinese and British governments.  French probably did identify the real killer but because of the obstacles in place at the time of the crime and the lack of crucial information the murder is still unresolved.  The outcome is not the authors fault as he cannot rewrite history.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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