The 30th anniversary of the second of the Colonial Parkway Murders – Robin Edwards and David Knobling

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David Knobling
Robin Edwards
Robin Edwards

September 20, 2017 marks the anniversary of what has become known as the second pair of the Colonial Parkway Murders.  At the time the connections between this crime and the deaths of Cathy Thomas and Rebecca Dowski on the Colonial Parkway were not contemplated. The crimes were treated separately, handled by completely different law enforcement agencies.  The spiderweb of connections that would link the crimes had not been seen yet.

There are almost more unknowns than knowns about the late night of September 19th and the early morning of the 20th.  The known facts are straight-forward, almost benign.  David Knobling had agreed to take his cousin and his brother Michael and his brother’s friend, Robin Edwards out for some fun.  They were supposed to go to a movie, but ended up hitting an arcade.  David drove a black Ford Ranger that night, his pride and joy.  On the trip to take Robin home, his brother and cousin opted to ride in the back so she wouldn’t get wet as the rain intensified.  David and Robin were in the cab for the 15-20 minute ride…it was their only time alone that night.

Robin was dropped off after 11pm on September 19th.  David took his cousin and brother home, ordered some pizza and watched TV.  Later he left and picked up Robin who had sneaked out of her house.  No one knew the two were going to connect, or why.

Early in the morning hours of September 20th, David’s truck was spotted by partiers at Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge across the James River.  Police found the vehicle parked, one window down slightly, the door ajar, keys in the ignition turned to accessories, and the radio going.  There was no sign of David and at that time, no one knew that Robin Edwards was with him. Robin’s family assumed she had run away from home.

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David’s truck at the crime scene

It rained heavily for two days and police searched the James River and made a cursory attempt to search the refuge, but to little avail.  David’s stepfather Karl went out on his own, wearing waders, searching the swamps for any sign of his missing son.  The police towed David’s truck to his father’s house, accidentally dropping some of their fingerprint cards in the process – such was the shabby state of the investigation at this point.

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The contents of David’s truck bed

Two days later a jogger running on the beach of the James River spotted the remains of Robin.  David was found several minutes later, further down the beach by his father and an officer.  Both had been shot.  David had been hit twice, once in the back shoulder with the bullet angled up – the other shot to his head.  Robin had been shot in the head from behind.

The anguished families were not told of the crimes by the authorities, but instead learned about it from the local news coverage.

Robin was fourteen years old.  She had been a spitfire – having runaway several times and was aged beyond her years by the experiences she had endured.  In the months before her disappearance she had begun to turn herself around.  David was 20 and had just started a new job.  He had a girlfriend who had recently discovered she was pregnant with his child.  Why they got together, no one can say for sure other than their killer(s).

To say that the investigation was botched would be complimentary.  David and Robin were found a mile or so from David’s truck.  Their shoes were in the vehicle, so investigators had to know they had not gone far.  The fact that a search had not turned up their bodies and that jogger had been running through the crime scene, discovering their remains, only points to the sloppy police work that had taken place.

Ragged Island is a rough place with a gritty reputation even to this day.  There are only two paths that the killer and his victims could have gone.  One was from the parking area straight to the James River Bridge.  Lined by chain link fencing and a swamp, there was no avenue for escape.  The second path is a winding trail through the swamp to the beach not far from where they were found.  On a rainy night, with only the lights from the bridge, either path would have been dark and dangerous.

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The Ragged Island Refuge “Visitor Center” Today

We learned during our research that David’s vehicle had been staged that night; poised for theft.  He always backed his truck into its spot – and never left it unlocked.  Also David and his brother had wired the radio so it could play without putting the keys in.  The killer had turned the keys to accessories to turn on the radio – something that David knew he didn’t have to do.

The killer had left the truck with the keys in plain sight – practically begging for someone to steal it – to further muddy the waters of this investigation.  It turns out this was a pattern that would be followed on the next two of the cases tied to the Colonial Parkway Murders…the staging of the vehicle for theft.

The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Department later developed a theory that one Sammy Rieder may have been involved in their deaths.  He failed a polygraph test and admitted that he had seen David’s truck in those early morning hours and had stolen money from David’s wallet in the vehicle.  With his death there is no one to further validate in involvement – if any – with the murders.  He may have been little more than someone seeking attention by linking himself to the case.  It sounds crazy, but there were others that have done that with the Colonial Parkway Murders.

The Virginia State Police have their own theory.  They believe that a local drug dealer had arranged to sell drugs to David and Robin as a pretense to sexually assault Robin.  It is a colorful theory but lacks the evidence or witnesses to back it up.

As with the case in New Kent County, the Virginia State Police ignored their own behavioral specialist.  The investigators in both of these pairs of murders tend to think their crimes are not connected to the Colonial Parkway Murders.  They may be right.  Until an arrest is made, no one will know for sure.  For us, it is hard to disconnect these crimes.  The Colonial Parkway is only a few minutes’ drive from Ragged Island.  If they are not connected – then there are multiple killers that have managed to elude authorities for all of these decades, which is just as a chilling a thought.

What are the odds that these crimes, a murder of a couple with no known enemies, in such a brutal manner, are not somehow connected?  Our talk with Larry McCann of the Virginia State Police who profiled these crimes summed it up best.  “You have a better chance of winning the lottery than these crimes not being connected.”

As I stated earlier, there are more unknowns here than knowns.  Did David and Robin meet their killer at another location and were brought to Ragged Island to be killed, or were they there the whole time?  Why had they agreed to meet in the first place?  Where did the crimes take place – where the bodies were found – or at another point in the wildlife preserve?

Right now, only their murderer knows – and the silent wind-swept trees of Ragged Island.

#Colonialparkwaymurders

#truecrime

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Review of Manhunt: Unabomber

 

unabomber
Discovery is upping the true crime ante with a stellar show like Manhunt: Unabomber

 

I finished watching Manhunt: Unabomber a week or so after finishing The Keepers.  I was tempted to compare and contrast the two, but I won’t.  It’s like comparing apples and grapes.

I generally dislike shows that are scripted dramas of real events.  Mostly because there are so many bad ones out there.  But starting a few years ago with Fargo (the series) that began to change.  When the OJ miniseries came out, it was exceptional.  Manhunt: Unabomber belongs in that class of show – with high production qualities, good acting, and a great script.

This series is the story of Jim Fitzgerald of the FBI who creates a new form of criminal investigation called forensic linguistics which ultimately leads to the Unabomber’s (Ted Kaczynski) arrest.  I like the fact that the focus was less on the criminal and the horrific crimes and more on the investigation that brought this bastard to justice.

Kaczynski is the perfect foil for the mind of Fitzgerald in this series.  Yes, we all know that he ends up in jail, but there is a genius there, a brilliance that requires an equal in the form of the FBI agent.

Fitz (as he is called) sacrifices a lot to catch his prey – his marriage, his family, friends, colleagues, etc.  In the end, despite the victory, you almost feel that is hollow for the character.  Others steal his limelight and while we see justice prevail, the cost cuts like shrapnel from one of the killer’s devices.  The struggles that Fitz goes through against the rigid bureaucracy of the FBI rings true to me to this day…trust me.

The writing is brilliant as is the casting.  What I like the most is the incredible attention to details.  Ted’s cabin is almost a character all by itself, silent, yet a part of his own twisted personality.

The producers were outstanding.  They did not turn this into the gore-fest that it could have been, but gave it purpose and focus.  I hope other producers that do recreations look to this as one of those gold-standards…right up there with Fargo.

If you didn’t watch this series, get it via On-Demand or from your provider.  It is chilling, breathtaking, and educational.

#unabomber

#truecrime

 

Anniversary of the fourth and last of the Colonial Parkway Murders – Daniel Lauer and Annamaria Phelps

Daniel's Car
Daniel Lauer’s Nova as it was found.  Did you happen to see this car or its occupants?  

It has been 28 long years since the crime took place; 28 years from this weekend.  Labor Day will never be the same for me.  It is a reminder of two of the victims of the Colonial Parkway Murders – Daniel Lauer and Annamaria Phelps.  Even today I cannot drive that stretch of I-64 without thinking of the two of them.  I always point out the key scenes to my ever-patient wife as we drive by.  She understands my chronic fixation with these crimes.

Like most of these murders, it was a fluke the victims were even together.  Annamaria was in a relationship with Clint Lauer, Daniel’s brother.  Daniel had been visiting Virginia Beach for Labor Day and the Greek Week festivities (which were a literal riot that particular weekend).  He had decided to move in with the couple.  Times had been tough for Clint and Annamaria.  Clint had lost his job at Wendy’s and their power had been cut off.  Daniel’s contribution to the rent was a welcome and much needed source of income.

On the trip, Daniel had brought along Joe Godsey, his wife, and their infant girl.  By the end o the weekend, Daniel decided to move in with his brother and his girlfriend and was going home to Amelia County Virginia to drop off the Godsey’s and to pick up his clothing and personal items.  Annamaria innocently tagged along.  It would give her a chance to spend a few minutes with her family while Daniel went home and packed. Then the two of them could return to join Clint in Virginia Beach.

It seemed that everything went according to the ad hoc plan.  The Godsey’s were dropped off as was Annamaria.  Daniel packed and was paid by his father for some painting work that he had done.  Daniel was going off to start a new life at Virginia Beach.  Annamaria spent some time at her parents.  Daniel picked her up in his Chevy Nova and they headed back for the two hour or so drive back to Virginia Beach on eastbound I-64.

It was late at night.  There were reports were made after-the-fact that said the couple was seen at the rest area on the eastbound side of the highway in New Kent County.

The next day Daniel’s Nova was found in the rest area on the other side of the highway, in the westbound area, on the merge/acceleration ramp.  It was parked at a strange angle with the driver’s window half down.  Dangling from the window was a feathered roach clip which usually hung from his rearview mirror.  The vehicle had been placed there with the keys – staged so that someone might see it and take it.

Lauer Car Interior
The back seat of the vehicle
Lauer Roach Clip
Was this roach clip hanging on the window a taunt to authorities?  

New Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the State Police searched the area but could find no sign of the missing pair.  A lot of the area was covered with helicopters, but the dense woods made it all but impossible for anyone to have seen anything on the ground.  Not enough effort was put into the search, that much is for certain.

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The rest areas as they appeared during the search, Labor Day weekend 1989.  They have changed considerably since then.  The eastbound area is a Virginia Welcome Center – the last clean restrooms between Richmond and Williamsburg

The families were interviewed as were the Godsey’s. Everyone was put under a microscope.  I cannot imagine what it was like for Clint Lauer.  He was the only person that tied the two people together – his girlfriend and his brother.  For him, their disappearance was a double love-loss.  No one, it seemed, had a motive for taking any harmful actions against either of the victims.

The search ended.  Then began the last days of dwindling summer.  It rained a lot during the next six weeks adding to the gloom the families struggled with.  No one gave up hope that they might yet be found. There were sightings in Williamsburg and other places, but they all turned out to be other people.

Then in October some turkey hunters found their remains just over a mile from the rest area just off of a logging road.  They had been covered up with an electric blanket that Daniel had in the car.  Their discovery helped investigators but was an embarrassment to the authorities.  Their search had been an utter failure.  No one knows what kind of evidence might have been gathered had they been found in the first 24 hours.

The bodies were just off a secluded narrow logging trail in the woods. On the trail itself was a locket that had been worn by Annamaria.  Had she dropped it as a breadcrumb in hopes someone might find it and in turn, find them?  Had it been cut off during the attacks that killed her and Daniel?  Or had the killer placed it there as some sort of message to authorities?  Perhaps it was a signal, some sort of sign to them.  I leave this to the behavioral experts to dig into.

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The logging trail as it appears today – not very different
The Locket
Annamaria’s locket.  

There were other questions that came up as well.  The covering of the bodies is sometimes done as concealment.  If the blanket had been placed over their head it could be that the killer was feeling guilty, perhaps pointing to a connection between him and the victims.  Unfortunately with so much time having passed, there was no way to be sure.

The only evidence of what happened that night to the pair was a nick on one of Annamaria’s skeletal fingers.  There was no way to know for sure if a knife or other weapon was used to kill them.  One thing is for sure, Annamaria fought and fought with tenacity. She did not go quietly into the darkness. I doubt Daniel did either.

What we know of the killer is revealed by the location of these crimes.  The logging trail was difficult to navigate in the darkness and almost impossible to turn around on.  There was no mud on Daniel’s car tires, so we know that the murderer must have taken them on that trial in his vehicle.  That meant that he had to have gotten control of them in the eastbound I-64 rest area and drove them the half mile further up the road to the exit, drove under the highway, then onto the logging road.  That means whoever the killer was, he had scoped out the area in advance or had previous knowledge of that road.  Otherwise he risked his own vehicle getting stuck or trapped back there too.  The killer chose the sight because of the seclusion.  The trees and dense growth muffle every sound, even today.

Further, the logging road was a tunnel through the trees.  On my own visit, I was reminded of the same effect on the Colonial Parkway.  Was this a killer hell-bent on duplicating the experiences he had thrilled at with his other murders?

The State Police’s theory is that the killer took control of the pair, drove them on the trail, and killed them.  He went back and got the blanket from Daniel’s car to cover them up.  He then returned again and moved Daniel’s car to the westbound rest area and staged the vehicle for possible theft.  It was the same kind of staging that had been done of the victim’s vehicles at Ragged Island and on the Colonial Parkway.

And what of the roach clip hanging from the window?  Larry McCann of the State Police believes that was a taunt to the authorities.  A signal of, “Look at what I can do and you can’t catch me.” If that is the case, there is an arrogance of this murderer.  To me I am drawn more the window being down.  It is as if someone approached Daniel and Annamaria in their car and asked for identification.  A law enforcement officer of some sort, or someone impersonating one.

When it comes to the Colonial Parkway Murders, the behavioral experts will tell you there is a distinct pattern that ties these crimes together.  It’s not just the killing of pairs of victims.  It is the staging of vehicles, the separation of the vehicles from the victims, open glove boxes and windows being down on the cars, and other things.  Investigators, on the other hand, try and pull these cases apart.  They ignore the connections and look at each one as merely a separate crime.  Some say that Ragged Island isn’t connected to the Parkway Murders.  Others say it is this case.  For them it is easier to look at each one separately rather than as part of a pattern.  Personally I find that thinking frustrating and confusing to the families.

My ultimate response to this approach is, “Fine, then make a damned arrest.” Even bringing charges in one of these cases is a victory for all of the families that have been horribly impacted by these tragedies.

Cold cases are justice denied.  Cold cases continue to inflict injury to the survivors every day of every year.  Cold cases demand resolution as much as any other murder…they are no less important.  Justice is a patient mistress indeed when it comes to the Colonial Parkway Murders.  Far too patient.

If you saw Daniel’s car or the occupants 28 years ago, please contact the authorities.  Any new information is greatly appreciated.  The truth is out there and someone always knows something – they may just not have had the context up until now.  If you want to know more about these cases, there is a Colonial Parkway Murders Facebook page or you can reference our book – A Special Kind of Evil.

#truecrime #colonialparkwaymurders

Review of Unsolved No More – A Cold Cast Detective’s Fight for Justice by Kenneth Mains

Unsolved No More

When I started reading Kenneth Main’s book Unsolved No More, I thought I was going to get stories of cold cases that he has resolved.  The book starts as his autobiography, and I wondered if I made a good choice.  I write about cold cases, so that was what I wanted.  Then I hit his chapter on why cases go cold.  That chapter alone should make this book required reading for law enforcement professionals.  He confirmed what Victoria and I have encountered in our own cold case research for books.  One word – “wow!”  I actually re-read portions of that chapter twice because it resonated with me so well.  I have seen the tunnel-vision of some investigators at the expense of the survivors and the victims getting resolution.

Mains knows his stuff, that much is true.  His autobiography portion of the book is there for two reasons.  One is to establish his credibility.  Done!  Two, explaining why he became drawn to the twilight world of cold cases.  Done again.  In fact, looking back at that portion of the book, it was masterfully done to achieve these goals.  “I see what you’ve done there Detective Mains – well played…”

The absolute best portion of this book is the actual cold cases themselves that he worked on.  Kenneth Mains is a law enforcement equivalent of a surgeon of cold cases…he diagnoses the issues and, working with precision, dissects the cases with consummate skill and care.  There is no flowery language here, these are written with the icy calculated care of a professional.

The case stories Mains has written about are beyond gripping, they draw you in and hold you tight as he puts you in his shoes in looking at them. These are not the kind of cases you see on Discovery ID, they are more of the gritty real-world cases.  Not all of them have the kind of red ribbon tied to them at the end that you might expect with a perfect resolution.  I was caught off guard by some of the resolutions, and as a reader, that’s a good thing.

The true crime genre is in its infancy when it comes to the subgenre of cold cases. I highly recommend this wonderful book if you want to understand the cold case investigatory process or if you want to dive into some cases that are filled with twists, turns, and more than a few surprises.  Pick up Unsolved No More, you won’t be disappointed.

#truecrime #coldcases

The Murders of August

Writer

When you write true crime the book is never really done, even when the book is printed.  You are always getting new information. With cold cases this feeling of ongoing attachment is multiplied.  When you decided to write a book about crimes, you are stuck to that crime forever.

I think about the victims I have written about almost daily.  They don’t haunt me.  I do think of them though. There are so many things I wish I could ask them…so many details that only they knew.

August hits me hard (and I suspect September will too, given our new book).  Two of the crimes I have written about took place in August.  It is inescapable that I think of these victims and the heinous manners they met their fate.

On August 16, 1982, a murderer climbed into the apartment of Maggie Hume in Battle Creek, Michigan.  This killer brutalized her, strangling her to death, then hid her body in her closet.

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Maggie Hume – 1980

To this day, this murder remains an open wound in that community.  Maggie’s father was the coach for the city’s only Catholic school and was immensely popular.  Adding insult to injury, a convicted killer, Michael Ronning, gave a false confession to the crime in an effort to get relocated to a Michigan prison.  Maggie’s death was senseless and vicious, and her true killer has managed to hold justice at bay.

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Jay Carter – Maggie boyfriend at the time and a prime suspect in her murder to this day
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Michael Ronning – a scumbag killer for sure, but it is doubtful that he was Maggie’s murderer in my mind.  Still, he is hard to ignore.

On August 18, 1967, Nola Puyear was working in the tiny Tasty Café that she and her husband owned on Marshall, Michigan’s main street when a package was delivered to her.  When she opened it a bomb went off, killing her instantly and injuring several others.  In an age before the Unabomber, a killer had struck in broad daylight in the heart of the town, taking out an innocent woman that had no known enemies.  The investigation was a rollercoaster ride, involving salacious sexual escapades of some of the citizens of the town – but all leading to dead ends.  It would take a daring citizen to come forward with a tip to finally bring her murderer, Enoch Chism, to justice…only to have him released on a technicality.

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The effects of the bomb blast on the Tasty Cafe’
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How the Tasty appeared after the blast – boarded up

There must be something in the air to have two deaths I have written about both falling in August.  I have to wonder if there is something subliminal that draws me to crimes that happen in the fall. Even writing this I pulled up the crime scene photos and look at them again, wondering if there was something I might have missed, some miniscule detail that might leap out at me.  The photos are mute however.  They have no more stores to tell me.

I wrote about Nola’s grisly death in my first true crime book, Secret Witness.  I had always read true crime but to tackle writing one was a new experience.  I learned a lot of lessons in interviewing people and how to deal with the survivors and especially the families of the murderers.  Thanks to Mardi Link, a fellow true crime author, I learned a lot nuances about writing in the genre…just by reading her books.

Writing about Maggie Hume (The Murder of Maggie Hume – Cold Case in Battle Creek) I had a co-author, my daughter Victoria Hester.  You might think that writing with another author is hard, but with Victoria it was natural.  It changed our father daughter dynamic forever.  She brought a closeness to the age of the victim that was helpful in many of our discussions.  She proved herself to be adept at devouring reams of research material to make some semblance of sense out of it.

The crimes are horrific, but that is not what occupies my thoughts.  It is the victims that stir my memories.  Contrary to logic, you don’t get jaded to violence and murder when writing true crime.  Over time, you actually get more sensitive about the people whose lives were severed from the rest of us.  In those quiet moments near the dates of these crimes, I will wrestle with the memories of their senseless murders.  Over time you want justice in the cold cases even more than when you wrote about them.  That is the curse of writing true crime.

It is part-and-parcel with being a true crime author.  We don’t create our own demons, we do write about them. #truecrime

Review of I Did It – Confessions of THE KILLER – OJ Simpson’s Confession?

OJ

As a true crime author I read true crime books at a dangerous rate. This was one I held off on initially. It felt ooky getting a book by Simpson, a man I felt skated justice. I write about cold cases and with me it is always about the surviving victims. I knew deep in my heart that OJ was not going to tell the truth about what happened on June 12, 1994. I also remembered the controversy surrounding this book…how the publisher hadn’t expected the backlash, fired the editor and retracted the project. The fact they were surprised by the public reaction is stunning itself and demonstrated nothing but insensitivity to the surviving family members.  Douchebags.

This book was a surprise. First, it is two books. One is the ghostwritten manuscript that OJ originally planned to publish. Second is the story about how the Goldman family struggled to wrestle this book from OJ’s grasp and how he had set it up as a scam to pilfer the profits and evade their civil suit’s settlement. This part appears at the start and end of the books, a wrapper of words that provide some context around this literary work.

On the first part – OJ’s confession, one word comes to mind, “yawn.”  This is less of a confession and more of a trip into the psyche of a narcissistic maniac that brutally murdered two people. Yes, there a parts of this where I believe he is sharing new facts that only he could have known as the killer. They are few and far between. Simpson creates a second character that was present and responsible for the murders – sort of. It is bizarre at best. I’m sure some psychology major will write a thesis on him from this book.

What disturbed me the most was the fact that OJ never assumed responsibility for anything related to his ex-wife. He only hit her once. He dismisses the photographs of her abuse as fabrications on her part. He paints her as a druggie, a woman of loose morals, and a bad parent. Her diary?  That had to be a fabrication as well. The manuscript portions of the book deflect everything to either the police framing him, altering transcripts, or Nichole’s delusions. Even when confronted with transcripts of what he said, he simply lies.  I don’t think that Nichole was some saint, but at no point does he seem to embrace her as a tragic murder victim.  Ron Goldman is barely mentioned by OJ.  This part of the manuscript is mostly a vain attempt to recast Nichole in a negative light…as if killing her was not enough.

In short, by writing this OJ Simpson only validated everything I ever thought about him.

Now, the rest of the book – positioned in the text at the beginning and at the end, is great stuff. The journey that this book went on and how the Goldman’s got control of it is wonderful. Even the jockeying of Oprah at the time the book was released was fascinating to me. Dominick Dunne’s chapter was great as well. This is what made the book for me. I could have tossed all of the alleged confession out and still would have been entertained. When you read this you are confronted with the internal debate and struggle that Goldman’s went through and the moral issues tied to putting this book on the market. While not a nail-biter, it is the best parts of this book.

It is hard to position this with an outstanding review with OJ’s confession being little more than a self-indulgent masturbation session on his part. Yet against this blemish on society we are given a wonderful story of a family struggling for even a fragment of justice.  It is worth reading if only to delve into the bizarro world of OJ’s twisted way of perceiving the crimes and the victims.

#truecrime

Review of Killing Rasputin – The Murder That Ended The Russian Empire – by Margarita Nelipa

Rasputin

When I was just a kid (about nine years old) my mother took me to see the film Nicholas and Alexandra.  Mom was the person that got me into true crime.  She tried to cover my eyes when they executed the royal family.  She failed.  It was not anywhere near as shocking as the stuff we see on TV now, but at the time, it was pretty violent.  In that respect, I miss the 1970’s.

That film was my first introduction to the story of Rasputin, the “Mad Monk.”  I’ve read about the fate of the Czar and his family and Rasputin is hopelessly intertwined into their saga.  We’ve all heard the legend.  Rasputin was stabbed, poisoned, shot, choked, and drowned – all on the same night – and seemed to defy death at each attempt.

Margarita Nelipa has tackled the Rasputin murder with the keen eyes of both a historian and a true crime author.  This is not your typical true crime fare, nor could it be.  To unravel what happened to Rasputin you have to understand the inner court politics and the myriad of figures and gadflies that ensnared the royal family.

Having written a historical true crime myself, (Sawney Bean) I understand the daunting challenge she had to face as a historian.  This book is more like an academic study of the murder of the monk, rather than a standard true crime story.  In that respect I liked it.  It is the kind of book you might expect from a university press, burrowing deep in the details necessary to set the stage for the events that led to Rasputin’s demise.

My only struggle with the prose was navigating the often confusing names of the characters.  There were a few times I confused some characters because their names were so similar.  This is not a complaint but more of a warning for readers.  If you are looking for a simplified account of Rasputin’s death, this is not the book for you.  This books bridges the gap between the rigor of a historian’s keen eye and the tantalizing lure of a sordid murder.

Ms. Nelipa’s research seems three-steps beyond solid.  I found a swelling pang of envy in the depth of her digging.  She has most likely broken new ground in the murder of Rasputin, though I confess this is not my field of study.  I will say this, she has given me a as a reader, a much more in-depth understanding of the man as both a historical figure and the victim of a heinous murder.

Overall, I found it a nice break from the usual menu choices for true crime.  If you enjoy in-depth historical research intertwined with a murderous saga that had a mark on history, then this is a book for you.

You can get the book here, on Amazon.  Killing Rasputin

#truecrime