Blurb: The residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, but only one was railroaded, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead.
What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’. 18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant and horsewoman, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen crossing a trestle bridge. Within fourteen days, their mutilated torsos and severed heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
With an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against Richard Lloyd. The three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, fairytale theories, and forensic mishandling.
This heinous crime shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, destroyed two families, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, and of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.
Excerpt: CHAPTER 1-The Disappearance
Yes, it would have been an average evening, if not for two unnerving events. First, the arrival of the notorious motorcycle gang, The Devil's Disciples. The group frequented The Home Tavern, a sordid bar on the corner of Gallagher and Motherwell.
According to police reports, having a thirst for alcohol, the bikers and their sweaty, leather-clad women produced numerous problems while in town. Calls from residents, concerning fistfights and disorderly conduct, flooded the police station. Locals reported spotting some members of the gang roaming the streets as the reports of vandalism kept the police busy.
Originally the Depot Hotel, The Home Tavern, sat directly across the street from a twenty-five acre “infamous” cornfield. A common place for knife-fights, pot parties, and hanky panky from all ages. Running through the cornfield was the murky and meandering Hocking River. On the edge of the cornfield, and going with the flow of the river, was the once well-traveled train track-a transportation device that accommodated the small town to far-off destinations until 1959, when city buses and taxi-cabs went into effect.
The second incident, involved sex, lies, lust, and murder as gunfire emanated from the opposite end of the cornfield. The pleasant conversation between mother and daughter abruptly ended as they looked toward the woods only a few hundred yards away. The sound
“That’s just kids hunting rabbits,” said the young daughter, “They do it all the time.”
Somewhat farther away, a part-time security guard, Charles Bartow, heard the same shots as he locked up The Armo Steel Company, for the day. He clearly remembered the time, because it was his job to lock-up each evening.
All the robust tobacco chewer had on his mind, was the ice-cold brew with his name on it, waiting for him at The Home Tavern. He would later tell authorities that he heard a volley of three shots that seemed to come from a small caliber weapon-followed by four or five more.
What the trio, and others living nearby heard, was a series of grisly, mysterious, and baffling scenarios that horrified the nation and were dubbed “the crime of the century” for a small industrial town in Ohio.
Why those who heard the shots, remembered the facts so differently, stumped police, and angered townsfolk, making the lengthy investigation even harder to control and solve.
Other books by JoAnne:
"WICKED INTENTIONS" a paranormal/mystery anthology
"LOVES', MYTHS' AND MONSTERS'," a fantasy anthology
"THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY," a biography true-crime
“POEMS ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN”
"TWISTED LOVE," a true-crime anthology
“FLAGITIOUS,” a crime/mystery anthology
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