Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Never See Them Again [Phelps]

Book: Never See Them Again
Author: M. William Phelps

Review: In July 2003, a horrible tragedy struck the community of Clear Lake, Texas. Two teenage girls and two young men were viciously gunned down in the middle of the afternoon in a quiet suburban neighborhood. The only possible witnesses were some neighbors who saw a young male and female walking toward the house on the afternoon of the murder. Three of the victims appeared to have been assassinated by someone they knew (2 appeared to be watching tv while shot while a third was standing next to the fireplace) while the 4th was shot multiple times and then pistol whipped to death. Almost three years after the tragedy, police finally arrested one of the main suspects: a classmate and supposedly 'best friend' of the girls.

This was an equally horrifying and fascinating read. This tragedy took place a few miles from my house and like the other true crime I recently read, I haven't stopped thinking about the victims, their families and the families of the perpetrators. What I really enjoyed about Phelps is that he focused mostly on the investigation. He really delved into the challenges of investigating a case (lack of resources, investigators being moved to other cases and in this instance, natural disasters). For this particular case, there was pretty much zero forensic evidence to help identify the killers. They police didn't have the weapons and the primary evidence was neighbors seeing two people walking toward the house.  Although the police were diligent about following leads, I don't believe they would have found the killers except for the fact that the killers talked about the murders to a few people who eventually turned them in. And I believe that if the one murderer arrested (the other killed himself when he found out the police were onto him) had invoked her right to counsel, she may have gotten off. My main complaint with this book is that during the trial section, Phelps inserted her own personal thoughts during defense sections which wasn't needed. Readers know the girl is crazy and making up stories. Otherwise, very interesting read for true crime fans. I will definitely check out more books by Phelps. 

Grade: B

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