Married for eight years, the Smiths seemed the perfect couple. On September 28, 1994, in Portage, Michigan, Candace Smith was told by her father Russ that her mother had run away with another man. But he never explained to the young seven year old child why the bathroom upstairs was a wreck and why there was blood in the sink. They then drove miles out of state to her grandparent’s house with a barrel loaded into the back of a pickup truck.
I saw this original story on the Crime & Investigation channel and wanted to know more and so I ordered the book online. I was right in that there was so much more information in the book which obviously they could not all fit onto a half an hour show. I am amazed at how this man got away with murder for so long. In fact he was only caught by a cold case squad a few years later. The original investigators seemed to be incompetent in that they dismissed the case as a woman who had run away from home despite relatives and friends assurances that she would never have left her child. It seems that if you murder someone and hide the body well enough (and this man travelled miles with the body) the chances are very good that you might get away with murder. This murderer was blatant in his actions even remodelling his bathroom. The amazing thing is you could think that maybe this was so long ago that the investigators were perhaps not so well trained that they did not know how to conduct an investigation but this case was as recent as 1994.
The entire time I read this book I had a constant feeling of disbelief that this man was not getting caught so I can well imagine the reactions of the people close to the victim. They had to live the nightmare and incompetence in the investigation of this case. I was also constantly worrying about the child still with this unstable father.
The book reads well but was a bit of a disappointment as I had watched the tv program before so I knew about the main twists and turns. Paricia Springer does however fill up the spaces in between with pertinent information and a few surprises here and there. I would recommend this book if you are passionate about true crime books and especially if you have never seen the tv program before.
I suggest accessing other reviews from readers of true crime stories before making an online book purchase.