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True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

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True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by GuardianAngel on Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:33 pm

Thanks to @havadrpepper for the suggestion! Looking forward to seeing what book's other's have read.


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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by havadrpepper on Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:50 am

Thanks @GuardianAngel.

A little background about me and why this book interested me.  In 1980 I was working at a Catholic hospital in Toledo, Ohio in the accounting department. Mercy Hospital was just one of 7 to 10 hospitals that were part of the Sisters of Mercy Provincialate of Cincinnati, Ohio.  The head of the hospital was a nun although there was a lay administrator as well.  The hospital also housed a nursing school and had an adjoining building with medical offices and a convent for the resident nuns and the 2 priests that served the hospital as chaplains.

Sin, Shame & Secrets: A True Story of the Murder of a Nun, the Conviction of a Priest, and the Cover-up in the Catholic Church by David Yonke.

This true crime book tells the story of the murder of an elderly nun in a hospital chapel on Holy Saturday 1980; the cover-up involving police and the church, and the arrest by cold-case detectives 24 years later of a Catholic priest. Police believe the nun was the victim of a ritual killing. Father Gerald Robinson was convicted of murder in a trial that shocked a city, a church and a nation. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison and died in a prison hospice in 2014.
"Sin, Shame & Secrets" unveils how cold-case investigators decided to reopen the case in 2003 after a Toledo nun testified that Father Robinson had abused her in satanic rituals when she was a child.

I knew both the victim and the murderer. I didn't deal with either of them directly but had a few interactions with them if they happened to come see my boss since I was the departmental secretary. My boyfriend also worked at the hospital and we alternated our weekends either at his apartment or mine.  My apartment complex had many units. Each section housed 12 apartments on 3 floors. I was on the 2nd floor with a balcony (that happened to face a drive-in theater screen).  It just so happened that the chief of security at the hospital lived in the same section as me as did his wife (funny story here... they had their own apartments across the hall from each other, I believe 2nd marriage for both and both worked at the hospital).

On Easter weekend in 1980, Jim had stayed at my place on Friday night. He had to be somewhere Saturday morning so we got up early and I walked out the door with him. As we were walking out, the security chief (Bob) shot out of his apartment and up the steps like he was running away from a fire.  Jim and I said hi and he ignored us.  We just shrugged our shoulders, said see you later and went on with our day.  We went out that night and were home in time for the 11:00 news.  Imagine our surprise when the lead story was about a nun being found dead in the chapel of Mercy Hospital early that morning.  We then knew why Bob was in such a hurry leaving his apartment.

I knew there was an investigation into the death but no details were ever released nor was an arrest ever made.  I eventually left the hospital and Toledo and went on with my life several hours away in my hometown.  I am an avid watcher of shows about unsolved mysteries/murders and always wondered if that story would ever be featured on one of my favorite shows on A&E - Cold Case Files (ran from 1999 to 2006).  It was eventually featured on an episode of the show in 2006. It starts at about 25:25 in this video:


About 7 years later while looking through the Kindle store on Amazon, I ran across the book linked above.  I had to buy it. Started it on a Sunday evening and couldn't put it down, finishing it in the early hours of the morning (and I still made it to work the next day).

What shocked me the most was a section of the book where the author talks about the police meeting with Sister Phyllis Ann and asking for information about the employees of the hospital. She pulled out a 3-ring binder that had the name, address, phone number and shift information of all 1400+ employees! The police were able to eliminate the vast majority of the employees since the murder occurred in the early morning hours on a Saturday morning. 33 years after the fact, I found out that I was actually a name looked at fleetingly in a murder investigation!

The book goes into depth on information about the Catholic Diocese of Toledo that I had never heard about. That is not surprising though since I am not Catholic. In the end, they got their man... the original suspect that the Catholic church protected at the time of the murder.
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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by Sprite on Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:14 am

@havadrpepper Wow. Thanks for sharing. Too close for comfort.


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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by Kashathediva on Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am

@havadrpepper very interesting! Thank you for sharing.


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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by GuardianAngel on Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:11 pm

@havadrpepper Wow, what a story. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to put that on my list of potential reads.

This is one of my favourite true crime books. I never have the time to read as much as I like to but when I go away I always get a couple or three books so I can read them by the pool or on a beach. I took this one with me one year, and I was seriously freaked out at everyone around me. laugh out loud My friend that I was with started questioning my behaviour! laugh out loud

https://www.amazon.ca/Ice-Man-Confessions-Contract-Killer/dp/0312938845


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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by Sprite on Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:15 am

Personally, I prefer my murders fiction...Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L Sayers, Erle Stanley Gardiner, Rex Stout, John Dickson Carr, Janet Evanovich, PD James. I don't like to see the suffering of real victims. It's bad enough if I catch it on the news.

A co-worker's father was a policeman involved in the Paul Bernardo case. He was traumatized by the experience. He developed PTSD as a result and was never the same after. I still shudder thinking about those two sickos and the fact that Karla Homolka is out of jail and living her life.


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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by havadrpepper on Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:22 am

@Sprite wrote:Personally, I prefer my murders fiction...Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L Sayers, Erle Stanley Gardiner, Rex Stout, John Dickson Carr, Janet Evanovich, PD James. I don't like to see the suffering of real victims. It's bad enough if I catch it on the news.

A co-worker's father was a policeman involved in the Paul Bernardo case. He was traumatized by the experience. He developed PTSD as a result and was never the same after. I still shudder thinking about those two sickos and the fact that Karla Homolka is out of jail and living her life.

I am a lot like you although some true crime books appeal to me not because of the actual crime, but how the crime was solved. How did the investigators put the puzzle pieces together to get the bad guy... that is what I like to know and why I watch so many of the investigative shows on tv.  The 2 channels I watch the most on tv are Oxygen and ID (Investigation Discovery). OWN sneaks in there at times as well.

My reading these days is mostly the cozy mystery genre.  You've got a mystery but nothing gory. It is all about how the mystery is solved.  

@Sprite have you ever read the Psalm 23 mysteries by Debbie Viguie or the Jefferson Tayte genealogical mysteries by Steve Robinson? The latter brings together 2 of my loves... mysteries and genealogy.  I also love to read series where characters continue from one book to the next. Another author that I'm in the middle of the series is the Tourist Trap mysteries by Lynn Cahoon. These are more the cozy mystery type when Viguie and Robinson are more like the authors you listed.
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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by Sprite on Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:36 pm

@havadrpepper Thank you. Those sound much more my speed. It's more about the solving vs the guts and gore. It's one of the reasons I like things like the Midsomer Murders.

I will definitely check out your recommendations.

If you love characters that go from one book to the other and if you haven't read them yet, you should look into Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum bounty hunter books. It mixes mystery with humour and a bit of romance and I think it is up to 25 books now. Another one that I enjoy is Alexander McCall Smith and his series set in Botswana starting with the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. It is not as much murder and mayhem type stuff, but little mysteries in everyday life. It's a very light read and for some reason I find his stuff very relaxing.


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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by havadrpepper on Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:34 pm

@Sprite I've got 2 Evanovich books (One for the Money, Two for the Dough) that a friend gave me years ago. I've never read them because not long after that I got my Kindle and now it bothers me to read an actual book! Once I get the house stuff done, I will hopefully have more time to read. That's why I like cozy mysteries... they are a lot like the Harlequin romances that I used to read. 2 hours and you are done.
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Re: True Crime Books - *Sleuthing Spoilers*

Post by GuardianAngel on Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:25 pm

I cringe at the actual crime details, but I'm more like you ladies. Trying to solve it, and just being so consumed on the details of the investigators case and their talents in solving the case.

Lots of good recommendations!



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