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A Death in Belmont (2006)

av Sebastian Junger

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,0114015,078 (3.47)45
In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a shocking sex murder that exactly fits the pattern of the Boston Strangler. Sensing a break in the case that has paralyzed the city of Boston, the police track down a black man, Roy Smith, who cleaned the victim's house that day and left a receipt with his name on the kitchen counter. Smith is hastily convicted of the Belmont murder, but the terror of the Strangler continues. On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvo--the man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler's crimes--is also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers' home. In this spare, powerful narrative, Sebastian Junger chronicles three lives that collide--and ultimately are destroyed--in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.--From publisher description.… (mer)

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Documents the events surrounding the early 1960s serial murder case of the Boston Strangler, recounting how an innocent African-American housekeeper was hastily convicted and how the actual killer, carpenter Albert DeSalvo, eventually confessed.(taken from NoveList)
  JohnSynnott | Mar 7, 2020 |
A Death in Belmont felt like reading a newspaper piece. It has facts. It has objective postulations. It leaves the reader to form her own opinions. The the hook is that the author has a personal connection to the story, but there is little intimate or personal about it: no indication that the author feels anything more than journalistic curiosity. There are glimmers of passion, but the "personal" part is missing. It's fascinating if you know nothing of the Boston Strangler saga, but overall, it falls a little flat. ( )
  revafisheye | Jan 10, 2020 |
I've had this book on my shelf for ages, and suddenly it was the right time to read it. Junger is tangentially connected to the case of the Boston Strangler, and this is an insightful and somehow inconclusive retelling of the investigation. In so,e ways it reads like a mystery story, where the police are hard pressed to figure out who the murderer is, and the case is not clear even at the end ( )
  ffortsa | Oct 19, 2019 |
(10) Having grown up proximate to the locales discussed in this book likely made it much more enjoyable for me. My hometown was even briefly mentioned. This is Junger 's (journalist who wrote 'the Perfect Storm') recounting of the murder of Bessie Goldberg. She was killed in her home in Belmont and her neck was wrapped with her stocking just like all the murders of the so-called Boston Strangler. This was 1963 and the black man who was hired to clean the house and left a mere 45 minutes before the husband came home and found her was obviously the main suspect and ultimately committed. But did he do it? Who was actually the Boston Strangler? Could it have been the handyman who worked for the Jungers in Belmont? The man who had been alone in the house with his own mother on numerous occasions?

I have never read anything about the Boston Strangler case and frankly had been trying to avoid this true crime genre for awhile. It makes me feel unclean and guilty to be interested in others gruesome tragedies, right? So this was an interesting mystery explored journalistically and read like fiction; read like popular fiction. Lots of zingers about society and information was doled out in chunks as the story flipped around in time and to the two different suspects. Ultimately, the truth cannot be known and this is a bit of a let down.

I would recommend this for an engaging book that doesn't require you to think too much. It is easily read and well written (for the masses.) It does a nice job with the historical setting and brings in some interesting commentary regarding the role of juries, prison as rehabilitation, and of course, the ever ubiquitous theme of racial justice. ( )
  jhowell | Mar 2, 2019 |
Great listen! Enjoyed all the side journeys. ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Apr 8, 2017 |
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And they said to the Prophet, "How may we stop our ears to the rant of the fool and yet show him charity?"
And he answered, "You show yourselves charity by opening wide your ears to him. The fool in the midst of his babble shall speak truths which the minds of the wise cannot perceive." -- unattributed quote pinned to the office wall of a Massachusetts appellate lawyer.
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For my mother, Ellen Sinclair Junger
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One morning in the fall of 1962, when I was not yet one year old, my mother, Ellen, looked out the window and saw two men in our front yard. One was in his thirties and the other was at least twice that, and they were both dressed in work clothes and seemed very interested in the place where we lived. My mother picked me up and walked outside to see what they wanted.
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In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a shocking sex murder that exactly fits the pattern of the Boston Strangler. Sensing a break in the case that has paralyzed the city of Boston, the police track down a black man, Roy Smith, who cleaned the victim's house that day and left a receipt with his name on the kitchen counter. Smith is hastily convicted of the Belmont murder, but the terror of the Strangler continues. On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvo--the man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler's crimes--is also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers' home. In this spare, powerful narrative, Sebastian Junger chronicles three lives that collide--and ultimately are destroyed--in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.--From publisher description.

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