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The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation (2019)

de Mark Bowden

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21720126,243 (3.29)7
Politics. Sociology. True Crime. Nonfiction. HTML:The true story of a cold case, a compulsive liar, and five determined detectives, from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author and "master journalist" (The Wall Street Journal).

On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, ages ten and twelve, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and the mystery endured.

Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them toward a man named Lloyd Welch, then serving time for child molestation in Delaware.

The acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968 had been a cub reporter for a Baltimore newspaper at the time of the original disappearance, and covered the frantic first weeks of the story. In The Last Stone, he returns to write its ending. Over months of intense questioning and extensive investigation of Welch's sprawling, sinister Appalachian clan, five skilled detectives learned to sift truth from determined lies. How do you get a compulsive liar with every reason in the world to lie to tell the truth? The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.

"One of our best writers of muscular nonfiction." The Denver Post

"Deeply unsettling . . . Bowden displays his tenacity as a reporter in his meticulous documentation of the case. But in the story of an unimaginably horrific crime, it's the detectives' unwavering determination to bring Welch to justice that offers a glimmer of hope on a long, dark journey." Time.
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Mark Bowden’s choice of title The Last Stone is apt for indeed no stone was left unturned until a 38-year-old cold case was finally solved. Over the last years there has been a massive amount of true crime publications of recently solved cold cases. Bowden’s work stands out. The author provides hours of original interrogation records of suspects and perpetrators which are gems on their own. Listening to the skillful interrogators and how they finally got what was needed to solve the case is fascinating,the insights this provides on human nature, an eye-opener. The case itself is no less fascinating, if horrendous. In 1975 two girls aged 10 and 12 disappeared without a trace. Last seen in a shopping mall, the disappearance of the two young girls, coming from a loving suburban home produced an uproar. The parents were devastated and despite the media attention it received, the tireless efforts invested by the police, the case remained unsolved until 2012. Then the case was reviewed and a trail already having become cold got hot again. What the parents had to endure gets little mention in this book but perhaps it was just as well. Their terror must have been unimaginable. I have listeners to Bowden’s audiobook and the reader did a fantastic job in covering a range of accents, especially the hillbilly Virginian. On the objective side,the book is extremely well-researched. The prose is objective and straightforward, suitable for the genre. Yet, courtesy of the realism conveyed so well, the unadulterated interviews we follow, and the serpentine, heroic struggle of a few untiring detectives, one gets emotionally involved quickly, and when towards the end it all comes to a head and the sky falls in on the perpetrators, we get great great satisfaction from justice served, well and from a cold platter. ( )
  nitrolpost | Mar 19, 2024 |
Compelling. Sad. Tragic. Pathetic. Gut-wrenching.

Just a few of the words I have used to describe this true crime book by Mark Bowden. What makes it even more horrific is that it is true. A sadistic monster brutally kidnaps, rapes and viciously murders two innocent little girls, ages 10 and 12.

Told from the POV of the suspects own taped interviews with detectives over the course of 2-3 years. A narrative where you find yourself shaking your head and thinking about your own kids.

Highly recommended. ( )
  BenM2023 | Nov 22, 2023 |
since they never found the bodies the whole thing is kinda untenable. the investigators come off as jerks. ( )
  soraxtm | Apr 9, 2023 |
I am reminded of the comment of a friend who was a parole officer in Prince Georges County, Maryland, where some of the suspects lived: "I don't know how to feel about my clients; they are simultaneously so pathetic and so vicious."

This isn't a particularly exciting read, but I think that is very educational, and both heartening and disheartening. I am moved by the dedication of the detectives, sifting the tedious lies in an attempt to solve the case. Disheartening, in that for all their labor, they cannot really get to the whole truth of this horrific 40-year-old cold case. They are left knowing that very likely Lloyd Welch, who was convicted, didn't act alone, and while they have strong suspicions about his accomplices, they can't prove their involvement. ( )
  PuddinTame | Jun 25, 2022 |
I was interested in this book because some of the events took place in Montgomery county and some in Prince Georges county, Maryland. ( )
  MrDickie | Jan 25, 2022 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Mark Bowdenautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Alpha Design & CompositionDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Augenstein, NealArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ericson, MattMap makerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ferrone, RichardNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mergenthaler, GretchenDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Perich, PascalAuthor photographerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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April 1, 1975

Lloyd Welch got himself good and high before he went back to Wheaton Plaza on April Fools' Day. (Chapter 1, "The First Lie")
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Politics. Sociology. True Crime. Nonfiction. HTML:The true story of a cold case, a compulsive liar, and five determined detectives, from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author and "master journalist" (The Wall Street Journal).

On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, ages ten and twelve, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and the mystery endured.

Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them toward a man named Lloyd Welch, then serving time for child molestation in Delaware.

The acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968 had been a cub reporter for a Baltimore newspaper at the time of the original disappearance, and covered the frantic first weeks of the story. In The Last Stone, he returns to write its ending. Over months of intense questioning and extensive investigation of Welch's sprawling, sinister Appalachian clan, five skilled detectives learned to sift truth from determined lies. How do you get a compulsive liar with every reason in the world to lie to tell the truth? The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.

"One of our best writers of muscular nonfiction." The Denver Post

"Deeply unsettling . . . Bowden displays his tenacity as a reporter in his meticulous documentation of the case. But in the story of an unimaginably horrific crime, it's the detectives' unwavering determination to bring Welch to justice that offers a glimmer of hope on a long, dark journey." Time.

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