21 December, 2015

Murder in the stacks : Penn State, Betsy Aardsma, and the killer who got away By David De Kok (book).


This is the story of a young girl, Betty Aardsma, who, in her first year of university, was murdered. It's a real-life whodunnit, but it's also a fascinating look back at a time and place in small-town America in the late sixties.

The killer was never brought to justice, but as the book goes on, it becomes clear just who he was. His later life, and conversations he had with a teacher who never reported them, make it clear how and why he got away with it.

This was the year that a number of other high-profile murderers and serial killers were operating, Charles Manson, the Zodiac killer, the Co-ed killer. Looking back it is clear that society has come a long way since the sixties, and women are no longer held to be partly to blame for crimes against them.

And yet.

Are the attitudes that were prevalent then still around? The professor who spoke with the murderer on the night of the killing was protecting him. Would he do so now?

Title: Murder in the stacks : Penn State, Betsy Aardsma, and the killer who got away
Author: David De Kok
Reviewed by Clare K at Massey Library

Clare K has been with Auckland Libraries since 2009, and is an avid reader, mainly of non-fiction, but also fiction, newspapers, blogs and cereal packets.

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