Most often, the kinds of books reviewed for
this site are text-like materials...books that explain or talk about the
how-to's of investigation. Once in a while we've written reviews that
are a work of fiction or written about an author's true experiences.
Each of the books reviewed have had something useful to offer...a unique
insight, a powerful tool, and, in the case of Unanswered Cries, a
powerful message. A non-fiction story that touches on human nature, as
well as human spirit and endurance. A story, too, that will leave you
wondering about the state of our society.
Her name was Karen Gregory, she was 36 years old, a
graphic artist and in love. In fact, on the night of her murder, she'd
been moving more of her belongings into her boyfriend's house, where
they planned to start a life together. Her boyfriend, David, had lived
in the house for some time and wanted Karen to move in with him and
while he was out of town, she had started moving in.
It was a quiet neighborhood located in Gulfport, near Saint
Petersburg, FL. The road David and Karen lived on was quiet, occupied by
mainly older people who lived there only during the winter months. There
were few, if any, children around. Across the street from the house was
a sign which read: Warning. This is a citizen's crime watch area.
Ironic. Where were the citizens as Karen struggled frantically to her
front door, piercing the still night with her screams as she was being
attacked? Why had no one, even though they later said they'd heard her
screams, called the police? Or at the very least looked outside to see
who was screaming or why? Had any of the crime watch citizens done that,
Karen Gregory might have escaped her murderer as she was trying to do
before being pulled back from the screen door. Perhaps Karen, instead of
lying dead in her hallway for two nights, would have gone on a bit
traumatized, but alive all the same.
The story does not end there. The man eventually arrested and
convicted of the crime was, in fact, one of those citizens in the
neighborhood. He was well known, well respected...he was even a
volunteer fireman. And not only was Karen murdered, brutally, she was
raped, as well. She put up quite a fight, as the forensic experts would
learn. But thanks to luminol and an investigator who could not forget
Karen, her murder was solved, leaving everyone in dismay.
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It covers the victim,
the victim's friends and family, the neighbors that heard the screams.
The author did an extensive amount of research, not focusing on the
offender or the extreme brutality of the crime, but instead on the
emotional impact left behind. I definitely suggest this book to
anyone--from those interested in victim rights, to investigators, to
those who are left with a tragedy of this magnitude. Many questions were
raised and many of those questions left me wondering if I, too, could
have been one of those neighbors who ignored the screams...none of us
ever thinks we could or would, but if a whole neighborhood could, who is
to say you couldn't, or I wouldn't?