MURDER IN SPOKANE
While true-crime writer and ex-cop Fuhrman (Murder in Greenwich, Murder in Brentwood) may not rank high on America's Favorite Cop lists, he has scored well on the bestseller lists with his exposés of murder investigations gone awry. His latest offers the highest body count yet. In 1997, Fuhrman, who now lives in idyllic Idaho, discovered a serial sex killer lurking in his backyard in Spokane, Wash. With local radio jock and fellow murder groupie Mike Fitzsimmons, Fuhrman insinuated himself in the investigation of one of the longest-running killing sprees in recent memory. A man was luring drug-addicted prostitutes into his vehicle for the purposes of rape, sexual torture, and, after murdering them, necrophilia. As horrific as the crimes were, the disastrously sloppy investigation by the Spokane PD Task Force, Fuhrman concludes, dawdled inexcusably for two years, during which nine more women were murdered. Fuhrman plays himself up as an all-American, animal-tendin', Grape Nuts-eatin' ex-cop with no interest in psychology, only in getting his man. "A working detective has no hope of understanding what even experts who devote their lives to the study of criminal psychology can't figure out," he notes. Richard Yates was eventually apprehended by the police and is serving a 408-year sentence. Fuhrman's account is unabashedly uninterested in exploring the darker recesses of the human psyche. It is about why a mass murderer of undesirables went unapprehended for years. As such, it is an extraordinary story, even if the author's storytelling abilities are anything but. (June)
Forecast: With the help of Fuhrman's 25-city radio campaign and 15-city TV satellite tour, as well as personal appearances in New York, Portland, Seattle and Spokane, this should live up saleswise to Fuhrman's previous titles.