The Wichita Divide: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller and the Battle over Abortion

Stephen Singular, St. Martin's, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-62505-4
In this stirring account of the 2009 murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, true crime veteran Singular (Unholy Messenger) presents a portrait not only of a man and his killer but of the national debate about abortion so rabid it led to murder. On Sunday, May 31, 2009, Scott Roeder walked into the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kans., and shot Tiller in the head. Tiller had been performing abortions—and most controversially, late-term abortions—at his women's health clinic since the 1970s, despite being the main target of many of the nation's most vitriolic pro-life groups. Roeder first became attracted to antitax fringe groups and drifted toward anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue, though after Tiller's murder none would outright condone his act. Though he claimed the "necessity defense"—that killing Tiller was necessary to prevent abortion—at trial, Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder. Singular, a Kansas native who also wrote about Wichita's infamous BTK killer, expertly folds in Tiller's life story and Roeder's steady decline with the blood-soaked history of the abortion debate, from Roe v. Wade to the recently passed health care reform. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 357 pages - 978-1-250-00815-2
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