Murder of Innocence: The Tragic Life and Final Rampage of Laurie Dann

Joel Kaplan, Author, Eric Zorn, With, George Papajohn, With Warner Books $19.95 (335p) ISBN 978-0-446-51572-6
Laurie Wasserman, the daughter of a startlingly unemotional mother and a workaholic father, grew up an isolated and unattractive child. Plastic surgery turned her into a beautiful young woman, popular with men, and she married Russell Dann. After her marriage, however, her behavior, which had included some eccentricities of a compulsive nature, became more and more bizarre and the marriage fell apart. Moving from college campus to college campus, passing herself off as a student, Laurie Dann became increasingly psychotic, making hundreds of phone calls to fancied enemies, degenerating physically and attempting to kill her estranged husband. While the lay people she encountered considered her extremely troubled, the suburban Chicago police and the psychiatrists she visited foresaw no danger; the authors, Chicago Tribune reporters, suggest that these latter groups were totally inept. Finally, on May 20, 1988, she went on a rampage that included arson, poisoning and shooting up an elementary school classroom in Illinois, after which she killed herself. This account of the complex and highly publicized case is memorable. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-36002-9
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