The Piano Teacher: The True Story of a Psychotic Killer

Robert K. Tanenbaum, Author, Peter S. Greenberg, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (277p) ISBN 978-0-453-00547-0

This true crime tale presents a stinging indictment of the judicial system at its worst, freeing a killer to kill again. Tannenbaum (No Lesser Plea, Badge of the Assassin) and Greenberg, a syndicated columnist and TV producer, examine Charles Yukl's childhood: son of musical parents, he had an icy, perfectionist mother determined to make him a great pianist and a distant, uncommunicative father. He grew up to become a maladjusted loner who hated women. And when, working on the fringes of show business in Manhattan, in 1966 he murdered one of his pupils, Suzanna Reynolds, he was given a light sentence and served only five years. He went back to the entertainment world and repeated the pattern, killing another pupil in 1974, Karen Schlegal. Convicted and eligible for parole in 1989, Yukl hanged himself in a prison hospital in 1982. (October 29)