Most Likely to Succeed

Alan Gelb, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-525-24878-1
This is a taut, textured true-crime study by the author of Columbus Avenue , who himself lives in East Chatham, the upstate New York town where the multiple murders related here were committed. On Dec. 13, 1987 four dead bodies were found in the home of Robert Gates: businessman Gates; his older son, Bobby, age 19; his live-in girlfriend, Cheryl Brahm; and his orphaned nephew, Jason, 3. Immediately suspected was Gates's younger son, Wyley, 17, a computer whiz and salutatorian of his class, but a cold, distant, seemingly emotionless youth. Wyley was taken into custody, and it developed that he had discussed plans to commit the murders and rob the family home with at least one close friend, Damian Rossney. The police were so convinced of Wyley's guilt that they were lackadaisical about assembling evidence, according to the author. As a result, Wyley and Damian, tried separately, were acquitted of murder but found guilty of conspiracy and imprisoned. Gelb leaves little doubt that he believes Wyley is the killer and concludes that the young man has ``a fundamental soullessness, a basic lack of human fiber.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-92566-6
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