Zero at the Bone: Zero at the Bone

Bryce Marshall, Author, Paul McCarthy, Editor, Paul Williams, With Pocket Books $5.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-68511-9
The story of Ronald Gene Simmons and his psychotic rampage, which in 1987 left 14 family members in a mass grave behind their trailer home, is presented here in detail. When his military days were over, Simmons, a former Air Force sergeant, began a torturous series of acts of violence and humiliation against his family. While a fierce presence to his wife, Becky, and six of their seven children, he became exceptionally tender with his favorite daughter, Sheila, and forced her into an incestuous relationship that culminated in the birth of a child. Simmons went through a series of menial jobs and, after several moves, finally settled his family in the foothills of the Ozarks. But faced with growing frustration of his need for control, along with his daughter's rejection of him and marriage to another man, which he claimed had ruined his plans to have a happy life alone with her, he prepared the ritual killing of all those who had made his dream unworkable. While for the most part, Williams ( Tankwar ) and Marshall, a journalist, tell the story convincingly, they fail when they attempt to re-create and explain Simmons's thought processes. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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