St. Joseph's Children: A True Story of Terror and Justice

Terry Ganey, Author, Hillel Black, Editor Carol Publishing Corporation $17.95 (237p) ISBN 978-0-8184-0509-9
Justice is shown to triumph--ultimately--in this engaging, instructive true-crime study. In 1978, four-year-old Eric Christgen was kidnapped and killed in St. Joseph, Mo. The police fixed on Melvin Reynolds, a passive, feckless bisexual, for the murder, but only after relentless questioning did he confess. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Four years later, when 11-year-old Michelle Steele was kidnapped and killed in the same town, arrested was Charles Hatcher, a drifter who had spent years in California mental institutions. Through the efforts of FBI agent Joseph Holtslag, Hatcher finally confessed to 16 murders, among them that of Christgen. He committed suicide in prison; Reynolds was released. Another disturbing factor in the case, as St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Ganey shows, is that Hatcher, prior to confessing, was able to deceive the psychologists who examined him. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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