Bluegrass: A True Story of Murder and Family in Small-Town Kentucky

William Van Meter, Author . Free Press $24 (231p) ISBN 978-1-4165-3868-4

In 2003, college student Katie Autry was brutally raped, stabbed and set on fire in her dorm room at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky. Returning to his hometown, journalist Van Meter explores Autry's murder, and the subsequent investigation and trial. But his scattershot approach leaves the account as full of holes as the suspects' alibis. Authorities tracked down several people who'd been at a fraternity party Autry had attended before focusing on Stephen Soules, a high school dropout who at first said he'd had consensual sex with the drunken girl in her dorm. But Soules blamed the murder on Luke Goodrum, a 21-year-old with a history of domestic violence. Despite mounting evidence implicating Soules, Goodrum was tried for the crime, while Soules—who now claimed Goodrum forced him to rape Autry—agreed to testify in exchange for life in prison, thus avoiding a capital trial. Instead of exploring the glaring legal errors that ran rampant during the investigation and Goodrum's trial, Van Meter instead cobbles together a melodramatic narrative that doesn't do Autry's tragic death justice. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/13/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4165-6443-0
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-4165-3869-1
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