Spoken in Darkness: Small-Town Murder and a Friendship Beyond Death

Ann E. Imbrie, Author Hyperion Books $27.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-56282-842-4
Lee Snavely, a 24-year-old heroin addict and prostitute, was murdered in Michigan in 1974 by a serial killer. Imbrie, an English professor at Vassar College, was a friend of Snavely's in junior high school in Ohio during the '60s; they last saw each other in 1971. In an overwritten account padded with her dull memories of growing up, Imbrie recreates her erstwhile friend's decline. Both of Snavely's parents had died by the time she was 12; she careened from foster homes into marriage to an abusive Vietnam veteran, also a junkie. Her killer, Gary Taylor, a wily psychopath and fan of Hitler and Rudolph Hess, was earlier arrested for serial killings, declared insane and institutionalized. Set free in 1972, he married his lawyer's secretary and went on to commit more murders, including the brutal slaying of Snavely. He is now serving a 99-year prison term. Marred by literary posturing, this is an all-too-familiar indictment of an inept judicial and penal system. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/17/1993
Release date: 01/01/1900
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-452-27217-0
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