Where the Wildflowers Grow: The True Story of a Steroid-Driven Journey from College Football...

Wilt Browning, Author Down Home Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-878086-33-4
During the early 1980s, Pernell Jefferson was a sports star in his North Carolina high school and an even more noted athlete when he played football at Guilford College, becoming the leading kick returner in the country and receiving pro offers. He signed with the Cleveland Browns. But his feelings of inadequacy surfaced and he quit the Browns' training camp, certain he would be cut. He had begun using steroids as a sophomore in college and, as he increased his dosages, he began to show the violent rage that characterizes abusers of that drug; it was usually directed toward the women he dated, who were too in love with or afraid of him to press charges. Matters climaxed in 1989 when he beat, kidnapped and murdered Jeannie Butkowski in Virginia, for which he was sentenced to life in 1991. Browning, sports columnist for the Greensboro, N.C., News & Record, shows a novelist's skill in depicting Butkowski's terror as she was stalked, harassed and finally hunted down in this fine true-crime tale. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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