Customer Reviews for

Bluegrass: A True Story of Murder in Kentucky

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    Sad story, good depiction

    As a resident and teacher in Bowling Green, this was like coming face to face with the murder all over again. As I read Van Meter's story, I could vividly see each street, tree, and the WKU campus....having taken classes there myself. I remember the morning the news broke, and how the local papers really hit on the fact that Katy had worked at "Tattle Tales"....tried to paint her early on as a "bad girl." I'm glad that Van Meter gave more of her background and sad upbringing. She was a little girl, lost in the world and no one, not one person, deserved to die like she did. For most in Bowling Green, there was no doubt that the man found innocent was guilty. No wonder they moved it to Owensboro. It was so personal for me, being so familiar with each place. He did a wonderful job of explaining how BG has completely become multicultural. So many of the older folks still struggle with all of the different languages. It also presents a side of ignorance and lower class living that makes it hard to see Kentucky in a positive light. When reading the book, listen for the details about the lives of the people. It all became entwined together and the outcome was more painful than anyone could imagine.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    heartwrenching

    a well written story about a true terrible event. It was nice to learn more about the people in the story rather than just what the news reported.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of The Most Shocking Murders To Hit Southcentral Kentucky

    When a front page story came out in the Bowling Green(Ky)Daily News recently that a book had been written regarding the freshman murder of Katie Autry at Western Kentucky University, I knew that I had to get the book. I ordered the book online the first day it came out. Autry was raped and set on fire on the front mid-section of her body with hair spray in her dorm room after getting drunk at a party at the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity house on campus. She later died at Vanderbilt Hosptial in Nashville, Tenn., which is about 60 miles south of Bowling Green, a couple days later. The book is a short read with only 231 pages and it can be read in a brief amount of time especially if you're extremely interested in the case like I was. The author is William Van Meter, a Bowling Green native who apparently now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is a freelance journalist who contributes to such publications as "New York magazine," "Harper's Bazaar" and "The New York Times." <BR/>I think the majority of citizens in Bowling Green and Southcentral Kentucky felt that Lucas Goodrum, the 21-year murder suspect from Scottsville, Ky., was responsible for the crime and who made Stephen Soules, another young man from Scottsville, a guilty partner in the crime by forcing him to commit rape also. However, after the reading the book, I am not sure that Goodrum is guility even though he was not found guility at the trial. Some people around here still think he is guilty. Soules made a plea bargain with life without parole in order to avoid the death penalty if he implicatd Goodrum in the case. Goodrum was connected with an extremely wealthy family from Scottsville and Soules, a mixed racial person, half white and half African American, was from a poor family, and the victim, Autry, was from a broken home and had lived in foster care for half of her life. Autry was experiencing new found freedom at Western Kentucky University where she drank alcohol at fraternity parties and was dancing a local strip club as a part-time job. Soules was known to be a follower and could easily be controlled by others such as Goodrum and even though he was thought to be a gentle person by always checking on his grandmother where he lived. There are stories of elicit sex, foul rap song lyrics and drug and alcohol abuse revealed in the book. <BR/> I highly recommed this book if your interested in true crime stories and especially if you live in Bowling Green or Southcentral Kentucky and are somewhat familiar with the case like I was. I don't think the citizens of Bowling Green or Southcentral Kentucky and the staff at Western Kentucky University, should shun Van Meter for his endeavor of writing this book. Van Meter obvisouly had the guts, the talent, the intelligence and the ability to write a book about a tragedy that we should never forget that happened in this community. Universities and college towns across America and society in general should learn a lesson from this tragic murder case and how drugs, alcohol and sex involving young people can affect them at parties and after parties on campus and off campus. When all of these elements are mixed in together, they can create a deadly combination that can affect families and friends of all races and backgrounds with a tremendous sense of loss and pain for years to come.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Good book

    This is the first i have heard about this awful story .. nothing drawn out author gets to the point .. i wish there were more info i feel the truth has yet to be told .. somehow someway the truth will come out .. my heart goes to this beautiful young victim n family .. she had her whole life ahead .... Bn

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    SAD, SHOCKING

    SAD, SHOCKING TRUE CRIME - INTERESTING

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    True Crime

    If you don't know about this story, read this book. But chances are, if you are from Western KY you know a little bit about this murder from the news.

    Pretty well written and moves at a good pace. You get plenty of background on the people involved and lots of facts that you would have never heard in the news.

    It's a terribly sad tale of a young woman's life ending by touch tragic, cruel means. Was justice served? I am still asking that.

    The only gripe I have about this book is the title. Yes, we are the Bluegrass State, but Bowling Green is not in the Bluegrass region of the state. They are in the Pennyrile region.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    For anyone with teenagers going off to college! Must read!

    You can get a synopsis of this book from other reviews this is my opinion. I am from this area and had heard about this book and so decided to splurge and buy it for my NOOK. Boy am I glad I did. I am a graduate of WKU, lived in Poland Hall, and went on to graduate school many years prior to this incident. Not all of us in Kentucky talk like those depicted in this story. I remember hearing about this in the news but was so busy, I didn't get into the details when it was going on. As I read this book, I found myself becoming sickened, outraged and going through a whole series of emotions. I think that speaks volumes to this writer. Mr. Van Meter did a very good job telling this story. He set the stage in a very organized manor, introduced the "characters" and gave the victim the respect I felt she deserved. I also believe his telling of the story let me form my own opinion regarding the less than satisfying conclusion. (Less than satisfying to me means will we really ever know what really happened in that room?) The scary part about reading this book is remembering my days as a college student, attending frat parties (at the PKA house), and seeing the activities portrayed in this book. This can happen again. This is a must-read especially for young women. Great Job William Van Meter!

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    I recommend reading this book. Check it out!

    Loved it.

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    This book could have been

    well I just have to say is i read this book in 2 days. And the way it was wrote didn't impress me in the least. There is a certain amount of respect you should show people especially the dead. I feel he didn't give katie that respect or her aunt.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Below Average Read

    The author thinks that all the readers are from South Central Kentucky (which I am) and have an intimate knowledge of the area, people and geography. The story line is interesting but the facts are described with a local audience in mind.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Poor Writing Ruined This Story

    I had a very hard time getting into this book. I found the writing to be a hinderance to the actual story. As with many true crime books, the journalist gets so caught up in a detail that the rest of the moment is lost.

    If you pick this book up, immediately put it back down and move on.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 23, 2009

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    Posted February 10, 2009

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    Posted December 31, 2008

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    Posted March 5, 2010

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    Posted July 24, 2009

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    Posted January 14, 2009

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