A Thread of Evidence

A Thread of Evidence

4.5 7
by Joanne Connors-Wade
It was the '50s and life was simple, until September 25, 1954. That was the night that would be etched in the memory of the citizens of Stanfield, Massachusetts. The Chief of Police described the brutal savagery of the double homicide as "the most atrocious crime in the history of the city."

A fourteen-year-old girl, and the four-year-old boy in her care


It was the '50s and life was simple, until September 25, 1954. That was the night that would be etched in the memory of the citizens of Stanfield, Massachusetts. The Chief of Police described the brutal savagery of the double homicide as "the most atrocious crime in the history of the city."

A fourteen-year-old girl, and the four-year-old boy in her care were murdered at the hands of a deranged, depraved killer.

A Thread of Evidence places the reader at the scene of the crime, an eye witness to the senseless stabbing of two innocent children. With a piece of crochet thread as their only clue, the entire police department, lead by detectives Steven Logan and Raymond Gage, scour the city in search of a maniacal savage. When all tips and leads have been exhausted, they review all evidence. They come back to the thread. The only real evidence. With tenacity and perseverance of Logan and Gage the killer is apprehended.

The reader experiences the twists and turns of the investigation, and ultimately occupies a reserved seat in the Superior Court as the trial proceedings commence. A Thread of Evidence has been written as fiction, but inspired by an actual event. Fifty years later, it remains etched in the minds of all who had lived in the area. The author has researched court records, newspapers, interviewed neighbors, police and has drawn on personal recollections of the crime. The story has been recounted over and over and to this day, it continues to be discussed.

A Thread of Evidence is a compelling account of superb detective work, and unprecedented dedication of an entire police department.

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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

"You're nobody, why should she let you in? She'll probably laugh at you and tell you to get lost!" He couldn't bear that, so he decided to follow through with his well-thought out plan.

He walked up the front porch steps. His stomach ached. Again, he took deep breaths. As he stood at the door, headlights of a car turning onto Archer Boulevard scanned across the porch and the bulky figure standing there. He froze in place, fearing it may be the Rosen's returning early, but the car continued north up the boulevard.

Slowly, he walked to the window. There she was, curled up like a little kitten. She was reading. The console television across the room was on, but he couldn't hear it and she wasn't watching it. The volume was turned down.

As if some inner power took control, he moved closer to the window and tapped on the glass. She didn't move, so he tapped again using his ring to make a louder sound. She turned, and drew her face closer to the window to see past the reflection of the light. Lynn expected to see Lisa, but she recognized the night visitor. He smiled and gestured, suggesting she open the door to let him in.

She placed the open book on the table beside the sofa. A red tasseled bookmark served to mark the page. She was not frightened, but she was annoyed. What is he doing here? I'll just tell him I'm not allowed to have anyone in while I'm babysitting and he'll just go on his way. He's probably just passing by anyway, she thought.

As she approached the front door, she reached for the dead bolt. Turning the lock and door knob simultaneously, the door opened. Quickly, the intruder pushed the heavy door in and knocked Lynn off balance. In an instant, he slid the weapon from his sleeve, and yanked the paper from the blade.

Lynn was frightened and shouted, "What are you doing here? Get out!"
Then she saw the shiny blade. She screamed, "No, no, please no!"

The cruel, vicious attack began and Lynn felt the first thrust into her side. She gasped, and turned to run. She managed the few steps into the living room and he grabbed her hair. She was no match for her attacker as he continued pulling her toward him.

She grasped her side and felt the warmth of her blood between her fingers. Her attacker was frenzied by now. Although she had suffered at least four stabs to her arms, side and shoulder, she fought and kicked. He continued to deliver blow after blow, five, six . . . the deed had become euphoric to him. He couldn't stop. He struck a mighty blow with the handle of the blood soaked bayonet. It was so powerful it broke her neck. Like a lifeless rag doll, she crumbled to the floor.

He could hear the silence. It was dead silence now and he couldn't move. He stared at Lynn's lifeless body, now in a half sitting position, propped up against the blood spattered walls. The silence was broken by a whimper of a small child. Suddenly the whimper became a deafening cry of fear and panic. The deranged attacker snapped out of his reveries and the cry became real.

He followed the crying and entered the bedroom of little David Rosen. By now, David was standing on his bed calling out to Lynn. Between the sobbing, he called, "Lynn, Lynn!" Then he froze in place and looked into the eyes of the monster.

The helpless four- year- old backed into the corner of his small bed. The butcher took only two strides to reach the tiny figure and struck again. He plunged the knife into the four-year-old's tiny chest and the crying subsided. Again and again, he repeated the savage stabbing and the blood puddled onto the sheet. Droplets of blood trickled into the little slippers on the floor. The killer was excited. His mind raced. He backed out of the dimly lit room, leaving little David Rosen crumpled between the bed and the corner. He shut the door, separating himself from the gore and carnage he had created.

The killer followed his bloody footprints back down the hallway and into the living room to his beloved Lynn. Did he think he had just imagined it all? It was done, all in less than ten minutes. Two beautiful lives ended in just ten minutes. It was like a lifetime passing before him.

Suddenly, the light from the television flickered onto Lynn's bloody body. He thought she moved. Could she still be alive? The brutal, indiscriminate butcher stood towering over Lynn's crumbled body. He became enraged, and repeated the stabbing until she lay motionless surrounded by the blood that had already began soaking into the vivid colors of the oriental carpet.

In silence he stood, mentally assessing his gruesome deed. He felt a slight gust of air and realized the front door was still open. Stepping over Lynn's body, he made his way to the foyer where the deadly struggle had begun. The bright light from the porch shone through the open door. He spotted his hat on the floor. It had fallen off during the struggle. As he reached for it, he noticed the brown paper he had wrapped around the weapon. He picked up the hat and wrapped the paper around the bloody knife. He slid the covered knife into his blue jeans pocket.

He felt a crunching sound under his feet as he walked toward the door. It was the light that had broken when he delivered the first blow. He had raised the knife above his head and hit the globe of the overhead light. It shattered on the floor. The foyer was dark. Silently, he closed the door and turned the dead bolt.

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A Thread of Evidence 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love her writing and love her true crime and feel like i am there and keeping on writing and she is a great storyteller
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of those books I couldn't put down for supper! I lived in the W.Mass. area at the time and remember the headlines. Back then murder was rare and it was the talk of the times. Joanne did a wonderful job capturing the reality of the moment. Made you feel like you were watching the events unfold before your eyes. Joanne has a rare gift of writing. I'm sure this will not be her last book, and I wish her continued success. Great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the review that says this is one that you can't put down. Joanne captures your attention from the start until the end of this story of a horrible crime. The detail shows the research that she has put into her work. I can't wait until her next story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In her first book, A Thread of Evidence, Joanne Connors-Wade has proven herself to be an inordinately skillful writer. In this fast paced book, she immediately draws the reader into a sordid story of diabolical murder in a city of friendly neighbors and intimate relationships. Hers is the story of the horror of murder as experienced by a young girl within the configuration of a peaceful city. Wade's story provides an interesting balance of a heinous crime committed i n the presumed stability of everyday life. Thoroughly gripping is her choice of descriptive narrative the characters become alive as she describes the events of the horrendous tragedy yet never does she allow the narrative to suggest, in any way, the evil doer. And when the murderer is finally identified, she carries his case to its fulmination by describing in detail the dynamics of the murderer in appropriate psychiatric terms.The book grabs ones attention immediately and I, for one, could not put it down until I had finished it. Thus, while a 'fast read,' it is well written and thoroughly documented. Here is a promising writer at the beginning of a successful future
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the tragedy happened a year before I was born, my parents and older sister were living less than two miles from the victims when it happened. I worked with Lynn Ann's dad about five or six years ago--he was about 80 years of age at the time. Nice man. I can picture in my mind the places referenced in the book--the movie theater and the drugstore (where I got my finger caught in the door and cried). I happened to be in that area today and stopped in front of the house where the murders occured. It is still a two-family house I doubt the residents even know what happened there because it was so long ago. I gave the book a 4 rating because the writing could have been smoother in spots. When I started reading the first page I found myself editing the short, choppy sentences. There are also a couple of things an editor should have picked up on. For example, toward the end of the book the author calls one of the victims by her real last name, which was Smith, not Clark. The book was a page-turner, however. It made me feel even worse when I thought of the girl's dad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed the way the book detailed the characters and the manner in which the police investigation, court procedures were explained. It gave me a feeling I was reliving the crime and feeling the emotions of the victims. I would highly recommend it. A very fast read with no lag time. Quite different from today's crime stories. For a first time writer this author deserves recognition and I hope continues to write in the manner and style she has chosen for this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember the story. I was very young at the time but it I remember how horrible it was when it was discovered who killed the twe kids. The book is very accurate with the details A fast read. Keeps you wanting more