America's Most Hated Woman: The Life and Gruesome Death of Madalyn Murray O'Hair

Overview

Why did Life Magazine dub her "the most hated woman in America"?

Did she unravel the moral fiber of America or defend the Constitution?

They found her heaped in a shallow grave, sawed up, and burbaned. Thus ended Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the articulate "atheist bitch" whose 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case ended school prayer. Her Christian-baiting lawsuits spanned three more decades; she was on TV all over the ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$72.88
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$90.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $6.53   
  • New (5) from $24.40   
  • Used (16) from $6.53   
Sending request ...

Overview

Why did Life Magazine dub her "the most hated woman in America"?

Did she unravel the moral fiber of America or defend the Constitution?

They found her heaped in a shallow grave, sawed up, and burbaned. Thus ended Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the articulate "atheist bitch" whose 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case ended school prayer. Her Christian-baiting lawsuits spanned three more decades; she was on TV all over the country, foul-mouthed, witty, and passionate, launching today's culture wars over same-sex marriage and faith-based initiatives.

She was a man-hater who loved sex, a bully whose heart broke for the downtrodden. She was accused of schizophrenia, alcoholism, and embezzlement, but never cowardice or sloth. She was an ideologue who spewed toxic rage even at the followers who made her a millionaire. She was a doting mother who accosted people to ask them to be sexual partners for her lonely children, and whose cannibalistic love led her children to their grave. She thrived on her fame, but just as the curtain of obscurity began to lower, the family vanished in one of the strangest of America's true crimes.

This is the real story of "the most hated woman in America," by the only author to interview the killer and those close to him and to witness the family's secret burial in Austin, Texas.

From the First Chapter
The sky was gray and drizzling, but it had stopped at the funeral home by quarter to nine. Billy Murray hadn't spoken to his three family members for more than twenty years, but he wanted to give them a decent burial.

Bill was an ordained minister, but he didn't pray over the charred, sawed-up remains. "Baptists don't pray for the dead," he said. "They either accept Christ before they died or they didn't."

He had his mother cremated in accordance with her oft-expressed wish. Her urban sat at the head of the burial vault, as was appropriate, for she had ruled the other two with an iron hand. She was Madalyn Murray O'Hair, 76, founder of American Atheists, and the Most Hated Woman in America—a sobriquet she relished.

The other two were his half-brother, Jon Garth Murray, 40, and his daughter, Robin Murray-O'Hair, 30. It had taken five years to find them and bring them to the cemetery for the service, which was kept secret from the public.

It was their second burial. Jerry Carruth, the prosecutor who had searched for the family for nearly four years, had watched them being excavated from their shallow mass grave on a South Texas ranch some months before. He was watching the shoveling, looking for the hip replacement joint Madalyn had gotten in 1988. When they found that, he'd know he'd found Madalyn.

"There it was," he said, "shining in the sun like a trailer hitch."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826416445
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 3/18/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Ann Rowe Seaman, a native of Austin, Texas, is the author of Swaggart: The Unauthorized Biography of an American Evangelist.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2007

    recommended

    I did enjoy this book. It is good reading. I also really enjoyed the fact that it had photos. I wanted to view more photos of the O'Hair family & it contained some.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2005

    A Riveting True Crime Story

    If you want to understand what is happening to American Culture read this book. Ms Ann Rowe Seaman has an unparalleled ability to research her subjects, often in dangerous situations, she has the courgae to tackle head on. She has succeeded to write a true crime story a hundred times more fascinating than fiction. Madalyn Murray O'Hair, atheist, sex fiend, articulate, hateful, was impossible to decipher until now. Ms Seaman, not only in this biography, but also in her previous one, 'Swaggart', manages to bore deep into the human psyche and show how far humans would go to achieve their goals. I highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2005

    A very good read

    This book is a fascinating look into Madalyn Murray O'hair's odd life and even odder demise

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)