Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder

Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder

4.5 20
by Jerry Bledsoe
     
 

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The first bodies found were those of a feisty millionaire widow and her beautiful daughter in their posh Louisville, Kentucky, home. Months later, another wealthy widow and her prominent son and daughter-in-law were found savagely slain in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mystified police first suspected a professional in the bizarre gangland-style killings that

Overview

The first bodies found were those of a feisty millionaire widow and her beautiful daughter in their posh Louisville, Kentucky, home. Months later, another wealthy widow and her prominent son and daughter-in-law were found savagely slain in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mystified police first suspected a professional in the bizarre gangland-style killings that shattered the quiet tranquility of two well-to-do southern communities. But soon a suspicion grew that turned their focus to family. The Sharps. The Newsoms. The Lynches. The only link between the three families was a beautiful and aristocratic young mother named Susie Sharp Newsom Lynch. Could this former child "princess" and fraternity sweetheart have committed such barbarous crimes? And what about her gun-loving first cousin and lover, Fritz Klenner, son of a nationally renowned doctor?

In this powerful and riveting tale of three families connected by marriage and murder.of obsessive love and bitter custody battles, Jerry Bledsoe recounts the shocking events that ultimately took nine lives, building to a truly horrifying climax that will leave you stunned..

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This book recreates a complex case that claimed nine lives, one of the more shocking crimes of recent years. The links in all the deaths were Susan Lynch and her cousin Fritz Klenner, each from a prominent, upper-middle-class Southern family. The murders began with the shootings of Lynch's ex-mother-in-law and ex--sister-in-law in Kentucky, and continued with the slayings of her parents and grandmother in North Carolina. What connected the killings was the bitter divorce between Susie and her husband Tom, and the impending custody battle for their children, particularly since it became increasingly clear that Susie regarded the boys as pawns in a power struggle. The deaths that she prepared for her two sons, and which inadvertently killed her and Klenner as well, provide a dramatic climax to this account of families too blind to realize that well-bred folk can be dangerous. Bledsoe wrote an award-winning series about the case in 1985 in the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC, QPBC and Mystery Book Club alternates. (August)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451402103
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1989
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
180,798
Product dimensions:
6.72(w) x 4.26(h) x 1.55(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I read this book was close to 20 years ago. I came across my worn copy last week, pulled it out and started reading it all over again. It has to be the most mesmerizing story I have ever read. It is very well written and impossible to put down. The first time I read it, my husband and I were going to Winston-Salem on business in our black Blazer! We live two hours west of the area where the crimes were committed, and the streets, landmarks, etc., were all so familiar. Many of the names mentioned in the book are names we know and have heard all our lives: ie, Susie Sharp, Jesse Helms, Terry Sanford. I have relatives both in Winston-Salem and Greensboro and it is mind-boggling that these events actually happened so close to home. Bledsoe's research is impeccable and he humanizes the victims and their families with details. What a nightmare for these families to live through! I will always wonder just how much Susie knew and what her involvement was in the murders.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS IS THE MOST INCREDIBLE STORY YOU WILL EVER READ! No writer of fiction could have ever conceived of such a story. When they say fact is stranger this fiction, it is true. Once you start to read this book, you can't put it down, you can't think of anything but the story, and you certainly are shocked by the ending - I actually burst out in tears with shock and sorrow. Amazing. Buy it, read it, and let's get Jerry Bledsoe to write more than three true crime books (the other two are good books as well) but Bitter Blood is a book you will NEVER forget!
Guest More than 1 year ago
WoW!! I read this book about 12 years ago and I still remember it being so remarkable! I bought a small book titled,'What I read ' because I'd like to start keeping track of all the books I've read, etc.. I thought for just a few seconds as to 'The best book I've ever read' and it defiantely is 'Bitter Blood'. Excellent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I READ JERRY BLEDSOE WHEN HE WROTE FOR THE THE GREENBORO NEWS AND RECORD. BITTER BLOOD WAS THE FIRST BOOK I READ BY HIM. IT WAS A BOOK THAT I WAS NOT ABLE TO PUT DOWN. I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN ROCKINGHAM COUNTY SO THIS MADE THE BOOK THAT MUCH MORE INTERESTING. I LOVE THE WAY HE COVERS FAMILY HISTORY AND BACKGROUND IN NEARLY EVERYTHING HE WRITES. BITTER BLOOD IS FULL OF CHILLING SUSPENSE.THE STORY FOLLOWS THESE FAMILIES FROM BEGINNING TO END. A MUST READ FOR ANY ONE THAT ENJOYS TRUE CRIME.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book several times. Each time, I realize another aspect of the people invloved. It is a gripping tale from start to finish. I only hope the survivors have found some peace in their lives after such a tragedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found it hard to keep all the people and facts straight. Also riddled with spelling and gramatical errors, it seemed every few pages. No proof read? The author did a nice job of researching the book and the story of the individuals involved was comprehensive.
gutterball More than 1 year ago
I found the book a fascinating read. I was going though each chapter as the book is based actual events and could not put the book down. Families were all affected on the outcome of events that took place in North Carolina. The legal system failed Tom and how many times have we heard that. Cousin Fritz and susie took evrything to the extreme which put oil in the fire. Excellent book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bitter Blood was one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. It was so vivid and describing that it never left me hanging or wishing that I had never picked up the book in the first place to read it. I absolutely couldn't put it down. I look forward to reading some of his other books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have ever read and I have read many true crime books. Mr Bledsoe has more than done his homework for this one. He indeed leaves no stone uncovered. It is a page turner from beginning to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So interesting, of course I couldn't put it down. Such good writing. And the story is absolutely un-believable. Bledsoe is one of the best!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I used to live in Greensboro at the time the explosion occured. I also knew one of the family members, a classmate of mine from grad school at UNCGreensboro. I can even remember the hailstorm the day of the explosion. I currently live in Lexington, KY, about a block away from where Susie Lynch lived with Tom. This book is well written. Fantastic read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Since I'm a devotee of Anne Rule I look for similar true life crime stories. This surely fulfilled my hopes of finding an author in her tradition. The insight that Bledsoe gives of each and every character brings the reader right into the midst of such an extraordianry family horror. As each murder unfolds , one can't imagine that something worse is yet to come - but it does culminating in the deaths of those two dear little boys. we are surely left with the hope that social service agencies, law enforcement groups and domestic relation lawyers may learn from this tragedy since it must have affected many. many lives in that section of the country. It definitely is a 5 star book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
freetheworldofguns More than 1 year ago
Jim and John didn't need to die. The authorities failed....Davidson is a hero!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one  held my attention and that's hard to do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a relative of this family you often wonder why this happened to such a wonderful southern family. It is sad that the murders have over taken all the goodness that these people did for so many. it would be nice to remember the families and not just the murder of a family. yvonne
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Upon moving to winston salem 20 years ago I read the book. It was wonderfuly written. Several years ago the home came on the market in WS where the families were murdered. We considered it since it is a beautiful estate, but considering it' history had to pass.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before I read this book, I wasn¿t a big fan of the ¿True Crime¿ genre. I tried to read the Zodiac book, but it felt more like a police report than anything else. You couldn¿t really connect with the people involved. At least I couldn¿t. So I was hesitant to read this one. I live around Winston-Salem, where most of the action in the book takes place, and it seems like everyone around here has read it and loved it. So I gave it a shot. I¿m so glad I did. The book reads like a novel. It¿s not just boring lifeless facts. I was also impressed with how Mr. Bledsoe handled the story. It¿s a massive, complex tale and the author was able to take you through it step by step so you never get lost. If you normally aren¿t a fan of True Crime, I suggest you try out this book anyway. It rivals any fiction mystery out there.