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The early life of Juanita Slusher, born in 1935 in Edna, TX, was one that few would envy, and Schwarz (The Hillside Strangler) tells her story in honest detail. After a difficult childhood, this teenage runaway became a victim of a kidnapping/prostitution ritual in Dallas, where she was abused physically, sexually, and emotionally. Eventually, a passion for dancing provided money and fame in Las Vegas as Candy Barr, a burlesque stripper with a talent for improvising to live music. Yet, her life was still plagued with numerous complications as a succession of men-boyfriends, husbands, and mobsters-exploited Juanita, leading to her being framed for drug possession, sent to prison, and tracked by would-be murderers. Her friendship with Jack Ruby also moved her into an unwelcome spotlight after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Schwarz completed more than 100 hours of exclusive interviews with Slusher, and he does an excellent job of portraying her painful and complex life and times. Although he describes the places, people, and events well, additional emphasis on their social/cultural context would have provided an even sharper focus. For circulating libraries.
—Carol J. Binkowski