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Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson
     

Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson

4.1 11
by William Swanson
 

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At 9:00 on the morning of March 6, 1963, in the quiet St. Paul neighborhood of Highland Park, Mrs. Fritz Pearson glanced out her window and saw something almost unimaginable: slumped on the front steps of the home across the street was a woman, partially clothed in a blue bathrobe and bloodied beyond recognition. The woman, Mrs. Pearson would come to learn, was her

Overview

At 9:00 on the morning of March 6, 1963, in the quiet St. Paul neighborhood of Highland Park, Mrs. Fritz Pearson glanced out her window and saw something almost unimaginable: slumped on the front steps of the home across the street was a woman, partially clothed in a blue bathrobe and bloodied beyond recognition. The woman, Mrs. Pearson would come to learn, was her beloved neighbor Carol Thompson, wife and mother of four.

Earlier that morning, T. Eugene Thompson, known to friends as "Cotton," dropped his son off at school and headed to the office, where he worked as a criminal attorney. At 8:25 am, he phoned home, later telling police that he did so to confirm evening plans with Carol. Mr. Thompson lied.

Through police records, court transcripts, family papers, and extensive interviews, William Swanson has re-created Middle America's "crime of the century," the deadly plot by a husband that made headlines around the world. But Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson also tracks the lives of the Thompsons' children. Their journey from disbelief to acceptance culminates in a private family trial where they decide whether their father truly was responsible for the violent act that crushed their childhood and forever altered their views of the world.

"Engrossing, emotionally compelling. . . . An unlikely tale of resilience and redemption, told in a sensitive, straightforward fashion."—Entertainment Weekly (graded "A")

"I have never read a book that dealt so expertly and dramatically with the private lives of those who survive incomprehensible tragedy. I highly recommend it."—Ann Rule, author of Green River, Running Red

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran Minneapolis journalist Swanson has crafted a compelling look at the brutal 1963 murder of a local housewife, a case that attracted international attention. With a novelist's skill, the author opens with the morning of the crime, when a neighbor found the bloodied and battered Carol Thompson at her door in a quiet St. Paul suburb. The victim died soon after reaching a nearby hospital, leaving behind a grieving husband and four children. The dogged police investigation rapidly saw through the family's Norman Rockwell facade, and the widower's long history of philandering enabled them to focus on identifying the hit men he employed for the crime. Despite a careful murder plot with many elements just like Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, the execution of the contract was bungled, and T. Eugene Thompson was quickly given up by his associates. This slim volume stands out from similar explorations of local crimes that have long been forgotten by the nation, thanks to the sensitive and detailed attention given to the characters of Carol Thompson's murderers and of her children and their attempts to come to terms with the horrific reality of their mother's death. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"I have never read a book that dealt so expertly and dramatically with the private lives of those who survive incomprehensible tragedy.I highly recommend it!"

Ann Rule, author of Green River, Running Red and Worth More Dead

"A riveting account of St. Paul’s most celebrated murder case, but with a twist. Especially fascinating is Swanson’s description of the second ‘trial’ of T. Eugene Thompson, conducted by the children themselves after his release from prison."

Larry Millett, author of Strange Days, Dangerous Nights: Photos from the Speedgraphic Era and Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders

"Engrossing, emotionally compelling. . . . An unlikely tale of resilience and redemption, told in sensitive, straightforward fashion."--Entertainment Weekly, March 3, 2006

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873516679
Publisher:
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date:
02/01/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
212
Sales rank:
84,764
File size:
706 KB

Meet the Author

William Swanson, a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, has written and edited for various publications in the Twin Cities and elsewhere for more than thirty years

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Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived two blocks away from the Thompson's, it was shocking to have this happen so close! Glad a book was written to explain what happened!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That was my great Unlce Fritz who tried to help Carol. Sad story. I have yet to fully read the book but will now. Heard very little of details growing up. Remember T Eugne getting off after only 20 years. Sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. After the people I shared it with have finished reading it, I'm sure we will have a good discussion about the murder.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a surprisingly interesting book considering the crime happened so long ago i felt i knew this family
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