Murder on the Rails: The True Story of the Detective Who Unlocked the Shocking Secrets of the Boxcar Serial Killer

Overview

When a down-on-his-luck Vietnam veteran is bludgeoned and stabbed to death in his campsite close to a railroad crossing, Detective Sergeant Bill Palmini has a gut feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Taking command, he swiftly embeds a trusted informant into the shadowy subculture of rail hoppers. What the veteran cop doesn't know, however, is that the murderer is already thousands of miles away and the brutal killing is just one of scores, possibly hundreds, he has committed. Following the killer's ...

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Murder on the Rails: The True Story of the Detective Who Unlocked the Shocking Secrets of the Boxcar Serial Killer

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Overview

When a down-on-his-luck Vietnam veteran is bludgeoned and stabbed to death in his campsite close to a railroad crossing, Detective Sergeant Bill Palmini has a gut feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Taking command, he swiftly embeds a trusted informant into the shadowy subculture of rail hoppers. What the veteran cop doesn't know, however, is that the murderer is already thousands of miles away and the brutal killing is just one of scores, possibly hundreds, he has committed. Following the killer's bloody trail of death and terror over an eightmonth period, Palmini learns of a violent, predatory pack of criminals: the FTRA. Freight Train Riders of America. This drug-fueled, counter-culture gang from hell lives by a vicious code of robbery, rape and murder on the rails—and Palmini's prey is one of its most feared members. The killer, Robert Silveria, is captured and Palmini begins to interrogate him. A strange, inexplicable bond forms between them. As the relationship deepens, Silveria confesses to a fourteen-year killing spree and murders in twenty eight states. At his trial, the serial killer is sentenced to life in prison and Palmini continues working with the FBI and other law enforcement groups to crack down on the vicious FTRA gang and make the nation's rails safer for all of us.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Retired California police detective Palmini's account of the career murderer Robert Silveria Jr., dubbed the Boxcar Serial Killer, is long on splatter and short on insight. Palmini himself is like a figure from a David Lynch movie-a veteran cop who received a government grant to "do Elvis impersonations to promote traffic safety among California teens and their families" through a group called Elvis and the Lawmen. After a Vietnam vet is brutally slaughtered in a transient camp near Albany, Calif., Palmini's investigation leads him to the vicious underworld community of the Freight Train Riders of America, a little-known national criminal association. His unofficial network of law enforcement contacts probing similar unsolved killings leads him to Silveria, a drug-addicted drifter whose body count may have reached triple digits and who eventually confesses to the Albany murder. Unfortunately, the narrative is less than compelling and helps demonstrate by contrast the skill of writers such as Ann Rule, who more successfully evoke both the lives that have been taken and the inner demons motivating America's long parade of serial killers. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882822433
  • Publisher: New Horizon Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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