One Deadly Night

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Overview

On September 28, 2000, former Indiana State Trooper David Camm made a frantic call to his former colleagues in the state troopers office: He'd just walked into his garage, and found lying on the floor the bodies of his 35-year-old wife, Kim, and their two children, Brad and Jill, ages 7 and 5.

This was the kind of crime that could tear the heart out of a community. The Camm's lived the American Dream. They had what seemed like a loving marriage, a nice little house with a white ...

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One Deadly Night

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Overview

On September 28, 2000, former Indiana State Trooper David Camm made a frantic call to his former colleagues in the state troopers office: He'd just walked into his garage, and found lying on the floor the bodies of his 35-year-old wife, Kim, and their two children, Brad and Jill, ages 7 and 5.

This was the kind of crime that could tear the heart out of a community. The Camm's lived the American Dream. They had what seemed like a loving marriage, a nice little house with a white picket fence, and two adorable children. To top it all off, David Camm was a pillar of the community who had dedicated his career to the enforcement of the law and the sanctity of human life. Then, this happened.

Three days later, it got worse when police arrested David Camm for the triple murder. Soon, new stories started emerging: stories about mistresses and violent bursts of temper. And as the ugly truth about the Camms' marriage got uglier and the evidence against David started piling up, two families-and the community at large-took positions at opposite sides of a yawning and bitter divide.

Was David Camm a dedicated, conscientious public servant-the victim of unspeakable tragedy, railroaded by an unfair system? Or was he a cold-hearted murderer who earned his three murder convictions and every one of the 195 years behind bars to which he was sentenced?

Investigative journalist John Glatt finds out in this gripping new book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A blockbuster...stomach-turning [and] detailed." -The Globe on Internet Slavemaster

"An exhaustive account....A creepy but mesmerizing read." -Woman's Own on Internet Slavemaster

"A shocking expose of clergymen who kill.' -National Examiner on For I Have Sinned

"Fascinating reading" -Arizona Republic on Evil Twins

"[Glatt] certainly comes through with the goods...recommended." -Library Journal on The Royal House of Monaco

"A winner" -Kirkus on The Royal House of Monaco

"How do you say 'juicy' in French?" -People Magazine on The Royal House of Monaco

"A shocking expose of clergymen who kill.' -National Examiner on For I have Sinned

"Fascinating reading" -Arizona Republic on Evil Twins

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312993092
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/3/2005
  • Series: St. Martin's True Crime Library Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: with Late-Breaking News
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.27 (w) x 6.67 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

English-born John Glatt is the author of Lost and Found, Secrets in the Cellar, Playing with Fire, and many other bestselling books of true crime. He has more than 30 years of experience as an investigative journalist in England and America. Glatt left school at 16 and worked a variety of jobs—including tea boy and messenger—before joining a small weekly newspaper. He freelanced at several English newspapers, then in 1981 moved to New York, where he joined the staff for News Limited and freelanced for publications including Newsweek and the New York Post. His first book, a biography of Billy Graham, was published in 1981, and he published For I Have Sinned, his first book of true crime, in 1998. He has appeared on television and radio programs all over the world, including Dateline NBC, Fox News, A Current Affair, BBC World News, and A&E Biography. He and his wife Gail divide their time between New York City, the Catskill Mountains and London.

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Read an Excerpt

1

Roots

David Camm’s family traces its ancestors back to the fourteenth century and the legendary Scottish crusader Sir Symon Locard, who carried Robert the Bruce’s heart into battle in the Holy Land. As the custodian of the key to the casket that contained Bruce’s heart, Sir Symon was later honored by having his name officially changed to Lockheart, later abbreviated to the modern Lockhart.

One of his illustrious family’s most treasured possessions is a bound volume called Lockhart Roots. It proudly bears their coat of arms, consisting of a lion, a cross and a sword, meaning defenders of Christian freedom. Written above is the family motto: “Corda Serata Pando”—Latin for “I Open Locked Hearts.”

In 1683 Captain James Lockhart carried the family name to America, when he and his sons settled in Virginia and prospered. They made their money transporting new immigrants from England to Virginia.

The Lockharts lived in Russell County, Virginia, for the next two centuries, becoming frontiersmen. They were the first of a tough breed of pioneers who moved south, forcibly taking large areas of Virginia away from the Native Americans.

“They had such fear of God in their hearts that it left no room for fear of man,” wrote David Camm’s maternal grandfather, Amos Lockhart, in his 1989 self-published family history, When We Were Young. “Short in material goods, they were long on faith. They were taking God at his promise.”

Amos’ father, John Patton Lockhart, also known as “J. P.,” was born near Honaker, Virginia, on May 7, 1881. At the age of 24 in September 1905, he married Elizabeth A. Thompson, who bore a son, Swanson Banner Lockhart, exactly ten months later.

On January 9, 1908, David’s grandfather Amos H. Lockhart was born and three years later J. P. started his own ministry and began preaching all over the South. In 1916, J. P. moved his wife and children into a small train station in Artrip, West Virginia. And over the next few years he became a traveling minister, preaching on horseback through the mountains of Tennessee and West Virginia and setting up numerous ministries.

“Nothing stopped him,” Amos wrote. “He kept going, hardly knowing the future results.”

J. P., who had thirteen children, relied on collection plate proceeds at his revival meetings, or the good-will donations afterwards, where he could expect live chickens, canned goods or bacon to feed his growing family.

As Amos and his brothers and sisters were growing up they were constantly on the move as the family crisscrossed the South on revival tours, where J. P.’s mission was to convert people to his self-styled version of Scottish Presbyterianism. During their many trips all over the South, J. P. and young Amos would camp out in a tent and live rough.

Amos’ father always carried his Bible, striking up conversations with any strangers they met.

“Soon they would know he was a preacher,” wrote Amos. “And soon he was invited to a home or homes to sing, have prayer meetings and preach. What I liked about these religious services was the good woman home-cooked meals.”

In the early 1920s Amos was a strong, strapping teenager and he and his friend Hollie Bloomer lived the hobo life, looking for work. Sometimes they jumped freight trains and got into many “mischievous” scrapes during their various adventures.

“We were not murderers nor the worst of people,” Amos later wrote. “Neither were we saints.”

In 1929, 21-year-old Amos moved to New Castle, Indiana, where he worked on the inspection line at the Chrysler car factory. But after losing his job in the Depression he moved to Boyle County, in Kentucky, where he met a tobacco farmer’s daughter, a beautiful blue-eyed blonde named Daisy B. Belcher.

Just 15 years old, Daisy, whose family was originally from Germany, was one of seven children and her parents struggled to put food on the table. By the time 21-year-old Amos met Daisy, he had dated many “nice respectable young ladies.” But soon after meeting “this Belcher damsel,” they married.

Looking back on his November 1, 1930, wedding more than fifty-eight years later in his memoir, Amos would quote Chapter 18, Verse 22 of the book of Proverbs: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.”

Amos and Daisy would have nine children, starting with a son, Carlin, who was born on December 28, 1932. Just over two years later, on February 4, 1935, David Camm’s mother, Delpha Susie, was born. And over the next twenty years Daisy bore a further seven children: Leland, Nelson, Gloria, Sam, Phyllis, Kathy and Deborah.

The Lockhart children always had a strong family bond, looking after each other in business and helping any member who might fall on hard times. Years later this would be put to the test with David Camm.

Delpha Susie’s first memories are of the countryside around Danville, Kentucky. When she was a little girl she attended her grandfather J. P. Lockhart’s church, where her father was also a lay minister.

“My father did everything you can think of,” she remembered. “He sold insurance, he sold Bibles and he worked in the coal mines of eastern Kentucky.”

The family lived on a small farm and Amos would travel to wherever the work was, once moving his dutiful wife and children to the Blue Diamond Coal Mining Camp for a year. Delpha Susie, who dropped her first name as a young girl, went to grade school in Junction City, Kentucky, with her older brother and sisters.

In the early 1950s Amos worked for Southern Railroad, finding a job as a fireman on the Louisville-to-Danville run. Eventually he found full-time work as an engineer with the L & N Railroad based in Louisville, moving the family 50 miles northwest across the Ohio River to New Albany, Indiana.

New Albany is a true slice of Americana, lying directly across the river from the more cosmopolitan Louisville. With just fifteen thousand families living there, the town embraced small-town American values, with everybody literally knowing everybody’s business.

New Albany rests on the banks of the Ohio River, which the early French settlers first named “La Belle Rivière,” meaning Beautiful River. Even today it has little in common with the twenty-first century, moving at its own pace with little thought of the outside world.

Before the French and English arrived in the seventeenth century, this scenic part of southern Indiana housed many Native American tribes, including the Wyandotte, Miami, Shawnee and Potawatomi. During the American Revolution in 1778, General George Rogers Clark led an expeditionary force across the Ohio River, capturing three key strategic forts from the British. Five years later, in recognition of the part he played in winning the war, the new Virginia legislature awarded Clark and his men 150,000 acres of land, which today houses Floyd and neighboring Clark Counties.

Since General Clark and his ancestors began settling southern Indiana two centuries ago, the Ohio River has shaped the area’s economic and cultural development. Throughout the nineteenth century, steamboats glided along the river past the growing city of New Albany, bringing hordes of tourists to gamble. And in 1875 the first Kentucky Derby, across the river in Louisville, put the whole area on the map.

But in January 1937 disaster struck when heavy rain caused the Ohio River to break its banks, inflicting millions of dollars in damage on New Albany and its neighboring towns of Clarksville and Jeffersonville. To prevent another costly flood a network of floodwalls and levees was completed in 1945 and some years later an even more ambitious $8-million floodwall was constructed around Louisville.

To this day Floyd County is a rural throwback to a time when American life was simpler and far less commercial. It boasts many unspoiled nineteenth century farm houses, and Greek revival-influenced churches around, as religion plays a crucial role in the life of Floyd County.

By the time the Lockhart family arrived in 1954, Susie was an attractive 19-year-old girl. Like the rest of her large family, she attended the New Albany First Church of God and sang in the choir.

Soon after joining the church, Susie befriended another choir member named Margaret Camm, who was two years her senior.

“It just happened that I borrowed a suitcase from Margaret to go to my brother Leland,” said Susie. “Donald Camm was there and I was introduced.”

Don Camm was a handsome 24-year-old U.S. Air Force flight engineer, who was flying Typhoons out of Guam during the Korean War. Don’s father, William Camm, hailed from Liverpool, England, having emigrated to America in the late 1920s, when he was 24 years old.

A couple of weeks after they met, Don had to return to his base in Massachusetts to complete his four-year service. On his release he returned to New Albany.

“He asked me to marry him,” remembered Susie. “And we were married on February 9, 1956.”

The newlyweds moved into a small house on the rural fringes of New Albany, with several relatives as neighbors. Don found a job as a mechanic with a chemical company called BF Goodrich, which made an assortment of rubber products, including car tires. Susie became a homemaker.

One year after they married, Susie became pregnant and in 1958 their first child, Donnie, was born. Three years later a daughter named Julie followed. And then on March 23, 1964, at Floyd Memorial Hospital, New Albany, David Ray made his entrance into the world.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2005

    Needs Another Edit

    I live in the town that this occurred in and am familiar with the trial. The book was informative, but didn't tell much beyond what the press told. Beyond that it was very poorly written and edited. The redundancy was annoying (example: too often when David Camm's name appeared it was preceeded by an unnecessary adjective. Every time his sister's name appeared, throughout the entire book, it was indicated that she was his sister. I think everyone would get that in the first fifty times it was mentioned, no need to keep mentioning it.). There is reference to Camm driving his wife and children to her family's house on Thanksgiving morning to have breakfast and open presents. Who opens presents on Thanksgiving? Did the author mean CHRISTMAS? Also, there were many places in the surrounding towns that were referred to by incorrect names and then referred to again later by the correct names (ex: Slate Creek is Silver Creek, there is no New Albany Memorial Hospital, it is Floyd Memorial Hospital and it is JeffersonVILLE, Indiana not Jefferson, Indiana). The description of the town is not quite accurate either. I mean, I didn't even recognize it as the town I live in based on the author's description. Lastly, at the end of the book (beginning page 319), there are so many errors,it's ridiculous. Debbie Renn is correctly referred to as Kim's sister and a few sentences later, as David's sister. In the following few pages so much is repeated,literally entire sentences, I didn't even finish the rest. You could seriously cut out about 100 pages if you took out everything that was repeated and irrelevant. You have to wonder, with all the errors, how much effort was put forth in writing this book. People that are not familiar with the case or town will probably be intrigued, but to someone who lives here, it was just reused media information.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Still Worth your time...

    and money. Particularly if you are not from the Indiana community and/or were not following the trial closely as it took place.I agree with other reviewers that the editing and geographic errors were irksome. Nonetheless, for the rest of us, these were forgivable if the other important detail wass not subtantially inaccurate. Presuming that, Glatt provides another extensive study of the evolution of evil. Which is why the writer's treatment of David Camm's, and other socio-skunk's, early life is critical to the book. Or if you believe, as many arguably do, that there is [And I say "is" because it's not over yet as of this review!!] reasonable doubt as to David Camm's guilt, this book is an excellent illustration of the post-O.J. jury backlash.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2009

    Not worth it

    Just couldn't get into it.Although i liked John Blatt's book on Melanie McGuire.This one spent the first 7 chapters tellin me about this guys life from his little league team to his prom to his college days to his first job and on and on and on.Who cares? Get to the meat and potatos.A big bore.But once again,his "to have and to kill" book about Melanie was very good.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    Justice was Served, but the Editing was a Crime!

    The editing is terrible and the book contains many mistakes. I grew up in this community, and all the incorrect names within the surrounding community took a while to figure out. I will admit that I got up during the night serveral times to make sure that my doors were locked and the children were all in their beds. Reading this book reminds you that are evil people, like David Camm, in the world.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Scary...

    This wasn't the best written of true crime books but it kept my attention as it literally hit close to home. I am an Indiana resident and was born and raised in Michigan City where David Camm was imprisoned for some time. There's a twist in thr epilogue that you don't see coming. I would be interested in researching this case some more to see what the final outcome was. Worth reading for sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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