The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders

( 45 )

Overview

From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco—using never-before-heard information from Sanford’s son Jerry Clark—tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation.

Forced by Northcott to take part in the murders, Sanford ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$17.77
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$24.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $2.56   
  • New (4) from $30.06   
  • Used (8) from $2.56   
The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$4.99
BN.com price

Overview

From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco—using never-before-heard information from Sanford’s son Jerry Clark—tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation.

Forced by Northcott to take part in the murders, Sanford carried tremendous guilt all his life. Yet despite his youth and the trauma, he helped gain some justice for the dead and their families by testifying at Northcott’s trial–which led to his conviction and execution. It was a shocking story, but perhaps the most shocking part of all is the extraordinarily ordinary life Clark went on to live as a decorated WWII vet, a devoted husband of 55 years, a loving father, and a productive citizen.

In dramatizing one of the darkest cases in American crime, Flacco constructs a riveting psychological drama about how Sanford was able to detoxify himself from the evil he’d encountered, offering the ultimately redemptive story of one man’s remarkable ability to survive a nightmare and emerge intact.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for

The Road Out of Hell

“Haunting, compassionate, and terrifyingly true, Flacco delivers an unqualified masterpiece befitting of one of the greatest cases in the annals of crime.”Gregg Olsen, New York Times Bestselling author of Starvation Heights

“And you wonder: How the hell did this guy go on to be a loving father and grandfather? How did he bury all that crap? That’s a whole story in itself.” Clint Eastwood, director of Changeling, regarding Sanford Clark

“Anthony Flacco serves this one straight from the heart. Sanford Clark is an innocent victim of deliberate evil who is nearly vanquished out of existence, but once rescued, dedicates his life of quiet courage and loving decency for family.”—Dave Pelzer, author of A Child Called It and 2005 National Jefferson Award Recipient

“In a terrifying tour de force, Anthony Flacco drops the reader into California in the 1920’s and takes us on a gut-wrenching ride through a killing rampage so hellish it makes the BTK serial killer’s spree look tame. In the midst of the carnage, an innocent is forced to kill to survive and then must fight to redeem himself. Once you pick this book up, you will not be able put it down.”—Jane Velez-Mitchell, Host of CNN’s “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell,” and author of Secrets Can Be Murder: What America’s Most Sensational Crimes Tell Us About Ourselves

“Th[is] story is one of the most horrific I know of—and I know a lot of stories. …Northcott’s crimes, which include the corruption of his nephew Sanford Clark, are certainly among the worst. Amazingly, the book not only shows us a picture of almost unimaginable evil, but also a picture of one man—Sanford Clark—who was able, beyond all expectation, to transcend the evil into which he was forced by his uncle [and] become, in the process, uncommonly good.”—Dr. Michael Stone, Host of Discovery Investigation’s “Most Evil,” Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Attending Psychiatrist in Forensics at MidHudson Forensic Psychiatric Hospital

Publishers Weekly
Crime novelist and true-crime writer Flacco (A Checklist for Murder) gives the reader a front-row seat in the harrowing Wineville, Calif., murders where, between 1926 and 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott, with the aid of his nephew Sanford Clark, killed at least 20 people at a remote chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. The unwilling accomplice Sanford was 13 when he was sent by his parents to stay with his uncle, who continually brutalized and sodomized him while killing a series of helpless boys. Flacco reconstructs the details of the grisly murders, with Northcott's dotty mother, Louise, sometimes joining the bloody mayhem. Eventually, the cops caught up with Northcott and his ritual killings, and he was hung after a sensational trial in which Sanford was the star witness. With a heartfelt epilogue by Jerry Clark, Sanford's son, this well-told tale of senseless killing, guilt and redemption of a young innocent is a page-turner. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
A 1920s rape and murder spree, re-created with grisly details both real and imagined. Between 1926 and 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott murdered at least 20 boys at a chicken ranch near Los Angeles. (The 2008 film Changeling dealt with the mother of one of his victims.) During those years, Northcott held hostage and assaulted his teenaged nephew, Sanford Clark, forcing him to assist in the killings. True-crime writer and novelist Flacco (The Hidden Man, 2008, etc.) depicts Northcott as a conscienceless monster, killing innocents he deemed inferior to demonstrate his own presumed power. He was physically repulsive as well, if the author's description of a hairy body, "more animal than human," is to be believed. Sensitive readers should take a pass on this book, given the scenes of chained, terrified children subjected to hideous sexual assault and murder. Flacco relies on court records, news accounts and his collaborator, Clark's son Jerry. He acknowledges covering gaps in the historical record with embellishments that sometimes keep the narrative chugging along, but other times bog it down. The real events are so mesmerizing, if sickening, that it seems superfluous to spend ten pages imagining Clark's thoughts as he lies imprisoned by his uncle in a boarded-up pit. Most of the book details the crimes, but Flacco ends by describing the aftermath for Clark, whose testimony against his uncle helped send Northcott to the noose. The final pages show Clark's inner strength, abetted by his loving wife and sister, taming his nightmarish memories enough to give him a decent and even admirable life. Gripping if occasionally drawn-out account of a gruesome crime wave and a victim who survived it.Author events in the Northwest and Canada. Agent: Sharlene Martin/Martin Literary Management
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402768699
  • Publisher: Union Square Press
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 785,698
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Flacco is an acclaimed author, ghost writer, screenwriter, and public speaker. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America/West, International Thriller Writers, and the Mystery Writers of America. Recent speaking engagements include MediaBistro seminars and the Jack London Writers Conference. He is also co-author of Publish Your Nonfiction Book, coming from Writer’s Digest in November. For more information, visit www.anthonyflacco.com.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Road Out of Hell

    The Wineville murders were mentioned in the film "The Changeling" and that what got me interested in learning more. Anthony Flacco's book "The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders" is an in-depth account of What Sanford Clark endured at the hands of his uncle Gordon Stewart Northcott. It is quite explicit and one must be prepared when reading this book. These murders and the treatment of Sanford are not for the faint of heart. A truly incredible non-fiction crime story.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Praise.

    I wound up reading this book in one sitting. It is stunning! Written more in the style of a novel than a true crime paperback, it recreates the crimes of Norcott against his victims, chiefly those perpetrated against his nephew Sanford Clark, in vivid and terrifying detail.The story is not for the faint of heart.
    Having read a couple of books and articles about G.S.Northcott I was already aware of the crimes and resulting court case. I wish that some of that were included in this book. Even if it had been a timeline of the crimes and trials I would have found it helpful. Since this is based on and about the life and recollections of Sanford Clark I can understand why the author chose to omit Northcott's side of the story.
    If I have two complaints they are these: The original publication had photos included in it. The Nook version of this book does not. As an avid reader of memoir and true crime, I honestly missed the photo insert that has become so ubiquitous in crime novels. Secondly, all of the dry, turn-of-the-century references to sodomy and homosexuality as, "The most infamous of crimes against nature", or "The unspeakable act of sodomy" kept drawing me out of the narrative. If it were shared as a direct quote it was understandable, but as it often is said in the midst of the authors descriptions of the crimes committed I found it an annoyance. Just say it, don't dress it up in film-noir esque quips.
    All-in-all, a great read. Highly recommended.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    A brutal story with a happy ending.

    The story of a boy who could not be destroyed and grew up to have a good life. There aren't many people who could go through what he did and come out of it still a good, decent human being.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    Unbelievable true story...

    Excellent book -- I would highly recommend it -- definitely the best true crime novel I have read...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Utterly moving! Very well written. Thank you for sharing the lif

    Utterly moving! Very well written. Thank you for sharing the life of someone so decent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    Keeps u reading

    The true story is so heart breaking that it keeps u turning turning the pages. Although the writer puts in much detail,... life tells u that much is missing in unspoken events. Details that only the monster and his victoms know. Be warned... keep the tissues close by, it is heart breaking. Tje imdite to such a killer should be placed inall our iives when meating a stranger. Stranger to us anyway

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Unbelievably sad story. It broke my heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Great book.

    OMG!!! What a story--couldn't put it down!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    WOW

    Unbelievable story! Couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Scary! Great read.

    Devastating story! Highly recommend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Great book. Captured the time and place impeccably.

    This book was so realistic from Sanford Clark's point of view when entering his thoughts that you felt you were there with him experiencing the fear, panic and horror that he constantly lived with. A really marvelous non-fiction book written right from the facts obtained from those closest to the main characters.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2011

    amazing+how+someone+could+be+normal+after+this%21

    Excellent+book%21+the+chaingling+was+a+horrible+movie+that+was+supposed+to+be+based+on+this+book%21+couldn%27t+put+the+book+down.+It+is+amazing+how+someone+could+become+a+functional+adult+after+being+exposed+to+all+of+the+trauma+this+poor+kid+endured.+This+book+is+graphic+but+an+excellent+read%21+I+strongly+recommend+this+book+for+anyone+who+likes+true+crime+stories.+The+road+out+of+hell+is+unlike+any+other+true+crime+book+ever+written.+

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    Highly Recommended!!!

    I read this book in one day...I couldn't put it down!! Very well written. When I was done reading this book I looked for more books by Mr. Flacco and found another true crime book, which was also very very good!! I will definately be watching for more of his "True Crime" books!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 7, 2010

    Truth is Stranger than Fiction

    The Road Out of Hell is a non-fiction account of the Wineville Murders written from the perspective of Sanford Clark, the fifteen year old boy that was given to the murderous pedophile, twenty one year old Gordon Stewart Wescott, by his own (Brown's) mother. Brown was kept at the chicken ranch by Wescott during the two years of Wescott's murder spree.

    The story is well-written by Falco and Jerry Clark, the son of Sanford Clark. The experiences of Sanford while at the ranch are published with much detail and only the insight one could gain from experience.

    A true story of an evil of epic proportion, one does not leave the pages unscathed. In this writer's opinion, the story of a boy who paid a price his entire life for a debt he did not owe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

    One of the best books I have ever read.

    Excellent book. Very well written. Anthony Flacco tells this story in a way that it grabs you from the beginning and you won't want to put it down. It is hard for me to comprehend such an evil uncle and the horrendous things he did to this child. How he survived all this was nothing short of a miracle & the grace of God. I am looking forward to more of his books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A perk from the author of The Road Out of Hell

    Anthony Flacco would like to personally thank any positive reviewers who take the time to enter a review here by sending them an autographed bookplate for The Road Out of Hell. To do so, just send him an email with your mailing address.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Excelent

    This is the best book I have ever read! I wish I could have met Stanford Clark, he is now my hero!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Recommend

    Very interesting book. Kept me wanting to read more

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)