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Shattered Sense of Innocence
     

Shattered Sense of Innocence

5.0 1
by Richard C Lindberg, Gloria Jean Sykes, Gloria Jean Sykes, Larry G. Axelrood (Foreword by), Gloria Jean Sykes
 

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In October 1955, three Chicago boys were found murdered, their bodies naked and dumped in a ditch in Robinson Woods on the city’s Northwest Side. A community and a nation were shocked. In a time when such crimes against children were rare, the public was transfixed as local television stations aired stark footage of the first hours of the investigation.

Overview

In October 1955, three Chicago boys were found murdered, their bodies naked and dumped in a ditch in Robinson Woods on the city’s Northwest Side. A community and a nation were shocked. In a time when such crimes against children were rare, the public was transfixed as local television stations aired stark footage of the first hours of the investigation. Life and Newsweek magazines published exclusive stories the following week. When Kenneth Hansen was convicted and sentenced for the murders, the case was considered solved—until questions were raised about Hansen’s presumed guilt.

Shattered Sense of Innocence: The 1955 Murders of Three Chicago Children tells the gripping story of the three murdered boys—thirteen-year-old John Schuessler, his eleven-year-old brother, Anton, and thirteen-year-old Bobby Peterson—and the quest to find and bring to justice their killer. Authors Richard C. Lindberg and Gloria Jean Sykes recount the bungled 1955 police investigation, the failures of multiple law enforcement agencies, and the subsequent convictions of Kenneth Hansen, in 1995 and 2002, and present new information concerning two suspects overlooked by police for five decades.

The authors deftly examine all sides of this tragic story, drawing on exclusive interviews with law enforcement agents, with horse trainers affiliated with the so-called horse mafia, and with the man convicted of the murders, Kenneth Hansen. This intensely intimate account offers a rare glimpse into one community and examines how these atrocious crimes altered public perceptions nationwide. Shattered Sense of Innocence, which is also a story of political controversy, a determined federal agent’s quest for justice, and a community’s loss of innocence, includes fifty illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“One of the most horrific crimes of the 1950s, the kidnapping, molestation, and brutal murder of three Illinois boys is brilliantly reexamined and brought back to harrowing life in Shattered Sense of Innocence. The human drama, poignancy, raw terror, and legal quest for justice captured by the authors make the book one that readers of true crime will eagerly want to read.”—Vincent Bugliosi, author of Helter Skelter
 
“[A] history book, a true crime novel, and just a good read.”Chicago Life Magazine
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809327362
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2006
Series:
Elmer H Johnson & Carol Holmes Johnson Series in Criminology Series
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
440
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Richard C. Lindberg is a journalist, a research historian, and the author of eleven books, including To Serve and Collect: Chicago Politics and Police Corruption from the Lager Beer Riot to the Summerdale Scandal, 1855–1960, the first book-length history of the Chicago Police Department published since 1887, and Chicago by Gaslight: A History of the Chicago Netherworld, 1880–1920. He is a past president of the Illinois Academy of Criminology and the Society of Midland Authors and a recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for Excellence in Research and Reportage for his work on Chicago organized crime and street gangs.
 
Gloria Jean Sykes is a documentary film producer and investigative journalist. The wide respect her work has earned is evident in Emmy nominations for three of her specials, Campaign ’90; Homelessness: A Prayer; and Children of Alcoholic Parents. She produced the prime-time NBC series What Happened?, which explores the mysteries surrounding such high-profile cases as the meltdown at Three Mile Island, and her documentaries Multiple Personalities and Marriage and Murder garnered honors as A&E’s highest-rated programs. Her first feature movie, the HBO Original Cheaters, spotlights the 1995 Steinmetz High School academic decathlon scandal. First airing in 2000, it also earned an Emmy nomination.

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Shattered Sense of Innocence 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Schuessler-Peterson murders, the long unsolved deaths of 3 boys in 1955 Chicago, have inspired three books 'Unbridled Rage,' 'Three Boys Missing,' and 'Shattered Sense of Innocence.' All are highly recommended. This is the one that may keep you awake all night. The authors are brilliant writers and the book is exhaustively researched. Many new questions are raised: Were the victims looking for someone the night they died? Why did two of the boys, Bobby Peterson and John Schuessler, report being afraid of someone? Who was the mysterious 'Mr. Potato Head?' Who was the source of screams heard in a remote area that night? What is the meaning of the puzzling forensic evidence? Who is the elusive pedophile Ken Hansen? He was convicted of the murders, but some still have doubts. Did a mystery witness secretly confess to being the real killer? Did missing heiress Helen Brach know too much? Is she the Jane Doe in the unmarked grave? Did the same killer murder Judy Andersen in 1957 and the Grimes sisters in 1956? This book is like film noir in book format. (There a a few graphic photos.) It is unquestionably one of the greatest true crime books ever written. Read it even if you have to leave the lights on all night.