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Body Count

Body Count

4.0 10
by Burl Barer

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He Seemed So Normal . . .

By day, Robert Lee Yates, Jr., was a respected father of five, a skilled helicopter pilot who served in Desert Storm and the National Guard, and a man no one suspected of a deadly hidden life. By night he prowled the streets where prostitutes gathered, gaining their trust before betraying them with a bullet to the head.


He Seemed So Normal . . .

By day, Robert Lee Yates, Jr., was a respected father of five, a skilled helicopter pilot who served in Desert Storm and the National Guard, and a man no one suspected of a deadly hidden life. By night he prowled the streets where prostitutes gathered, gaining their trust before betraying them with a bullet to the head.

On August 26, 1997, the decomposed bodies of two young women were discovered in Spokane, Washington. Within months four more women were added to the mounting death toll.

In 2000, Yates pleaded guilty to thirteen murders to avoid the death penalty. But in 2001 he was convicted of two more murders and is now on death row in Washington State, waiting for the day when he will die by lethal injection.

Updated with the latest disturbing developments, awardwinning author Burl Barer's reallife thriller is a shocking portrait of one man's depravity.

"Brilliant investigative journalism. . .a nonstop chilling thrill ride into the mind of an evil and savage killer." Dan Zupansky, author of Trophy Kill

Includes 16 pages of photos

"A must read." True Crime Book Reviews

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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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1 MB

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Body Count 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BODY COUNT tells the true story of the Spokane Serial kiiler, from his first murders over 25 years ago, up to the 13 homicides recently in Spokane, Washington. The book covers the investigation, the lives of the victims, and the killer and his family. The photo section is excellent, too. Most impressive is the compassion and care Barer uses when telling of the victims and their lives. This is one of the best true crime books I have ever read.
sfc95 More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this crime thriller. I do like true crime, but like some other true crime books I have read or attempted to read this one had too many details that did not lend themselves to the story. It was as if the author wanted a 330 page book rather than the 250 page book that may have been a better read. The story is there, the thrills are there, you just have to look real hard through the wordy descriptions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy the writer's approach to documenting this serial killer's string of murders. The writing was very matter of fact, quoting a lot from the police transcripts, rather than trying to get us in the mind of the killer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how this book was written..so many lives lost .. sad their are monsters out there !! I felt close to these victims by the way the author wrote, you feel you kno them all. He mentioned everyone .... Bn
Guest More than 1 year ago
Body Count was a very interesting read. As an avid true crime fan, I don't remember hearing about the Yates case until now. Burl Barer perfectly balanced Yates' background with the investigation and victims' stories. Ann Rule is still my favorite true crime author, but Burl Barer is a close second. The reason why I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 was because of several typographical errors throughout the book and the name of one victim not being consistent throughout the book. As a proofreader, these errors stood out and bothered me. If readers ignore these things, you will enjoy reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is always a lag time between when a bok is written and when it appears on the bookshelves -- time for me to get a sense of perspective on my own work. The last minute rush to get this one out on time resulted in a few minor typos, but overall I'm very pleased with the final version of BODY COUNT. My goal was to engender feelings of compassion for the victims and their families, and overcome the appathy that usually accompanies the murder of "prostitutes." According to the press reviews, I achieved my goal. I also wanted to portray the frustrations of detective work, and the difficulty of investigating a serial sex killer. The book is readable, true, and authentic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Burl Barer has done it again with a terrifying yet compelling true crime story of a serial killer. It couldn't be more timely with the recent spate of kidnapping and abductions. The pictures are graphic and are every parent or loved one's worst nightmare. This is true crime writing at its finest. Mr. Barer knows how to write true crime better than most and is adept at telling the story without it becoming salacious. A remarkable book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a bad read at all... It took a while but I finally got sucked in. 
GingerDawnHarman More than 1 year ago
Body Count by Burl Barer A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman "Murders have three essential elements," explained Detective Skeeters. "They are as follows: motive, means, and opportunity. The `means' in this crime was a handgun, the `opportunity' was the seclusion of a couple's picnic site, but the motive was something that couldn't be ascertained." Burl Barer applies in- depth research of the murderous crimes of serial killer Robert Yates in Spokane and Tacoma, WA from 1975 - 1998. This personal True Crime novel was one that the author undertook with dignity, understanding, and sympathy. Not only did the author live in the area but knew some of the victims and their families. Burl Barer has put together a highly readable, extremely accurate, and well investigated book that digs into Robert Yates childhood background and crimes. Before reading this book I was under the impression that for the most part the inexcusable prejudices of the work of a prostitute were given little thought or consideration by police. After all, some say they asked for it. I felt the author was clear when he stated that, "when a prostitute is murdered, there is not a united public outrage. It's sad, but for some reason these victims, who were wives, mothers, and someone's child." This humanistic outlook allows healing to the families and more importantly understanding without prejudice by the reader. These women were thrown on the side of the road like trash while ex-military security forces Robert Yates continues to attend church while celebrating fatherhood with his own two children. The frustration and determination can be felt by the reader as each new body is found. One might find many similarities of Yates psychosis to that of Ted Bundy. As Yates becomes more and more desperate to kill and in order to quench his own sexual thirst he buries Melody Murfin in his backyard by his bedroom window. Yet, the descriptions and use of Locard's Principal of Exchange helps homicide detectives and FBI to close in. From the very start of this book to the end I was hooked. I have read a lot of true crime books in my life and very few have required me to focus on the victims and the family members. It is easy to write a book that gives the hard facts, data, dates, and details. Yet, Burl Barer digs deeper into the life of not only the killer but each victim. I have been a fan of Burl Barer for many years. His style is engaging, addicting, and purposeful. He is an expert in his field and does not hold back. Toward the end of this book one can read the statement to the victims by Robert Yates along with statements from the family members of the victims. I was most touched by the letter that Robert Yates daughter wrote. Furthermore the reader is able to view crime scene photos along with the evidence that was collected. Some may find this disturbing but Burl Bares tackles the issue with grace. I highly recommend Body Count by Burl Barer. Additionally, I hope you too will become a fan of an amazing, talented, and entertaining author: Burl Barer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago