Friday, May 22, 2009

Bluegrass-A True Story of Murder in Kentucky by William Van Meter

Most of the time when reading a true crime story you come away with some feeling as to whether Justice has been served or not. You usually have an opinion of who is really guilty and who goes scot free. Not so with this book.

The cast of characters includes the scion of the wealthy Dollar General Stores chain, Luke Goodrum, accused of murdering and burning the body of a young Western Kentucky University female student, Katie Autry,in her dorm room. Also implicated, and later convicted, is Stephen Soules, a mixed race teenage boy who will ultimately spend the rest of his life in jail for a crime he participated in, but may not have planned.

The trial takes on the issues of race, money and influence in a world where money can put a spin on the most heinous of crimes,possibly influencing the verdict.

Bowling Green, Kentuck in 2003 is the setting for this crime that rocked the community. The family of the the accused Luke Goodrum, has at it's disposal the money and the technology to represent their son in court with charts, experts and even utilizes local polling to see how they will fare in court. The mixed race boy, with a poor, working class family, has none of these advantages. The victim, Katie Autry, is largely forgotten in some respects as the old and new order jockey for position in a trial that could cost one or both of them to lose their lives.

The outcome is almost clear from the beginning. What makes this book so interesting is that at the end you are still not sure if justice has been served- or cheated.

No comments:

Post a Comment