Slayer Of Innocence
The book details in first person narrative the true events of a lengthy investigation and nine-day, twenty-four hour surveillance of a suspected pedophile serial killer at the State Fair in Springfield, Illinois. Over a period of seven years, from 1972 until 1979, sixteen (16) young boys who's ages ranged from seven to fourteen, disappeared. They had been victims of nonfamily abductions, commonly known as stranger abductions. Fourteen were found murdered in much the same manner and type of locations. Two of the victims have never been found. In almost all the cases, a railroad track or switchyard was nearby and in many cases a county or state fair was in progress.
In July and August of 1979, in a joint effort led by Lieutenant Donald Benassi and I of the Pekin Illinois Police Department, city, county, and state, detectives from Lincoln, Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska, Rock Island, Illinois, Normal, Illinois, Springfield, Illinois, Fort Madison, Iowa, Topeka, Kansas, Ottawa, Kansas, Chandler, Arizona and Santa Ana, California worked desperately to gather evidence and locate one suspect originally developed by a detective in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1976 before he could kill again. This suspect, a lifelong hobo, nicknamed "Freight Train" because of his ability to imitate the sounds of a freight train whistle, rode the rails, drank wine and worked at state and county fairs helping cattlemen clean up. Dubbed The Pied Piper of The Fair Grounds by Lt. Benassi, he was well liked among the cattlemen and children. However, his friendly personality could turn deadly in a flash, especially, when someone called him a bum or tramp. While we searched desperately for this man, he was popping the anti-psychotic drug Thorazine and drinking cheap wine while riding the rails and enjoying life to the fullest at state and county fairs and cattle shows all across America.
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