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Echoes In The Darkness - Joseph Wambaugh

Echoes In The Darkness

Paperback Published: 1st September 1987
ISBN: 9780553269321
Number Of Pages: 416

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On June 25, 1989, the naked corpse of schoolteacher Susan Reinert was found wedged into her hatchback car in a hotel parking lot near Philadelphia's " Main Line." Her two children had vanished. The Main Line Murder Case burst upon the headlines--and wasn't resolved for seven years. Now, master crime writer Joseph Wambaugh reconstructs the case from its roots, recounting the details, drama, players and pawns in this bizarre crime that shocked the nation and tore apart a respectable suburban town. The massive FBI and state police investigation ultimately centered on two men. Dr. Jay C. Smith--By day he was principal of Upper Merion High School where Susan Reinert taught. At night he was a sadist who indulged in porno, drugs, and weapons. William Bradfield--He was a bearded and charismatic English teacher and classics scholar, but his real genius was for juggling women--three at a time. One of those women was Susan Reinert. How these two men are connected, how the brilliant murder was carried off, and how the investigators closed this astounding case makes for Wambaugh's most compelling book yet.

ISBN: 9780553269321
ISBN-10: 0553269321
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 1st September 1987
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 17.5 x 10.7  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.2
Edition Number: 1

Joseph Wambaugh


About the Author


Joseph Aloysius Wambaugh, Jr. ( Jan 22, 1937-- ) transformed the sub-genre of the police novel into serious writing that was both harrowing and humorous, comic and tragic. His first four books and his work on the Police Story television series in the 1970s, set new standards for subsequent writers, and many acknowledge their debt to him.

The son of a policeman, Wambaugh was an only child, born and raised in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a Roman Catholic tradition. Three of his grandparents were Irish immigrants and the fourth was a German-American whose ancestral name, Wambach, was probably altered at Ellis Island. At the age of fourteen he and his parents traveled to California to bury a relative and they decided to stay. At the age of seventeen he graduated from Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, and joined the U.S.Marine Corps for three years. While a Marine he married his high school sweetheart, Dee Allsup, and when off-duty began talking college classes. After his discharge he worked at Kaiser Steel Mill in Fontana, California, and continued his studies as a part-time student at Chaffey College while Dee worked as a telephone operator. He later became a full-time student at California State University, Los Angeles, subsidized by the G.I. Bill. He was a major in English, and earned his B.A. degree just before his 23rd birthday, intending to become an English teacher.

He happened to learn that LAPD cops were making more money than teachers, with better benefits and a more exciting job. “Almost on impulse” he took the tests and joined the Los Angeles Police Department on May 2nd 1960. During his first eight years as a cop he worked many assignments in various police divisions, and returned during his off-duty hours to his alma mater where he studied English and Spanish. He received his M.A. degree in 1968 while working as a detective sergeant at Hollenbeck Station in the barrio of Los Angeles where he found plenty of opportunity to use his Spanish. He began to "moonlight," writing about life on the city streets. Nobody other than Dee knew that he was a “closet scribbler,” but by late 1970 everyone would know.

Wambaugh and his wife raised three children and he stayed a cop through three best sellers, but eventually his growing fame made police work impossible for him and his colleagues. People would call the station with bogus crimes and ask for Sgt. Wambaugh to solve them. Suspects he arrested asked for acting roles in film adaptations. When, after multiple appearances on virtually every TV talk show, his long-time detective partner actually opened the car door for him he knew it was time to go. With regret he resigned from the LAPD in 1974 after fourteen years of service, but the scribbling never stopped.

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