I found this to be a fascinating true crime book based on a podcast about the cold case murder of Elizabeth Andes that was being reinvestigated by journalists Amber Hunt and Amanda Rossman. Andes was 23 and just days after graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio when she was found murdered in her apartment on December 28th, 1978. Her boyfriend, Bob Young, had come home and found her in the darkened apartment under an overturned dresser. She was bloody and had no pulse. The phone had been disconnected in anticipation of moving, so he ran to other apartments trying to find someone home. With it being a holiday break most students were away, and he had to run to another building before he found someone to use a phone to call police.
The police were quickly suspicious of boyfriend Bob, and after taking him in for questioning, despite his cooperation, allowing police to take hair samples, prints, etc. and repeated statements without asking for a lawyer, and even consenting to going to another town to take two polygraphs, they started coming down on him with suspicions and accusing him. After 15 hours of questioning, they got him to break and “confess”. Once he had some time to think alone quietly, he realized what a mistake he’d made, and he quickly recanted the confession and stuck to his claim of innocence thereafter. Once he was finally allowed to speak with his parents again, they got him a lawyer.
The police never looked at anyone else, despite there being several very good suspects, even after Bob Young was acquitted in a criminal trial, and again later in a civil trial brought by the parents of Beth Andes on the advice of their lawyer.
The case just lay dormant for nearly 40 years until these two journalists took a look into it after the family of Beth Andes kept trying to get the police interested repeatedly with no result. Why they pursued this story:
There are a lot of investigations out there – some with podcasts even – examining whether people were wrongly convicted of terrible crimes. This isn’t one of those. This is an investigation of the aftermath of an innocent verdict. How law enforcement — so sure that they had the right man despite two juries saying they didn’t – gave up looking for the person who strangled and stabbed Elizabeth Andes, a young woman in a college town. It wasn’t that there weren’t other people to look at. There were plenty. But no one bothered.
Thirty-seven years later, we did. If you have information you’d like to share with the Oxford Police Department about the death of Elizabeth Andes, call the department’s tip line at 513-524-5268 or email email@example.com.
To reach out to The Enquirer about this project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, authors Amber Hunt & Amanda Rossman for my fair review.
Pub: Sept. 18th, 2018
RATING: 5/5 Stars