Immortalized in the spellbinding documentary Dear Zachary, this angry, raw, and brutally honest true crime memoir of murder and loss chronicles a system's failure to prevent the death of a child.
In November 2001, the body of a young doctor named Andrew Bagby was discovered in Keystone State Park outside Latrobe, Pennsylvania, five bullet wounds in his face, chest, buttocks, and the back of the head. For parents Dave and Kate, the pain was unbearable? But Andrew's murder was only the first in a string of tragic events.
The chief suspect for Andrew's murder was his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner? Whom was also a doctor. Obsessive and unstable, Shirley Turner lied to the police and fled to her family home in Newfoundland before she could be arrested. While fending off extradition efforts by U.S. law enforcement, she announced she was pregnant with Andrew's son, Zachary. The Bagbys hoping to gain custody of Zachary moved to Newfoundland and began a long, drawn-out battle in court and with Canadian social services to protect their grandson from the woman who had almost certainly murdered their son. Then, in August 2003, Shirley Turner killed herself and the one-year-old Zachary by jumping into the Atlantic Ocean.
Dance with the Devil is a eulogy for a dead son, an elegy for lives cut tragically short, and a castigation of a broken system.
©2007 David Bagby (P)2016 ListenUp Production, LLC
The reading was flawless, as was the book.
Taking the advice the advice of other reviewer(s), I dutifully sat and watched the documentary "Dear Zachary." I laughed at Andrew's clowning, and cried, as the editing and film-making had such an impact, found myself ready to kill a lot of people in the Canadian justice system, not to mention Carol Ross and that idiotic psychiatrist. Not that our judicial system is any better. My husband couldn't finish watching just before part II started, but I did. Somehow I felt it was my duty, after all one of my sons is the same age as Andrew.
So I bought the book because from watching the documentary, I felt a bond with Andrew, Kate, David, Zachary, Kurt, and all of those wonderful friends. The Bagby's are all too human, but humans anyone would be proud to know. Through his writing, he expressed the unimaginable, and even though I only finished it, I plan to listen again. The book and the film should be mandatory for everyone in the judicial and child care systems of the world, not just on this continent.
If you listen to only one true crime book, listen to or read this one. If you are impatient, the book might not be for you, but I believe the loss of these two lives should stand for something. Getting to know the Bagby's a bit through the film and book, I think if they can be the catalyst for sweeping changes so that this type of thing never happens again, they will then know their son and grandson live on in the hearts and minds of so many. I will never forget, but that is of small consequence because I am not a law-maker nor in the child care system. But one of my sons is the same age as Andrew, and my own son's face would sometime blend in with Andrew's as I watched, and as I listen, because I do see mental images as I listen.
On the one hand the story is extremely heart-breaking. On the other hand, the amount of love in it is stupefying. My love goes out to the family and friends left behind.
Matching socks is for newbs.
Yes. But I'll need time to digest this and ponder before listening again. It's quite emotional. From intense sadness to a anger ablaze, I was tossed about with each chapter. At times, I had to stop the book and just think for a minute about what was unfolding.
Excellent, fabulous narrator. I'd not heard him before this but now I'll try to find more books narrated by him. Truly talented. His inflection was spot on all the way through. This story is purely maddening and Edwards captures the anger.
I've watched Dear Zachary three times. The first time I saw the film, I'd never heard of the case. For that reason, when the film reveals Shirley Turner's final actions, I literally gasped and covered my mouth in horror. Absolute horror. I did not see it coming. But... the Bagbys did.
Conversely in the film, the viewer is exposed to not only remarkable footage of Andrew, who was clearly one heckuva guy, a gem in every way, but to his parents. From the first time I saw the film I knew they were a cut above. So when I saw this book on audible, I didn't even need to read the reviews or the synopsis. I bought it. I had to see further inside the hearts of these two people. Forget Shirley Turner. It was the Bagbys I wanted to know more about.
The reader will be amazed by the intestinal fortitude of these two. Their resilience, their determination, and even their melt downs are full of strength and full of love not just for Andrew but, for Zachary and for each other. Love of that depth is far too rare.
I've wondered throughout this book about Shirley's children and how they cope with such a horror in their family history. They are victims of her in a terrible way, forever linked with a beast that they likely still love in whatever manner love survives such an atrocity. Can't imagine the twisting and tearing at the emotions for them.
Albeit a dreadful story, it was beautifully written and brilliantly narrated. Like so many other readers, I send my warm, heartfelt wishes of wellness and peace to the Bagbys.
I bought this book not realizing that I had watched the documentary about the case. Both the book and the documentary made me cry. My heart goes out to these people. Without giving away any spoilers all I can say is I am so sorry for their losses.
Although I might not agree with everything Mr. Bagby says in the end of the book, I truly feel their pain and frustration with the legal system that allowed this to happen. Very well written and narrated. I could have done without the last 1-1.5 hours. The point had already been made. The damage can never be undone.
God Bless these people and may they find comfort in their efforts to change the system that allowed this tragedy.
The story of Loss gets No Worse than this.....The FAILURE of the two governments involved astounding, tho predictable can REALLY ONLY be fought by those who know this pain. How do we change Mankind without Loss & Pain for those to me seem to be the motivator for all. Bagby's strength and durability is food for the Soul -AND- knowledge for all.
Having lost a son to murder myself, I felt the pain that this brave couple endured. I particularly related to the rage! Wonderfully written!
Based on the award winning documentary Dear Zachary, a letter to my son, this book goes more in depth about the truth story about the Bagby- Turner case. This is the story of Andrew Bagby, from Sunnyvale, California. He was a doctor that had moved across country to do his residency. he began a real relationship with a woman that was unreasonably unstable to say the least. After breaking up with her, he found himself dead. Then she absconded to Canada where she found out she was pregnant with Andrew son. Andrew's parents moved to the jurisdiction where the case would take place and their grandson would be born. The twists and turns this story takes will bring you both joy and extreme sadness. the end of the book becomes slightly technical and is about Canadian law. I found myself skipping through that part. The story overall is a tale told by a grieving father and grandfather.
David an Kate Bagby are now two of my favorite people. What those two have been thru has been nothing short of hell on earth. You can feel the pain, the anger An the overwhelming sense of loss in the words of Mr. Bagbys book. I just wanted to reach thru my headphones as I listened to the narrator read this story an not only put my arms around The Bagbys for comfort but to put my hands around Shirley's throat!!! Knowing what she was did to Andrew out of pure selfishness an what she was gonna do to that precious little Zachary that never asked for any of this. Such a sad waste of two beautiful lives!! R.I.P Andrew an Zachary Bagby.
This book was intense and frustrating not only for the people who it happened to but to me as the reader. The unending horror that this family endured was more than any one person should face. Their strength and determination to me was honorable and loving. It only showed me that if a man is given the worst of the worst situations man will find a way to persevere with courage.
I love books!
I would recommend this book. It is a heart wrenching story, but so well written.My heart goes out to the Bagbys.
How could this have happened?
Unfortunately, it is only one example of the sorry goings-on in the jungle of Canadian child welfare agencies and the legal establishment.
News stories abound of helpless children being starved and/or beaten to death under the very noses of case workers and casual adult observers who should have noticed, should have reacted.
Some of these miserable monsters have been prosecuted and jailed but their victims could have been saved had the agencies involved pulled their heads out of their files and taken a clear-eyed look at the situation before the children were murdered.
How very sad for us all.
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