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Abandoned Prayers: Murder, the Amish, and Little Boy Blue | [Gregg Olsen]

Abandoned Prayers: Murder, the Amish, and Little Boy Blue

On Christmas Eve in 1985, a hunter found a young boy's body along an icy corn field in Nebraska. The residents of Chester, Nebraska, buried him as "Little Boy Blue", unclaimed and unidentified-- until a phone call from Ohio two years later led authorities to Eli Stutzman, the boy's father.Eli Stutzman, the son of an Amish bishop, was by all appearances a dedicated farmer and family man in the country's strictest religious sect.
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Publisher's Summary

On Christmas Eve in 1985, a hunter found a young boy's body along an icy corn field in Nebraska. The residents of Chester, Nebraska, buried him as "Little Boy Blue", unclaimed and unidentified - until a phone call from Ohio two years later led authorities to Eli Stutzman, the boy's father.

Eli Stutzman, the son of an Amish bishop, was by all appearances a dedicated farmer and family man in the country's strictest religious sect. But behind his quiet façade was a man involved with pornography, sadomasochism, and drugs. After the suspicious death of his pregnant wife, Stutzman took his preschool-age son, Danny, and hit the road on a sexual odyssey ending with his conviction for murder. But the mystery of Eli Stutzman and the fate of his son didn't end on the barren Nebraska plains. It was just beginning....

©2010 Gregg Olsen (P)2002 Gregg Olsen

What the Critics Say

"A riveting and deeply disturbing chronicle of true crime. Olsen has done a superior job." (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (88 )
5 star
 (24)
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3.6 (48 )
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3.9 (49 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Eagle's , United States 02-08-12
    Eagle's , United States 02-08-12

    Pearl's of wisdom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    11
    3
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    "YUK, Don't waste your time or your money!!"
    What would have made Abandoned Prayers better?

    I spent years as a cop and don't consider myself a prude, but this book was one I could barely get through, more about his sex life than a crime book. I also listened to Starvation Heights by the same author and it was alright. This book was just way too much even for a person who spent a life time in law enforcement. I am amazed that anyone gave this book higher ratings.


    Has Abandoned Prayers turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No I would never let one book or even author sour me on other books or authors. However I do have another crime book in my library that tells a terrible story, (beyond bad), hopefully it will be told in such a manner to not totally turn off the listener.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was ok, it's just too bad what he had to work with.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Honestly... none that I can think of, it was just way to much after listening for just a short time I would want to turn it off. I kept listening thinking maybe it would get better, but no such luck.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heather Pleasantville 03-26-14
    heather Pleasantville 03-26-14 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    140
    26
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    2
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    "Abandoned Book"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Personally, I do not mind Gregg Olsen, but what was he thinking? So to answer the question, I would say no to publishing this period.


    What other book might you compare Abandoned Prayers to and why?

    Any book that causes the mind drama with disgusting sexual detail.


    What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

    He was a side note to the gruesome scenes that painted vivid images on my brain, yuck.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not so much about the crimes as about the homo sexual sex the main character was into, much too graphic. If you like true crime almost any book by Olsen is better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PJ 11-03-11
    PJ 11-03-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story, but confusing"

    The story was interesting, but it was so complex with so many different characters, I had trouble keeping track of who was who and what their role was in the story. It was a true story, so it is what it is, but I can't help thinking that some of this could have been edited down to make for a better flow. I was not put off by the sexual detail as I think this was central to the main character. The performance was solid. It was worth a listen, but not something I'm going to tell everyone they need to hear or read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Fish Hoek, South Africa 07-07-11
    Anne Fish Hoek, South Africa 07-07-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    5
    4
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    "Uncomfortable listening at times"

    A detailed account of a true crime incident, and the events that led up to it, but the graphic details of homosexual encounters made for uncomfortable listening at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thao Wichita, KS, United States 12-02-10
    Thao Wichita, KS, United States 12-02-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    1
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    0
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    "disappointed"

    This story was written with too much emphasis on the homosexual acts. The story became very dry and hard to finish.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Raleigh, NC, United States 10-28-10
    Paula Raleigh, NC, United States 10-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    1
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    "long...but very intense"

    This book is very thorough it goes into great detail into the life of Eli Stutzman. From his childhood throughout his life you are given an intense look into this man who killed his son.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Birdy San Diego, California USA 09-17-10
    Birdy San Diego, California USA 09-17-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If I could give it fewer stars I would"

    Unless you love filler, and especially lurid filler, this is not the book for you. The author has a subtle bias, or maybe not so subtle, and it drags everything into a muddle of details that are not needed to tell the story, as a result the book drags on and on, and on. The narrator's flat delivery doesn't help, but doesn't really hurt.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria T. Halliday Vermilion, OH 05-25-15
    Maria T. Halliday Vermilion, OH 05-25-15 Member Since 2014

    Maria Therese

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought there'd be more Amish life"

    Perhaps I just didn't know enough of the story when I started it, but it veered in directions I found to be not only completely different from what I expected but also just somewhat unpalatable. I finished it at 2x the speed as I did get bored, as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Svetlana 01-17-15
    Svetlana 01-17-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    "A Throughly Researched Work "

    Though difficult to bare the brutal sincerity, it is a well told story. I was almost glad with the outcome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Murphy USA 11-29-14
    Murphy USA 11-29-14 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    16
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    "Poor Danny Stutzman (and all of the other victims)"
    Would you listen to Abandoned Prayers again? Why?

    No. I was familiar with the case having studied criminal profiling as an undergrad and remembered the case but thought the book would be interesting. It was.
    However, it is a horribly sad story and the author brings us in to a world of perversion where most if have never been and will never go BUT they are important in regards to this story. Some of the lurid details could probably have been left out but that is just my opinion.

    I knew the story, now know the story better and that is all I need.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Perhaps a peak into the Amish life and the collision of what is often seen as a very noble lifestyle that seeks "communion with G-d" and that of a lifestyle that was beyond perverted and evil.


    What three words best describe Jeffrey Kafer’s performance?

    Mundane, unmoving, scripted (yes I know that sounds odd as they are reading from a book however some narrators are so good it also seems like they are telling a story from their own lips, not reading it......Kafer was reading, not telling)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Oh no....the subject matter alone is something you must take breaks from.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank G-d Eli Stutzman is no longer walking the earth

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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