• Bitter Blood

  • A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder
  • By: Jerry Bledsoe
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 20 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,012 ratings)

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Bitter Blood  By  cover art

Bitter Blood

By: Jerry Bledsoe
Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
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Publisher's summary

In this unrelenting real-life drama of three wealthy families connected by marriage and murder, Bledsoe recounts the shocking events, obsessive love, and bitter custody battles that led toward the bloody climax that took nine lives.

©1988 Jerry Bledsoe (P)2015 ListenUp Production, LLC

What listeners say about Bitter Blood

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This is crazy... This is crazy... This is crazy...

Fritz Klenner was batsh*t crazy. His 1st cousin Susie Newsom was right behind him. Together they were a paranoid force that single-handedly snuffed out 3 generations of their OWN family.

The Newsom, Lynch and Sharp families are dissected down to their cores in this book and I feel I know their familial flowcharts better than they do, thanks to this book. Esteem, prominence and prosperity couldn't save any of them from this depravity. I don't want to spoil the contents of this MAGNIFICENTLY put together, complete, book, so... I won't.

If you ever had a slight interest in True Crime - this book is on your bucket list. Jerry Bedsoe clearly poured every ounce of his heart into investigating and retelling this roller coaster of a story. I used to live in the area where this "situation" occurred and was extremely appreciative of the author's details, down to street names - I could see where they were, when they were, and that added a extra level of hit-over-the-head reality for me.

Be prepared for a lenghty, detail-filled journey. If you're into knowing it all, you're going to love this.

Extremely well done. Don't hesitate.

PS - Kevin Stillwell the PERFECT voice for this book.

PSS - Tom Lynch - you have my deepest sympathies.

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46 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

incredible

The summary didn't give me much to go by-but I am glad I took a chance on it. wow. this is one of those stories that seems too far fetched - but yet it's real. It was a worthy pick for my coveted credits.

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36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best part

This is NOT a spoiler

The beginning of this book seems to jump around to various families that have no apparent connection. Just as I was about to give up, figuring I must have missed something that would make it all make sense, and then he ties it in so wonderfully, and was so excited to understand the connection and follow one step ahead of what the story was confirming! It just got better from there. 😄😄

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Please…bring more of Jerry's books to Audible.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! This is the best true crime book I have ever read.

What other book might you compare Bitter Blood to and why?

Fatal Vision, the book about Jeffery McDonald. The interesting paths people go down to the depths of evil and madness.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final car chase across Guilford County and its awful ending.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The scary house in Kentucky where so much unhappiness existed. The palm leaves were really creepy.

Any additional comments?

My Mother and aunt were patients of Dr. Klenner. They loved him. Kevin Stillwell was the perfect reader of this book. Love the way he says "the poe-lice".

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't stop listening!!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Bitter Blood to be better than the print version?

Yes

What other book might you compare Bitter Blood to and why?

Small Sacrifices

What does Kevin Stillwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice is perfect for this story and he narrates with ease!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Upset- Crappy police work by the SBI and the police in North Carolina. Although John & Jim were probably poisoned before they left the house, the police should have intervened before Fritz let them in the blazer. At least Kentucky had the guts to take it to the grand jury!

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Please, please make it stop

Let me start by saying I love true crime. I watch ID network, I record Dateline and 48 Hours, so I was pretty excited to see all the positive reviews and couldn't download this baby fast enough!

Countless hours later I am only still listening because I want to see if there is an exciting conclusion. I agree with the reviewer who said he didn't care about any of the people involved. I don't either and I'm starting to wish someone would kill me and put me out of my misery. Way too much family minutiae. It could have been soooooo much more exciting! Too much detail - where oh where is the editor? This is one of those audio books where you zone out and miss a section and don't even care.

It's 20 hours long and soooo not worth it. Save yourself!!!!

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Rare Misstep for Bledsoe

I have read and enjoyed Bledsoe's other true crime books. This one, like those, is written with a journalist's eye for detail... which is precisely its weakness. Too many family members and histories that are not relevant to the story, then meeting a pivotal character 3/4 of the way through the book. By the time I got to the end, I didn't even care, and that's so tragic... those who were impacted by these crimes deserve better.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Long and Boring

This book is an example of TMI. The narrator's monotone voice pushes it to unbearable.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

TMI...seriously

There is so much minutia in this book that it becomes almost impossible to follow. This is not a relaxing pleasant listen, the level of detail and 100+ years of family history (much irrelevant and repeated several times) make this more work than pleasure. It's almost as if I needed to be sitting and taking notes to keep up versus mowing my lawn and listening. The Deep southern inflections in speech were grating.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

interesting

a little hard to follow all of the characters names. interesting story. glad I live north of that area..

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7 people found this helpful