Never See Them Again

Narrated by: Keith Sellon-Wright
Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 2003, the Houston suburb of Clear Lake, Texas, was devastated when four young residents were viciously slain. The two female victims, Tiffany Rowell and Rachael Koloroutis, were just 18 years old - popular and beloved. But when a killer came knocking, it turned out to be someone they knew all too well.

Seventeen-year-old Christine Paolilla was an awkward outsider until the girls befriended her. In this gripping true story, M. William Phelps delves into the heart of a baffling mystery to get to the truth of an act so brutal it could not be understood - until now.

©2012 M. William Phelps (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An unblinking account of how four American teenagers lost their lives in the most violent way, how their families have suffered, and how an unlikely individual was responsible for causing this terrible crime." ( Library Journal)
What members say
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb Coverage of Why 4 Youths were Heartlessly Murdered

This true mystery of 4 young lives cut short (3 were teens and 1 just past 20) on a sunny Texas afternoon baffled the public and Houston Police Department profoundly. The popular 4 friends were just watching television and enjoying each other's company when they were suddenly murdered together. Who could have done this ... and why? is answered in this well-written and thorough police investigation narrated in excellent fashion. There are also human interest chapters about the suffering families longing for justice and the overworked detectives dedicated to solving this case. And by the way--yes, they do! (You will not be left wondering!) The riveting story held my attention well and even the epilogue was interesting for me to read.

11 people found this helpful

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

Good Story, With Good Flow

Any additional comments?

This book provides a very engaging story. I would have liked a little more cultural/historical context to the book. However, it is a fairly recent case so that would probably be difficult to do. The details and facts were not over dramatized. I really liked the narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Never see them again.

What did you love best about Never See Them Again?

Gripping. I live in Houston and vaguely remember this murder.

What did you like best about this story?

The betrayal of these girls by their so called friend. Was interesting at the beginning how the girls are portrayed as all American, church going young ladies, wholesome etc. But later we see they work in seedy strip clubs in Houston and are part of the drug scene.

If you could give Never See Them Again a new subtitle, what would it be?

Evil in suburbia.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

He writes as well if not better than Gregg Olsen

What a thoughtfully written book about an absolutely heart breaking crime and all the people affected by it. Beautifully narrated.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent! Heartbreaking.

Very detailed and well written. I could not stop listening to this story, as it was written. This author grabbed my attention; and held on tight.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

From LB Nelson, VERY GOOD BOOK !!! SHOCKING CRIMES

This book is very well written in several different ways. M. William Phelps, took a unbelievable, tragic crime and wrote with his very again unique style of writing with care and facts, especially in the delicate true story and did a excellent job ! I The Narrator: Keith Sellon-Wright, did a great job as well !!! 5 Stars from me !

3 people found this helpful

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

Very well told, but ...

For writing quality, narration and the telling of the story, this listen deserves 5 stars.

But! There is a sort of understanding between true-crime authors and readers that the story will be told as objectively as possible. That facts will be laid out as completely and clearly as possible, and that the reader has the privilege of drawing their own conclusions about intentions and motive, and sometimes even actions where those are not firmly documented.

That's not the case with this story which includes the author's heavy bias against the convicted girl, revealed through his personal and belittling comments, although that isn't fully apparent until the recounting of the details of the trial.

By the end of the book the author has made clear his wish to firmly establish that the defendant is a stone-cold psychopath who lied to police about this horrifying crime. He is not leaving this conclusion up to the reader/listener based on the totality of the facts presented, but rather makes his case with no room for doubt by including his own assumptions as if they were facts. And that leaves me with doubt that the case he makes does include all of the relevant information about the defendant.

His conclusions may be mostly correct and he probably feels fully justified in breaking with objectivity to hammer home his beliefs about how this crime came about, and who did what during the actual killing. But the lack of objectivity actually had the opposite effect for me, because while the author's point is clear, his open bias introduced doubt about how the story is told in this book.

This is a thoroughly researched and well-organized book. But unfortunately during the trial section the author's comments showing his emotional rejection of the defendant come obnoxiously to the fore. His belittling personal comments about the defense rather sadly leave the reader with questions as to how that bias may have influenced the way the author chose to present the entire story. What facts have been excluded? What "facts" are actually suppositions that originated in the mind of the author? Because the author himself reveals that several such "facts" are really his own assumptions (such as statements about what someone thought or intended at a given time, based solely on the author's conclusions).

Even though true-crime books typically do make it clear where the author lays the blame for the tragedy, nonetheless authors refrain from bare-faced statements of judgment and blame and avoid outright pejoratives. This author just dives right in with comments that have no purpose other than venting his open disgust for the defendant and the defense.

It's a good listen and very informative about this complex crime. The context of the times and the place in which it occurred are nicely presented. But is it really the whole story? Probably not, but it may be as much as will ever be known to the public about this tragic case.

I gave it 4 stars to recognize the quality of the overall listen, but could not give it 5 because of the author's open bias, revealed through unnecessary denigrating comments woven into the story.

1 person found this helpful

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

It's okay.

Took a while to get to the meat and potatoes. Really sad story. I feel bad for the victims families.

1 person found this helpful