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Publisher's Summary

Neighbors were unaware of what went on behind the tightly closed doors of a house in Fresno, California - the home of an imposing, 300-pound Marcus Wesson, his wife, children, nieces, and grandchildren. But on March 12, 2004, gunshots were heard inside the Wesson home, and police officers responding to what they believed was a routine domestic disturbance were horrified by the senseless carnage they discovered when they entered. By Their Father's Hand is a chilling true story of incest, abuse, madness, and murder, and one family's terrible and ultimately fatal ordeal at the hands of a powerful, manipulative man - a cultist who envisioned vengeful gods and vampires, and totally controlled those closest to him before their world came to a brutal and bloody halt.

©2007 Monte Francis (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Well written . . . heartbreaking . . . the story by itself is amazing." (True Crime Book Reviews)

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  • Jessica
  • Sioux Falls, SD, United States
  • 02-21-17

Be Very Prepared for Disturbing and Graphic Detail

Would you consider the audio edition of By Their Father's Hand to be better than the print version?

I haven't read this in print, but given the extremely graphic and disturbing details of the Wesson family murder case and the fact that print editions of true crime books usually include photos, the lack of photos in this audiobook is but only one of the blessings of not having read the print version.

Who was your favorite character and why?

True crime books don't have "characters" since they are about real life. That being said, I really admire the tremendous courage and determination of Ruby and especially Sophina, for getting out of the horrible life that they had been forced to live for so long. These women fought against the terrible oppression and horrors to escape and to get their babies into better lives. I couldn't imagine not only having my surviving family think I'm at fault for the gruesome deaths of my loved ones, but also be willing to forgive them for supporting the monster who was responsible for those deaths and so much more besides. Then, to not even hate Marcus Wesson for EVERYTHING he subjected myself and my family to?! Wow. Both women's abilities to fight for justice are truly amazing.

Have you listened to any of John Glouchevitch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to John Glouchevitch's narration before, but I liked his narration and would listen to more books narrated by him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

How does listening to the details of the horrific executions of seven little children under 8 years old and the grief experienced by those there when it was happening not move somebody? The book's epilogue in particular was truly heartbreaking. None more so than the last few lines of the epilogue, and thus, of the book itself:

"Instinctually, Sophina picked up her daughter and made the unspoken promise mothers are known to make: 'I will never let you go. Everything's going to be all right.' Life had already taught Sophina it was a promise mothers meant, but could not always keep."

Any additional comments?

Monte Francis did an excellent job researching and writing the details of the case. However, the abundance of those precise details cause the story to drag at times. Also note the parts of the book are not in sequence. It begins with the day of the murders, and then goes back to the family's beginnings up through the day of the massacre in the middle. Then it's back to Wesson's arrest and trial. If you are not paying attention, this'll be hard to follow at certain points. It also goes into extremely graphic detail about the lives (and deaths) of the members of Marcus Wesson's family. Much of which was sickening, almost too unbearable in its depravity to listen to. It is a very difficult book to get through emotionally. As such, I am only able to listen to it once and will not be keeping the book for a repeat listen. Once is enough. I recommend it for anyone who has a very strong interest in true crime books, because this story is not for casual readers or the faint of heart, folks.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Never felt the urge to kill before...this.

As a simple mortal, I do not possess adequate verbiage to describe the contents of this book. The author was neither judgmental nor overly gross. It is a gross subject in and of itself, but I can SO relate to this type of brainwashing. It didn't happen to me, but I saw it happen in my own family...not the incest nor the sexual issues, but the brainwashing, yes. Do give it a listen, and believe it, it does happen.

It was WELL worth the time and money.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An overwhelming urge to strangle this man!!

I had heard nothing of these murders until I stumbled across this book. As it states in the beginning, it must have been somewhat "glossed over" as a result of Scott Peterson's case, but should have gotten much more media coverage. What a sick, deranged and manipulative individual. Each of these stories that I read involving molestation, brainwashing, manipulation, justification..... it just gets harder & harder to understand the illness in some people. I like to believe that people are GOOD, but more & more, I'm proven wrong every doggone day.
A good read. The author did a good job or telling the story without being too graphic or gross. The story behind it is graphic enough - I didn't need any more detail than what was given. Narrator did a good job to keep me interested in the story. Recommended listen.

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Ok

This was not a bad book, but I feel like the story was skimmed over. I finished it with a little bit of disappointment...like I didnt learn enough because it was too vague. However, I would still recommend this audible. It is an interesting story, but very heartbreaking how the victims were so close to freedom.

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Wow

It's s amazing how this man controlled this family. Very well told story. I recommend.

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well first the narrator was annoying... pause

he seemed to want to pause,... between every sentence... pause. Then the whole explaining of the whole family is absolutely confusing. these people are so screwed up and I still think they all knew something in the end.
one of the hardest books I have listened to in a long time.

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disturbing realization of twisted people among us

it could have been great but the narration was missing something....maybe soul or emotion.

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