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Publisher's Summary

On December 16th, 2004, a Nodaway County, Missouri, 911 operator received a frantic call from the mother of 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, an eight-months-pregnant mother-to-be found bleeding and barely breathing on her family room floor, her unborn baby gone.

More than 150 miles away, in Melvern, Kansas, Lisa Montgomery proudly showed off "her" new baby at church and a local diner, duping many while arousing the suspicions of others. Across the nation, televisions broadcast the first Amber Alert for an unborn child...

Here is the true story of a baby born under shocking conditions, of the lucky break that led to the alleged killer, of a tortured history of sexual abuse and "moral insanity," and the pain that lingers in two American towns that will never be the same again. With the exclusive cooperation of key witnesses and participants, investigative journalist and acclaimed author M. William Phelps reveals what really happened that fateful December day.

Like Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Murder in the Heartland takes an unflinching look at an American tragedy, exploring its terrible trajectory with courage, insight, and compassion.

©2007 M. William Phelps; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Not a well researched book

This book is completely one sided...giving the ex-husband of this convicted murderer a soap box to stand on. I really got the impression that the writer decided to save himself research time and just stick to the guy (ex-husband) who spilled his guts to him. I think a more investigative type approach would have been less annoying than continually hearing about Carl (the ex) and his excuses why he wasn't a dead beat dad.
Also, the narrator was bizarre. He constantly changed into strange impersonations of how he felt the character might speak (Usally some type of twang). This was completely annoying and off putting.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not Capote, but...

still an enthralling and bizarre story of a murder and the kidnapping of an unborn child. (Hum, liberals, can an "extension of the mother's body" be kidnapped? Maybe the police wasted time recovering something abortion laws hold no more possessing of rights than an appendix. ) Well, anyway, this is Phelps at his best.

  • Overall
  • Leslie
  • Hillsborough, NC, United States
  • 04-20-09

Not worth your money, don't bother.

I think that the author let the ex-husband and the mother of the murderer have too much say in this book. Both of them are horrendous people, and it gets really old having to hear for hours and hours how great they think they are. For example; the ex-husband has his kids over one day, and the next day they find the house empty. The guy is such a creep, he couldn't even tell his kids he was leaving. Instead he just skipped out of town without even saying goodbye. Later he blames his new wife for this, saying that it was hard on her, you know, having to help out with his kids, poor guy, what is a dad to do? Why not just desert his children? Then the author allows this jerk to go on and on, about how he made mistakes, but they really aren't his fault and that he is a great dad and a wonderful, wonderful guy. This goes on for like 6 hours. Then he lets her mother (who is is a self-centered tramp) have just as much time bragging on herself. What a waste of my time and my money. Take it from me, I might not be able to get my lost time and money back, but you still have a chance. Take it!

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Timothy
  • Carrington, ND, USA
  • 04-08-09

Repeat again and again

I found the author had only so much information to go on, So to make a short story into a novel he repeated the same facts and insight over and over. I never finished the book, instead researched the case on line.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • jaye
  • GREENWICH, CT, United States
  • 06-07-12

this story was written before it was complete.

Would you listen to Murder in the Heartland again? Why?

maybe. it was a good story. but the incompleteness of the ending bothers me. why not wait until the trial is over before writing the book? the book is quite sad.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Murder in the Heartland?

it is not a memorable book. it is a true crime story. i guess i found some of the detective work memorable and clever.

Which character – as performed by J. Charles – was your favorite?

i think he did a good job with all the "characters"

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

when the cops got into lisa montgomery's computer.

Any additional comments?

as i stated before, the book would be better if the whole business of the trial was completely over. so that the book was written completely.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful