The Last Stone

A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation
Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
Length: 13 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (318 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The true story of a cold case, a compulsive liar, and five determined detectives, from the number-one New York Times best-selling author and “master journalist” (The Wall Street Journal). 

On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, ages 10 and 12, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC. As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and the mystery endured.   

Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them toward a man named Lloyd Welch, then serving time for child molestation in Delaware. 

The acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968 had been a cub reporter for a Baltimore newspaper at the time of the original disappearance, and covered the frantic first weeks of the story. In The Last Stone, he returns to write its ending. Over months of intense questioning and extensive investigation of Welch’s sprawling, sinister Appalachian clan, five skilled detectives learned to sift truth from determined lies. How do you get a compulsive liar with every reason in the world to lie to tell the truth? The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.

©2019 Mark Bowden. Recorded by arrangement with Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Very Disappointed

I have read and enjoyed a few True Crime books in the past. Not this time. At the end of The Last Stone, Bowden says that he concluded that he did not need to talk to Lloyd any more. Having spent too many hours listening to the same repetitive interview dialogue, I felt the same way. A sad tale filled with the lies of a very sad, damaged man. Sorry I wasted my time.

9 people found this helpful

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Boring

This book is hardly creative and spell binding writing. The first 4 hours, (I could stand it no longer and quit) is essentially a back and forth (supposedly verbatim) taken from recordings of extensive interviews between the suspect Welsh and several detectives that in real life took hours and hours. The author simple regurgitates huge portions thereof--which I can shorten after 4 hours of listening to Welsh: "I was not involved in the crime" and cops "we don't believe you, you are hiding something." I was very disappointed in the book, perhaps it reads better than the audio version, If you are looking for a listen that you cannot stop listening to because the story grabs you and you cannot wait to find out how the story plays out, this is not it---at least not for me

8 people found this helpful

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  • c
  • 05-03-19

Redundant and tiresome read

The book addresses a specific aspect of the criminal investigation and covers 70 plus hours of interviews with a suspect. The team painstakingly unravels the suspects repeated lies one by one. While it seems that this story is comprehensive it is not compelling or engaging. The work was tiresome and repetitive and so is the book. The crime itself, abduction, rape, and murder of two little girls, is horrific the search for justice is plodding. This book is simply a boring read.

5 people found this helpful

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Great narration

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I understand what some reviewers mean about the extreme repetition of story. I felt the same way but believe that was necessary to demonstrate how persistent the interrogators had to be in sifting through the inconsistent details of the story. Most ordinary people would have become frustrated and given up earlier. I thought this was a work of fiction until the end of the book when it became apparent this was real life. I preferred thinking it was fiction (to knowing people could be so deranged). As for ultimate guilt, it is unfortunate that many of the leads that were found later were not identified in time to make a more definitive case. In the end, it seems that more than a few people got away with a heinous crime.

3 people found this helpful

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What an incredible book, I could not put it down!!

The writing was simply incredible, and the narrator - wonderful.
Having grown up in Montgomery County, and lived through this tragedy, this book gives such an insight into just how big this actually was. I would love to thank Mr Bowden for his efforts, as well as all of the law enforcement involved.
IMO- This is a must read/listen for anyone affected by the abduction and murder of these two children. My heart breaks for Mr n Mrs Lyon. The details are gut wrenching, I can’t imagine how a parent would even process this.
Just tragic.

9 people found this helpful

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this is a fraud It is padded beyond belief

This was interesting for the length of the opening few sentences. It turns into a tedious and overstated catalog of officer credentials. The description of officers and scenery i virtually a chapter long. Way overdone. This book is padded beyond belief. Do not waste your time and money/credits.

2 people found this helpful

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As Repetitive as a Metronome

Okay, okay . . . so, I haven't yet finished the book . . . and I sort of doubt that I will. Typically, I don't think it's right to post a review without reading a book in its entirety. However, I've given this book five and a half, long hours and it's not getting any better . . . nor any different. It has been, essentially, five and a half hours of a guy (the suspect) saying the same things over and over and over again.

"Ahh didn't doo it!"----"Ahh don't remembah."----"Ahh wasn't there-ah."----"Well, okay, maybe Ahh was there-ah, but Ahh didn't see nuttin'----Ahh don't remembah nuttin' "----"Ahh wanna help y'all, Ahh really doo, but Ahh cain't remembah."----"Ahh already told y'all, Ahh didn't doo it.". . . And on . . . and on . . . and on-and-on-and-on.

After five and a half hours of this, I WAS READY to confess to the crime ! Had I read the whole book---all 14 hours of it!---I would have confessed to anything . . . everything . . . every genocidal massacre known to Man. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot . . . all my doing. The crucifixion of Jesus . . . the death of John the Baptist . . . Joan of Arc . . . the beheadings of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette . . . you name it, I did it.

I just read through several of the reviews previously posted for this book. Many are making the same point about the book's repetition. I don't know why I didn't read these reviews before buying this book . . . or, I can't remember reading them before . . . or, I guess, I DIDN'T read them before. I don't remember . . . I just told you I didn't read 'em . . . and on and on and on.

2 people found this helpful

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interesting listen

had no idea what I was getting myself into. had its moments though and did enjoy the accent change 😊

1 person found this helpful

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Way too drawn out

I felt this could have been less boring had they reduced the interviews by at least a dozen "I didn't do that!". I only got through chapter 4 before I couldn't take any more.

6 people found this helpful

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I lived through this event

I lived my whole life until I married in Wheaton. I could visualize every place that was talked about. I was fascinated at the description of Wheaton Plaza as futuristic and contemporary. For us it was just "the plaz".
The other connection I had to the story is that my youngest sister was friends with Sheila. The craziest thing is that she was supposed to meet the girls at Wheaton Plaza that day but got sick and didn't go. This is sort of like people who for multiple crazy reasons where not at the WTC on Sept. 11. Who knows how things might have changed if there had been 3 girls instead of 2 - safety in numbers. Would they have convinced my sister to go along if she had been with them.
Our family has followed this case throughout the years and my sister was thrilled when the case was solved even though one of the girls remains were never found.
Even though the interviews were long and repetative I listened to every one.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-22-19

Great book, recommended

I loved this book, basically binge listened to it. It's fascinating how other people live and the life of Lloyd and his compulsive lying! The narrator was really good and brought life to the book with his different voices. I only usually listen to Kevin pierce as a narrator but I'm glad I gave this a chance. I would listen to it again as their lives are so intertwined you would pick up things you might have missed first time round.

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  • Scott Ansell
  • 08-12-19

Interesting, if a grim subject

I don't read a lot of true crime because I don't enjoy the amateur speculations if an author, but this is mostly transcripts by a team of detectives. it's truer than most true crime as a result. The subject matter is grim, so one needs to be willing to expose oneself to the details that come with it. The narration is clear, even if Lloyd sounds a bit like Dale Gribble.