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It's a case reminiscent of the explosive story of Susan Smith, convicted in the drownings of her two young sons in South Carolina. But in The Unforgiven, three young children are in the back seat of a car driven by Amanda Hamm's boyfriend as it slips into an Illinois lake. Amanda and her boyfriend survive. Her three children do not.
The question of whether it was a horrible accident or a murderous plot divided family and friends and traumatized the entire community. The brief but intense police investigation included seven interviews Hamm voluntarily gave police without the benefit of counsel. The outcome remains controversial to this day and comes full circle with state child welfare workers' concern about children born to Hamm since the fateful day at Clinton Lake.
The Unforgiven coauthor and journalist Edith Brady-Lunny covered the case from start-to-finish, beginning the night of the drownings. Her coauthor Steve Vogel lives nearby. His Reasonable Doubt, considered a true crime classic, was a New York Times bestseller. Together, they have extensive first-hand knowledge of the case and access to nearly every record related to the court proceedings.
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- Mary Boone
Was Justice Served?
I love true crime and this book did not disappoint. In fact, those who saw me listening while I walked through my town certainly heard me GASP on more than one occasion.
Innocent victims, shock that divided a small town, intrigue, the search for justice (and its possible miscarriage), racial tensions -- it's all here. The Unforgiven tells the story of Amanda Hamm and her three young children. One night Hamm's boyfriend, Maurice LaGrone Jr., drove the group to a lake near home. As the five got ready to depart, instead of putting the car in reverse, LaGrone drove the car into the lake, where the children drowned. Was it a horrible accident or premeditated murder???
Authors Edith Brady-Lunny and Steve Vogel are former journalists who sifted through countless interviews and trial transcripts to put together a vivid, but factual telling of Hamm's story. The narrative is captivating and the heartbreak is real.
Give this a listen!
6 people found this helpful
- Kindle Customer
I enjoyed this book so much! the detail was Very good. the narrator did a marvelous job
2 people found this helpful
Long-winded description of a horrific story
An incredibly detailed account of the death of the 3 children, the ensuing court case and the repercussions after the mother had finished her sentence.
Some questions remain unanswered. What did the parents do, while the kids drowned.
And why, after the mother had served her time, did they doctor at the hospital find it necessary to have her kids ripped from her - even the baby that was one DAY old, resulting in severe trauma for the kids.
How can the state argue that they have the benefit of the kids in mind? I would have hoped for the author to explore these questions.