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Synopsis

On a chilly, gray autumn afternoon in 1984, a patrolman was dispatched to an inner-city tenement in Auburn, Maine to investigate the report of a possible fire. What he found inside the building's smoke-filled, second-story apartment was not a fire but something far more horrifying -- the charred body of a 4-year-old girl, Angela Palmer, who had been stuffed into the oven of a kitchen stove and cooked to death. The discovery traumatized the community and shocked the country. The ensuing murder prosecution of the youngster's mother, Cynthia Palmer, and her boyfriend, John Lane, cast a searching light into the shadows of a secret world in which children and women suffer violence and sexual predation at the hands of those who are supposed to love and protect them.

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