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Synopsis

A 12-year-old boy cowers in his closet while a lunatic killer slaughters his family . . . a nursing student unwittingly opens her home to the serial killer on her front porch . . . an 11-year-old girl drifts alone at sea on a flimsy cork raft for almost four days after a mass murderer kills her vacationing family aboard a chartered yacht . . . a brave firefighter suddenly finds himself in the crosshairs of a racist sniper almost nine stories above the ground . . .

And, astonishingly, they all survived.

From Howard Unruh’s 1949 shooting rampage through a quiet New Jersey neighborhood to Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee’s reign of terror in 2002, the corpses piled up and few lived to tell the horror. Now, award-winning journalist Ron Franscell explores the wounded hearts and minds of the ordinary people these monsters couldn’t kill. His mesmerizing accounts crackle with gritty details that put the reader in the midst of the carnage—and offer a front-row seat on the complex, painful process of surviving the rest of their haunted lives. In intimate, gripping prose, Franscell takes the reader on a pulse-pounding dash through the murky intersection of pure evil and the potency of the human spirit. This journey into the darkest corners of the American crime-scape is a penetrating work of literary journalism by a writer hailed as one of the most powerful new voices in true crime.

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