True Crime author Anita Paddock will be at Nightbird Books with her two books, both set in small town Arkansas.
Blind Rage: A True Story of Sin, Sex, and Murder in a Small Arkansas Town
When Ruie Ann Park-a pillar of the Van Buren, Arkansas, community-was found beaten to death and lying in a pool of blood in her home, the police and local residents assumed the son was the murderer. But the years would uncover a more sinister story. Up till that night, the Park family seemed to have it all. For fifty years they owned and published The Press Argus newspaper. Hugh was well-connected politically and his wife, Ruie Ann, was the local historian, journalist, and teacher. They had a brilliant son and a shy adopted daughter. They built a beautiful home on top of Logtown Hill with a vista overlooking the Arkansas River, but their idyllic life ended with divorce. Ruie Ann stayed in the home, becoming more bitter and more demanding of the daughter who couldn't match up to her beloved son. The son, Sam Hugh, had a promising legal career but his fondness for young boys, alcohol, and drugs doomed what should have been a successful law practice in his hometown. The daughter, Linda, graduated from college, married an attorney, and moved away to a small town near Little Rock. The police were baffled. Who was smart enough to hide all evidence and pass the lie-detector test? And who would want to bludgeon this mother to death?
Closing Time: A True Story of Robbery and Double Murder
Kenneth Staton was the well-respected owner of a jewelry store in Van Buren, Arkansas. Although crippled with rheumatoid arthritis and unable to walk without crutches, he had built his business through excellent watch repair work, fine quality jewelry sold at fair prices, and a dedication to his customers that surpassed all other merchants. He was the quintessential gentleman in all aspects of his life, and a beloved father.
Unknown to him, two men--a seasoned criminal with a propensity for violence and a younger man, handsome, but broke and with an obsessive thirst for alcohol--plotted to rob the jewelry store at closing time on September 10, 1980. The thugs had only met each other days before, and it was the younger one's first venture into armed robbery.
When Staton and his daughter Suzanne didn't show up for supper, his other two daughters became alarmed and went to the store. There they found the bodies of their father and youngest sister lying in pools of blood, gagged, hogtied, and shot twice in the head. Close to $100,000 dollars in diamonds and other jewelry had been stolen.
This senseless, bloody crime rocked the town of Van Buren and set its lawmen, sworn to find the killers, on a fiercely determined hunt that led from Rogers, Arkansas to Jacksonville, Florida, and all the way to Vancouver, Canada.