The Crime of the Century

A Shocking True Story

Non-Fiction - True Crime
238 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

In October of 1982, a pair of teenage sweethearts vanished into the southeastern Ohio night. Two weeks later, the bodies of Shane Shoemaker and Babette Lloyd were found dismembered in a nearby cornfield, while other parts were dumped into the Bottle Neck River. This was 'The Crime of the Century' for the citizens of Rolling Hills, Ohio, and a seemingly endless nightmare for Babette’s stepfather Richard Lloyd. JoAnne Myers does a solid job of presenting the botched investigation filled with questionable experts, unreliable witnesses and unethical police tactics. The investigation of this murder was a perfect storm of ineptitude, satanic fright and plain old prosecutorial misconduct that led to Richard Lloyd being wrongly convicted and sentenced to death.

The Crime of the Century is a sobering account that follows the disappearance and murder of Shane Shoemaker and Babette Lloyd, all the way through to the final resolution of the case. What is so astonishing is the complete lack of ethics or investigative work actually done on the case. The police started with a flawed theory of satanic worship and carved evidence around that theory until they came up with Richard Lloyd as their prime and seemingly only suspect. Dismissing key evidence, hypnotizing witnesses and withholding exculpatory evidence were just a few of the atrocities perpetuated against Lloyd who held strong on Death Row, proclaiming his innocence and appealing his conviction. JoAnne Myers paints Lloyd as a religious man who seemingly holds no ill will against anyone other than the true killers of his daughter and her fiancé. At times the writing appears stilted, but the story itself is gripping enough to withstand it.