The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts by Laura Tillman audiobook

The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City

By Laura Tillman
Read by Julia Whelan

Simon & Schuster Audio
6.78 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781508214403

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In Cold Blood meets Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family: A harrowing, profoundly personal investigation of the causes, effects, and communal toll of a deeply troubling crime—the brutal murder of three young children by their parents in the border city of Brownsville, Texas. On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas—one of America’s poorest cities—John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building in which the brutal crimes took place was already rundown, and in their aftermath a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbors felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer. In 2008, journalist Laura Tillman covered the story for the Brownsville Herald. The questions it raised haunted her, particularly one asked by the sole member of the city’s Heritage Council to oppose demolition: is there any such thing as an evil building? Her investigation took her far beyond that question, revealing the nature of the toll that the crime exacted on a city already wracked with poverty. It sprawled into a six-year inquiry into the larger significance of such acts, ones so difficult to imagine or explain that their perpetrators are often dismissed as monsters alien to humanity. With meticulous attention and stunning compassion, Tillman surveyed those surrounding the crimes, speaking with the lawyers who tried the case, the family’s neighbors and relatives and teachers, even one of the murderers: John Allen Rubio himself, whom she corresponded with for years and ultimately met in person. The result is a brilliant exploration of some of our age’s most important social issues, from poverty to mental illness to the death penalty, and a beautiful, profound meditation on the truly human forces that drive them. It is disturbing, insightful, and mesmerizing in equal measure.

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Summary

Summary

A BookRiot Pick of the Best True Crime Books

In Cold Blood meets Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family: A harrowing, profoundly personal investigation of the causes, effects, and communal toll of a deeply troubling crime—the brutal murder of three young children by their parents in the border city of Brownsville, Texas.

On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas—one of America’s poorest cities—John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building in which the brutal crimes took place was already rundown, and in their aftermath a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbors felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer.

In 2008, journalist Laura Tillman covered the story for the Brownsville Herald. The questions it raised haunted her, particularly one asked by the sole member of the city’s Heritage Council to oppose demolition: is there any such thing as an evil building? Her investigation took her far beyond that question, revealing the nature of the toll that the crime exacted on a city already wracked with poverty. It sprawled into a six-year inquiry into the larger significance of such acts, ones so difficult to imagine or explain that their perpetrators are often dismissed as monsters alien to humanity.

With meticulous attention and stunning compassion, Tillman surveyed those surrounding the crimes, speaking with the lawyers who tried the case, the family’s neighbors and relatives and teachers, even one of the murderers: John Allen Rubio himself, whom she corresponded with for years and ultimately met in person. The result is a brilliant exploration of some of our age’s most important social issues, from poverty to mental illness to the death penalty, and a beautiful, profound meditation on the truly human forces that drive them. It is disturbing, insightful, and mesmerizing in equal measure.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A dogged attempt to understand what happened, a review of the psychological, sociological, and spiritual explanations for the crime…A meditation on the death penalty and on the city of Brownsville…The short lives of these ‘small ghosts’ are given lasting meaning in this book.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“As disturbing as it is insightful and mesmerizing.” Texas Standard
“This thought-provoking portrait of a murder implicates the community at large and forces the reader to grapple with the death penalty, which Rubio is sentenced to. Tillman’s book exemplifies provocative long-form journalism that does not settle for easy answers.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Intense, well-written…At once heartbreaking and disturbing…The murders may not have been widely known outside of Brownsville, but this book will be.” Library Journal (starred review)
“A haunted, haunting examination of mental illness and murder in a more or less ordinary American city…Mature and thoughtful…A Helter Skelter for our time, though without a hint of sensationalism—unsettling in the extreme but written with confidence and deep empathy.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Laura Tillman

Author Bio: Laura Tillman

Laura Tillman is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Nation, and Pacific Standard, among other publications. Originally from Maplewood, New Jersey, she began her career at The Brownsville Herald in South Texas. She holds a BA degree in international studies from Vassar College and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Social Science
Runtime: 6.78
Audience: Adult
Language: English