The residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, but only one was railroaded, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead.
What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’. 18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant and horsewoman, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen crossing a trestle bridge. Within fourteen days, their mutilated torsos and severed heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
With an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against Richard Lloyd. The three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, fairytale theories, and forensic mishandling.
This heinous crime shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, destroyed two families, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, and of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.
Excerpt: CHAPTER 1
October 4, 1982, started out as an ordinary autumn evening, for
this mined‐out Appalachian region in southeastern Ohio. The
sticky summer was gone. The ground was blanketed with gold
and red leaves, and the last full moon before All Hallows’ Eve,
was complete. A cosmic cycle said to stir passions in some,
anger and rage in others.
“Beggars’ Night,” was just around the corner. Homes were
elaborately decorated with Paper‐Mache witches and goblins,
as carved pumpkins of all sizes sat on porches and in yards,
made even creepier with lit candles.
Yes, it would have been an average evening, if not for two
unnerving events. First, the arrival of the notorious motorcycle
gang, The Devilʹs Disciples. The group frequented The Wishing
Well, a sordid bar on the corner of Short Street and Allegheny
According to police reports, having a thirst for alcohol, the
bikers and their sweaty, leather‐clad women produced
numerous problems while in town. Calls from residents,
concerning fistfights and disorderly conduct, flooded the police
station. Locals reported spotting some members of the gang
roaming the streets as the reports of vandalism kept the police
Originally, the Depot Hotel, The Wishing Well, sat directly
across the street from a twenty‐five acre “infamous” cornfield.
A common place for knife‐fights, pot parties, and hanky panky
from all ages. Running through the cornfield was the murky
and meandering Bottle Neck River. On the edge of the
cornfield, and going with the flow of the river, was the once
well‐traveled train track‐a transportation device that
accommodated the small town to far‐off destinations until
1959, when city buses and taxicabs went into effect.
The second incident, involved sex, lies, lust, and murder as
gunfire emanated from the opposite end of the cornfield. The
pleasant conversation between mother and daughter abruptly
ended as they looked toward the woods only a few hundred
yards away. The sounds of shots echoing from the nearby
cornfield were such a common sound that it caused them little
“That’s just kids hunting rabbits,” said the young daughter,
“They do it all the time.”
Somewhat farther away, a part‐time security guard, Charles
Carpenter, heard the same shots as he locked up The Puritan
Steel Company, for the day. He clearly remembered the time,
because it was his job to lock‐up each evening.
All the robust tobacco chewer had on his mind, was the icecold
brew with his name on it, waiting for him at The Wishing
Well. He would later tell authorities that he heard a volley of
three shots that seemed to come from a small caliber weapon followed
by four or five more.
What the trio, and others living nearby heard, was a series
of grisly, mysterious, and baffling scenarios that horrified the
nation and were dubbed “the crime of the century” for the
small industrial town.
Why those who heard the shots, remembered the facts so
differently, stumped police, and angered townsfolk, making the
lengthy investigation even harder to control and solve.
Meet JoAnne Myers
I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvass paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dogs Jasmine and Scooter, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the Hocking Hill’s Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvass paintings, can be found at: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com
Order your copy of “The Crime of the Century” by JoAnne Myers here
Other books by JoAnne:
Murder Most Foul-a detective/crime book
Loves, Myths, and Monsters-a fantasy anthology
Wicked Intentions-a paranormal/mystery anthology
My website: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com Blog: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com/page2