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Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the Grand Jury's Search for the Truth

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In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Lawrence Schiller thoroughly recreates every aspect of the complex case of the death of JonBenét Ramsey. A brilliant portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it couldn't handle, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town uncovers the mysteries that have bewildere In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Lawrence Schiller thoroughly recreates every aspect of the complex case of the death of JonBenét Ramsey. A brilliant portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it couldn't handle, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town uncovers the mysteries that have bewildered the nation. Why were the Ramseys, the targets of the investigation, able to control the direction of the police inquiry? Can the key to the murder be found in the pen and writing pad used for the ransom note? Was it possible for an intruder to have killed JonBenét?


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In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Lawrence Schiller thoroughly recreates every aspect of the complex case of the death of JonBenét Ramsey. A brilliant portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it couldn't handle, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town uncovers the mysteries that have bewildere In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Lawrence Schiller thoroughly recreates every aspect of the complex case of the death of JonBenét Ramsey. A brilliant portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it couldn't handle, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town uncovers the mysteries that have bewildered the nation. Why were the Ramseys, the targets of the investigation, able to control the direction of the police inquiry? Can the key to the murder be found in the pen and writing pad used for the ransom note? Was it possible for an intruder to have killed JonBenét?

30 review for Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the Grand Jury's Search for the Truth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Summers

    Schiller writes a 600+ page book on the JonBenet murder and at the end says he has no idea who killed her. He doesn't even give a hypothetical scenario. His non-committal summation reads as if he was more concerned about not being hit with a law suit from the "killer" for slander. If you are interested in reading about this case, I would say to look elsewhere. There are websites with the same, if not more information. Schiller writes a 600+ page book on the JonBenet murder and at the end says he has no idea who killed her. He doesn't even give a hypothetical scenario. His non-committal summation reads as if he was more concerned about not being hit with a law suit from the "killer" for slander. If you are interested in reading about this case, I would say to look elsewhere. There are websites with the same, if not more information.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Although this crime did not get as much coverage in the UK as it obviously did in the States, I was aware of the murder of six year old JonBenet Ramsey – although I knew few of the details. This is a fairly lengthy book which delves into the case and concentrates on the investigation into the murder. Six year old JonBenet was discovered missing from her bed the morning after Christmas Day, 1996, when her mother Patsy discovered a rambling ransom note on the stairs. Despite the note saying her dau Although this crime did not get as much coverage in the UK as it obviously did in the States, I was aware of the murder of six year old JonBenet Ramsey – although I knew few of the details. This is a fairly lengthy book which delves into the case and concentrates on the investigation into the murder. Six year old JonBenet was discovered missing from her bed the morning after Christmas Day, 1996, when her mother Patsy discovered a rambling ransom note on the stairs. Despite the note saying her daughter had been kidnapped, and that she would be killed if anyone was informed, Patsy and her husband, John Ramsey, immediately called the police. Their open presence at the family home was the first in a series of errors and it is difficult not to imagine that the fact the family were wealthy was one reason why the police initially trod carefully; not containing the crime scene and not treating the parents as possible suspects in the crime. This initial mistake led to others. When JonBenet’s body was discovered in the basement of the family home, by her father amazingly; she was moved and the crime scene both contaminated by visitors and crucial evidence possibly lost. This, then, is the story not only of a terrible crime of the murder of a little girl, but of a town which was considered almost crime free – a safe place to live, with a small town mentality, which found the spotlight being t turned on it hard to take. As questions were asked, the family came under scrutiny; not only JonBenet’s parents, but even her nine year old brother, Burke. JonBenet was a Beauty Pageant queen and, although thankfully child pageants are not popular in the UK, it is easy to understand how uncomfortable this made people. Photographs of a picture perfect little girl, with curled hair, plastered in make-up and teetering on high heels is, to most people, quite profoundly unacceptable and, certainly, public opinion reviled the family partly due to this ‘hobby’. As the book unfolds, the author has quotes from just about anybody who was involved, or touched by, the case. Parents at JonBenet’s school, investigative journalists, those who worked for the Boulder Police force, the DA’s office, the FBI, friends of the family and members of their Church are all given a voice. What comes across is just a real sense of discomfort and distrust. Although the Ramsey’s were, oddly, not seemingly eager to aid the police; putting hurdles in the way of every request, from interviews to forensic evidence; there seemed little evidence against the couple that was not circumstantial. As the book digs further below the surface, a picture emerges of a marriage not as perfect as it first appeared, of a little girl who, despite her beauty and success, at the very least suffered from bed wetting, which may have been indicative of underlying problems, of a law enforcement agency unable to work together and of a town which had to come to terms with notoriety. Sadly, there seems to have been no real justice for a little girl who deserved better from all the adults involved in this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    I had a deadline recently and so spent about 9000 hours obsessively reading everything available on the internet about the Ramsey case. Then once I'd read all that, I bought and read this book, which contains much less than everything on the internet. I think I learned one or two little things-- a mysterious phone call from "John" to a hardware store about Patsy Ramsey's credit card bill (which turned out to have been made by a tabloid reporter), an interesting tidbit about the professor who did I had a deadline recently and so spent about 9000 hours obsessively reading everything available on the internet about the Ramsey case. Then once I'd read all that, I bought and read this book, which contains much less than everything on the internet. I think I learned one or two little things-- a mysterious phone call from "John" to a hardware store about Patsy Ramsey's credit card bill (which turned out to have been made by a tabloid reporter), an interesting tidbit about the professor who did the psychological handwriting analysis (he was just as nuts as everyone else involved in the case, maybe even more)... that might be it. In general, the book goes wrong right where the case went wrong: almost immediately. An hour after the body's found, the Ramseys are allowed to drive away from the scene without being inspected or interviewed. And after that moment, pretty much nothing is ever learned-- from them or from any other source. Crime scene was contaminated; handwriting analysis is conflicted and inadmissible anyway; cops and the DA are at war and/or various shades of inept; everyone refuses the FBI's help; nothing makes sense; nobody ever has any real idea of what happened or why. The whole thing just sinks into a bog. There's not really enough for a book here. And DEFINITELY not enough for an 800 page book. Schiller never even attempts to provide a possible explanation for what happened. He just exhaustively details the failure and hopelessness. But if you hadn't already done 9000 hours of internet research, this would probably get you up to speed on the case. Not that being "up to speed" on this case will get you anywhere at all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alyce Mickell

    A loooong book. I forced myself to read all of it even though I knew there wouldn't be any resolution in the end. I guess I picked it up for the same reason most people do. I wanted to learn as much as I could about this unsolved case, and see if I could draw my own conclusions. I did learn a few things that I did not know before reading it, but most surprising were the grand missteps taken by the Boulder PD in the hours and days after the murder. I would not recommend this book to anyone who do A loooong book. I forced myself to read all of it even though I knew there wouldn't be any resolution in the end. I guess I picked it up for the same reason most people do. I wanted to learn as much as I could about this unsolved case, and see if I could draw my own conclusions. I did learn a few things that I did not know before reading it, but most surprising were the grand missteps taken by the Boulder PD in the hours and days after the murder. I would not recommend this book to anyone who does not want to struggle with its length and open endedness. It is a difficult read and not extremely rewarding. But if you want to gain access to the evidence, the police procedure, and the demeanor of the Ramsey's after the murder so you can draw your own verdict, I say go for it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Littrell

    Monsters or monstrously unlucky? This is a book about three distinct, yet intimately interrelated stories, told as one. First, there is the story of the murder of JonBenét Ramsey; second, the story of the investigation of that murder and the antagonism between the Boulder Police Department and the District Attorney's office; and third, the media coverage of these events. I think Schiller does a workman-like job on all three, but for readers primarily interested in the story of the murder of JonBen Monsters or monstrously unlucky? This is a book about three distinct, yet intimately interrelated stories, told as one. First, there is the story of the murder of JonBenét Ramsey; second, the story of the investigation of that murder and the antagonism between the Boulder Police Department and the District Attorney's office; and third, the media coverage of these events. I think Schiller does a workman-like job on all three, but for readers primarily interested in the story of the murder of JonBenét, this book, at about 800 pages, is a bit too much. For those interested in the politics and pecking order of the judicial system as practiced in Boulder, Colorado, this is probably a fascinating read from cover to cover. The story of the media is also interesting, but too narrowly focused on the tabloid coverage, especially the material about Jeff Shaprio, then working for the Globe. Stories from the local (Colorado) media are quoted liberally throughout the text, but the day-to-day inner workings of the local press is not detailed. Some of this material seems pasted in as though Schiller began to weary of his subject. The detail about the Colorado judicial system, often presented in footnotes at the bottom of pages, was legalistic and not really illuminating. Additionally the text is marred by typos of the kind not caught by spell checkers, including the wrong "their" near the bottom of page 385, an extraneous article on line 11, page 501, and most significantly, an "isn't" for an "is" on page 227. (Actually the sentence in that footnote doesn't make sense with either an "isn't" as written, or an "is" as seems indicated.) On the plus side Schiller does an excellent job of making some of the players come to life including the very tricky Jeff Shapiro, the tabloid reporter who insinuated himself into the district attorney's offices, made friends with the Boulder police, joined Ramsey's church and even talked at length with John Ramsey on the phone (something Schiller was not able to do). The portrait of the sincere and tremendously dedicated Det. Steve Thomas was also good, as was that of retired detective Lou Smit, who befriended the Ramseys. Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter comes across primarily as a politician. I also appreciated the floor plan of the Ramsey house in Appendix A and the character list at the back of the book. The name index was also valuable, although I think there should have been a subject index as well. Because I didn't know the details of the case before reading this book, for me, the most important parts are pages 497-499, where the FBI profilers present their extremely powerful arguments against the intruder theory, and pages 660-670 where there is a summation of the evidence gathered by the Boulder police. Reading between the lines we can see that John Ramsey himself is a slightly "superior," somewhat cold and calculating man with some prejudice against the relatively liberal culture of Boulder, Colorado and against the poor (see page 690 where he argues that Bill McReynolds, who played "Santa Claus," should be a suspect partly because "he doesn't have two nickels to rub together"). Nonetheless one imagines that John Ramsey loved his daughter (and she loved him) so that it is untenable to think that he could have deliberately murdered her. Furthermore he has too much control of himself to have accidentally struck and killed her. On the other hand Patsy Ramsey comes across as someone with particularly shallow values predicated almost entirely on appearance who has a temper that she could very well lose. Her love for her daughter is less clear than her husband's, although her need for JonBenét to succeed and thereby reflect favorably upon herself is very strong. One imagines that she could punish her daughter very severely but outside of public scrutiny. One further imagines she would seek to cover up anything that would make her look bad. One very telling observation in the book (p. 13) is that the ransom note was the "War and Peace of ransom notes." The Patsy Ramsey seen in this book is a person who does everything in a flamboyant and overdone manner. I don't think, however, that the evidence as presented here is strong enough to draw a definite conclusion about who killed JonBenét. One thing is clear: John and Patsy Ramsey are either monstrously unlucky, or they are monsters. --Dennis Littrell, author of the sensational mystery novel, “Teddy and Teri”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Xanthi

    Running over 600 pages long, I knew this book would either be a detailed though riveting read or it would be a hard slog. Unfortunately, for me, it was the latter. Naturally, it was interesting to read about the events, the evidence found, the investigations, the interviews, the media, and the prime suspects (the parents), the city of Boulder, etc. but there was by far too much detail , in general. Also, a lot of the book was dedicated to the issue of the hostilities between the police and the DA Running over 600 pages long, I knew this book would either be a detailed though riveting read or it would be a hard slog. Unfortunately, for me, it was the latter. Naturally, it was interesting to read about the events, the evidence found, the investigations, the interviews, the media, and the prime suspects (the parents), the city of Boulder, etc. but there was by far too much detail , in general. Also, a lot of the book was dedicated to the issue of the hostilities between the police and the DA's office. It was important to present this aspect of the long, drawn out saga, but I felt it could have been condensed, as it was the least interesting aspect of this book. More pages dedicated to everything else, and less to this 'in-fighting', and the book would have been by far more interesting. Also, because of this focus on the warring detectives and cops, there were a LOT of names flying about. No wonder there was a 'who is who' list at the back of the book. I kept having to refer back to it until I gave up caring. Am I any wiser after reading this book? No. Do I think this crime will ever be solved? No. Did the first response police botch things, making this case even harder to to solve? Yes, without a doubt. I guess all in all, there is some lack of satisfaction in reading a true crime book where the mystery isn't solved. No fault of the author, of course. That's just how it is. Though the author's lack of his own theory was kind of an odd omission.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bob Mayer

    Now that we know the Grand Jury voted to indict, it changes everything. I was actually on a jury, coming out of the courthouse in Boulder when the DA announced there would be no indictment. The way he phrased it made it sound as if that was from the Grand Jury. The Ramsey's destroyed a lot of lives in Boulder, and elsewhere. Looking at the fresh evidence, and the old evidence, it's very likely their son killed her and then they covered it up. Many people paid the price of that coverup. A tragedy Now that we know the Grand Jury voted to indict, it changes everything. I was actually on a jury, coming out of the courthouse in Boulder when the DA announced there would be no indictment. The way he phrased it made it sound as if that was from the Grand Jury. The Ramsey's destroyed a lot of lives in Boulder, and elsewhere. Looking at the fresh evidence, and the old evidence, it's very likely their son killed her and then they covered it up. Many people paid the price of that coverup. A tragedy compounded. The book is an interesting read if you know where things stand now. My wife and I have lived many places. Boulder is beautiful, but there is a feeling about it that isn't so pleasant. It prides itself on being very liberal, but strangely, it's a very intolerant town.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I enjoyed shouting "Ghoul!" at Scott as he tried to read this surreptitiously in the Lufthansa business lounge in Denver. But it is a good book, if verging on the obsessive in terms of the detail sought out. If someone farted in a restaurant and it had made a sound vaguely similar to someone grumbling "JonBenet", it would have been reverently noted here. Worse, the police would have followed it up in an effort to divert the criticism of their early handling of this case. It seems almost every ef I enjoyed shouting "Ghoul!" at Scott as he tried to read this surreptitiously in the Lufthansa business lounge in Denver. But it is a good book, if verging on the obsessive in terms of the detail sought out. If someone farted in a restaurant and it had made a sound vaguely similar to someone grumbling "JonBenet", it would have been reverently noted here. Worse, the police would have followed it up in an effort to divert the criticism of their early handling of this case. It seems almost every effort was made, and a lot of it futile effort in the wrong direction at the wrong time. I won’t find out though, as I’ve kind of lost interest because I know how it all ends with no-one being any the wiser, and because the book has just become too obsessive on the detail.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I got 57% of the way through this before calling it quits. I love true crime stories, and length of book isn't daunting for a speed reader, but this book is frankly a bore after the first 200 pages. As one other apt reviewer put it, If someone farted within the vicinity of someone who knew Jonbenet, it's documented here. The constant asides and first-person recollections detract from the narrative utterly and completely. Not suited for someone reading multiple books at once due to lack of chapte I got 57% of the way through this before calling it quits. I love true crime stories, and length of book isn't daunting for a speed reader, but this book is frankly a bore after the first 200 pages. As one other apt reviewer put it, If someone farted within the vicinity of someone who knew Jonbenet, it's documented here. The constant asides and first-person recollections detract from the narrative utterly and completely. Not suited for someone reading multiple books at once due to lack of chapters or sections. Calling it quits.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    I am officially dumping this book after just over 200 pages. I just can't get into it. I feel like I have to keep notes just to keep all the key players straight. It's no wonder this crime was never solved. I can't decide if the author is trying to illustrate how seriously messed up the investigation was. Talk about a bunch of bungling idiots! And it doesn't paint a pretty picture of the media either. As a former journalist myself, I'm pretty horrified at some of the tactics described in this boo I am officially dumping this book after just over 200 pages. I just can't get into it. I feel like I have to keep notes just to keep all the key players straight. It's no wonder this crime was never solved. I can't decide if the author is trying to illustrate how seriously messed up the investigation was. Talk about a bunch of bungling idiots! And it doesn't paint a pretty picture of the media either. As a former journalist myself, I'm pretty horrified at some of the tactics described in this book... if they are indeed true. But I'm done with this book. I can't believe I wasted as much time on it as I did.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    ‎832 pgs. I give this 3 out of 5 stars. Seemed to go off topic too much. Went into detail on how the victim was found, the parents, some of the suspects, as well as the tabloids who posed as "friends" "potential church members" etc in order to gain info on the victims family and/or anything to do with the crime. This a disappointing read b/c it seemed to go topic too much telling the reader how the town of Boulder grew into the town that it is today, where the investigators come from, what they ‎832 pgs. I give this 3 out of 5 stars. Seemed to go off topic too much. Went into detail on how the victim was found, the parents, some of the suspects, as well as the tabloids who posed as "friends" "potential church members" etc in order to gain info on the victims family and/or anything to do with the crime. This a disappointing read b/c it seemed to go topic too much telling the reader how the town of Boulder grew into the town that it is today, where the investigators come from, what they did before the crime and for how long. A sad and tragic story nonetheless, I recommend this to anyone who enjoys true crime novels.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Well, it's taken over 2 years of perseverance, and bite-sized chunks on and off was the only way for me to do it - but I'm so glad I did! This is a meticulously presented (an unkind reviewer might say "tediously") catalogue of this tragic case, the dramatis personae, the investigation and the behind the scenes politics involved. Those seeking sensationalism will be bored to death within 50 pages. Those interested in facts should stick with. Just don't expect any hypothesis at the end of it: some Well, it's taken over 2 years of perseverance, and bite-sized chunks on and off was the only way for me to do it - but I'm so glad I did! This is a meticulously presented (an unkind reviewer might say "tediously") catalogue of this tragic case, the dramatis personae, the investigation and the behind the scenes politics involved. Those seeking sensationalism will be bored to death within 50 pages. Those interested in facts should stick with. Just don't expect any hypothesis at the end of it: some form of conclusion, even couched in caveats that it was mere speculation, might have been nice... But the whole point was really to show WHY this case remains unsolved.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    There is so much of this case that will never be understood. But it was the incompetency of the Denver police to secure the crime scene and avoid evidence contamination that led to much of the media speculations at the time, as well as the Ramsey's behavior. They ACTED guilty. At least of being afraid they could be held accountable. So of course, they became accountable in the public's eyes anyway. This book does a good job of pointing out what went wrong in the investigation and how things seem There is so much of this case that will never be understood. But it was the incompetency of the Denver police to secure the crime scene and avoid evidence contamination that led to much of the media speculations at the time, as well as the Ramsey's behavior. They ACTED guilty. At least of being afraid they could be held accountable. So of course, they became accountable in the public's eyes anyway. This book does a good job of pointing out what went wrong in the investigation and how things seemed to spiral out of control so badly.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Mitchell

    I didn't know anything about the JonBenet murder, and wanted a Serial-type story to take me away. This book was VERY long - and to be honest I skimmed a lot - but for those who want to get invested and familiar with ALL the details; they definitely don't leave anything out! After 1000 pages, naturally, we still don't know who committed the crime (always a let down, but fair). It's safe to say that there was some gross negligence from the police and the lack of co-operation from the family comes I didn't know anything about the JonBenet murder, and wanted a Serial-type story to take me away. This book was VERY long - and to be honest I skimmed a lot - but for those who want to get invested and familiar with ALL the details; they definitely don't leave anything out! After 1000 pages, naturally, we still don't know who committed the crime (always a let down, but fair). It's safe to say that there was some gross negligence from the police and the lack of co-operation from the family comes off VERY sketchy... worth a read if you're into true crime.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alison Strachan

    Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored!!! I know that the Jon Benet Ramsey case was never solved, but the author could have at least spun a THEORY on what he thought might have happened. Instead, this book was a chronological spewing of facts on the case from the week of the crime until present. It was nothing I didn't already know and a huge disappointment. My sincere apologies to all members of my book club who endured this read!!! Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored!!! I know that the Jon Benet Ramsey case was never solved, but the author could have at least spun a THEORY on what he thought might have happened. Instead, this book was a chronological spewing of facts on the case from the week of the crime until present. It was nothing I didn't already know and a huge disappointment. My sincere apologies to all members of my book club who endured this read!!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris Miller

    I really hope this is the most insufferably overly-detailed yet interminably boring book in the genre of "revealing dirty truths", because if it isn't, there exists one that is worse, and I might accidentally buy it and try to read it. Nonetheless it gets two stars for being at least factual in between the lengthy interviews and statements that add exactly zero information except that yet another neighbour thought they were a nice family. I really hope this is the most insufferably overly-detailed yet interminably boring book in the genre of "revealing dirty truths", because if it isn't, there exists one that is worse, and I might accidentally buy it and try to read it. Nonetheless it gets two stars for being at least factual in between the lengthy interviews and statements that add exactly zero information except that yet another neighbour thought they were a nice family.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Wakely

    Will this book ever end? I gave up - I'd rather watch a documentary or read a shortened version of events with some analysis... not just a fact/timeline spewing. Will this book ever end? I gave up - I'd rather watch a documentary or read a shortened version of events with some analysis... not just a fact/timeline spewing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    dejah_thoris

    Schiller does a great job presenting all sides of the case. Now I don't know what to think. Schiller does a great job presenting all sides of the case. Now I don't know what to think.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ellis

    This book was sooooooo long, I found it quite boring actually.. I did finish it, but it took my quite a while!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kris Zeller

    I find it AMAZING that someone could take such a fascinating case and make it so torturously boring. Pass.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Meehan

    What a bore! And no real theory as to what happened; I wanted theories!!!!! Crazy out there thought provoking theories!!!! Back to the world of Internet conspiracy cover ups for me!

  22. 4 out of 5

    StarMan

    RATING: Didn't learn much new. Neither loved nor hated it. Thus, 3 stars. REVIEW: Exhausting detail (though relevant) on incompetent Boulder police. That 911 tape sure was interesting. Will this case ever be solved? RATING: Didn't learn much new. Neither loved nor hated it. Thus, 3 stars. REVIEW: Exhausting detail (though relevant) on incompetent Boulder police. That 911 tape sure was interesting. Will this case ever be solved?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I began reading this because the pickings are slim around here and I have a slight obsession with articles about cold cases. Well, maybe more than slight. The details of the crime were just as horrible (Actually, moreso with how in depth you learn about what someone did to her - it's hard to fathom such brutality towards a child and very disturbing to read.) as I had thought I remembered, having been a teenager at the time and not really following it but absorbing the media frenzy anyway. To som I began reading this because the pickings are slim around here and I have a slight obsession with articles about cold cases. Well, maybe more than slight. The details of the crime were just as horrible (Actually, moreso with how in depth you learn about what someone did to her - it's hard to fathom such brutality towards a child and very disturbing to read.) as I had thought I remembered, having been a teenager at the time and not really following it but absorbing the media frenzy anyway. To some extent it was interesting to chew on all the conflicting evidence. On the other hand I feel like there was so much information that probably didn't need to be in the book. Painstaking details about conflicts between investigators and all sorts of day to day stuff - the conflicts are important to understand the case, but like I said - painstaking. Much of the details and evidence are also repeated multiple times. I liked to read people's experiences with Jonbenet (though they were only a very small part of this mammoth book) as the salacious 'beauty queen' angle is such an obsession with the media. It made me ill and infuriated when early on in the book a reporter is quoted describing the case as 'SEXY' when this angle is discovered.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carla JFCL

    I'm fascinated by this case and have read several books about it. I found this one to be the "best" in the sense that I think it's the most comprehensive (and, in fact, exhaustive; it takes a long time to plow through this one.) One of the more interesting things about this case is the fact that everyone involved blames someone else, including the authors of the various books that have been written; in some cases they even criticize each others' books. I'll just say that there's enough shoddy inv I'm fascinated by this case and have read several books about it. I found this one to be the "best" in the sense that I think it's the most comprehensive (and, in fact, exhaustive; it takes a long time to plow through this one.) One of the more interesting things about this case is the fact that everyone involved blames someone else, including the authors of the various books that have been written; in some cases they even criticize each others' books. I'll just say that there's enough shoddy investigation, shady stories, outright lying, contradictory evidence, etc., to go around. Be that as it may, I think that this is probably the best book to start with for anyone who is interested in this case, because it seems to contain the most detail, and is relatively objective. FYI - this was made into a miniseries a few years back, which I found mediocre at best.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Although I appreciate the author's efforts to present an unbiased and complete record of the Jonbenet Ramsey murder and investigation, I felt he had too much of an agenda to properly to so. There are a lot of facts in this book. But the author also ignores a lot to suit his purpose. I felt the author sided too much with the DA office and the media. Many of the newspaper and magazine articles are unnecessary and the ones provided are heavily influenced. I try to read everything about a subject I'm Although I appreciate the author's efforts to present an unbiased and complete record of the Jonbenet Ramsey murder and investigation, I felt he had too much of an agenda to properly to so. There are a lot of facts in this book. But the author also ignores a lot to suit his purpose. I felt the author sided too much with the DA office and the media. Many of the newspaper and magazine articles are unnecessary and the ones provided are heavily influenced. I try to read everything about a subject I'm interested in; to give myself a rounded perspective. But I was more frustrated with this book and the lack of evidence and superfluous information. The author could have done better with the writing, although I found the appendices useful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    I have mixed feelings about true crime--reading detailed descriptions of awful things makes me feel sleazy and slightly guilty. However, this book opens with the horrifyingly weird circumstances of JonBenet's abduction, so I found it difficult to quit, even when I wanted to. And I did want to--the book is exhaustively researched---and exhausting to read on an emotional level. The investigation was such a giant bureaucratic mess that I wanted to reach through the book and the shake the participan I have mixed feelings about true crime--reading detailed descriptions of awful things makes me feel sleazy and slightly guilty. However, this book opens with the horrifyingly weird circumstances of JonBenet's abduction, so I found it difficult to quit, even when I wanted to. And I did want to--the book is exhaustively researched---and exhausting to read on an emotional level. The investigation was such a giant bureaucratic mess that I wanted to reach through the book and the shake the participants: the loose-lipped, bizarrely chatty DA, the wannabe macho cops, the frankly repulsive reporters. They spent more time backstabbing each other than doing real work, if this book is to be believed. Everyone involved needed to grow up.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This book is long! It is full of details which is great in true crime however some of these details had nothing to do with the case. This book is equally about the city and politics of boulder which is probably why it is titled the way it is. I did learn some new stuff to the case and am so torn by the way it was handled wondering if different and earlier interviews as well as evidence that wasn't collected in time could have resulted in a different outcome. Sorry for all involved and the terrib This book is long! It is full of details which is great in true crime however some of these details had nothing to do with the case. This book is equally about the city and politics of boulder which is probably why it is titled the way it is. I did learn some new stuff to the case and am so torn by the way it was handled wondering if different and earlier interviews as well as evidence that wasn't collected in time could have resulted in a different outcome. Sorry for all involved and the terrible tragedy and vicious crime this poor little girl endured.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Rose

    On the cover blah... 'Like Norman Mailer's The Executioners Song and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood Schiller's Perfect Murder, Perfect Town will be considered a ...classic I don't think so. This has taken me forever to read, I mean months - because quite honestly it isn't very good. The author interviewed just about everyone involved. Then wrote it down without really making an attempt to craft it into a readable book. I don't read a lot of true crime but this really didn't seem to be well e On the cover blah... 'Like Norman Mailer's The Executioners Song and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood Schiller's Perfect Murder, Perfect Town will be considered a ...classic I don't think so. This has taken me forever to read, I mean months - because quite honestly it isn't very good. The author interviewed just about everyone involved. Then wrote it down without really making an attempt to craft it into a readable book. I don't read a lot of true crime but this really didn't seem to be well executed despite the obvious amount of research.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cleolinda

    As interested as I am in the true crime genre, and as fascinated as I was by the unsolved (and perhaps unsolvable) nature of this case... I just couldn't finish the book. It's exhaustive in its objectiveness, which may have been the problem--several hundred pages in (it's a very thick book with very small print), I finally gave up after I realized I'd invested all this time in a book that didn't--couldn't--have an ending. As interested as I am in the true crime genre, and as fascinated as I was by the unsolved (and perhaps unsolvable) nature of this case... I just couldn't finish the book. It's exhaustive in its objectiveness, which may have been the problem--several hundred pages in (it's a very thick book with very small print), I finally gave up after I realized I'd invested all this time in a book that didn't--couldn't--have an ending.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Liesemer

    I read maybe the first 25% of this book. It is poorly written and too detailed. Also, I found it difficult to keep track of the myriad of characters and wanted to reach through the covers and give most of the police officers a shake. Seriously? The gross negligence is appalling. Regardless, life is too short and reading time is too precious to spend it on this book. I wish Good Reads had a shelf for started but not finished.

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