Book: A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town
A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town
by Barry Siegel (Author)From Publishers Weekly
This is a masterfully depicted true-crime tale of the murder of a child by his adoptive mother and the resolution of the case 27 years later. In 1980 Jerry Sherwood, who had given her first child up for adoption, searched for him only to discover that Dennis had died at age three in 1965 under mysterious circumstances. Her accusations prodded the town of White Bear Lake in Wisconsin, which had already suspected adoptive mother Lois Jurgens of killing the child, into action. The resultant trial, a landmark case, established the legal principle that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to convict in a child-abuse case, and served to reinforce the now commonly accepted contention that those abused as children frequently become child abusers themselves. Jurgens is now in prison. This perceptive analysis of the case by a Los Angeles Times reporter is stirring. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. -
From Library Journal
Using nonfiction novel style, Los Angeles Times reporter Siegel tells the story of Harold and Lois Jurgens, a Minnesota couple who adopted two children and beat the younger one, Dennis, to death in 1963. The Jurgens later adopted four more children, all of whom were also abused. Lois Jurgens was successfully prosecuted for third-degree murder after Dennis's natural mother came looking for her son and expressed suspicions about his death, 22 years after it happened. Drawing from many sources, Siegel has produced a well-written account of a particularly troubling child abuse case. He also provides some informative commentary on the failure of society--in particular its social service, legal, and medical systems--to protect its children from abuse. Recommended for public libraries.
- Donna L. Miller, Lebanon Valley Coll. Lib., Annville, Pa.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.