Saturday, July 01, 2023

Sunday Synopsis - The Girl in the Leaves (true crime)


The Girl in the LeavesThe Girl in the Leaves by Robert Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read, watch, and listen to true crime (books, TV and movies, podcasts), so I was well aware of this case... the victims, what happened to them, even who committed the crime, but I wanted to read the story about how it happened. Sadly, very little time was spent describing events, and too much time was spent quoting tips and testimonials. Honestly, how fifteen other people felt about the crime and what they did was not what I was interested in, or the hundreds of irrlevant tips. I'm glad he spent some time telling how one of the victims overcame this tragedy, but he could have done so without the superfluous material.

In Howard, Ohio in November of 2010, Tina Herrmann, her two chidren, Kody Maynard, 11, and Sarah Maynard, 13, and Tina's friend Stephanie Sprang were reported missing. It was as if they disappeared into thin air. Despite all the searching, they were not found, and probably never would have if not for the confession of the killer, Matthew Hoffman.

Hoffman was known in the area to exhibit extremely strange behavior. At the time, he was a tree trimmer with what many would call an obsession with trees and leaves. When his name was brought to the attention of law enforcement, his home was raided. In the basement of his home in a pile of leaves was 13 year old Sarah, bound and gagged. There was no sign of Sarah's mother, brother, or friend.

At first, Hoffman would say nothing. Eventually he confessed to murdering Tina, Kody, and Stephanie and led police to their bodies which had been dismembered, placed in trash bags, and hidden in the hollow of a large tree. The remains of the family pet were also found there. Hoffman was tried for the three murders as well as the kidnapping and rape of Sarah. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. He is still incarcerated in Ohio.

The crime was obviously horrendous, but the book did not give it due justice. The book was poorly written with too many extraneous details and not enough information about the crime, the victims, the case, and the conviction. The author seems to have copied verbatime the statements of, not only those who testified, but the many friends and family members who suffered the loss of these victims. It could have been condensed, and if it had, maybe it wouldn't have been so, dare I say, boring (the book, not the crime or the case). I ended up skimming through parts of it due to their insignificance to the crime.

Although the crime and case were interesting, the same cannot be said for this particular account of it, and I would not recommend this book. Suprisingly, there doesn't seem to be another book that I could find about this case. Maybe I should have stuck to TV and podcasts to learn more about his particular crime. The book was not worth the time it took to read.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure i could read it at all, what a horror for all of them.


I love comments! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


Related Posts with Thumbnails