Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Cold-Blooded Business: Adultery, Murder, and a Killer's Path from the Bible Belt to the Boardroom by Marek Fuchs

The fascinating, chilling true story of what happens when you murder someone--and get away with it. Olathe, Kansas, was made famous by Truman Capote in his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood, in which he told the story of the Clutter family's murder in 1959. But few people know that Olathe achieved notoriety again in 1982, when a member of Olathe's growing Evangelical Christian population, a gentle man named David Harmon, was murdered in his bed, beaten so badly with a club that his face caved in beyond recognition. Suspicion quickly fell on David's wife, Melinda, and her boyfriend, Mark, student body president of the local Bible College. However, Melinda and Mark were never officially charged with murder, and they went on to lead successful and law-abiding lives. A Cold Blooded Business documents the shockingly amateurish police investigation, which was resumed in 2002.A fast-moving true detective story.

As a first book,this writer Marek Fuchs shows great potential to go on to bigger and greater things.The book starts off with the actual crime and then goes back in time to the events which unfold until the murder takes place.I felt like I hit the ground running with this book as the writing is very fast paced.The botched investigation,then onto the separate lives of the two suspects after they move on without ever being charged.The portion on Mark is extremely interesting as he went on to become quite a power house in the business world.Then the events which lead to this cold case being re opened.The stunningly short re investigation which is due to the investigators talking to Melinda,and not being in the presence of her father as before,starts talking albeit offering many different versions of what actually happened that night.The fact that her story had changed immediately alerted the investigators that they were onto something.Then onto Melinda and Marc being charged with the murder.The book also explores their current lives in jail after being sentenced.

This book had an impact on me as it is one of the few who have actually made me note when the "murderers" will be up for parole so I can keep track of what happens.While the book doesn't offer any "believable" reasons(for me) for why this murder took place other than Melinda's deeply religious belief that divorce would be worse than murder I have been thinking of my own set of possible scenarios.

David Harmon,the murdered victim,had at one stage put his arm on a friend's leg while he was driving.In the book this event is told by the friend who believes that David had wanted to tell him of the affair Melinda and Marc were having.This event led me to this scenario.David was gay.He had a brief interlude with Marc,who later on,ashamed of this,planned and murdered him in a horrific fit of anger.

Or Melinda,Marc and David were involved in a menage a trois.(Marc was close friends with Melinda and David)I can imagine that being deeply religious that Marc and Melinda would have remained quiet about this all these years,initially for their beliefs and later on to hide this possible motive and still later,once charged, to secure their lesser charges and retain their standing in their social circles once they got out on parole.

The information on this supposed affair between Marc and Melinda is very flimsy and I,for one, do not believe there was any physical affair.I cannot believe that an "emotional" affair would erupt into this absolutely horrific beating.Then these same people capable of this go on to lead impeccable law abiding lives?

Another theory is that Melinda arranged for someone else to kill her husband.I think she was in love with Marc but he did not feel the same.Maybe she came up with this as a way to kill a few birds with one stone.The mind boggles...

From the details supplied I found Marc to be extremely likeable,Melinda to be pathetic and the victim in life,to be childish and immature.I guess my possible murder conpiracies are based on these.I think this story still has some more interesting information to be revealed and Marek Fuchs the writer should go and interview some more people.Maybe now that the "murderers" are in jail,the people who know more would be more willing to talk.

Melinda will be up for parole in April 2010 and Marc in May 2011.I am going to keep track of this true crime story.

Watch this space as I will be doing a book giveaway on this book soon and also I will be interviewing this writer,Marek Fuchs.I have LOTS of questions.The post should be around the end of August.

Here are some more book details:
A Cold-Blooded Business: Love, Adultery, and Murder in a Small Kansas Town
Country: United States of America
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
ISBN: 9781602392540
Publication date: February 2009
Pages: 201
Illustrations: Illustrated


  1. I'm looking forward to the interview with the author! Thank you for the review...

  2. This sounds like a book I could get into. Can't wait for the interview & giveaway!

  3. An interview and giveaway? I can't wait! I love that you come up with realistic scenarios of what could happen. We had a CSI day at school and I was made to be a leader. And we just questioned everything e.g. they told us it was murder and our group said, "How do we know he didn't do this to himself? It could have been suicide." In the end though, my group was the only group to get it right :D

    But I've strayed from the point. I wanted to say it was an excellent review and the scenarios intrigue me.

  4. Hey All
    I am still sorting out the giveaway and interview.The writer was on holiday until the 16th so I have to contact him now to organise.

  5. This sounds like a great book to read!


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