Sunday, June 7, 2009

Innocence Lost by Carlton Stowers

Undercover officer George Raffield's job was to pose as a student in the small town of Midlothian, Texas and infiltrate the high school drug ring. When Raffield's cover became suspect, word spread through a small circle of friends that the young officer would pay with his life. No one stopped it. On a rainy fall evening in 1987, Raffield was lured to an isolated field. Three bullets were fired-one unloaded into his skull. The baby-faced killer, Greg Knighten, stole eighteen dollars from Raffield's wallet, divided it among his two young accomplices, and calmly said, it's done. With chilling detail, Carlton Stowers illuminates a dark corner of America's heartland and the children who hide there. What he found was an alienated subculture of drug abuse, the occult, and an unfathomable teenage rage that exploded at point blank range on a shocking night of lost innocence...

Carlton Stowers was initally reluctant to write this book as he is from the same area where this crime occurred.Initally reluctant to perhaps have to release secrets of friends and family,he went ahead on the advice of his wife.The fact that he is so close to the story shows in the writing of this book.It shows in the respectful writing(from his close affiliation with the characters) and yet is honest and revealing no doubt due to his experience in writing true crime books,a talent he has which is admired by his fellow true crime writers.

He found out about this story when he was contacted by Karen Hufstetler,a psychic who informed him that the authorities were searching for an undercover cop.She then told him that they needed to be searching further south and when they found the pick up truck the keys would be missing.She was right.

This book will take you deeply into the drug scene prevalent in schools,the flippant attitude most teenagers have,the fact that they are absolutely not fully aware of the consequences of their actions,even their casual disregard for drug use,even if they themselves are not indulging then they definitely are not shocked at the fact that their fellow schholmates are indeed taking drugs.The most shocking part of this true crime story is how well known was the fact that George Raffield was an undercover cop,that some kids had promised to make him pay.Yet not one of the other school kids thought of alerting the authorities that this young man's life was in danger.

I believe that this book was especially excellent as the writer Carlton Stowers was able to get much insider information based on his relationship with the town.I assume alongside that was the fact that being a friend they could truly trust him to relate the story in a truthful and respectful way which he has done.

This is one of my "old" books which I am doing a review on in my bid to catch up on all my reviews.I can also tell from just looking at my old books which ones I enjoyed the most just by checking their general condition.A book which took me a long time to read will be dog eared and tattered.The ones which still look brand new I know I read really quickly which then translates into "I really enjoyed it".And no it would not mean I never read it because I really try to finish reading all the books I buy and if I was struggling then it would remain next to my bedside table.I would read one page and then clip a page to keep my space and then all the pages would show they had been clipped at one time or other(yes I do NOT have a book marker).My point is this book Innocence Lost by Carlton Stowers is practically brand new.

If you would like to know more about this book then South African readers can access via Kalahari Books and if you would like to read some more reviews then the Amazon link below will do just that
Innocence Lost
I read this book in June 2008 and it has 8 pages of photographs.

Here are some more book details:
Country: United States of America
Format: Mass market paperback
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780312995447
Publication date: May 2004
Pages: 336

My Question:
Do you think the kids who knew that his crime was about to happen but said nothing to anyone should be held accountable in some way?


  1. Thanks for the review sounds like a great read...

  2. Answer to your question: Yes. I am always shocked to hear about things like this...that people knew what was about to happen, yet did nothing about it. What happened to that undercover officer was terribly wrong. Why the ones who knew did not come forward is a mystery to me. This sounds like a great read, thanks for the review!

  3. Hey Heidi and Missy
    I did enjoy the book but was indignant most of the time about the "lost" teenagers.I read a review on Amazon where the reviewer stated that he put his life in danger to catch kids with $5 worth of dope.I think he missed the point a bit.These same kids with $5 dollar dope were capable of killing,as it turns out.

  4. Yes, they should. Kids in our little town several years ago kidnapped an elderly retired teacher from her home, tied her up, threw her in the trunk of the car and drove around with her in the trunk. Then they tied her hands and feet together, tied a cinder block to her and threw her in the river where she drowned. I think that every one of those kids should be held resposible. You can read some about it here:

    and here:

  5. Sharon I went over.Interesting stuff.You know the review I did on Vanished At Sea?That's how the couple also died.I think it is one of the worst ways to die-by drowning.I agree-every single one of those kids.Just going on myself,I know I have never been able to stand and watch people hurt other people.That includes parents hitting their children in supermarkets and the one time this guy was hitting his girlfriend and everyone was just watching so I thought I would try and tackle him by running and jumping on him.He pushed me on a table which went sliding across the room but the thing is that after this other guys got involved and helped the girl.This made me think that some people don't help when it's a couple because maybe the feeling is he owns the girl but when he attacked me(complete stranger) then it was ok to get involved.People amaze me!!

  6. That was a brave thing you did. I'm glad your example got others involved. Hopefully the girlfriend left him without a backwards glance.

  7. That's the whole problem.A lot of people don't want to get involved in domestic disputes because the girlfriedn wife then turns on you for hitting her husband.I saw a tv program (CSI)once where the wife became a witness against the guy who beat up her partner.Okay it was a scam but this kind of thing makes most people wary of getting involved.

  8. What if the "kids" where coerced into the murder from threats by adult drug dealers? What if the "kids" families were threatened if the kids didn't do as they were being pressured, and the book never told you this, nor the police, nor could it be brought out fully in the trial.

    Then you have two kids that are growing old in prison from being pressured into an act that they didn't want to do. And, then you have abortive justice, right?

    What if the undercover officer was the kid's ride to the drug dealers, and would not have been able to purchase the drugs unless given a ride by the undercover officer?

  9. You raise some very good points.I hope you do come back and comment some more.To answer your questions above
    1-what if the kids were coerced?the kid who shot the policeman said "it's done" right after and then took $18 from his pocket.This does not imply that he was at all traumatised by being "forced" to commit murder.These same kids got themselves into a situation where they could be coerced?Why didnt they tell their families or an adult?let's assume they came from a dysfnctional family where they could not speak to their parents,well then,in that case they wouldn't have cared if their parents were threatened would they?
    2*the undercover cop provided the ride to the drug dealers-they knew where the drug dealers lived didnt they?they had gotten there prior to the ride by the cop?if not the cop then they would have gotten a ride from someone else(as they did many times before)

  10. Greg was just screwed up in the head... he was just another dumbass rebellious teenager, like we all were...just took things too far, too serious. Yeah, we did some drugs and smoked some weed, but everyone wasn't into the whole "occult" thing like he was. There was talk about Raffield being a cop, but you know how kids 'talk' about things. Nobody seriously thought he'd go out and shoot him. Not 'really'. His dad was a cop. He'd pull out his service pistol and jack around with it when we hung out at his house and the folks were away. Always made me nervous. Whole thing was a case of a kid making a terrible decision, dragging some other kids into it guy losing his life behind it, and them losing a big chunk of their lives. Stupid. Kids. This all came to mind because I ran across Jonathan on Facebook, and I hadn't thought about all that mess in years. I've got teens of my own now, and you do your best to teach them to make good decisions. It's scary though.


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