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No Regrets by Ann Rule

No Regrets (2006)

by Ann Rule

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It is hard to rate this book. Mostly, I found it strangely attractive, and being somewhat compulsive anyway, I kept on reading even when it wasn't much fun. With one exception, I thought the stories rated 2 stars at the most.

These true crime stories focus on how real-world trials go (not like Perry Mason at all), on the hard work of the police detectives in trying to get the evidence needed, the role of experts in forensic matters, and of course the evil in the hearts of the perpetrators, illustrated mostly through the factual details and sometimes their own words, especially their self-contradictions.
The primary story takes up 215 pages out of 400 and some odd pages excluding the philosophical reflections at the end of the book. Then six other stories follow, from 20 to 40 (or so) pages long.
Interesting, but not very uplifting.

Then the next to last story is haunting. The book was well worth reading for this sad story alone. About a woman who goes off the deep end when her husband leaves her and so does her job. She decides that she is evil, a bad influence on her children, and decides to kill them and herself. She does in fact toss the little boys off the bridge into the Columbia River. Then she goes to the police and confesses, expecting to get the death penalty.
The author talks about the M'Naughton rule. Apparently the jurors were not familiar with the concept of jury nullification, or they apparently would have turned in a not guilty verdict. Instead they found the woman guilty and she was sent to the state mental hospital.

(Wikipedia explains, "in the United States jury nullification occurs when a jury in a criminal case reaches a verdict contrary to the weight of evidence, sometimes because of a disagreement with the relevant law.")

Anyway, I found the book at the Little Free Library, where I try a lot of things I would not otherwise consider reading. I won't search out this author again. I think her books may be very popular at airports, where people are desperate for something to while away the time wasted while waiting for the airplanes.

One minor annoyance - instead of the legally precise phrase "not guilty" the author insists on saying "innocent." Every time I saw this, I had to correct her in my mind.
( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
This is a series of truly sad stories. Rule ends her book with a story that should be inspiring, but it's still just so very sad.

I would recommend this book to individuals who have enjoyed other books by Ann Rule, M. William Phelps, or Aphrodite Jones. ( )
  jlsimon7 | Feb 29, 2016 |
As usual Ann Rule delivers true crime stories that are fascinating to read. The fact that she becomes so close to the victims families, and through them to the victim, just adds to the story.

I love reading the shorter fiction, I actually keep one of these books in my car so if I get stuck somewhere I always have a book to read. ( )
  bookswoman | Dec 20, 2013 |
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To the Puget Sound Pilots' Association, which has provided safe passage through Northwest waterways for ships, their passengers, and their crews since 1935. They take care of their own - never more so than in their long search for the old man who was a pilot on the Sound for more than forty years. He guided hundreds of ships safely into port; when he himself was lost, the Puget Sound Pilots were the first to sound the alarm.
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Preface: Most of us have made decisions that we wish we could go back and change.
Sometimes it takes a hundred years or more for a true story to be told and retold so often that it is eventually tinged with enough rumors and unsubstantiated "facts" to make it barely distinguishable from fiction.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743448758, Mass Market Paperback)

A ship's pilot legendary for guiding mammoth freighters through the narrows of Puget Sound, Rolf Neslund was a proud Norwegian, a ladies' man, and a beloved resident of Washington State's idyllic Lopez Island. Virtually indestructible even into his golden years, he made electrifying headlines more than once: after a ship he was helming crashed into the soaring West Seattle Bridge, causing millions in damages; and following his inexplicable disappearance at age 80. Was he a suicide, a man broken by one costly misstep? Had he run off with a lifelong love? Or did a trail of gruesome evidence lead to the home Rolf shared with his wife, Ruth? On an island where everyone thought they knew their neighbors, the veneer of the Neslunds' marriage masked a convoluted case that took many years to solve. And, indeed, some still believe that the old sea captain will come home one day. "The Sea Captain" is a classic tale as blood chilling as murder itself. Along with six other equally riveting, detailed accounts of destruction and murder committed without conscience or regret, Ann Rule takes readers into frightening places they never could have imagined in No Regrets.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

Collects true crime stories about sociopaths who kill ruthlessly, including the tale of a sea captain who is tricked into marriage and cheated out of his fortune by the mother of his illegitimate children before being murdered by her and her brother.

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