Barry Siegel – A Death in White Bear Lake

In 1962, Jerry Sherwood gave up her newborn son, Dennis, for adoption. Twenty years later, she set out to find him – only to discover he had died before his fourth birthday. The immediate cause was peritonitis, but the coroner had never decided the mode of death, writing “deferred” rather than indicate accident, natural causes, or homicide. This he did even though the autopsy photos showed Dennis covered from head to toe in ugly bruises, his clenched fists and twisted facial expression suggesting he had died writhing in pain.

Harold and Lois Jurgens, a middle-class, churchgoing couple in picturesque White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had adopted Dennis and five other foster children. To all appearances, they were a normal Midwestern family, but Jerry suspected that something sinister had happened in the Jurgens household. She demanded to know the truth about her son’s death.

Why did authorities dismiss evidence that marked Dennis as an endangered child? Could Lois Jurgens’ brother, a local police lieutenant, have interfered in the investigation? And most disturbing of all, why had so many people who’d witnessed Lois’ brutal treatment of her children stay silent for so long? Determined to find answers, local detectives and prosecutors rebuilt the case brick by brick, finally exposing the shocking truth behind a nightmare in suburbia.

Author: Barry Siegel
Narrator: Charles Constant
Duration: 16 hours 51 minutes
Released: 19 Aug 2012
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Language: English

User Review:

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Clearly, the world we live in today is strategically very different and full of facts not available to the Dulles brothers. Although I am not a fan of the Dulles’ body of work, the author vilifies the two in light of the current world situation with but a cursory tip of the hat to the old adage of “Hindsight is 20/20.”

All in all, a good read.