Survived By One, by Robert E. Hanlon Ph.D., is not your typical crime novel. While discussing a true story, Hanlon mixes in some of the culprit’s own words.
This is not to excuse horrific behavior. Everyone agrees who is truly responsible, including the person arrested for the crime spree which led to his capture.
Tom Odle killed his entire immediate family back in 1985. There is much more to Odle’s story than what emerges upon first glance. Odle killed his siblings as well as his parents.
In 2000, circumstances around the crime changed. Governor George Ryan puts a halt to the use of the death penalty for the state of Illinois. Since Odle was on Death Row at the time, the potential for a real future was suddenly set out in front of him.Then, in 2011, the death penalty was abolished completely in Illinois.
Hanlon uses his training as a neuropsychologist to help readers decide if perhaps something can be learned from Odle. More to the point, Hanlon makes an attempt to try and assist Odle in understanding the reasons for his actions.
Scattered at various intervals are Odle’s own words in his attempts at seeing how a choice by one person can set up as well as influence another. Obviously, these are with some benefit of hindsight. Time has been taken in order to reflect on precisely what was done and the reasoning behind such a choice.
Readers will not find this book an easy choice to work through. Even knowing the subject matter does not prepare one for the truth which comes out. The crime discussed is a terrible one, but the circumstances which led up to it are even worse.
Hanlon has pretty much made this book Odle’s legacy. Readers will have to decide if it deserves to be remembered.Powered by Sidelines