Staring into the Abyss: Researching Crime & book review ‘Young Blood’


Young Blood; Bob O’Brien


Young Blood, the story of the family murders – Bob O’Brien

4 out of 5 stars

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that my home town of Adelaide has a bit of a dark reputation, with bizarre unsolved child abductions, bodies hidden in barrels, and of course the Family Murders, which is the subject of this book.

The family murders were basically a series of five teen boys and young men who went missing in Adelaide, to be found sometime later clearly subjected to horrific sexual abuse, and in a few instances gruesomely butchered after death.

Written by Bob O’Brien, an officer who actually worked the case this book is excellent. Unlike some other true crime books I have read, this one avoids excessive conjecture and drama; instead it is clinical in its descriptions and analytical in it’s approach. This may make it a bit dry for some readers (those who prefer some titillation with their true crimes), but for me I found it just about perfect. It is a methodical and by all appearances very complete discussion of police investigative procedures. Gory details are factujaly included but never glamorised.

This book fits amazingly into the category of research for me, as the novel idea I am working on involves police investigation, of a complex murder, in the 80’s (at least partially)! The logical approach, the interrogation methods, the practicalities of evidence gathering and control…

Basically the hard part will be making sure I don’t accidentally steal huge chucks of it for my own stuff.

I might have said it before (back when I reviewed Cruel City) but reading true crime is a far different beast when you are reading about your own town. What happened to these young men and boys defies belief, and it’s almost impossible to keep the a comfortable distance from the facts when they are set in the streets you walk down.

It’s an uncomfortable realisation when you suddenly actually understand that these monsters live in the same world as you do.

Daily Word Count: 364

Total Word Count: 4,577

Really didn’t want to write today, but after I started the things started to flow a bit better. Slowly progressing.

Feels good.

Today’s Soundtrack

Published by: wildbilbo

My name is Kristian Thoroughgood, alternately known as KT to my friends, or @WildBilbo on twitter. As of August 2015, I am forty years old. Australian. My blog is intended to be both a place for me to polish my creative writing muscles (not a double entendre) and for others to read and comment on my musings. Expect short stories, articles, essays and other brain dumps. My opinions are my own, and whilst I take care to be at least moderately informed about any topic I speak or write about, these opinions are subject to rapid change in the face of passionate arguments and greater evidence. Please note - on my blog, Evidence beats Passion.

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