Beyond Cold Blood: The KBI from Ma Barker to BTK

. 2012. 408p. 978-0-70061-885-9. 34.95.
Welch’s (former director, Kansas Bureau of Investigation) book is both a history of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) as an organization and a retelling of some of the major crimes that have occurred in the state. He discusses the people who helped create the KBI, its workings, and many major cases that the KBI worked to solve, from Bonnie and Clyde to the BTK killer. Welch also details the agency’s limitations, such as insufficient space, budget, and personnel. He covers this uncritically, preferring to focus on the good work done by the organization’s agents. Welch shares how he worked to get legislation passed and helped to form the cold case unit. One interesting side note is how, over time, the biggest crimes were originally bank robberies and cattle rustling; today they’re the illegal drug trade, methamphetamines in particular. ­
VERDICT Clearly proud of the agency and its hard work, Welch gets readers to care about the people involved in helping protect the public. This book will be of interest to fans of true crime, Kansas history, and law enforcement.

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