When a Killer Calls: A Haunting Story of Murder, Criminal Profiling, and Justice in a Small Town

HarperAudio. Feb. 2022. 9:01 hrs. ISBN 9780062979810. $26.99. CRIME
On May 31, 1985, Shari Smith was abducted from the driveway of her family home in South Carolina. When Shari’s parents receive cryptic phone calls from someone claiming to know where Shari is, the police realize they are dealing with a meticulous and organized criminal. They enlist the FBI and one of the coauthors, Douglas, for help. Two weeks later, nine-year-old Debra May Helmick is also kidnapped from her front yard. An anonymous caller continues to call and harass the Smith family and offers details on where Debra can be found. Both authors pick apart those phone calls to put listeners in the mind of the killer by sorting through the details of the disappearance, the criminal mind capable of such horror, and the subsequent trial and justice.
VERDICT Narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright, this detail-heavy account gets bogged down in minutiae at times, leaving listeners struggling to follow the story. True crime fans, however, won’t be disappointed in this gruesome tale of abduction, murder, and criminal profiling.
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