Two of the authors, Stephen C. Grismer and Dennis A. Murphy, have served with the Dayton Police Department. Sgt. Grismer retired from the force after 25 years. You might recall that a few years ago I reviewed his previous book “Drenched Uniforms and Battered Badges: How Dayton Police Emerged from the 1913 Flood.” Murphy is a former homicide detective and is still an active officer.
We’ll never know who could be watching us
The book has the feel of a true crime documentary film. The fact that one of the authors is also a former homicide detective provides an essential clarity to the depiction of the investigation. Readers encounter “The Downtown Posse” who executed the crimes. We meet what are described as the “two core couples,” the two companion couples,” and the “three close connections.”
The authors offer us a prelude to the violence which was about to occur:
“In one corner of the city, a small band of youths are emboldened by a 16-year-old runaway girl who just joined their group — Laura Taylor. She is an encouraging influence among her teenage companions … all of whom are estranged from family, disengaged from social norms … adrift. She instantly takes a liking to 19-year-old Marvallous Keene. He hangs with this group on and off … Taylor, Keene and the other teens, who will fancy themselves a local gang — the self-proclaimed Downtown Posse — wander in the underbelly of society, set apart by depravity, adolescent volatility, and prone to impulsive thrills. …”
Always check under the car before driving away
Do you remember the “Christmas Killings”? Do you recall the awful things these young people did? Learn about the detective work that resulted in their apprehension and prosecution. It is all here as the case was being remembered by the officers who ultimately brought them to justice.
Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at vick@vickmickunas.