23-year-old Elizabeth Andes was found dead in her Oxford, Ohio home on December 28th, 1978. Beth’s body was discovered by Bob Young, her college sweetheart. It was later determined that Beth had been bound, stabbed, and strangled.
Shortly thereafter, Young found himself subjected to fifteen hours of police questioning, which resulted in his confession.
Although the police and prosecutors believed they had an open-and-shut case, a criminal jury acquitted Young and he was found not liable by a civil jury. Throughout both trials, it was clear Young’s confession was flawed and likely had been coerced.
Regardless, the authorities have long refused to entertain the thought that they might have arrested and charged the wrong man. And for decades, Beth’s case received little to no attention.
That all changed when two reporters from The Cincinnati Enquirer turned their attention to Beth’s unsolved murder.
Now, Hunt and Rossmann have released the transcripts of their podcast in book form, broken down episode by episode. Accused: The Unsolved Murder of Elizabeth Andes from Diversion Books is a must-read for true crime fans, as well as people with even just a passing interest in the machinations of the legal system.
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I buy this book when I can listen to the podcast for free?” In my opinion, there are many reasons why Accused: The Unsolved Murder of Elizabeth Andes is worth your hard-earned money. With my busy loyal readers in mind, however, I will limit myself to three:
- Hunt’s Introduction is compelling. Not only does it provide an overview of the string of coincidences that led to her involvement in Beth’s case, but also it examines how reporters have to reconcile corporate demands with their personal and professional desire to investigate cases that matter most. I won’t give any more away, other than to say the questioning spirit Hunt displays throughout the podcast is also at its best in the Introduction.
- Having unlimited access to the podcast transcripts allows readers to dig deep into the facts of the case, and the proposed theories and suspects explored by Hunt and Rossmann. This is crucial, as we have seen that amateur sleuths can make a difference. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh set of eyes to see a thread in a case that has yet to be pulled, the very thread that might unravel the entire mystery.
- Finally, the release of Accused: The Unsolved Murder of Elizabeth Andes could put further pressure on The Oxford Police Department to take action. The case will likely not be solved without their support, but at the time Hunt and Rossmann readied their book for publication, The Oxford Police Department had yet to add Beth’s case to Ohio’s list of unsolved murders. What will it take to get authorities to properly investigate Beth’s murder? Maybe this book and your resultant outrage is the answer.
In the Introduction, Hunt explains, “I consider it my job as a journalist to make people care.” Believe me, after reading this book you will do just that.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.