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Accused: The Unsolved Murder of Elizabeth Andes 

Book Review

Accused: The Unsolved Murder of Elizabeth Andes

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.

Beth Andes

Photo of murder victim Elizabeth Andes
Source: Daily Beast

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.

Amber Hunt and Amanda Rossmann re-examined Beth’s case and reported their findings in season one of the engaging and thought-provoking podcast Accused.

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.

Photo of the book Accused
Source: Amazon

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Interested in unsolved cold cases? Check out the murder of Andrew Moore and the mysterious slaying of Muriel Drinkwater.

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2 Comments

  1. Martin J Zoller Martin J Zoller

    Podcast for Elizabeth Andes case was very well done. I am a big follower court room drama, murder mysteries and lately forensic files,ID type shows. I am always fascinated by the efforts of those compelled to help solve puzzles, through use of forensics and DNA related to crimes where justice needs to be served. Perhaps I should pursuit this occupation before I retire? 🙂

    I am a Miami of Ohio Redskin graduate also in 1978 along with my wife Beth. My senior year I lived in the same Candlewood apartments, the same building mentioned here ( “L-shaped). I left in late August when I graduated and move to NJ where I have been since. I lived on the 1st floor for a year and then the 2nd floor at Candlewood for 3 months. So, this case caught my attention even more when I learned about it for the first time on my recent drive this past weekend 2/1/19 to Xavior Univ to watch my niece swim on Saturday at Miami University. This was to be our first time back to Miami since 1978 ( bad I know). We only learned of the murder on our drive out. I’m shocked I just learned about it this late in life. With a 9 hour drive I read what I could about the case and listened to 2 of the episodes of your podcast as we drove.

    When we got to Oxford, we drove/walked around the campus and visited Candlewood (renamed) and saw many sites. Having returned home to NJ, I finished the podcast. It gave us renewed desires to go back to Oxford again soon for a 3 day weekend to really explore more.

    I feel for the family for Beth Andes and Bob Young as I fully believe he is innocent and there are 4 likely scenarios to pursuit, three of them you mentioned and the potential for a 4th as a serial killer. Someone needs to wake up Oxford police and officials to say hey, we may have blown it so we agree to reopen the investigation aggressively and we how we can resolve this case. Hell, we all make mistakes.

    Well, I plan now to purchase the book from the podcasts, read it thoroughly and then see what more I can learn. This sad story has my attention and I would love to see some closure too as it hit my wife and I close to home. I lived right there for 15 months. I’m also from Cleveland, although the east side.

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Martin. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to share your story. I agree that the podcast was excellent, and I’ve read the book (which is a transcript of the podcast) and can tell you it is great as well. You won’t be disappointed. It really helps to be able to go over the material slowly and reread it as necessary to really get a handle on it. Talk about a case that hits close to home for you! Yikes. Take care and all the best to you and your wife.

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