KILLING JODIE - Janet Fife-Yeomans

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Killing Jodie
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Book Synopsis

Drug user and part-time prostitute, Jodie Larcombe disappeared from St Kilda in December, 1987.  It would have been easy for police to shrug their shoulders and put it down to her lifestyle. However, the detectives assigned to her case refused to give up on her.

They were certain she had been murdered. They knew who did it, but they just couldn't prove it to the satisfaction of the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Their suspect, Daryl Suckling, had led a charmed life.  He had escaped prosecutions for the abduction and rape of 3 other victims, largely on technicalities and sheer good luck.  This time the detectives weren't going to let him get away with it.

 What followed was a decade-long investigation conducted by police detectives who were determined to see justice done.

Book Review

This year I have read true crime books about crooks, books about crimes and books about the personalities involved, but this is the first book I've read  that tells the story from, the perspective of the investigating officers.

KILLING JODIE is an in-depth nuts-and bolts look at the investigation. Because there was no body, not only did the detectives have to collect evidence proving the Suckling  had commited murder, they also had to discount the inevitable claims that Jodie was still alive.

The author, Janet Fife-Yeomans became intrigued with the case when covering the story for The Australian newspaper.  In her acknowledgements she states that "I have tried to take the reader inside the investigation so the evidence unfolds for the reader as it did for the police" and she has succeeded.  KILLING JODIE reads like a police procedural. We share the ups and downs of the case with the investigating officers who refused to let go, the relationships formed with Jodie's family and other witnesses during the case and the impact it had on all their lives.

Fife-Yeomans had the co-operation of both police and family in writing KILLING JODIE and has written it in such a way that it is almost impossible not to become emotionally involved while reading the book.

KILLING JODIE is a must-read for true crime devotees. If you're not, perhaps this book will change your mind.

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