The Champion

May 2014 , Page 63 

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Book Review: Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer

By Cara Schaefer Wieneke

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Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer

By Dr. Robert Hanlon and Tom Odle
Southern Illinois University Press (2013)
 

As criminal defense lawyers, we often meet clients for the first time when they are at the lowest point of their lives. Many of them have been accused of heinous offenses; and in most cases, they are guilty. This leaves us wondering what caused them to commit the offense. We receive the pre-sentence investigation report, and it may mention the client’s drug use, the abuse endured, or the fact that the client was raised in a broken home. But it still doesn’t explain why. What caused our client to commit such a horrific offense?

In Survived by One, Dr. Robert E. Hanlon tries to answer this question for one defendant. In the mid-1980s in Illinois, Tom Odle brutally murdered his mother, father, and three younger siblings. For this he received the ultimate sentence: the death penalty. The Odle family appeared to be a typical American Midwest

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