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After Hour AM True Crime Author Alan Prendergast

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In a heartbreaking, shocking edition of After Hours AM/The Criminal Code — with hosts Joel Sturgis, Eric Olsen, and our secret weapon, forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — we speak with legendary True Crime journalist Alan Prendergast about his classic book, The Poison Tree, chronicling the infamous Richard Jahnke child abuse-and-parricide case. The book was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best True Fact Crime and has recently been republished as an ebook by Open Road Media. We speak with Alan in top hour 2; hour 1, Clarissa leads a review of the week’s scintillating True Crime news, leading to the conclusion that some people are mean. One cold November night, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, fifteen-year-old Richard Jahnke Jr., ROTC leader and former Boy Scout, waited for his parents to return from celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the night they met. When his father got out of the car, the boy blasted him through the heart with a twelve-gauge pump-action shotgun. Richard’s seventeen-year-old sister, Deborah, was sitting on the living room couch with a high-powered rifle—just in case her brother missed. Rrichard and Deborah Jahnke Was it cold-blooded murder? Or self-defense? Richard Jahnke Sr., special agent for the IRS, gun collector, and avid reader of Soldier of Fortune, had been subjecting his wife, Maria, and both children to harrowing abuse—physical, psychological, and sexual—for years. Deborah and her brother conspired to finally put a stop to it themselves. But their fate was in the hands of a prejudiced and inept judicial system, and only public outcry could save them. Alan Prendergast Alan Prendergast’s stories about the justice system, historic crimes such as the JonBenet Ramsey case, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have appeared in a wide range of anthologies including the true crime collection Seven Sins (2012), The Best Am

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