U.P. Notable Books Club S5: E4 – Rod Sadler and The Cold Case Search for the Mackinac Island Killer

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ROD SADLER worked as a police officer in Mid-Michigan for thirty years, retiring in 2012.  He began researching his first book after discovering the story of a brutal 1897 murder in Williamston, Michigan, a town where he had spent his childhood. His great-grandfather served as the sheriff at the time of the murder, and he was integral part of the investigation. After returning to college late in his law enforcement career, he discovered his love for writing, and he decided to write about what he knows best…true crime. In Rod’s books, you’ll find an enormous amount of research into the murders he writes about.  His attention to detail allows him to craft intriguing, detailed accounts of a series of Michigan murders.

“Sadler’s book investigates in detail many violent and psychotic offenders who were swept up, interviewed, and finally exonerated or left with no conclusive details. Of particular interest was an oddly similar case at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois where three young women had been tied up and brutally beaten to death in March 1960. Chester Weger, the perpetrator of that crime, was exonerated only because he had been released from an Illinois jail on July 24th and reported for work on time on July 25th. Still, Sadler cannot shake the idea that a serial killer may have been involved and a final chapter on serial killer Jerald Winegart raises disturbing questions about how the case might have been resolved with long-term evidence retention.

Throughout the book, the reader will learn how hard a real-life detective has to work and how many dozens of dead ends they will hit along the way. Having stayed on Mackinac Island several times, beginning with my honeymoon in 1990, I was fascinated by the level of detail and familiar hotels, bars, and other establishments that are still around. Whether you are a fan of Mackinac Island in particular or cold-case crimes, there is a treasure trove of historical detail to enjoy in Rod Sadler’s “Grim Paradise”.  Sadler sincerely hopes that this work may jog the memory of a reader and provide a missing puzzle piece for this nearly forgotten but heartless crime.” — Victor R. Volkman, Read the entire review on U.P. Book Review

More information about the U.P. Notable Book list, U.P. Book Review, and UPPAA can be found on www.UPNotable.com

About the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA)

Established in 1998 to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with over 100 members, many of whose books are featured on the organization’s website at www.uppaa.org. UPPAA welcomes membership and participation from anyone with a UP connection who is interested in writing.

The metal gate just feet from where the body of Francis Lacey was found in 1960 still stands today!

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