A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger

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Synopsis

A fatal collision of three lives in the most intriguing and original crime story since In Cold Blood.


In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a shocking sex murder that exactly fits the pattern of the Boston Strangler. Sensing a break in the case that has paralyzed the city of Boston, the police track down a black man, Roy Smith, who cleaned the victim's house that day and left a receipt with his name on the kitchen counter. Smith is hastily convicted of the Belmont murder, but the terror of the Strangler continues.



On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvo—the man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler's crimes—is also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers' home. In this spare, powerful narrative, Sebastian Junger chronicles three lives that collide—and ultimately are destroyed—in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.
 

About Sebastian Junger

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Sebastian Junger is the author of A Death in Belmont and Fire. He has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. Most recently, he has been reporting on the war in Afghanistan for Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City.
 
Published April 3, 2007 by Harper Perennial. 266 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Death in Belmont

The New York Times

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Sebastian Junger, the author of "The Perfect Storm," a dramatic account of the northeaster of October 1991 that devastated New England and sank the fishing trawler Andrea Gail, has once again written about a confluence of elements that brought about an apparently perfect storm — this time, one th...

Apr 16 2006 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

The Guardian

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A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger Fourth Estate £14.99, pp272 On 11 March 1963, Israel Goldberg came home to find his wife dead.

Apr 30 2006 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

The Guardian

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A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger 266pp, Fourth Estate, £14.99.

May 12 2006 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

Publishers Weekly

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Bessie Goldberg was strangled to death in her home in Belmont, a Boston suburb, in March of 1963—right in the middle of the Boston Strangler's killing spree.

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Book Reporter

Junger even considers the remote possibility that the Goldberg murder was committed by someone who was not the Strangler.

Dec 29 2010 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

AV Club

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(DeSalvo later recanted his Strangler confessions, though he was murdered in prison before he could explain himself.) Mostly it's about Roy Smith, a black Mississippi native who cleaned Bessie Goldberg's house on the day she was killed, and was quickly convicted of her murder.

Apr 26 2006 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

Entertainment Weekly

''A black man was not a common sight in Belmont in 1963,'' writes Junger, ''and virtually every good citizen who had seen him walking down Pleasant Street that afternoon remembered him.'' From the get-go, something felt wrong about the case against Smith.

Apr 19 2006 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

The Bookbag

Summary: The story of the Boston Strangler and his association with the Junger family along with a snapshot of American society with all its racial tensions in the early ninetteen sixties is highly recommended by The Bookbag.

Nov 25 2012 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

Reviewing the Evidence

Suddenly a handyman named Albert DeSalvo confessed to the stranglings – but not Mrs Goldberg's murder, although he was in Belmont that day, working at the Junger house, and could have killed her.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Sebastian Junger believes that the real killer may have been none other than Albert DeSalvo, a carpenter in the Junger house during that time and the man eventually convicted for the Strangler’s 13 murders.

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of A Death in Belmont

Reader Rating for A Death in Belmont
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