Wednesday, April 12, 2023

The Garden of Evil

The Garden of Evil by Genoveva Ortiz
4/6/23; 128 pages
True Crime Seven
True Crime Explicit Book 9

The Garden of Evil: The True Story of Herb Baumeister and The Disturbing Horror at The Fox Hollow Farm by Genoveva Ortiz is a very highly recommended true crime story. Herb Baumeister was a successful businessman, family man, and the I-70 Strangler. Eleven murders are attributed to him but he could be responsible for more deaths. He prowled the streets and highways around Indianapolis looking for boys and men to fulfill his heinous desires.

Herb was born in 1947, the oldest of five children. His father was an anesthesiologist and the family first lived in Westfield, a well-to-do suburb north of Indianapolis, Indiana. His childhood was normal  and he was well liked. Herb's personality began to change after puberty and his sense of humor included more disturbing jokes that were morbid. He was a weird awkward high schooler, and struggled after graduation for several years before he met his future wife and settled down.

His early married life had a troubled start. He was hospitalized for a time diagnosed with schizophrenia, but once he left the hospital life seemed to go better and the couple had three children. By all outward appearances he was a hard working family man, however, Herb would still secretly go to the bars in Indianapolis looking for men to pick up. This double life eventually led to the more nefarious desire to murder and Herb became one of America's most notorious serial killers.

True Crime Seven includes a note explaining the style of their books at the beginning which makes it clear to readers that all of their true crime books are written in an accessible style for a variety of reading levels and are meant to be short. True Crime readers looking for a deep dive into and examination of every fact and aspect of a particular person might want more, but those who are just interested in knowing the basic facts and details of a case will appreciate the brevity and easy to read style. It makes the pages fly by while allowing you to learn all the details.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of True Crime Seven via LibraryThing.

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