Shortly after midnight on March 20, 1988, Stacie Madison and Susan Smalley, two seniors at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton, Texas, ventured out into the night. Their destination was Forest Lane, the legendary cruise strip known to every Dallas teenager as the premier hot spot for meeting up with friends. The girls were never seen again. 22 years later, their disappearance remains perhaps the most infamous unsolved mystery in North Texas history. The product of the author's original research, this book, which the Carrollton Police Department credits with revitalizing its investigation into this cold case, examines: the lives of these two young women; what is known about that fateful night; theories and speculation regarding their final fates; the person of interest original case investigators insist was never "properly eliminated as a suspect"; and the impact this haunting event continues to have on the Carrollton community. For additional information, see... More > http://www.thisnightwoundstime.com< Less
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By Dan Marvin
Feb 9, 2010
It took me awhile to warm up to This Night Wounds Time. Shawn Sutherland takes a look into the disappearances of two Texas teens on a night in 1988 in this very personal book. Sutherland attended the same High School a few years prior and had met one of the girls in passing shortly before their abduction. It took 20 years for the posters that blanketed the town of Carrollton Texas to spur him to action. Unlike many books I’ve read, this wasn’t a vanity project or even done to make a profit. Sutherland is selling this book at cost simply to publicize the case and, hopefully, to re-energize the investigation. To me, this is a great use of self publishing. While he doesn’t turn up any new leads or solve the case, he does make a compelling case that perhaps not enough has been done to solve it. As a bit of a synopsis, the case is still open as a missing persons case because the bodies of Stacie Madison and Susan Smalley have never been found. While they were well known and popular, they... More > seemed to simply disappear into thin air on that fateful March night. Stacie’s Ford Mustang was found locked in the parking lot of a popular hangout and there was no sign of foul play. Their movements that night are hard to document and full of holes. Were they abducted by a scorned boyfriend and his brother? Did they meet up with some friends from Dallas? Or was it something else entirely? The problem remains simply that no one knows. Or more accurately, someone knows but isn’t saying. The book is extremely well researched. Sutherland talked to virtually everyone associated with the case that would talk to him. This included parents, friends, police detectives, and even the most likely suspect, the ex-boyfriend of one of the girls. The book is liberally interspersed with pictures of the town, the girls, the car, and anything else that helps to illustrate what is being discussed. All references are painstakingly referenced. So, if it’s such a noble cause and a well researched book, why was I slow to warm up to it? The formatting was a little distracting. Every few paragraphs gets its own subheading. The footnotes also get repetitive. There is not only a Preface, but also a three page list of acknowledgements and even an explanation of the Title (words on a King Crimson album cover) before the book gets going. As the book comes to an end, it has three chapters that could potentially be considered a conclusion. And in the middle is the somewhat formal, fact-based writing that is clearly Shawn’s writing style in his ‘day job’ in a legal field. Once I got past these little quirks and indulgences, the story really was gripping and every parents’ worst nightmare. I can only imagine how my life would change if my teen were to go missing, with no explanation and no closure. Sutherland does take the time to detail the aftermath including how the families have dealt with it. When everything was said and done, I was glad I had read the book and that Shawn Sutherland had written it. I got past my hang-ups with formatting and got drawn into the narrative. By the end, I was truly invested in the case and Sutherland had done his job. Even if you’re not a fan of true crime, you’ll find yourself trying to figure out ‘who done it.’< Less
Firstly I will come right out and say I highly recommend this well written and admirably researched book. I am a relative newcomer to this case where Stacie Madison and Susan Smalley seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth in March 1988. Nevertheless I have been intrigued as to how two well regarded, sensible and intelligent young ladies could suffer this fate. I wanted to know who the perpetrator was in this still unsolved crime. Upon reading this book the reader will: Come to understand how and why the author embarked on this labor of love. Admire the bravery and dignity of the girl’s family’s. Learn where the police investigation faltered. Read what the original investigators feelings are today. And finally the reader will feel a shiver run down their spine when they suddenly see who the perpetrator more than likely is. I feel a deep anger that the perpetrator walks free when the family’s of these young ladies were handed a life sentence of suffering over twenty one years... More > ago. So to the Carrollton police department I say ‘please get going guys.’ It is never too late to get the justice Stacie, Susan and their family’s deserve.< Less
In 1988, Stacie Madison and Susan Smalley, two teenaged high school students living in a small town in Texas, mysteriously vanished, leaving behind few clues as to what might have happened to them, a mystery that has perplexed the community ever since. From the beginning, the police have had virtually no evidence to aid in their search for the two girls, and the little that they did have - Stacie's car and a few personal possessions found inside - told them almost nothing. In a case that has long since gone cold, the two missing girls, though still listed officially as "missing persons," are now presumed dead, and possibly, to be murder victims. This book is based on the author's original research into what happened to the girls, including interviews with family members, friends, and the police agencies that conducted the original investigation. The author discusses various theories and speculation regarding the fate of the two girls, including an entire chapter on the only... More > "person of interest" ever identified by the original case investigators. Can you help solve the mystery of what happened to Stacie and Susan?< Less
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