Dance with the Devil: A Memoir of Murder and Loss by David BagbyImmortalized in the spellbinding documentary Dear Zachary, this angry, raw, and brutally honest memoir of murder and loss chronicles a system’s failure to prevent the death of a child.
In November 2001, the body of a young doctor named Andrew Bagby was discovered in Keystone State Park outside Latrobe, Pennsylvania, five bullet wounds in his face, chest, buttocks, and the back of the head. For parents Dave and Kate, the pain was unbearable―but Andrew’s murder was only the first in a string of tragic events.
The chief suspect for Andrew’s murder was his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner―also a doctor. Obsessive and unstable, Shirley Turner lied to the police and fled to her family home in Newfoundland before she could be arrested. While fending off extradition efforts by U.S. law enforcement, she announced she was pregnant with Andrews son, Zachary. The Bagbys―hoping to gain custody of Zachary―moved to Newfoundland and began a long, drawn-out battle in court and with Canadian social services to protect their grandson from the woman who had almost certainly murdered their son. Then, in August 2003, Shirley Turner killed herself and the one-year-old Zachary by jumping into the Atlantic Ocean.
DANCE WITH THE DEVIL is a eulogy for a dead son, an elegy for lives cut tragically short, and a castigation of a broken system.
Dance with the devil
Barbara Bentley was 35 years old and divorced back in , when Admiral John Perry swept into her life. She met him at a dinner party hosted by a friend. He was a naval aviator during the Korean War, and flew with the Blue Angels. Then, during the Vietnam War, he commanded swift boats fighting on the rivers. He won the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving some of his men when their position was overrun by the enemy.
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