February Bookshelf: Something Sinister




Pure evil — that’s what they call the acts of Sheila LaBarre. And, indeed, what went on at LaBarre’s farm in Epping a few years back — a brutal murder of two men and possibly more — can surely be called nothing else. Certainly the story and subsequent trial and conviction of LaBarre caused a sensation. But “Wicked Intentions: The Sheila LaBarre Murders” [New Horizon Press, $24.95] by Kevin Flynn is a tale about far more than just the facts of the case. It is an insightful exploration of the forces that drive many aspects of human behavior. Flynn introduces us to the men who succumbed to LaBarre’s charms and gave her power over them. Then there are the neighbors who suspected foul play but said nothing. And, most interestingly, is Flynn himself. When the LaBarre story broke, Flynn was a reporter for WMUR-TV. Sometime during his reporting on it, he became fascinated by LaBarre, “perversely fascinated” as Flynn describes it. He needed to understand her, he says. He began to identify with Truman Capote and his obsession with the case that resulted in his best-selling book, “In Cold Blood.” As the quote from Aristotle in Flynn’s book says: “No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.” Well worth a read. — Barbara Coles

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