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The last stone
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On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, age 10 and 12, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, D.C. As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and mystery endured. Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them toward a man named Lloyd Welch, then serving time for child molestation in Delaware.

As a cub reporter for a Baltimore newspaper, Mark Bowden covered the frantic first weeks of the story. In The Last Stone, he returns to write its ending. Over months of intense questioning and extensive investigation of Welch's sprawling, sinister Appalachian clan, five skilled detectives learned to sift truth from determined lies. How do you get a compulsive liar with every reason in the world to lie to tell the truth? The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.

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Cold cases vex dedicated police departments, beckoning like a siren's cry from well-read files festering in moldy storage boxes. Such was the case of 12-year-old Kate and 10-year-old Shelia Lyons, who went missing from a popular suburban Washington, D.C. shopping mall in 1975. Their disappearance captured the attention of the media including then-cub reporter, now best-selling author Bowden (Huê 1968, 2017) and sobered a society just beginning to see the dark side of the hippie peace-and-love movement. For nearly 40 years, officers from the Montgomery County, Maryland, police force worked and reworked the facts of the case to no avail, until finally one overlooked detail lead them to Lloyd Welch. Yet conclusively tying Welch to the kidnapping, rape, and murders of the Lyons sisters would be a convoluted undertaking as investigators were repeatedly scammed by this reprehensible, amoral con artist and killer. Bowden returns to the story that catapulted his career with a horrific portrait of a sociopath and honors the dedicated officers who were determined to get justice for two innocent girls and their grieving family.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2010 Booklist
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