- Publisherd : October 17, 2022
- Language : English
- Paperback : 171 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1953610188
- ISBN-13 : 978-1953610188
- Item Weight : 8.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.39 x 9 inches
“We are dealing with a woman maniac,” the mayor declared, urging parents to keep a tight watch over their young ones until the deranged killer could be captured and brought to justice.
It was the summer of 1961, and the city of Buffalo, New York, was cast into a panic when the dead body of a missing boy is found floating in the lake at Delaware Park, a huge, rustic oasis set right in the midst of a thriving urban metropolis. Three-year-old Andrew Ashley had gone missing two days earlier, snatched right out of his own front yard and right in the wake of two previous (although ultimately unsuccessful) area kidnappings. From those would-be victims police had obtained a working description of the culprit – a middle-aged woman, roughly “as old as mommy, but not as old as grandma.” The story would take on another shocking dimension, though, when their "woman maniac" turned out to be something even more chilling - a damaged and maladjusted fifteen-year-old schoolgirl.
This is the story of Chyrel Jolls, a young girl from a broken home and a dysfunctional background, whose yielding to her darkest impulses would shatter a young family and send shockwaves through a typically-calm and family-oriented part of the city. This is also the story of the frenzied police investigation that ensued, and of due process in a court system left struggling to find some precedent to adjudicate the case correctly. It is also a snapshot of post-World War II America, from its looser notions of what constitutes child supervision to its vastly different approach to mental health and institutionalization.