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Convenient Suspect

A Double Murder, a Flawed Investigation, and the Railroading of an Innocent Woman
By: Tammy Mal
Narrated by: Suehyla El-Attar
Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

On Thursday, December 15, 1994, Joann Katrinak and her three-month-old son, Alex, went missing from their Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, home. Four months later, when their bodies were found in a lonely patch of woods, the police would launch a three-year investigation leading to the arrest of Patricia Lynne Rorrer - a young mother who had never met either victim - as the monster responsible.

In what would become Pennsylvania's first use of mitochondrial DNA in a criminal case, Patricia Rorrer was quickly tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. But did the jury make the right decision? Is Patricia Rorrer truly guilty? As new evidence continues to surface, including allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and evidence tampering, that question requires an answer even more.

With a subject matter and storytelling style reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial, Convenient Suspect will appeal to a wide audience. The audiobook reveals information never before made public - information gathered directly from more than 10,000 official documents, including Pennsylvania State Police reports, FBI files, forensic lab results, and the 6,500-page trial transcript. Through four years of intensive research, countless interviews with those involved, and hundreds of letters, phone calls, and personal visits with Patricia Rorrer, the truth about the evidence used to convict her can finally be revealed.

©2017 Tammy Mal (P)2017 ListenUp Audiobooks

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very good but...

I enjoyed this audiobook but the constant narration of "quote" "end quote" for quotes was so annoying particularly bad in the court hearing content, surely there is a better way to do this for the listener. It detracted from the overall meaning of the sentence/paragraph. Dropped 2 stars just based on this.

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Fantastic!

Absolutely amazing book, heard about it from the podcast True Crime Garage, if you are able to listen to an audiobook, then you are able to listen to a podcast, so go get that listened to!

Probably the most gripping audiobook I've ever listened too, to the point where I sat in my car for 15+ minutes parked outside my home because I needed to know how it finished.

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  • B. Wilson
  • 05-12-17

Very very one sided

All evidence supporting guilt was glanced over while all other evidence was questioned as a huge sweeping conspiracy. “As with Andy’ is not a defense. There seemed to be a lot of diverse evidence against her. And when the hair was tested after the case and matched to patty, the author argues ‘why was the victim’s dna not also on the hair’. What a stretch, very biased

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • meghan m faga
  • 08-01-18

Amazing Story!!!

Wake up innocence project!!!
This book was so well done. Incredible story! The hard work of the author is evident throughout the story. The only thing annoying on audible was the amount of times the performer said quote.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexander Ramirez
  • 28-02-19

Interesting

I found the book to be very interesting and feel that after hearing the evidence, our legal system is flawed. But while listening, I was annoyed by the repetition of the word “quote”. I understand you are speaking as that person and could not follow along easily with all the “quotes “ thrown in to the mix. Aside from that, it’s worth the listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-01-19

This is NOT an account of the crime or its aftermath...

This is a defense attorney’s dissertation, delivered without the benefit of the State’s theory of the crime.

This is the story Patricia Rorrer tells—the author admits no one else would talk to her.

I often read books with a stance inconsistent with mine—I like to hear all arguments from both sides.

This book doesn’t provide the prosecutor’s side.

It actually does not even give an alternate theory of the case, which a defense attorney would give.

Instead, the author just spends 9 hours trying to poke holes in every detail of the case we have not even heard, even the immaterial ones.

And, I find it ridiculous that the author uses such a tone of indignation, in light of the fact she is claiming that everyone involved in this case is out to get her—from the police, to the eleven year old girl who boarded her horse with Patti—because she is so irresistible and pretty.

The woman from the Humane society, apparently filed a car, which she presented in a court of law, that Patti’s horses were starved and abused because she was butthurt that her husband used to want Patti before he married her.

Maybe one Humane Society Officer would fabricate a story which could so easily be disproven in court (by having her bourses examines by a vet, or even just by taking photos), thereby destroying her credibility, and possibly her career and livelihood by perjuring herself in court just because Patti’s pretty.....

Maybe there is one unbalanced, crazy person like that....

But we know the police and FBI agents aren’t just haters who are mad at Patti’s good looks ....

And then there are dozens ad dozens of other people, who I guess are driven so wild about Patti’s moderately attractive appearance that they conspire to get her off the streets, despite her innocence.

And most of these discrepancies or mistakes or ambiguities, so triumphantly asserted in this book, are completely immaterial, and therefore even if they are valid (questionable), they do not cast any doubt on the state’s case.

If a witness did not mention the fight between Patricia and the victim until four months after the disappearance, does that prove there was no fight? Well, actually, Patty admits she fought with the victim. So why is the author acting like it’s a Perry Mason moment when she suggests that the witness may be lying about the fight, as she waited so long to report it.

And, if the witness were lying about the fight (which Patty admits to, and which was witnessed by the husband as well), How is that inconsistent with Patti murdering this baby and his mother?

The author uses the defense attorney’s tactic of creating confusion, exaggerating mistakes, and overemphasizing the evidentiary value of those immaterial mistakes while minimizing the evidentiary value of factors such as DNA evidence.

She also works hard to try reframe Patti and the police, by attempting to manufacture a subconscious impression that is more favorable, or less favorable, respectively.

Absolutely not a single point in this entire book poses any threat at all to the state’s theory of this case.

It’s all just minutiae, fluffed up, repackaged, and regurgitated roughly in the form of a “true crime” book. Nothing of substance.

I am not convinced Patti would be free today if she were less pretty, or if every husband in town didn’t have the hots for her.

This part made me angry: “The autopsy of her baby found nothing suspicious, therefore the authorities knew Patti had not killed her baby...”. Wrong. SIDS is not a diagnosis of a cause of death—it is the name given to a sudden death of an infant when no other cause can be proven. It means, “we know this healthy baby died, and we can find no prove of any cause”.

If one were to smother a baby, and they were able to avoid being seen, and were careful not to push down hard enough to bruise or mark the baby, an autopsy would name the cause of death as SIDS.

This finding DOES NOT mean they knew she did not kill her baby—it means they can’t prove she killed her baby (and there were no findings inconsistent with her having killed him).

I completely lost all confidence in the validity of any of the claims made by Patti Rorrer through the rather uninformed and/or unscrupulous author she used as a mouthpiece.

She killed that baby boy and his mother, according to all available evidence.




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  • Lindsey Millar
  • 01-06-18

"Quote. End Quote"

I actually really enjoyed the book. Well written and researched. I'll be honest in saying I did find the the constant "quote and end quote" around every line of dialogue kind of disruptive. It took away from the flow of the book and got downright annoying in some sections. I really liked the reader though, and perhaps there were reasons the book was read like that? I listen to many true crime books and this was the first where I noticed this issue. Other than that niggle it was a good book, and sure does make you wonder about the way the investigation was handled.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 21-04-18

the book was great it has me believing her.

hopefully things will work out for her and the higher Court looks good at this case.

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  • Buretto
  • 19-04-18

Suspect probably deserves a better advocate

What disappointed you about Convenient Suspect?

Although the author points out early on that her work is not strictly objective, the easy suppositions about prosecutorial misconduct partnered with the just-as-easy dismissals of her subject's contradictions became a bit too much to take. It doesn't help that she later claims to be only supporting the truth, rather than taking a pro or con position.

Would you ever listen to anything by Tammy Mal again?

Doubtful. She provides a kind of bar room or reality show logic to her positions, even relying on a "C'mon, it doesn't work that way. And you know it!" plea in her alternative jury summation. I can't imagine it would have helped her case with a real jury. Which is a shame, since the subject of the book probably deserved better.

Did Suehyla El-Attar do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

She didn't get much of a chance. The incessant "quote...end quote" staccato necessarily prevented any kind of differentiation of characters. She did capture the snarky nature of the author's intent, particularly in her alternative summation for the jury. So, I guess that's a job well done.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration. As has been noted in several reviews, the author uses quotations repeatedly. Perhaps in the text version, it took up space as dialogue, but as an audiobook it is enormously distracting. The worst thing, however, is that most of it is unnecessary. Only disputed language, keenly relevant wording, or particularly outlandish statements really require such treatment. In this case, meaningless minutiae is "quote...end quote"d. It may have been better is the narrator had been allowed to just speak dialogue, with characterisation.

In addition, another genre convention of fictionalising characters is overdone. An associate of an associate of one of the principals is given a fictional name.... and never is referred to again. What's with all the fake names?

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  • Christina Rentz
  • 28-03-18

Great book

Fascinating and tragic story that Mal captured perfectly. And the narrator’s voice is very pleasant

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  • Janet S.
  • 14-03-18

It's worth the read

I couldn't stop listening to it. It was a very interesting and a very sad story.

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  • Justin
  • 22-12-17

Great great great until...

this was great until midway through. the author started with QUOTE - UNQUOTE. For nearly everything. it was not needed. It ruined the whole book in the audible sense. Very irritating. I was totally into the story. what a shame.