Between October 1973 and April 1974, a group of radical African American men put the entire city of San Francisco in panic. Striking at random, they killed over a dozen people. In The Zebra Murders: A Season of Killing, Racial Madness, and Civil Rights, Bennett Cohen examines all the layers from this terrifying and confusing time. Performed with the necessary empathy by veteran narrator Dave Courvoisier, this audiobook examines not only the racially charged murders, but the racial tension and ugliness within the San Francisco Police Department.
On October 20, 1973, in San Francisco, a white couple strolling down Telegraph Hill was set upon and butchered by four young black men. Thus began a reign of terror that lasted six months and left fifteen whites dead and the entire city in a state of panic. The perpetrators wanted nothing less than a race war.
With pressure on the San Francisco Police Department mounting daily, young homicide detectives Prentice Earl Sanders and his colleague Rotea Gilford - both African-American - were as- signed to the cases. The problem was: Sanders and Gilford were in the midst of a trail-blazing suit against the SFPD for racial discrimination, which in those days was rampant. The backlash was immediate. The force needed Sanders’s and Gilford’s knowledge of the black community to help stem the brutal murders, but the SFPD made it known that in a tight situation, no white back- up would be forthcoming. In those impossible conditions - the oppressive white power structure on one hand, the violent black radicals on the other - Sanders and Gilford knew they were sitting ducks. Against all odds, they set out to find those guilty of the Zebra Murders and bring them to justice. This is their incredible story.
I made it through to the end of this book, but it was not the book I was anticipating. There was very little about the actual murders and even less about the victims or the impact the crimes had upon their lives. While there was a bit more about the lead detective, the book was basically about the political atmosphere within the San Francisco Police Dept during that era. It gave an decent overview of what was happening in general, socially and politically during that tempestuous decade, but that is not what I was looking for. The book barely held my attention and the guy who narrated spoke so fast and without pause that I actually tried to listen to it at a lower speed. That didn't work, so I suffered through. This book doesn't really belong in the true crime genre. I don't know where it should be....
Where does The Zebra Murders rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
in the top half of the Audio books that I have listened to
What other book might you compare The Zebra Murders to and why?
John Grisham's books
What does Dave Courvoisier bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I fill like I was inside book
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
great listen education
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