“Cruel Death” by M. William Phelps-True Crime Right At My Door. Delmarva gets a big murder while the ocean pounds.

I vaguely remember this crime as it happened right before I moved here to the swamps of Delaware. All I remember was that someone had been murdered at one of Ocean City’s famous condos.

Ocean City is in Maryland while I live in Delaware. I live on the east coast of Delaware and Ocean City is on the east coast of Maryland. It’s about a 30 mile distance if you drive along Coastal Hiway.

I recently wrote a book review for a book by Ann Rule, my most favorite true crime writer.

For the first time ever I gave a Rule book a bad review. This was an impetus to try out another true crime writer, this time M. William Phelps.

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Phelps is a perfectly fine writer but I still like Ann Rule’s REAL true crime books better. I assert that it’s male versus female. The female true crime writer adds things that a male writer wouldn’t think important to the reader.

Which is not to say that Phelps did a bad job, goodness no.

This book was most about a horrific crime for which the perps were known, just not which of the two did the deed.

Good story line and Phelps did a great job of bringing it home to the reader. He didn’t overwhelm the reader with which of those two nut cases known as Benjamin and Erika Sifrit actually shot the gun that killed Joshua Ford and Martha Margene-“Genie”.

Phelps instead presented Erika and her life, personality quirks, actions and reactions.
The reader can then decide if Erika was capable of killing two innocent people the Sifrits had met in a bar that night. Or was Erika only capable of ripping apart their bodies after their death, a perfectly horrible thing as well but NOT murder.

Erika said Benjamin did it. Benjamin said Erika did it.

Good book, very good writing, for me very close to home.


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