The Butcher’s Boy by Michael Robb – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
“The prosecution has sickened us with grizzly photographs of the crime scene. They have brought in experts and skilled technicians. They have dazzled us with their qualifications and then had us listen to their various opinions as to what happened to those three children and their living mother.” He heaved in a sigh and then began pacing slowly as he drew the jury in. “They have produced lab findings, coroner’s reports, officers’ testimonies and arrest documentation. They have paraded witness after witness before us but not one of them could say they saw who murdered the Buxly family, or why. Why did they bore us to tears with all of this irrelevant information and then tear out our heats with those photos of young Elizabeth Buxly?”… “I’ll tell you why. It is because they have no evidence that the defendant did this. This has all been a smoke screen. There is so much reasonable doubt here that I cannot believe we are even having this lengthy trial at all.”
This was part of Defense Attorney Richard King’s closing statement to the jury in the murder trial of William H. Buxly who has been accused of brutally murdering his wife, two daughters, son and then setting fire to the house. Along with the massacre at his home, many believed him to be responsible for the attack on a couple of young girls that were assaulted and had their throats slashed. One hard enough to cause decapitation. But, with witnesses that placed Buxly at various places that would make it seem totally impossible for him to have committed the crimes against his family, he was sure to be found "Not Guilty." That just wasn’t to be. Buxly was found "Guilty," sentenced to death, and five years later was executed, still claiming his innocence.
As part of his defense fee, Richard King acquired the home where William Howard Buxly, better known as “Buxly The Butcher,” supposedly butchered his family. A year after Buxly’s execution, King was found dead in the home. Years later the house was bought by Janet Hale for herself, her son Michael, and their dog Lucy.
Their first scare came when they found a local bum called Willie Tee hanging around the house. Willie lived part of his life down by the railroad tracks, and the other part at Hope House, which turned out to be a shelter run by Steve Duncan. When Janet met Steve, the sparks between them flew and they soon became an item. But as it turned out, Willie was only the beginning of the problems they were soon to deal with. It turned out that the house was haunted by none other than those who had been murdered there, and they were visiting Michael in the attempt to get their message across that he and his mother were both in danger. This, as well as his discovery that the murders of young girls had started back up again, leads Michael to believe that someone that was supposed to be dead wasn’t really dead, and he was determined to find out who that person might be.
The Butcher’s Boy kept me wanting to read more and more. I had my ideas as to who was actually committing the murders, but couldn’t quite come up with the why nor how. My suspicions turned out to be correct, but his punishment was something I would have never guessed happening. All-in-all, The Butcher’s Boy became an on the edge of the seat read, keeping me glued to every page.
Publisher: Michael Robb Mathias Jr.
aka M. R. Mathias