Where Sadness Breathes
In the autumn of 1973, Willie Steelman and Douglas Gretzler embarked on a murderous drug-fueled rampage across Arizona and California. Steelman was little more than a petty thief, an addict, a dreamer, never able to unleash the man he thought himself to be, but that changed earlier that summer when he met Gretzler. And it was in that Denver, Colorado crash pad where they formed a pact, a third person, created out of their collective souls, someone capable of the unthinkable, together achieving what neither could ever imagine doing on his own. Authorities were soon following the trail of their dead, coming up just hours short of catching them before their final evil act. Hidden in the closet of a farmhouse near Lodi, California, they found the last nine victims. Two entire families shot point blank, including children as they slept, all executed in a violent display of power and paranoia. Days later, when the count was complete, Willie and Doug had killed seventeen, and they could never honestly say why. Of those final nine, four were the author's aunt, uncle and cousins, and haunted for two decades over the mystery of what happened, he retraces the killers' steps, following their ghosts into the darkness, slowly piecing together the puzzle of this deadly odyssey. Where Sadness Breathes chronicles their day by day road trip, told from the inside perspective of a family member who for twenty years was consumed by the randomness of such unexplainable loss, and who along the way uncovers a true American tragedy, as well as the cleansing power of forgiveness.
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