Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Interview with author John Glatt– The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus

Today I'm so excited to bring you my interview with critically acclaimed and multi award winning, true crime author John Glatt. He's with me today talking about his much awaited book- The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus. Enjoy our chat!




  • ISBN-13: 9781250036360
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/14/2015
  • Pages: 352

 


Overview

New York Times bestselling crime writer John Glatt tells the true story behind the kidnappings and long-overdue rescue of three women found in a Cleveland basement.

The Lost Girls tells the truly amazing story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped and beaten in a Cleveland house for over a decade by Ariel Castro, and their amazing escape in May 2013, which made headlines all over the world.
The book has an exclusive interview and photographs of Ariel Castro's secret fiancé, who spent many romantic nights in his house of horror, without realizing he had bound and chained captives just a few feet away. There are also revealing interviews with several Castro family members, musician friends and several neighbors who witnessed the dramatic rescue.

Praise for John's work:


From the Publisher
"The murder case John Glatt recounts in lurid detail is too bizarre for a work of fiction. . . . a true crime story harking back to the fabled era when stars like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra entertained the crowds at the front of the house while mobsters ran the show behind the scenes." New York Times Book Review on Prince of Paradise
"John Glatt is one of the finest true crime craftsmen writing today," – Howard Goldberg, VH1.com
"Veteran crime scribe Glatt gives us all the atmosphere, characters and facts to make an engrossing thriller." New York Post (required reading section) on Prince of Paradise
New York Times Book Review on Prince of Paradise

"The murder case John Glatt recounts in lurid detail is too bizarre for a work of fiction. . . . a true crime story harking back to the fabled era when stars like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra entertained the crowds at the front of the house while mobsters ran the show behind the scenes."
New York Post (required reading section) on Prince of Paradise

"Veteran crime scribe Glatt gives us all the atmosphere, characters and facts to make an engrossing thriller."
From the Publisher
"The murder case John Glatt recounts in lurid detail is too bizarre for a work of fiction. . . . a true crime story harking back to the fabled era when stars like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra entertained the crowds at the front of the house while mobsters ran the show behind the scenes." New York Times Book Review on Prince of Paradise
"John Glatt is one of the finest true crime craftsmen writing today," – Howard Goldberg, VH1.com
"Veteran crime scribe Glatt gives us all the atmosphere, characters and facts to make an engrossing thriller." New York Post (required reading section) on Prince of Paradise
Library Journal
04/01/2015
In 2013, the world was shocked to learn that three women from Cleveland—Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight—had escaped from Ariel Casto's house after years of sexual slavery. True crime investigative writer Glatt (The Prince of Paradise) tells the gripping story of how these three teenagers were deceived by Castro and how they endured his physical and psychological torture. Castro fixed his house so no one could see his actions, while being friendly to his neighbors and not raising any suspicions. The physical beatings were brutal, especially to Knight who ended up miscarrying five times because Castro did not want her children but rather Berry's instead. When his common-law wife left him for another man, Castro convinced his daughters to make sexual allegations against her new partner, Fernando Colon. (Colon still sits in prison trying to get his conviction overturned.) After he was convicted and sentenced to prison, Castro committed suicide and his house was demolished to prevent it from becoming a shrine. Glatt writes a compelling story but doesn't cite sources for his material, which makes it hard to know if the conversations actually happened. VERDICT Libraries will see a demand for Glatt's book as a companion to Knight's Finding Me and Berry and DeJesus's Hope, as well as a planned Lifetime movie. [See Prepub Alert, 11/24/14.]—Michael Sawyer, Pine Bluff, AR
Kirkus Reviews
2015-02-18
Journalist and seasoned true-crime writer Glatt (The Prince of Paradise: The True Story of a Hotel Heir, His Seductive Wife, and a Ruthless Murder, 2013, etc.) recounts the highly publicized story of three women kidnapped and held in captivity for a decade. In May 2013, three women and one young child were rescued from captivity in a boarded and locked house in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. Of the three women, none had been held for less than nine years, and one had been there for more than a decade. The child was born in captivity and was the only one of the four to have seen the world outside the house and yard during their years of imprisonment. The women were victims of serial kidnapper and sexual predator Ariel Castro. Glatt has solid storytelling chops, and the result is a gripping, read-it-all-in-one-sitting kind of book. With such a well-covered crime, that kind of narrative push is all the more impressive since the ending certainly doesn't come as a surprise. Savvy true-crime readers may wonder how Glatt came by his information, which seems to be mostly compiled from other public sources such as newspapers, TV specials and public statements by the freed women. That's not to say it isn't a worthy read. In fact, Glatt's book is a page-turning, detailed overview of this remarkable story, and the author provides background on Castro and chronicles a number of alleged calls to Cleveland police by Castro's neighbors, who noticed strange behavior. Still, all three women have written about their experiences, so those looking for more depth from the victims' perspectives should seek out their accounts. For a wide-angle view of the horrific string of crimes start to finish, Glatt constructs an absorbing winner.






John, Welcome to The Reading Frenzy. I’m probably like the entire world excited about your newest true crime book, The Lost Girls.
Were you approached to tell the stories of these brave women or how did it happen that you would write their incredible story?
I watched all the news reports about the girls' amazing escape the night it happened, and like everyone else was riveted to their story of how they'd been imprisoned for a decade by Ariel Castro. I had written books on Josef Fritz, the Austrian madman who imprisoned his daughter for almost 20 years, and Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped in California for 18 years, so it seemed natural for me to pursue this story. So I then contacted my publisher at St. Martin’s Press who commissioned me to write a book on what would become known as the Cleveland Abductions.

As you were talking to the women what impressed you the most about them?
I did get to meet Gina DeJesus while I was doing research in Cleveland, but she declined to be interviewed as she is doing her own book with Amanda Berry which will soon be published.

John I’m sure, like me, the entire world is interested to know how these ladies are coping now?
I understand that it’s been an extremely tough road for all three women. Michelle Knight, who was the longest held in captivity, believed her mother had done little to try and find her, so she refused to have anything to do with her after the escape. In her two years of freedom Michelle has become an inspiration to thousands of young women who have been moved by her story. She also wrote a best-selling memoir last year about her imprisonment. Amanda and Gina have both kept a low profile since their escape to have the space to heal. All three women suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome and have undergone extensive counseling.

John Wow! I read the book blurb and Castro had a secret fiancé.
Was there anything about this man’s past that made you say, ah ha! Yes I can see why he became this monster?
While I was in Cleveland I spent time with Ariel Castro’s secret girlfriend Lillian Roldan, who has never spoken publicly before.  She told me how she met and fell in love with Ariel Castro and that he had charmed her off her feet. They began dating and she would spend the night at his 2207 Seymour Avenue house, totally unaware that Amanda and Michelle were being imprisoned only yards away.
One night Castro brought her along to a Latin Salsa show where he was playing bass. Earlier that day he had presented her with a ring, and at one point stopped the music to announce that Lillian was his sweetheart and she was now wearing his ring. Although ultimately Lillian wouldn't commit to marriage she truly loved him, and her family also believed he was a good catch as he had a steady job driving a school bus.
Eventually, Castro began distancing himself from Lillian, saying he did not have enough time to spend with her and now we know exactly why.

John I probably speak for many people who can’t fathom the fact that these women were held in this house of horrors without any of the evildoer’s family or friends knowing about it.
Do you cover this in the book?
I agree it is amazing that no one had any idea that Castro was imprisoning these three women at 2207 Seymour Avenue, which is a residential street in the heart of Cleveland. But Castro was very cunning and had boarded all the windows and blocked off areas of his house, so the rare visitors he allowed in could not see or hear anything untoward.

Are the powers that be still convinced he worked alone?
The Cuyahoga County District Attorney Timothy McGinty has said he believes Ariel Castro worked alone and none of his family or acquaintances had any inkling of his evil work.

John I’m a big fan of true crime but I’m not sure about the process of writing it.
Can you give us a chronology of how a book like this gets put together?
I spent about 18 months writing this book and spent many weeks in Cleveland doing on-the-ground research and interviewing many people close to the case.

John I know many journalists turn to writing, some fiction some not.
Was becoming an author a natural progression for you, or did you fall into it accidentally?
Give us your own personal scoop.
I began my career as a journalist on several weekly newspapers around the London area. After moving to New York in the early 1980's I had a friend who wrote true crime books and he encouraged me to try my hand at it. I have now written 25 books - The Lost Girls will be my 20th true crime for St. Martin's Press.

John is there a story you’ve always wanted to tell but the chance hasn’t happened yet?
To be honest, not really.

Thank you John for answering these questions. Good luck with the book.
Will you be touring with this book?
Thank you very much. I am hoping to do as much publicity to get the word out about "The Lost Girls" as I can.


Connect with John - Website - FacebookTwitter

MEET JOHN:
English-born JOHN GLATT is the author of twenty books, and has over thirty years of experience as an investigative journalist in England and America. He has appeared on television and radio programs all over the world, including Dateline NBC, Fox News, A Current Affair, BBC World News, and A&E Biography.







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4 comments:

  1. Wow, I can't even begin to imagine the horrors those girls were put through and the heartache of their family members. I am so glad all three girls are coping and getting counseling.
    Wonderful review Debbie! I am sure this is one heck of an emotional read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ali, and how right you are. My copy is coming and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.
      Thanks for the comment!!

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  2. OMG! I wonder if can read this! I got tell you, I'm very curious and I had no idea this was coming out, now thanks to your interview I'm seriously considering giving the book a go. This will be the first time I read about a crime that unfolded in front of my eyes, by that I mean, that I'm so aware of.
    Interesting interview Debbie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Loupe, when I learned that St Martin's Press was publishing this I contacted all the people I know there and was very fortunate to be able to interview this phenomenal author.
      Thanks for stopping by and I know what you mean as eery as it will be to read this, it's something I just have to know.

      Delete

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