Press & News

Reviews

Dayton Carpenter
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"I received Murder On Staunton Road as a gift at Christmas. What a great read! I know a lot of these people very well. Kudos for a very thorough compilation of available documents and the compelling narrative. I am about 70% complete and I can’t put it down. I will finish the book this week."
John Hash
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“Just finished reading ‘Murder On Staunton Road’. Terrific book. Obviously a lot of research went into the effort. I grew up in Charleston and knew many of the people mentioned in the book. As I read the book, thoughts of that time come back to me. After I finished the book, I did a bit of research to retrieve some information that interested me. I have a theory about the murder that was not mentioned in the book or anywhere in the newspapers, either.”
FOREWORD by BROOKS McCABE
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“Murder on Staunton Road provides a glimpse of Charleston at a time of its greatest development but also shows the violent underbelly that all cities, to varying degrees, experience. Charlie Ryan and Mitch Evans should be congratulated for a job well done."
Jay Goldman
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"A great book with one unanswered question. Who? Having known most of the people except the victim the book puts you in the story. The suspect has several names. You won't put this book down."
Sallie Hart
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“I just finished it and it was, simply stated, 'One fabulous read!' I’m thinking, 'Great for Christmas presents!' Still cannot believe the data you collected and the time spent. I’ll re-read it before the holidays!"
Sharon King
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“I finished it. Left with very strong conclusions. A wonderful portrait of a larger city. I loved the newspaper clippings as they were written in a fashion that we will never see again.”
Jack Canfield
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"What a research job. True, creative page-turner -- no sensationalism, just riveting stories and personalities. Newspaper publisher and reporters, coal barons, mayors, civil leaders, widows, in-laws, police chiefs and investigators, etc. Reminds me of "Where the Crawdad Sings." Amazing how many people in the book we know/have known This story could happen in any mid-sized city in America, but it happened in ours."
Bob Bragg
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"GREAT READ!  A great book about a terrible point of history of Charleston, WV. How local politics may have played a large part in solving the case of the murder of Juliet Staunton Clark. The authors go deep into the history of the affected families and the two newspapers involved to search for a murderer almost 70 years after it occurred."
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From the Press

Missing file from 1953 homicide probe surfaces, sheds new light on city’s darkest cold case

By Charleston Gazette Mail’s Rick Steelhammer

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‘Murder on Staunton Road’ Sheds New Light on Charleston’s Chilliest Cold Case

By Charleston Gazette Mail’s Rick Steelhammer

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Murder he wrote: WVU alumnus investigates Charleston Daily Mail cold case

By The DA WVU’s Independent Student Newspaper’s Tristan Moore
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“Charleston Reads” To Discuss “Murder On Staunton Road” March 23!

Based on a 1953 crime in Charleston, “Murder on Staunton Road” will be the next book to be read and discussed in the Charleston Reads citywide virtual book club initiative. Book club members will discuss the book written by Charlie Ryan and Mitch Evans virtually, starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23. Following the online discussion, a question-and-answer session

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New Reviews

This new information is as fascinating as the book. Keep digging! —Carter Taylor Seaton   Let’s see what else turns up! —Richard Norcross   Charlie you and Mitch make true journalists everywhere proud. The Flying A (the late WVU Journalism professor Paul Atkins) is smiling down on you. —Tony Hylton   I still believe there is more to the story

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John Hash of Huntington emailed the following to me.

John Hash of Huntington emailed the following to me. His observations are very interesting and I thought our blog readers would enjoy his perspective regarding “Murder On Staunton Road”: Hey Charlie, So good to hear from you. I am pleased that you are interested in my theory regarding the murder of Juliet Staunton Clark. Your book took me back to

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Read the Charleston Gazette-Mail story & Observations From The Authors

The Charleston Gazette-Mail, on Sunday, January 10, 2021, reported that we have uncovered a decades old report by polygraph expert Dr. Fred Inbau, and a subsequent letter by Charleston Police Chief Dallas Bias, regarding the 1953 murder of Juliet Staunton Clark. The conclusions reached in the documents are not our opinions, they are the opinions of Dr. Fred Inbau and

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James E. Casto – New Book Explores Sensational Crime

As she had on so many mornings, on Aug. 21, 1953, Bessie Smith, long-time maid to Juliet Staunton Clark, the wealthy owner of the Charleston Daily Mail, took the bus to Clark’s home in Charleston’s elite South Hills neighborhood. But this particular morning would be tragically different. Arriving at Clark’s home, she found her employer dead, her battered body stretched

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Murder On Staunton Road – sold out!

Reaction to Murder On Staunton Road has been overwhelming and the book has sold out! Gratified Mitch and I are, but we want readers to know that, on this site, under “Get The Book”, you can pre-order the second printing that will be available in January 2021. We hope those who wish to purchase the book can leave their email

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How The Discussion Began

Even though I have lived in Charleston for over 40 years I was not familiar with the case of Juliet Clark’s murder, though I had heard some comments about it here and there. With the advent of the internet many years ago, my interest in criminology came to bear, and I stumbled across the case and several others of local

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Why We Wrote Murder On Staunton Road

Folks have asked Mitch and me why we decided to write Murder On Staunton Road. The answer is multi-faceted. I first considered writing a book about the murder of Juliet Clark thirty plus years ago, in 1987, when chatting with then Kanawha County Sheriff Danny Jones. Danny’s parents had purchased Juliet Clark’s home following her tragic death. A young Danny

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