THE LAST STONE By Mark Bowden
On March 25, 1975, two young girls went missing from a shopping mall in Wheaton, Md., a suburb north of Washington. Sheila and Kate Lyon were sisters, just 12 and 10 years old, from a solid, middle-class family. Until that day, their lives seemed to lack the slightest hint of drama; they had no reason or plan to run away. Decades after the leads ran dry and the searches stopped, the disappearance of the Lyon sisters resonated. Here was every parent’s nightmare — or, as Mark Bowden remembers it, “a regional trauma.”
Bowden was 23 that year, starting his career on the police beat of The Baltimore News-American. Recalling his visits with the girls’ parents, he writes, “I could not witness their pain dispassionately.” Since then, Bowden has written more than a dozen books, including “Black Hawk Down,” and returned often to the subject of police work, including a provocative 2003 piece in The Atlantic about the problematic gray areas between coercion and torture. When, in 2013, detectives in Maryland started to question the first solid witness in the Lyon case in nearly 40 years, Bowden was ideally positioned to revisit the first major story of his career.
[ This book was one of our most anticipated titles of April. See the full list. ]
A native of one of the destitute hollows of Appalachia, Lloyd Welch was 18 when the Lyon sisters vanished. He had been at the mall that day, and a few days later he told police he’d seen another man talking with the girls there. When, years later, cold-case detectives learned about the crimes Welch had committed in the intervening decades — including child molestation — they could not help wondering if he should be less a witness than a suspect. But when they visit Welch in prison, where he is hoping for an early release, he gets the jump on them, saying he knows exactly why they’re there (we learn later how he found out). And for much of his questioning, Welch seems almost drunk with power — “like a fairy-tale goblin guarding a treasure, speaking in riddles.” The challenge facing the detectives: “How do you get a compulsive liar, one with every reason to lie, to tell the truth?”
In “The Last Stone,” Bowden focuses on 21 months of questioning by a revolving cast of detectives, telling a stirring, suspenseful, thoughtful story that, miraculously, neither oversimplifies the details nor gets lost in the thicket of a four-decade case file. This is a cat-and-mouse tale, told beautifully. But like all great true crime, “The Last Stone” finds its power not by leaning into cliché but by resisting it — pushing for something more realistic, more evocative of a deeper truth. In this case, Bowden shows how even the most exquisitely pulled-off interrogations are a messy business, in which exhaustive strategizing is followed by game-time gut decisions and endless second-guessing and soul-searching.
The more they investigate Welch’s claims, the woollier his story gets. The only thing more odious than Welch himself might be his family, the venal, abusive, incestuous clan that forms the book’s gothic subplot. In the end, even a skilled liar like Welch can’t keep all his stories straight. “Making him rattled and weary,” Bowden writes, “became a strategy.” A slip of the tongue helps the cops pry out a new admission, and the Lyon family has the beginnings of an answer. Right through to the end, Welch’s only concern is himself. “I can’t believe that you’re doing this to me,” he says — with no mention of the two girls whose lives were destroyed long ago.
“Lloyd’s clumsy mendacity kept the thing alive,” Bowden writes. That and the dedication of his inquisitors, who were ready to make Welch think the best of them — to trust them, to like them. “You’re a cop but you’re a good guy,” Welch tells Davis, during one of their last encounters. “You have a good heart.” For an interrogator, there may be no higher compliment.B:
管家婆彩报“【圣】【阶】【的】【感】【觉】【怎】【么】【样】？”【克】【莱】【尔】【笑】【着】【问】。 【多】【莱】【恩】【没】【有】【立】【即】【回】【答】，【他】【闭】【上】【眼】【睛】【感】【受】【了】【好】【一】【会】【儿】【才】【睁】【眼】【说】【道】：“【很】【奇】【怪】，【神】【术】【达】【到】【圣】【阶】【与】【魔】【法】【相】【比】，【完】【全】【是】【不】【同】【的】【感】【觉】。【而】【且】【神】【术】【似】【乎】【不】【存】【在】【圣】【域】，【当】【然】【也】【有】【可】【能】【是】【我】【的】【圣】【域】【太】【奇】【怪】【了】。” “【什】【么】【意】【思】？”【克】【莱】【尔】【疑】【惑】【的】【问】。 “【因】【为】【我】【的】【精】【神】【力】【现】【涉】【及】【的】【范】【围】【好】
【林】【羽】【现】【在】【应】【该】【还】【在】【病】【房】【吧】？ 【她】【忘】【了】【自】【己】【了】，【那】【她】【没】【走】【吧】？ “【你】【在】【这】【看】【着】，【我】【有】【点】【事】”【江】【扬】【突】【然】【起】【身】 【他】【现】【在】【就】【要】【去】【林】【羽】【的】【病】【房】，【看】【看】【林】【羽】【还】【在】【不】【在】，【亲】【眼】【看】【到】【她】【才】【能】【安】【心】 “【什】【么】【事】【这】【么】【着】【急】？” “【我】【去】【看】【看】【我】【媳】【妇】【还】【在】【不】【在】”【江】【扬】【说】【着】【就】【大】【步】【走】【了】 【看】【看】【他】【媳】【妇】【还】【在】【不】【在】？【他】【是】【故】【意】【在】【气】【自】【己】【吗】？
“【这】” 【苏】【笋】【心】【中】【寒】【意】【四】【起】。 【他】【又】【在】【其】【他】【不】【同】【的】【地】【方】，【连】【连】【掀】【开】【地】【面】，【下】【面】【的】【场】【景】【依】【旧】【是】【和】【刚】【才】【一】【般】【无】【二】。 【难】【不】【成】【是】【说】 【一】【个】【真】【相】【渐】【渐】【地】【涌】【出】【苏】【笋】【的】【脑】【海】，【这】【让】【他】【心】【中】【毛】【骨】【悚】【然】。 【他】【感】【觉】【自】【己】【现】【在】【不】【是】【身】【处】【什】【么】【地】【底】，【而】【是】【来】【到】【了】【一】【只】【凶】【兽】【的】【肚】【子】【里】【面】。 【或】【者】【说】【是】，【这】管家婆彩报“【斩】【首】【赞】【克】？”【有】【点】【玩】【味】【的】【摇】【晃】【着】【手】【里】【的】【人】【头】，【叶】【空】【将】【一】【颗】【类】【似】【眼】【睛】【一】【样】【的】【帝】【具】【从】【赞】【克】【的】【首】【级】【上】【摘】【了】【下】【来】。 “【猥】【琐】【的】【精】【神】【类】【帝】【具】。【应】【该】【可】【以】【卖】【不】【少】【次】【元】【学】【分】。”【将】【那】【颗】【肥】【乎】【乎】【的】【脑】【袋】【扔】【了】【出】【去】，【叶】【空】【端】【详】【起】【了】【那】【颗】【猥】【琐】【的】【帝】【具】。 “【丑】【是】【丑】【了】【点】，【但】【应】【该】【卖】【的】【出】【去】。”【叶】【空】【对】【那】【颗】【绿】【色】【的】【眼】【球】【帝】【具】【满】【是】【嫌】【弃】，【但】【还】
【良】【久】，【他】【终】【于】【转】【过】【身】【去】，“【好】。【我】【给】【你】【时】【间】【考】【虑】。【三】【天】。” 【夏】【秀】【安】【暗】【松】【了】【口】【气】，“【我】【在】【试】【炼】【房】【没】【日】【没】【夜】【的】【呆】【了】【一】【个】【月】【之】【久】，【到】【现】【在】【都】【还】【头】【重】【脚】【轻】【不】【知】【日】【月】。【三】【天】【时】【间】【还】【不】【够】【我】【恢】【复】【脑】【力】。” 【这】【次】【赵】【逸】【倒】【没】【逼】【她】，“【那】【你】【想】【要】【多】【久】？” 【夏】【秀】【安】【还】【在】【想】【能】【拖】【则】【拖】【之】【词】，【他】【已】【道】：“【今】【日】【四】【月】【二】【十】【三】，【期】【限】【是】【端】【午】
“【帮】【帮】【我】……”【叶】【思】【思】【突】【然】【拉】【住】【了】【护】【工】【的】【手】，【眼】【神】【和】【平】【时】【傻】【呆】【呆】【的】【眼】【神】【很】【不】【一】【样】【的】【看】【着】【护】【工】。 “【叶】【董】【事】【长】，【叶】……”【护】【工】【被】【吓】【了】【一】【跳】，【一】【下】【子】【站】【了】【起】【来】。 “【嘘】，【别】【说】【话】。”【叶】【思】【思】【一】【把】【拉】【住】【护】【工】【的】【手】，【把】【自】【己】【想】【办】【的】【事】【情】【告】【诉】【了】【护】【工】，【并】【且】【告】【诉】【护】【工】【她】【已】【经】【痊】【愈】【了】【之】【类】【的】【话】。 “【好】【的】，【叶】【董】【事】【长】，【我】【一】【定】【尽】【力】【去】【办】