I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts. I read a handful of books on the subject, as well, but sometimes they get too intense. I really enjoyed The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, Midnight Assassin, and The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer. There are a few others that I never reviewed, but not many are as intense as this one was. Although you know it’s non-fiction and the boy we read about escapes, the horrors he and others endured are beyond words.
Sanford Clark was sent to California to live with his uncle, Gordon Northcutt, on a chicken farm. Uncle Gordon was, to put it plainly, a monster. He kidnapped, raped, and killed little boys. Sanford lived there for two years and was forced to endure many horrifying things himself, including helping kill boys and dispose of bodies. As odd as it sounds, this book is also uplifting. Sanford’s survival was nothing short of heroic, as well as his sister, who never gave up on rescuing him. Sanford eventually marries and has kids (this is all in the beginning of the book, so I’m really not spoiling anything for you) and, although he struggled as an adult to let go of his past, he was constantly surrounded by love.
The details of what happened to Sanford and the other boys are terrible, but nowhere near as graphic as I was expecting. The story really is about Sanford overcoming this terrible part of his life, how he survived, and how he turned his life into something meaningful. I enjoyed it much more than I was expecting.