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Paperback Book Details
  • 03/2018
  • 9780996133531
  • 346 pages
  • $14.50
Devil in the Basement: White Supremacy, Satanic Ritual and My Family
Devil in the Basement is creative nonfiction and based on the shocking true story of Charlotte Laws’ family. She learned about the murders, bombings, and devil worship when she visited her ancestors’ home town of Fairmont, West Virginia. As a former private eye, she investigated what had happened and even ventured into the eerie basement where the satanic rituals had occurred. The story begins in 1928 when thousands of Ku Klux Klan members march through this sleepy town. Great uncle Jal’s passions were ignited that day, as were those of Laws’ grandfather Tucker, who changed his Italian name to sound white with hopes of escaping poverty and racism, and of becoming a U.S. Senator. Meanwhile, Laws’ great-grandmother set up a criminal enterprise in the back barn, and her great aunt was hauled off to an insane asylum before becoming the mistress of a Detroit mobster. But this story is not just about Laws’ family. It is also about their creepy neighbor Ernie, who lived in the run-down house around the corner. He abused his wives and dabbled in his favorite pastime: evil. He liked evil. He was creative when it came to evil. He was all about evil. Many odd things happened in Fairmont in those days. There was a clearing in the woods called Hangman Forest where, as rumor had it, children were brought and tortured. There was an abandoned coal mine, where a small boy was left to die. There was a ghoulish, life-sized doll, which was spoken to as if it was a person. In the end, there were bombings and brutal murders which shook the town and shocked the nation. Devil in the Basement is a story of love and horror, racism and hope, of Christian piety and satanic ritual. It is a book that shines a light on one of the most ghastly real life incidents in West Virginia history. It is a story you will never forget.
Reviews
Every Way Woman Show

“Riveting. Powerful. Fast-paced. Delectable. Best writing of the year.”

Fairmont Times

"The most bizarre set of tragic events ever to occur."

Laurelee Blanchard, Author

“If genre-straddling were an Olympic competition, Devil in the Basement would take the gold. This impassioned and riveting book combines historical detail with full characters, rich language, a poetic rhythm, and a spine-chilling true story that culminates in bloodshed, explosives and mayhem—all on a gray and memorable Wednesday in 1948. It brings attention to the plight of Italian-Americans in the early twentieth century. The “devil in the basement” is much more than a real-life Satanist doing dastardly deeds in the cellar. It reveals the prejudice that resided in some Southerner’s hearts. Charlotte Laws’ compelling story captures the racism, poverty, struggle, horror, and difficulty of the era for an entire class of citizens who were locked in the basement of society—namely those of Italian descent. Get ready for a wild ride! I highly recommend Devil in the Basement.”

Pamelyn Ferdin, Actress and Author

“Magical, artful, and unflinchingly tragic. A living, breathing dragon of terror and surprise. Devil in the Basement is a sassy and haunting thriller that pits a bipolar Hannibal Lecter against a Mr. Smith goes to Washington and proves once and for all that fact can be stranger than fiction and way more creepy.”

Robert Markowitz, New York Times essayist

"Gritty... Fascinating."

Snatch magazine

"Charlotte Laws is a tsunami."

The West Virginian

"Aone and bitter, [the killer] fabricated a horrible revenge—on the world and himself."

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 03/2018
  • 9780996133531
  • 346 pages
  • $14.50

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