Andy Hoffman – Family Affairs

10. Family Affairs by Andy Hoffman (1992)
Length: 310 pages
Genre: True Crime
Started: 25 January 2014
Finished: 27 January 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 14 August 2008
Why do I have it? I like true crime and Andy Hoffman is a new author for me.

In Overland Park, Kansas on April 17, 1980, seventeen-year-old James Crumm and his sixteen-year-old friend Paul Sorentino picked up Jimmy’s thirteen-year-old stepbrother, Christian Hobson and drove him out to the creek. The older teenagers, smoking dope and drinking, forced Chris to dig a shallow grave on the creek bank, told him to climb in and lie down, then proceeded to shoot the boy three times. Christian’s body was found a month later by two boys digging for worms.

When Jimmy and Paul were arrested, they finally confessed to the crime, but also implicated the one person that police never suspected would want Chris dead – Jimmy’s mother and Chris’ stepmother – Sueanne Hobson. Promising her son and his friend a new car, as well as motorcycle repairs, Sueanne contracted the hit on Chris because she just plain disliked her stepson, seeing him as a rival for his father’s – her new husband’s – affections. Chris Hobson was also a special education student who had adjustment problems at school, and acted out at home.

It was one of the most notorious murders in Kansas history, as well as one of the most closely followed murder trials – when it was tried two years later. James Crumm was convicted of first-degree murder, Paul Sorrentino was convicted of aiding and abetting Jimmy. Both boys received life sentences, but were later paroled. Jimmy was paroled on January 4, 1999; Paul was paroled on April 21, 2000. 

Although Sueanne Hobson has always maintained her innocence, she was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. She was paroled on February 25, 2011. Despite having divorced Sueanne twice – and subsequently remarried her – her husband, Ed Hobson, has continued to stand by her.

I must say that I’d never heard of this murder before reading this book – which I give a definite A+! In my personal opinion, both James Crumm and Paul Sorrentino – while they committed a truly terrible murder – were ultimately pawns in Sueanne Hobson’s plans. It seemed fitting to me that both ‘boys’ were paroled long before Sueanne Hobson. 

In this case, I believe there were many victims deeply affected by this murder: Christian Hobson, his father Ed, James Crumm and his sister Suzanne, and Paul Sorrentino – all were severely impacted by this murder – a murder that never would have occurred if Sueanne Hobson hadn’t orchestrated it – using a twisted ploy against a son desperate for her love and approval.  

A+! – (96-100%) 

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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