When Evil Came to Good Hart

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Mardi Link
Seven year old Mardi Link was in the back seat of the family Ford, on her way to a relative's cottage, when WJR interrupted a ballgame to break news of the grisly discovery. Link is the author of the first nonfiction account of the murders. 'I guess I was struck by the fact that Susie and I were the same age,' Link says. 'I was always intrigued by the case. Who would kill an entire family? And why?' Police asked those same questions.

Link's look at the case is a great example of how a mystery, when well presented, can be even more compelling than one that's been solved. In digging through evidence, reading numerous newspaper accounts from that time, and talking to a score of Good Hart residents, Link explores more than just the Robison case. In presenting the facts, she asks questions about the nature of evil, and comments on loss of innocence in many ways, her own, the town's, the era's. Her descriptions vary from melodic and wistful to hard-hitting, a combination that keeps the pages turning fast.

For the Robisons, she writes, it was to be their first full summer in Good Hart, a result of business success: "It was a simple but enduring dream, shared by thousands of Michigan families, but one that for the Robisons this summer in 1968, lasted just eight days."

Diane, Administration

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