Death by Talons by Tiddy Smith

If you know me, you know I love true crime. This book was an interesting take on a death ruled murder – however, the author suggests the murderer was an owl. I will say that we have owls in the trees outside our house and, since reading this book, I am no longer carefree when I’m outside at night! Interesting read that moves quickly and is intriguing with a compelling theory. A great read for true crime aficionados!

Thanks for my review e-copy from Wild Blue Press!

book cover

On December 9, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her Durham, NC home. Kathleen’s scalp was laced with deep incisions and her blood strewn from outside to inside the house. The sinister truth of that night turned her murder into North Carolina’s most enigmatic criminal case, capturing media attention across the globe.

While police zeroed in on Michael Peterson, the husband, and charged him with murder, a neighbor, Larry Pollard, claimed an owl had attacked Kathleen outside her house. He said it sliced her scalp with its fierce talons and caused her to run inside, collapsing at the stairwell, bleeding to death.

It was an outrageous theory.

Larry was mocked and Michael imprisoned. Now, twenty years after the unusual death, questions remain.

Did an owl kill Kathleen? How much do North Carolina’s authorities actually know?

About the Author

Author Tiddy Smith

Tiddy Smith is a philosopher of religion, who gained his PhD from the University of Otago in 2017. He has taught at various universities in New Zealand and Indonesia. He is the author of The Methods of Science and Religion (Lexington Books, 2019) and editor of Animism and Philosophy of Religion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).

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