By Anne Lovell
On February 4, 1939, Connie Sommerlad used to be brutally butchered and her brother left for useless of their relations farmhouse in rural Tenterfield. It used to be a homicide that might rock the tight-knit neighborhood; a homicide made the entire extra surprising via the truth that their assailant was once a neighborhood guy operating for the Sommerlads. Jack Kelly, who was once to turn into the final individual to be hanged in New South Wales, struggled to provide an explanation for his lousy crime while he confronted the gallows. but this used to be faraway from the one secret to be uncovered by way of Connie's tragic finish. What particularly occurred to Connie in these misplaced years among her circulate to Sydney as a tender lady and her fateful go back to her domestic city? And what was once the key so shameful that, whilst Kelly stood trial for her homicide, the Sommerlads conspired to maintain it from the general public list? Vividly evoking small-town Australia within the months top as much as the outbreak of worldwide warfare II, Connie's Secret brings to existence the tale of a hugely first rate relations desperately attempting to safeguard their proficient yet wayward daughter's acceptance at a time whilst faith, advantage, and holding appearances held sway over each idea and deed. This attention-grabbing perception into one other period is written with the emotional strength of a singular, yet those occasions did happen—and their devastating impression remains to be felt by way of these left in the back of even this present day.
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Additional info for Connie's Secret: The True Story of a Shocking Murder and a Family Mystery at a Time When Appearances Were Everything
From the time Ronnie was old enough to talk, Velma read to him. She bought children’s books by the score. And when Pam grew old enough, she read to the two of them together. “Some of the best times I had with them was when they wanted me to read to them,” she later recalled. She read every book so many times that Ronnie and Pam knew them by heart. Still, they begged her to read more. “Sometimes when I would be reading to them, I would intentionally mess up, rearrange the words, and believe you me, they had memorized all these stories so that when I would start messing up, they would stop me.
He could picture himself in cap and gown, striding across the stage to receive his diploma. His mother, he knew, would be in the audience. It was she, after all, who had always stressed the importance of education, who had always pushed him to study hard and make something of himself. Ronnie had only been at work a short time when the telephone rang about two. “I’m a friend of your mother’s,” said a woman who didn’t identify herself. “I’ve heard she’s going to be arrested today. ” Despite his shock, Ronnie hadn’t been without warning that something like this could happen.
She never could quite devise a hairstyle to hide the hardly noticeable disfigurement adequately. Velma thought her teeth were ugly, too. She had a gap that she thought far too wide between the two in front. And her legs were far too short in her mind—she stood only five feet three—and she worried that they were bowed. She also felt overweight and fretted about it constantly. Thomas, who towered over her, seemed unaware of any flaws, however. She enjoyed his easygoing ways, and she loved that he made her laugh.