explores murders in Indiana
the issues behind the crimes
(June 2008) Andrew Stoner was raised in Elkhart
County, Ind., the location of a particularly famous murder case of the
time. In 1972, Shirley Rock killed her husband with rat poison because
she did not believe in divorce.
It was a very notorious case growing up, Stoner said. The
name would cause a reaction.
With Stoners experience as a reporter and his brothers
career as a police officer, Ive been around quite a few
crimes, he said.
His experiences led to writing and publishing the book Notorious
92: Indianas Most Heinous Murders in all 92 Counties. The
book was released June 30, 2007.
Each of the 92 counties in Indiana is represented at least once by a
famous or memorable murder case featured in the book.
For Jefferson County, Ind., Stoner included the 1992 murder of Shanda
All over the state, people mention that case frequently,
he said. People still dont understand why.
Sharer was tortured and burned alive by four teenage girls.
Some people are curious about why I would write something like
this, Stoner said, especially after his first book, a biography
on former Indiana Gov. Frank OBannon, he added.
These cases are a part of our history we dont look at very
much, Stoner said. Weve never dealt with the issues
underneath these crimes.
Melanie Maxwell, the tourism director of Greensburg-Decatur County and
a fan of Notorious 92, agreed. Some of the things
are important to history, she said.
Maxwell said she found the book interesting and cited her enjoyment
of the television show Law & Order.
People are always fascinated by true stories, what people think,
how they react, Maxwell said. They do some pretty bizarre
After his stint as a reporter, Stoner became deputy press secretary
for OBannon from 2001 to 2003. In 1996, Stoner published Legacy
of a Governor: The Life of Indianas Frank OBannon,
a biography on the former governor.
Stoner began the research for this book while he was waiting for the
biography to be published.I had all this energy, he said.
by Don Ward
Stoner speaks to a group
in Madison about the construction
of a Honda Manufacturing of
Indiana LLC auto plant in Greensburg.
But he is also an author.
The researching and writing took about a year. Stoner
decided to use newspaper accounts of the murders as his primary sources
rather than interview the people involved. He did speak with police,
courts and state and county historians to get tips on which cases he
should include in his book.
Smaller counties had few to choose from, which is a good thing
to have unless youre writing a book, Stoner said.
One of the most interesting parts of the writing process for Stoner
was not one case in particular, but rather the effect all the cases
had on him, he said.
I found myself getting blue and depressed, he said. I
had to take some breaks. Its a very heavy topic.
Stoner is now a press liaison for the new Honda Manufacturing of Indiana
LLC plant under construction in Greensburg, Ind.
His book is available at Borders and Barnes & Nobles in sections
containing books about Indiana. Online booksellers such as Amazon.com
also offer the Notorious 92 for sale.
For more information about Andrew Stoner and
his book Notorious 92: Indianas Most Heinous Murders in
all 92 Counties, visit his website at http://notorious92.com/.
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