The Road Out of Hell

The Road Out of Hell

Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders

eBook - 2013
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"And you wonder: How the hell did this guy go on to be a loving father and grandfather? How did he bury all that crap? That's a story in itself." - Clint Eastwood, director of THE CHANGELING The film story of young Sanford Clark and his forced participation in the Wineville Murders was covered in Clint Eastwood's movie, THE CHANGELING, but for answers to the questions Eastwood posed after completing the project, turn to the true story of the Wineville murders: Anthony Flacco's THE ROAD OUT OF HELL. The hell part isn't what makes the story important; it's the road out that does. From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco - using never-before-heard information from Sanford's son, Jerry Clark - tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation. Forced by Northcott to take part in the murders, Sanford carried tremendous guilt all his life. Yet despite his youth and the trauma, he helped gain some justice for the dead and their families by testifying at Northcott's trial - which led to his conviction and execution. It was a shocking story, but perhaps the most shocking part of all is the extraordinarily ordinary life Clark went on to live as a decorated WWII vet, a devoted husband of 55 years, a loving father, and a productive citizen. In dramatizing one of the darkest cases in American crime, Flacco constructs a riveting psychological drama about how Sanford was able to detoxify himself from the evil he'd encountered, offering the ultimately redemptive story of one man's remarkable ability to survive a nightmare and emerge intact.
Publisher: Made available through hoopla, 2013.
[United States] : Diversion Books, 2013.
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource


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Jul 20, 2013

I choose not to read this because Sanford Clark did not leave this earth in dignity nor redeem himself whatsoever. He was a pedophile and a psychopath. No conscience to speak of. This author must be talking about another Sanford Clark because this architect was a weirdo and a felon in my book, and just a nasty nasty man. This book here sounds to glorify him. Yuck he doesn't deserve that. And he most definitely "emerge intact". HA!

ChristchurchLib Jul 16, 2013

"Fair warning to readers who don't enjoy gruesomely detailed investigations into horrendous - and all too real - crimes: this book is not for you. The Road Out of Hell documents the grisly murders committed by Gordon Stewart Northcott on his chicken ranch in Wineville, California, between 1926 and 1928 - aspects of which were the focus of the 2008 film Changeling. It also describes the traumatic experiences of Northcott's nephew, Sanford Clark, who was held captive, brutalised, and forced to help kill the boys trapped at the ranch. Though author Anthony Flacco embellishes the official record somewhat, Clark's son Jerry ends the book with an epilogue that showcases Clark's inner strength and emotional resilience." July 2013 Biography and Memoir newsletter

erichter72 Mar 12, 2013

This was a heart wrenching story.

Apr 04, 2011

A cop murders another cop and gets away with it for 50 yrs.This book is well written and full of details.It happend hear in WA.A good read.

Jan 02, 2011

This is an excellent and inspiring book. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is, we really don't know what within Sanford Clark made him able to cast off hell and make a life for himself. This book truly plumbs the depths as Sanford's mother and uncle and his maternal grandmother were truly evil people. How Sanford and his sister managed to get through this relatively unscathed is a truly a miracle.

It's also amazing that Sanford was fortunate enough to deal with prosecutors who understood what he had been through, even in the 1920s and to treat him with sympathy and true caring. I didn't expect that at all, but I hope Loyal Kelley lived a long and happy life to reward him for his enlightened treatment of Sanford Clark.

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