On a July afternoon in 1972, two masked men waving guns abducted forty-nine-year-old Virginia Piper from the garden of her lakeside home in Orono, Minnesota. After her husband, a prominent investment banker, paid a $1 million ransom, an anonymous caller directed the FBI to a thickly wooded section of a northern Minnesota state park. There, two days after her nightmare began, Ginny Piper––chained to a tree, filthy and exhausted, but physically unharmed––awaited her rescuers.
The intensely private couple lived through a media firestorm. Both Bobby and Ginny Piper herself—naturally reserved and surprisingly composed in the aftermath of her ordeal—were subject to FBI scrutiny in the largest kidnap-for-ransom case in bureau annals. When two career criminals were finally indicted five years after the abduction, the Pipers again took center stage in two long trials before a jury's verdict made headlines across the nation.
Drawing on closely held government documents and exclusive interviews with family members, investigators, suspects, lawyers, and others intimately connected to the case, William Swanson provides the first comprehensive account of the sensational Piper kidnapping and its long, eventful aftermath––and makes a case for the most plausible explanation for what really happened on that July afternoon.
black & white illustrations
black & white illustrations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I lived in the area when Mrs. Piper was taken. I've been waiting all these years for a book. It looked like her son was going to write the book, but I'm very glad for the family it was written by Mr. Swanson. Very well written and researched. I believe Ginny and even Bobby would be impressed with the way the book was written and would feel they were treated fairly by the author. Very interesting read Mr. Swanson, well done.
Something about the description of this book piqued my interest, though I'm not sure what. I read a lot of true crime but this is the first time the case has not been about a serial killer or at least a murder. No. Here we have a fairly simple crime. A wealthy socialite is kidnapped in the 70s, a ransom note for $1,000,000 is sent, the money delivered and the woman found, scared and disheveled but unharmed. What follows however is a very long and twisting case. It goes cold, until 7 years later an arrest is finally made, but then that is when all the strangest parts of all happen. I enjoyed the book well. It's written in an easy to read style, The author is more than respectful to the victim and her family. Included are pages of actual court case testimony and a few pictures. I had never heard of this case before; probably because many high-profile kidnappings happened during this time period (including Patty Hearst). But this is an absorbing and interesting case and Swanson has...
This is the best of Bill Swanson's three books. He really puts the reader into the present tense of the situation and allows you to relive both the kidnapping and the ransom drop and casts some light on who the kidnappers were (one is still in prison; the other was released). Very affecting book. I really liked Ginny Piper by the end of the book. It probably was her grace and charm that kept her from being killed, as kidnap victims are rarely released and usually killed.
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