S. R. Reynolds
I’m Sasha Reynolds. I was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland, but later lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the University of Tennessee, I designed an individualized major in criminology and correctional studies while minoring in cultural anthropology. I later obtained a master of social work degree from the University of Alabama. I lived in Knoxville for twelve years, working as a child abuse and neglect investigator much of that time. While I was a resident there, a 15-year-old girl, Michelle Anderson, went missing from the North Knoxville neighborhood in which I resided. My son had been a classmate of hers. Not long after that, in 1988, I accepted a job offer in Alabama and moved away. But the case stayed with me because I knew the investigating officer, and I felt that he had seriously dropped the ball. Eventually, I moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I worked for years as a clinical social worker. While in Tuscaloosa, I also wrote for regional history and art magazines. It was nearly a decade later, as I watched one of the new forensic shows on television in Tuscaloosa in the mid-1990s, that I finally learned of Michelle’s fate. Her remains had been found outside Knoxville two years to the month after she'd gone missing. My old anthropology professor, Dr. William Bass, led the team that excavated the site. He was featured on the show discussing the case. Fast forward to 2007. I run into Dr. Bass when he is giving a talk in Guntersville, Alabama, about a new book he and his co-author, Jon Jefferson, have just published (Jefferson Bass, Harper-Collins). Obtaining his phone number, I call Dr. Bass concerning the old, very cold case of Michelle's disappearance. He sends me his forensic report from 1989 and some additional materials. My investigative journey begins. When that journey ends, seven years later, after having met with victims, former police and FBI investigators, and a savvy assistant DA, I have identified the man most likely to be Michelle's abductor and murderer, serial rapist Larry Lee Smith. As a result of my work, the Knoxville Police Department re-opened her cold case. My book, "Similar Transactions," tells the rest of the story. We launched the book in January 2016. Reception has been excellent and I was thrilled to have it listed among the top five of "The Best Nonfiction of 2016" by author and book reviewer Emilio Corsetti III. It has also been a true-crime bestseller on Amazon, Independent Author Network (IAN) True Crime Book of the Year in 2017, and the winner of an eLit Gold Medal winner in 2017. Today my husband and I reside in North Alabama.Read more Read less
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