• A Death in White Bear Lake

  • The True Chronicle of an All-American Town
  • By: Barry Siegel
  • Narrated by: Charles Constant
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1962, Jerry Sherwood gave up her newborn son, Dennis, for adoption. Twenty years later, she set out to find him - only to discover he had died before his fourth birthday. The immediate cause was peritonitis, but the coroner had never decided the mode of death, writing "deferred" rather than indicate accident, natural causes, or homicide. This he did even though the autopsy photos showed Dennis covered from head to toe in ugly bruises, his clenched fists and twisted facial expression suggesting he had died writhing in pain.

Harold and Lois Jurgens, a middle-class, churchgoing couple in picturesque White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had adopted Dennis and five other foster children. To all appearances, they were a normal Midwestern family, but Jerry suspected that something sinister had happened in the Jurgens household. She demanded to know the truth about her son's death.

Why did authorities dismiss evidence that marked Dennis as an endangered child? Could Lois Jurgens' brother, a local police lieutenant, have interfered in the investigation? And most disturbing of all, why had so many people who'd witnessed Lois' brutal treatment of her children stay silent for so long? Determined to find answers, local detectives and prosecutors rebuilt the case brick by brick, finally exposing the shocking truth behind a nightmare in suburbia.

©1990 Barry Siegel (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about A Death in White Bear Lake

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really, really good book.

I could not stop listening, the author made me feel like I could "see" all of the characters involved. It was a sad and horrific event, but the author did an amazing job at presenting years & years of history.
I live in the area this horror took place, so I enjoyed hearing all of the local information.
If you like true crime and appreciate an author that goes deep into a subject, this book is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

We never know our fate

I was adopted out of Ramsey County a year after Dennis. That was when Lois was wanting to adopt again. I am so thankful my life turned out to be a good one. I believe God played a role in my life for sure.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

don't do it

Boring..worst 30 minutes of my life. no no no don't do it. save your credits

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good book.

I read this book when it first came out. The story about little Dennis is horrendous. I have since read an re-read several times. It makes us become more vigilant when dealing with children. It is up to the adults in a child's life that should be watchful of problems that may be taking place. A child doesn't always know what is normal. I've cried for all children who are facing or have faced terrible fates at00 the hands of the people who are supposed to love them!

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  • R
  • 02-24-21

Jesus. way too much detail.

I mostly played it at twice speed, still like 50 chapters. why can't I just submit this review?
boring!!!