• A Stranger Killed Katy

  • The True Story of Katherine Hawelka, Her Murder on a New York Campus, and How Her Family Fought Back
  • By: William D. LaRue
  • Narrated by: David Marantz
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

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A Stranger Killed Katy  By  cover art

A Stranger Killed Katy

By: William D. LaRue
Narrated by: David Marantz
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Publisher's Summary

In the early morning hours of August 29, 1986, Clarkson University sophomore Katy Hawelka - bright, pretty, and full of life - strolled back to her upstate New York campus after a night out. On the dimly lit path beside the university's ice hockey arena, a stranger emerged from the darkness. The brutal sexual assault and strangulation that followed rocked the campus and the local community.

When Katy was declared brain-dead three days later, her family's nightmare had only just begun. Terry Connelly soon learned details about her daughter's death that would make her blood boil. From the bungling campus guards who could have stopped the murder, to mistakes by others that allowed the killer to wander the streets committing violence, Katy's mother became certain of one thing: The criminal justice system only meant "justice for the criminals."

A Stranger Killed Katy is the true story of a life cut tragically short, and of the fight by a grieving mother and others more than 30 years later to ensure that a killer would spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Contains mature themes.

©2021 William D. LaRue (P)2021 Tantor

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What listeners say about A Stranger Killed Katy

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Sick Killer

This is a moderately interesting account of the savage murder of a young university student and the remorseless killer who continues to maintain his own version of the events that transpired on that long ago August night.

Author William LaRue's persistent use of the simple past tense frequently results in a confusion that could easily have been avoided through the use of the past perfect or imperfect tenses. Example: "On April 15, 2017, Katie's family got the sad news that Mary Fahey died at age 64." As constructed, we're left with the impression that her age at the time of death is the salient point. The past perfect tense would convey the information that this event had already occurred prior to their learning of it, and should have read, "... Mary Fahey had died at age 64." LaRue sticks to the simple past throughout the entire book, creating a sizeable distraction while the listener sorts out his intended meaning.

Narration is okay despite some mispronunciations such as "lambast" and "depravity".

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Not much mystery.

This was more about the characters than the actual crime. The mystery was solved very quickly.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Get the regular book

The story was great but the narrator was dull and robotic. Very little expression in his voice. All the characters has basically the same voice so it was had to tell who was who. I waited a long time to get this audiobook and was sorely disappointed listening.

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Excellent recounting!

No stone left unturned! This book detailed everything from beginning to end (and continued) of what happened to Katy at the hands of Brian McCarthy. As a child I lived down the road from Mr LaRue and Brian McCarthy.

When I went home to visit, my family informed me of what Brian did. He was a grade younger than me so I did not know him very well. I remember he looked angry all the time.

It really impressed me that this book was written 30ish years after the crime. Extraordinary work by Mr LaRue and hats off to everyone who shared information.

Now, to go find that website with the petition and sign it!

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Boring- monotone

This is not a story, but a documentary on the murder of a coed. It reads like a legal text book and the narrator sounds as though is reading it straight for the text. Boring

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Happy to hear change was made

Thank you for focusing on the victim. That’s where the focus should be. I will look for petition and sign up as well.

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Very well done!

I lived in Potsdam area all my life just I remember the murder back then, but to read the story and now at a age to take time and realize how terrible his act was .
The book was very well written and the one who Narrated did excellent job.