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Have at It, Sister  By  cover art

Have at It, Sister

By: Bill Griffeth
Narrated by: Bill Griffeth,Ryan Kailbourne,Scott Aiello,P. J. Ochlan,Cassandra Campbell,Dina Pearlman,Molly Secours,Lani Ford,John Pirhalla,Marco Cammarota,Gloria Burtzlaff
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Publisher's Summary

Gloria Burtzlaff feared for her life one day back in April of 1991 when her abusive husband, Larry, drunk and violent, slapped her, hit her, and began pelting her with glasses. After he tried to drown her in a tub, she got the family shotgun and confronted him in his underwear. “Larry, I’m going to kill you,” she declared. Defense lawyers would later claim he lifted a glass as if to say, “Have at it, sister.” 

Have at It, Sister is a true-crime tale about Gloria, a South Dakota woman who shot her abusive husband and was put on trial in a precedent-setting case. She’s also a cousin of the wife of Bill Griffeth, a retired TV anchor on CNBC and PBS, and her story drew him into a years-long obsession to try to understand what was really at the heart of the shocking killing. How does a seemingly ordinary South Dakota marriage descend into abuse and murder? How have our views on abuse and justifiable homicide changed since the 1990s? 

This is a true-crime story that’s not just about murder and mayhem; it’s about something real, relevant, and important. At the time that Gloria’s trial was held in the summer of 1991, South Dakota was the only state in the country not to allow expert witnesses to offer a diagnosis that a female defendant suffered from a psychological condition called “battered woman syndrome” as part of a self-defense plea in a murder trial. Gloria’s case helped lead to a change in the law, and Bill looks into why the case made legal waves and struck such a nerve with the public. Through the up and downs and appeals of her case, we see how society’s view of domestic violence in general, and battered women in particular, evolve. 

As #MeToo continues to empower women, her case has become increasingly relevant. Like I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, this is a true-crime story that hits close to home. Bill Griffeth has served as an anchor at CNBC and a former cohost of PBS’ Nightly Business Report

©2022 Bill Griffeth (P)2022 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator and Performer

Bill Griffeth, who retired in 2019, was one of the country’s most respected business TV anchors. He covered the economy and Wall St. for almost 40 years, most of that time with CNBC where he anchored a number of programs, including the popular mid-day show Power Lunch, and Closing Bell, which he anchored for several years from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
In 2018 and 2019, he co-anchored Nightly Business Report, the longest running business news program on television which CNBC produced for PBS. In 2018 NBR was named the best program on public television by American Public Television.
Bill was nominated six times for a Cable Ace Award as Best News Anchor, and he received an Emmy nomination for his work on the CNBC documentary, Game On! about the history of the video game industry. In 2001, the National Association of Individual Investors honored him to commemorate his 20th anniversary in business television.
In addition to Have At It, Sister, Bill has written five other books, including Ten Steps to Financial Prosperity (Warner Books, 1993), The Mutual Fund Masters (Probus, 1994), By Faith Alone: My Family’s Epic History (Crown, 2008, & the revised edition by NEHGS, 2019), The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir (NEHGS, 2016), and Strangers No More (NEHGS 2022).
Bill graduated from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with a BA in Journalism in 1980. In 2000, CSUN honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award, and in 2017 the university bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on him.
Bill and his wife Cindy are avid genealogists. They have traveled all over the United States and through parts of Europe researching their ancestral homelands. Bill and Cindy have two grown children.
Photographed by Cindy Griffeth

What listeners say about Have at It, Sister

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Good thing I didn't pay for this

Perhaps the worst book I've listened to on Audible. Redundant. Yellow-journalism model. Perhaps the author was too close to his subject. But his editor needed to wield a firmer hand. What slogs through copious chapters in three parts and then some, could easily have been presented in one or two parts and then might actually have been sharpened into an engaging narrative. And it's a rare author who can do justice to their work by reading it in book form.

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Thank you

I am not a victim or a survivor of abuse. I am a nurse who sees this in the students I serve. As I listened to this book I was angered every time her parole was denied and others were set free with simple charges. I pondered why this angered me. I decided I needed to see how I could be an advocate for the children of domestic violence. This was a great book with in-depth personal experiences and how she grew with each denial.

3 people found this helpful

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great book

easy to follow. it made you feel you were the one in the story. great read

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Must read

Excellent, thought provoking read. An example of how laws are not applied equally to men and women.

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible narration

The story is interesting (of course, it’s true crime after all) but the narrator sounds like he’s reading sports headlines. I tried to slow down the audio to see if it would sound better but it didn’t. First audiobook that I left halfway.

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Amazing Story, Perfectly Narrated

In fairness I must say that I am a former colleague of the author but I am in no way even remotely prejudiced. His writing is fantastic and his narration of this amazing story even better. The research was painstaking. This is about a relative, it is a tragic story and one that likely resonates with many in this country and around the world. I found that listening to the story in the way it was narrated and presented with a cast of actors to be the most effective way to communicate the thoughts and feelings of the character, the main character named Gloria. I really do recommend this book because it tells a horrible story that needs to be told but does so in a palatable way and in a way that hopefully others can learn from it.

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  • JH
  • 09-03-22

Must read to understand domestic violence

This is my 1st review after listening to over 24 books. The narrative and storyline was amazingly well written. This story really hit home raised by a controlling abusive father and the frightened child is a daily reminder in my adulthood but has made me stronger.

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Horrible Narration

Narration was horrible. Couldn't finish. I actually felt she was lying due to the lack of emotion in the narration.

2 people found this helpful

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Tear jerker, empowering, strength of a woman

I absolutely loved this. It was so very emotional, to hear the pain and sorrow and love all the way through the book. I wish I could write to her and express how much I was moved by her story. It was like I was fighting for her, right beside her.

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Enjoyed this book

It was like listening to a friend tell a difficult story about her life. Very real.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Melmo25
  • 10-22-22

Odd book

I just couldn't get my head around this story
Whilst Gloria has my understanding and sympathy for the life she had with her husband Larry, it just left me feeling uneasy
It was great to have a book mention gut problems and ileostomy problems, as I too had surgery and had one for 18 months. I could well.identify with Larry's feelings of hostility and distaste far his failed body. I did feel great pity for him as I know the pain and revolution this affliction can cause.
It's not for.me to.commemt or judge on the actions of these 2 people .
I hope everyone involved can now move on and find some peace

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-20-22

good book

very interesting book i really enjoyed it is well worth a listen,i listen to it in 1 go,wishing her all the best for the future x

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  • Heather
  • 09-18-22

Very interesting read

Very interesting story to listen to. Still not to sure how I feel about the murder as the four year affair keeps coming to mind and believe that Gloria could of left at anytime.

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  • Carol Bashford
  • 09-09-22

Pity party

Interesting story well told, but I just can’t get the sense out of my head that Gloria feels so sorry for herself.

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  • AnnaBanana
  • 09-08-22

A Great Listen.

Well written and presented.
Enjoyed the added narrators, it help visualise the story that was being told.
Domestic Violence is a serious issue and it saddened me to listen about the statistics of male to female convictions, grrr!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-22

She got a raw deal

Im glad I listened to this although some was had to listen too she got a raw deal

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-22

Valuable story told well

Far too good a story to not be listened to
It’s a challenge to hear it, a greater challenge to use it as inspiration

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  • Toma31
  • 09-14-22

Fascinating and harrowing insight

A fascinating and harrowing insight into how many times the system can fail our most vulnerable. Such bravery and persistence.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-22

Not good

I couldn't finish listening the performance was terrible. I would listen if they changed to a single narrator or better actors. I wanted to know the story but I could only handle so much.