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Publisher's Summary

New from the best-selling author of Wrecking Crew!

During the early morning hours of July 17, 1983, fatigue became a factor for the young couple from central Illinois who spent their day under the hot sun at Marriott’s Great America amusement park north of Chicago. On their drive home, the tired teenagers pulled to the shoulder of Interstate 55 to get a restful sleep. As the teens slept inside their car under the moon and the stars, a dangerous force of evil lurked in the shadows, parking directly behind them. 

The summer of 1983 was like no other in Joliet, Ill., a hard-working, rough-and-tough blue-collar industrial city an hour’s drive southwest of Chicago. It was one of the hottest summers on record for Joliet, and an elusive serial-killing madman kept piling up the body count as he showed no signs of being caught. 

One overnight killing spree claimed five victims, including members of the Will County Sheriff’s Office. The following month brought more bloodshed: a quadruple murder inside a small Joliet shop best known for its pottery classes.

The plague of senseless violence sparked the controversial New York City-based Guardian Angels to mobilize foot patrols in Joliet, generating more unwanted news media attention for the community. Even the National Enquirer produced its own sensational piece, labeling Joliet “Terror Town, USA”.

Residents shuddered with horror. Determined detectives worked in overdrive, trying to find an overlooked clue or two. Finally, when an arrest seemed to come out of nowhere, area citizens breathed a sigh of relief. Authorities linked the so-called stone-cold killing machine to a chilling count of 14 homicides, plus three women who miraculously survived their agonizing encounters. 

But with multiple murder trials on the horizon, it remained anyone’s guess whether Milton Johnson, whose family nicknamed him “Big’un”, short for “Big One”, was guilty of mass murder. If so, would he die by means of lethal injection at the Illinois Department of Corrections?

©2021 John Ferak (P)2021 WildBlue Press

What listeners say about Terror Town USA

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Finally...it's been a minute ...

I am an avid Audiobooks listener. All day, listen while I "work". Needless to say, in the last 3+ years, I have heard many true crime books. After you have listened to so many, it begins to become a real crap shoot and (even though you listened to the sample and read the trailer) you're sorry you wasted your money on yet another annoying story/narrator, etc.
However! Not this time! Kevin Pierce!!! I didn't even check the narrator (my FAVORITE) and then I heard his unmistakable voice. I was so happy! Kevin can make ANY story sound interesting. But, John Ferak did an amazing job writing this, unknown to me, tragic tale. I didn't want to stop until I got to the end. Mr. Ferak is on my favorite author list now.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent read

Being from Joliet and remembering his horrific crimes and actually
spending time in the Will County jail with this monster, I can say
the author did a great job.

7 people found this helpful

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Psychopath off the streets!

The narrator had a great voice and tone. The story was one I hadn't heard before. Great ending to a whacko serving a life sentence!

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This was okay

I would listen to Kevin Pierce read anything. This is a true crime book which is my favorite. There was nothing special about this story but I finished it because of the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Serial Savagery

This is a moderately interesting account of the murder spree perpetrated upon the terrified citizens of Joliet Illinois during the pre-DNA 1980s. Encumbered by a lack of forensic evidence, law enforcement officials were blocked at every turn by the savvy killer who was clever enough to cover his bloody tracks. Even after police had correctly identified their perp, they were still unable to provide the clinical proof required for a conviction, and so the monster continued to evade justice.

This should have been a compelling book. Unfortunately, the telling of the gruesome story somehow falls short of the mark.

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True Crime

Listening to this book was hard at times. The brutalness of the killer, chilling. The reader tells the story with a straightforward "police detective, Just the fax" way but has his humanity show through.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Glenys Holmes
  • Glenys Holmes
  • 03-03-22

Brilliant and so sad

Brilliant as usual
Incredibly sad
Highly recommend for all true crime enthusiasts
As usual Kevin Pierce delivers this story with compassion, strength and a voice I have grown to respect and love
Thank you