By Joe Sharkey
while rookie FBI agent Mark Putnam acquired his first project in 1987, it used to be the fruits of a lifelong dream, if no longer the main fascinating position. Pikeville, Kentucky, is excessive in Appalachian coal state, an outpost rife with lawlessness relationship again to the Hatfields and McCoys. As a emerging famous person within the bureau, however, Putnam soon was cultivating paid informants and busting drug earrings and financial institution robbers. but if one informant fell in love with him, ardour and accountability could collide with tragic results.
A coal miner’s daughter, Susan Smith was once a tender, appealing, suffering unmarried mom. She used to be additionally a drug person occasionally defined as a con artist, thief, liar. finally, Putnam gave in to Smith’s relentless pursuit. but if he ended the affair, she waged a crusade of vengeance that threatened to damage him. whilst ultimately she faced him with a stunning assertion, a violent scuffle ensued, and Putnam, in a burst of out of control rage, fatally strangled her.
even though he had every thing essential to break out with murder—a spotless popularity, a sufferer with a number of enemies, and the security of the bureau’s impenetrable shield—his moral sense wouldn’t permit it. suffering from a 12 months of guilt and deception, Putnam ultimately led professionals to Smith’s continues to be. this is often the tale of what occurred ahead of, in the course of, and after his startling confession—an account that “should take its position at the darkish shelf of the easiest American actual crime” (Newsday).
Revised and up to date, this e-book additionally comprises photographs and a brand new epilogue by way of the author.
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Additional resources for Above Suspicion
Paul Hatfield, Fred McCoy, and Bert Hatfield, all of the Pike County sheriff’s office, let him ride with them and introduced him to the old coal towns and hill settlements. Bert, a tall, laconic young sheriff’s deputy who also sold used cars from a small lot in Freeburn, an old coal company town on the bank of the Tug across from West Virginia—“three mountains away from Pikeville,” as he called it—became a particularly good ally. Bert was endlessly amused by the young FBI man’s driving skills, or lack of them.
Bert added, “One thing about some law enforcement guys is they’re lazier than shit, and they’re always looking at the clock. But not me and him. We’d go till all hours. ” Yet as he got to know local cops, Mark found that the lines of his dealings with them could get just as tangled as they had been in the trailer of the woman who reported the bank robber. Once, deep in the coalfields to serve a federal fugitive warrant he was approached by a local police officer. ” “Well, he’s my second cousin.
A jumble of neat buildings dominated by a brick courthouse with a weather vane on top, Pikeville looked like a village in a model railroad display, except for another billboard at the entrance to town, this one bigger, that said: HILLBILLY DAYS!!! Fun filled weekend carnival celebrating the heritage of PIKEVILLE, KY Rides! Handicrafts! Good eatin’s. April 24-25-26 Ya’ll Come! On either side of the billboard’s message were cartoon images of stereotypical shotgun-wielding hillbillies with ratty straw hats, patched overalls, big gnarly bare feet, and goofy smiles showing missing front teeth.