The May-June 2011 issue of Family Chronicle includes a three-page feature, "So You're Related to An Axe Murderer," about the re-release of my first true-crime volume, Blood Legacy. "How would you react to finding an axe murderer in your family tree?" I asked in the article.
Just as that issue went to press, my question was answered, albeit coincidentally, in a newspaper article.
A story in The Arab Tribune, May 27, tells of Rick Kirby, an Alabama man stationed in Afghanistan, whose early life is described as a "war zone." His wife, while digging into the roots of his family tree, discovered a dark history. "His grandmother is depicted as the killer in the true-crime book Blood Legacy: The True Story of the Snow Axe Murders by James Pylant," wrote reporter David Moore. "After that," writes Moore, "Kirby changed his last name to what it is today."
Rick Kirby, however, can count many kind, wonderful people among his living relatives. In researching and writing Blood Legacy, I encountered some two dozen people who share a family connection to those involved in the saga of the Snow murders. "Far removed from the tragedy of past generations," as I wrote in Blood Legacy, "they are baffled at how violence became so entrenched in the lives of their ancestors."
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