The Fact of a Body Epub â of a eBook ´ The Fact

The Fact of a Body [PDF / Epub] ☉ The Fact of a Body ❤ Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – Before Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana working to help defend men accused of murder she thinks her position is clear The child of two lawyers she is staunch Before Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich begins of a eBook ´ a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana working to help defend men accused of murder she thinks her position is clear The child of two The Fact Epub / lawyers she is staunchly anti death penalty But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes―the moment she hears him speak of his crimes―she is Fact of a eBook ☆ overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die Shocked by her reaction she digs deeper and deeper into the case Despite their vastly different circumstances something in his story is unsettlingly uncannily familiarCrime even the darkest and most unsayable acts can happen to any one of us As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood And by examining the details of Ricky’s case she is forced to face her own story to unearth long buried family secrets and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky's crimeBut another surprise awaits She wasn’t the only one who saw her life in Ricky’sAn intellectual and emotional thriller that is also a different kind of murder mystery The Fact of a Body is a book not only about how the story of one crime was constructed―but about how we grapple with our own personal histories Along the way it tackles uestions about the nature of forgiveness and if a single narrative can ever really contain something as definitive as the truth This groundbreaking heart stopping work ten years in the making shows how the law is personal than we would like to believe―and the truth complicated and powerful than we could ever imagine.

10 thoughts on “The Fact of a Body

  1. Mike Scalise Mike Scalise says:

    If you are a fan of true crime this book is excellent If you are a fan of memoir this book is excellent If you are a fan of legal thrillers this book is excellent If you are a fan of beautiful language this book is excellent If you are a fan of page turners this book is excellent If you are a fan of boundlessly empathetic storytelling and brilliant uestions about the meaning of acceptance this book is excellent If you are a fan of a scene in which one character manages maybe to have sex while in a body cast this book is excellent If you are a fan of all of these things together you have to read this book It is excellent

  2. Colin Colin says:

    As I was nearing the conclusion of this book I dreaded the prospect of reviewing it As is obvious to anyone who has read the book its subject matter and the author's personal experiences make it difficult to criticize So before going further I would like to make clear that my dislike of the book is not rooted in the author's personal memoir or her meditations on how her childhood traumas shaped her I truly hope that this book was cathartic for her and enabled her to find peace If it did that then it then justified its own existence Nevertheless I as a reader I did not enjoy it Now this in and of itself would not automatically preclude a good review There are plenty of books that were painful to read but I nevertheless recommend because of the ideas contained within Unfortunately my dislike of this book went beyond mere lack of enjoyment and when I finished I could not help but feel that the book felt shallow to meThis seems really harsh so allow me to attempt an explanation Tragedy is really hard to write about And personal tragedy is sometimes impossible to write about Here the author attempts to write about both one personal one she encounters as a law school student and connect the two This could have resulted in a symbiosis that lead to greater insight into both but here it just didn't I work in criminal justice and have unfortunately encountered a lot crimes perpetrated against children As such I have repeatedly encounter a phenomena that I sensed here People who encounter these events want these events to make sense They want meaning They want poetry They want to look at child molesters and find some deeper reason or explanation for such horrors Unfortunately that is not reality When it comes to people and acts like that its turtles all the way downThis is the nagging problem that made me respond so negatively to the book The author reminded me of so many people that always seem to cluster around these tragedies looking to transpose meaning on an event that is either meaningless or containing a meaning that is far beyond human comprehension In my cynical moments I call it tourism This is probably unfair but it is also the reason the book rang so hollow to meThe author is a victim of a terrible tragedy and deserves understanding for that but it does not indemnify her from my belief that she took someone else's tragedy and used it for her own ends and desires She inserts the thoughts and feelings of the participants of this tragedy without ever really knowing them and reconstructs these emotions through by her own admission her imagination This does not appear to be the exhaustive product of countless interviews but rather her assumption about these people and how they felt It just seems wrong to meThis may not make a lot of sense but its how I feel There are good books written about these sorts of issues but this one didn't make it The author is impaired by her own lens of experience and as a result I never felt like she was able to penetrate the matter in a way that rang true In the end all the author seems to conclude that no person is the sum of a single attribute or action While this is certainly an absolute truth this conclusion is like the book to me something that seems a lot deeper than it actually is

  3. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    4 Powerful and emotionally raw I have never read anything uite like this before Pedophiles and the harm they cause the lasting effects on their victims whether in family or without the subject makes this a difficult book to read As a law student the author comes across a case involving the death of a six year old and the offender at the time on death row a young man named Ricky Although she doesn't believe in the death penalty she is shocked to find how much she wants this man to die It triggers memories of the abuse within her own family and she sets out to understand​ both Ricky's case and her own family and what lived within the confines of supposed loveThis story is so personal we feel as if we are travelling with her as she makes her discoveries witness her pain and anguish feel with her as she tries to understand The secrets held in her own family passed down through generations and her attempt to understand what makes someone sexually prey on others The subject matter maybe a trigger for some it is uite vividly presented often looked at through the eyes of the child she was absolutely devastating and heartbreaking I do believe stories like these need to be told not just as a catharis for the teller but as a way to bring these things out in the open start a dialogue so others are not afraid to speak Narrative nonfiction mixed with a memoir and even some fiction writing but it is done skillfully and honestly

  4. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    The Fact of a body A Murder and a Memoirthe title of this book becomes an 'acute awareness' of what this book is about the deeper we are pulled into this debut This book is about a real murder that happened in the year 1992 A six year old child Jeremy Guillory was molested and murdered by Ricky Langley This book is also a Memoir We get a very personal intimate ' private as private is' up and close 'factual' and 'emotional' account from what author Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich shares with us about her life While the 'facts' are being spelled out to us a crime investigation over a 10 year period and 'specifics' about why what when and how things were for Alexandria Mariano Lesnevichbecome much than 'facts' to us Reading this book SHAKES YOU It RATTLES our insides One of the most powerful moments for me written beautiful was 'very' personal The author had just shared about 'coming out' She was gay She was in bed with her partner in the beginnings of sex Sex was going terrific until it wasn't Alexandria was going under into a memory I MUST HAVE READ THIS SECTION 4 or 5 timesa couple of pagesI've HAD SIMILAR EXPERIENCES I'm not talking about sex I'm not gay and I've never been molested I'm talking about a memory taking you under it's a 'strong stronger than strong' feeling I haven't had that experience in years but I've never read ANYONE describe the experience like Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich did in this book Where does the mind go in these moments while the body trembles? For me it is a white hot slipstream blank out the nothingness I have no time and nowhere and no one It use to be a feeling a single concentrated excruciating feeling I'm NOT GOING TO SHARE ALEXANDRIA'S SPECIFIC MEMORY IN THIS REVIEW it's too personalButhere is another 'part' of this past memory An overwhelming memory can come on strong taking power away from whatever present moment a person finds themselves inBut as the years have blotted the origin out I am grateful they have a blotted the sensations too as though the film reel of the memory has been played so many times it has gone torn and blotched It's very hard to put this book down it's raw it pulls on your heartstrings but after I finished reading it I went back to the beginning and had uestions about this excerpt As such this is a book about what happened yes but it is also about what we do with what happened It is about a murder it is about my family it is about other families whose lives were touched by the murder But than that much than that it is about how we understand our lives the past and each other To do this we all make stories We all make storieshm??? So what stories were made up in this book? I don't know It's this line we all make stories that left me with an 'after thought' about this book I was definitely 'sucked in' from beginning to endbut I started to wonder if perhaps parts of this book were possibly overstated I have no way of knowing but doubt began to enter my mind I still was turning the pages heavily though Very uniue fusion style of story blending 4 stars

  5. Brina Brina says:

    Fact of the Body A Murder and a Memoir is one of the books chosen for the nonfiction book club on goodreads this summer I enjoy reading mysteries true crime and memoirs so I found the concept of this book to be intriguing In a book that is a mixture of true narrative and personal recollections Fact of the Body is an intricate web of emotions that come to a nexus when investigating a horrible crime from multiple angles Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich had overcome long odds and made it into Harvard law school After her first year there she gained an internship at the law offices of Stafford Clive near Lake Charles Louisiana The office was the lead defense counsel of convicted pedophile Ricky Langley who had gained a second trial ten years after his first had landed him on death row Accused of killing and molesting a six year old Langley's counsel fought to keep him from the death penalty either with a conviction of life in prison or by reasons of insanity Marzano Lesnevich had chosen to enter the law not just because both of her parents were lawyers but because she was morally opposed to the death penalty; until she became exposed to the Langley case and churned up ghastly images from her childhood As a surviving twin in a set of triplets Marzano Lesnevich barely made it out of infancy Then the unthinkable happened her grandfather molested both her and her two younger sisters While the images aren't gruesome they are tough to get through especially for a parent of girls Scarred emotionally and physically for life she could never forget the baggage from her past while her parents and sisters chose to cover up what had happened and move on It is not my place to uestion the parenting skills here but Marzano Lesnevich's family appears dysfunctional at best and she became a loner and later in life could relate to a convicted pedophile like Ricky Langley Langley himself was the product of a fractured family his parents and surviving siblings overcoming a horrendous car crash which killed two siblings and left his mother severely disabled Yet they survived as best as they could living with family in Iowa Louisiana Ricky was a miracle baby but was either abused or ignored as a child One could almost feel sorry for him that is until he admired to molesting children simply for enjoyment from the time he was nine years old That Marzano Lesnevich could relate to him on any level was tough to swallow and the sections about Langley and the crimes he committed were both repetitive and heinous As a result I read fast not because I was excited to find out whodunit but because by the two thirds point I was ready for some of these gruesome memories to be over Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich has created a multi layered complicated premise for a book combining memoir and fact Weaving two different instances of child molestation with entirely different outcomes she attempts for the reader to sympathize with both the offender and the victim While this might have worked for me when she described her own story I had little sympathy for Ricky Langley as tough as his childhood might have been Fact of the Body might be ushering in a new eclectic genre of book but the fusing of stories here did not work for me especially with the sometimes gruesome images I imagine that if this was not a group read I would not have read it A compelling story nonetheless I rate Fact of the Body 35 stars

  6. Jen Jen says:

    A memoir and a Murder Two separate lives that disturbingly cross over Two lives that live with past horrific secrets that have hauntingly shaped who they areOne a murderer One a law student Marzano Lesnevich is a law intern when her path crosses with Ricky Langley child molester and murderer on death row With her own molested past she seeks to understand this boy child who did to children what was done to her Rather than hate which can be done so understandably easily she chooses to understand why Seeking answers through his past to help her understand what happened to her A victim; a predator An obsession This is raw She puts forth a Herculean effort that most would or could not do Empathy for a child molester is what she creates Confronting our own discomforts and emotions I share her same conviction “that everyone is a person no matter what they’ve done and taking a human life is wrong” Maybe I would feel differently if someone I loved was harmed by another; if I was harmed Maybe I wouldn’t live by this ideal I hope never to find out4⭐️

  7. Barbara Barbara says:

    WARNING This review contains information that's mentioned in many discussions of the book but some readers might consider the revelations spoilers So If minor spoilers bother you stop reading nowAlexandria Marzano LesnevichThe Fact of a Body melds the true crime story of child molestermurderer Ricky Langley with Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich's tale of being sexually abused as a childRicky LangleyIn 1992 Louisiana resident Ricky Langley killed his six year old neighbor Jeremy Guillory and after being convicted by a jury was sentenced to death In 1992 the body of Jeremy Guillory was found in his houseRicky Langley was arrested for Jeremy Guillory's murderRicky Langley was convicted of killing Jeremy GuilloryDuring his retrial a decade later Langley was defended by Clive Stafford Smith a staunch opponent of capital punishment whose law firm specializes in death penalty cases This time Langley got life in prison Note Ricky had yet a third trial years later and was once again sentenced to life Civil rights attorney Clive Stafford SmithAfter Langley's second trial in 2003 Harvard law student Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich who opposes the death penalty became a summer intern at Clive Stafford Smith's law firm in New Orleans During her orientation the intern was shown Langley's taped confession from 1992 in which the murderer a diminutive man with coke bottle glasses and jug ears graphically described the crimeand talked about molesting children Sometimes I you know rub my penis on them Marzano Lesnevich's mind immediately snapped back to her childhood She recalled how from the time she was 3 years old her grandfather when babysitting would steal into her bedroom He'd tug up her nightgown pull down her panties undo his flyand then her mind would go someplace else as she stared at her yellow lampshade While Marzano Lesnevich was watching Langley's tape she wanted the child molester to die After completing law school Marzano Lesnevich decided not to practice law Instead she became a writer and elected to tell Ricky Langley's storyand her own To make sense of Ricky's life and behavior the author thoroughly researched his history going all the way back to the courtship and marriage of his parents Bessie and Alcide Bessie and Alcide LangleyThe writer learned that Ricky was conceived while Bessie was in a full body cast after a horrific car crash an accident that killed two of the Langley's small children Bessie was drinking heavily and taking a cornucopia of drugs while expecting Ricky and was advised to terminate the pregnancy Bessie refused and gave birth to a boy who had problems all his life Marzano Lesnevich narrates the story of Ricky's life As a child he lived with a semi invalid mother her leg was amputated a hard drinking father and four siblings The Langley's could never make ends meet and had to move in with Bessie's sister and brother in law devout Pentecostals with a strict spartan lifestyle no music no television no booze theoretically and lots of talk about God Young Ricky Langley grew up in difficult circumstancesThe house where Ricky Langley livedRicky was an odd friendless child who admits that he started molesting younger kids when he was nine years old Ricky claims that he always knew something was wrong with him and as a young adult tried to get help on several occasions to no avail Unable to control his compulsions Ricky even attempted suicide Finally at the age of 26 the misfit became a murderer The summary above is the 'nutshell' version In the book Marzano Lesnevich provides what feels like a week by week account of Ricky's life with admittedly fictionalized components including descriptions of what people were wearing; what they were doing; what they might be thinking; what they were looking at; conversations they had; what they were drinking; whether sweat was rolling down their faces; and so on The author also includes a detailed description of young Jeremy's murder the extensive search for the missing boy the police finding his body and finally Ricky's arrest and trialsAlexandria Marzano Lesnevich's personal story is interwoven with Ricky's tale The author talks about growing up in New Jersey with two lawyer parents and two siblings one a twin brother Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich grew up in New JerseyThe family was upwardly mobile had a nice home and went on yearly vacations to Nantucket or exotic destinations Young Alexandria's parents had an active social life and when they went out would ask the children's maternal grandparents to watch the kids And that's when grandpa would molest Alexandria or her sister NicolaGrandpa would take out his false teeth make a scary face and tell Alexandria he was a witch who would 'get her' if she told on him which terrified the child into silence Even so when Alexandria was about 8 years old her parents found out about the abuse when Nicola talked about 'sitting on Grandpa's lap'The parents learned the truth BUT NOTHING HAPPENED The heads of the family didn't call the police didn't confront the predator and didn't discuss the situation with the children Instead Alexandria's folks pretended nothing had happened The grandparents still visited freuently though grandpa was never again left alone with the children The molestation and subseuent silence scarred Marzano Lesnevich for life and had a devastating effect on her relationship with her entire family especially her parents and grandparents When Marzano Lesnevich got older the memories of abuse also made it difficult for her to sustain romantic relationships or to be intimate with her partners Again this is the 'nutshell version' In the book the author describes her childhood and much of her young adulthood in great detail including the emotional and physical damage she suffered and still endures It's clear to me that Marzano Lesnevich's mother and father mishandled the situation and compounded the damage caused by the sexual abuse It's hard to fathom exactly what her parents were thinking but this kind of 'secret keeping' is probably common within families After all to reveal the truth would destroy the grandparents lives What would your parents have done in this situation? What would you do? This would make a great topic for book club discussions The Fact of a Body has garnered many stellar reviews and has been heralded as a 'must read' That said I'm not as big a fan as many other people First I didn't see a real connection between Ricky's story and Marzano Lesnevich's story It's true that Ricky abused children and Alexandria was molested but the situations aren't analogousand the author's attempt to segue between the separate crimes doesn't work for me It feels like two separate books have been stuck together somewhat like an old Reader's Digest anthology Moreover the fictionalized details of the narratives especially Ricky's seem to serve little purpose and detract from their verisimilitude That said I admire Marzano Lesnevich's extensive research into Ricky's life and crimes The author spent years preparing to write this book she read thousands of pages of documents; listened to numerous taped recordings; interviewed people who knew Ricky; traveled to the killer's homes jobs and haunts; and even visited the convict in prisonAlexandria Marzano Lesnevich with her booksMy final thoughts the book tells two compelling true crime stories and I'd recommend it to readers who enjoy that genreYou can follow my reviews at

  8. Susan Susan says:

    It is hard to categorise this book – partly it is the disturbing story of a murder but it is much than that Part memoir written almost as a novel this is a painful thoughtful account of a crime and how it affected those involved but also how it changed the life of author Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich The author is the daughter of a lawyer and as long as she can remember she recalls being fascinated by the law At the age of twenty five she went to New Orleans to fight the death penalty by interning with a law firm that represented people accused of murder The author believed her views and opinions were set in stone but then she meets Ricky Langley who is facing the death penalty for the murder of six year old Jeremy Guillory Jeremy was the son of a single mother Lorilei; who was pregnant with her second child when Jeremy went missing Marzano Lesnevich entwines the story of Lorilei and Jeremy with that of Ricky Langley and with that of her own life I have no wish to give spoilers in this review and you need to read this book in order to discover the links between those involved However this is a book about how the past impacts the present About how families have secrets and how life is not as clear cut as we imagine it to be There are grey areas which unlike in a novel are not easily wrapped up completed finished or put away We carry our life experiences with us and they colour our opinions shape our present and influence our future This is a beautifully written very moving book in which every person touched by events are dealt with sympathetically and with respect I am glad that I read it I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review

  9. Chelsea (chelseadolling reads) Chelsea (chelseadolling reads) says:

    Maybe a 35 but rounding up because this was really well written I need to sit on my thoughts about this one for a minute before I give a concrete review because there is SO much to unpack in this book

  10. Emma Emma says:

    Blending the best facets of history and historical fiction writing this memoir of both the factual and imagined past bring alive the murder of a young boy Jeremy Guillory by a confessed pedophile alongside the author's own sexual abuse by her grandfather It's not easy reading but it's exceptionally well written Despite having an opposition to capital punishment that was fundamental to her decision to study law her introduction to this death penalty case while working as intern led Marzano Lesnevich to a difficult decision that she actually wanted this particular man to die Her personal experience and her obsession with this case interweave as a journey towards understandingAbove all the book addresses the complexities inherent in evaluating our own histories and those of others Truth is a slippery concept our memories change stories are modified facts are chosen for the narrative we wish to present or to hide things we wish to forget As the author says where we start the story can affect how we feel about the ending Ricky Langley admits to killing Jeremy but does it matter if he didn't mean to? What if he was abused as a child himself? What if he abused Jeremy before killing him? What if he repeatedly asked for help to be put away or killed before he harmed a child and never received any help? What if he was psychotic at the time? Do these things change how we feel about his crime? In the law courts each side presents the best version for their case it's the jury's job to decide which is true This book asks us whether this things matter and whether someone should die for the crimes they've committed It asks whether all the extra bits matter It demands a personal response what would we do? What do we think? Fittingly I had a layered and uncertain response to the complexity the author presents Ricky Langley's crimes made me feel sick I can only imagine the pain and confusion of Jeremy's experience His death necessitates a just punishment And yet it would never have happened if Langley hadn't been brushed off by multiple authorities when he asked for help I think Langley knew what he was doing was wrong I think he would never have stopped unless someone stopped him and I think someone should have done it before a child was horrifically murdered Does he deserve to die for that? Maybe I don't disagree with the death penalty on principle but I wouldn't want to be part of it myself and that's than hypocritical enough to be a problem I leave the book with uestions than answers about myself as much as anything else While she has constructed her own narrative for the purposes of the book Marzano Lesnevich has tried to be as open as possible about the multitude of stories and sources that form the story as well as the limits of memory In imagining the bits in between she has given the reader a clearer 'what might have been' than lists of facts could achieve It has an ancient precedent Thucydides sought evidence for his work but also used imagined speeches in his History of the Peloponnesian War filling them with 'what was called for by each situation' It allows us to think of the life and emotion involved arguably as important as bare bones detail It certainly leaves a lasting impression and makes this one of the most thought provoking books i've read in a long time ARC via Netgalley

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