By Joe Sharkey
whilst rookie FBI agent Mark Putnam bought his first project in 1987, it used to be the end result of a lifelong dream, if no longer the main fascinating place. Pikeville, Kentucky, is excessive in Appalachian coal state, an outpost rife with lawlessness courting again to the Hatfields and McCoys. As a emerging celebrity 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 might collide with tragic results.
A coal miner’s daughter, Susan Smith was once a tender, beautiful, suffering unmarried mom. She was once 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 wreck him. whilst eventually she faced him with a stunning declaration, a violent scuffle ensued, and Putnam, in a burst of out of control rage, fatally strangled her.
notwithstanding he had every little thing essential to break out with murder—a spotless recognition, a sufferer with a number of enemies, and the security of the bureau’s impenetrable shield—his moral sense wouldn’t enable it. stricken by a yr of guilt and deception, Putnam ultimately led professionals to Smith’s is still. 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 simplest American precise crime” (Newsday).
Revised and up to date, this booklet additionally contains images and a brand new epilogue via the author.
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Family feud,” one of the state cops said with a shrug. ” 2 To a bank robber, eastern Kentucky offers unusual challenges and unusual opportunities. In some ways, it is not an ideal place to rob a bank. For one thing, the region has an FBI office charged with investigating bank robberies. For another, robbing a bank is usually a daylight pursuit requiring the capacity to get away in a car—not an easy task in a place where narrow roads run up one side of a mountain and wind down the other, and the nearest interstate was two hours of bad road away.
So keep her on board. ” Mark thought about that for a moment, then said, “This girl’s holding back—we’re playing a kind of cat-and-mouse game right now. ” “Okay, I’ll buy it. I like it. But let me tell you something: The money is there. Use it. Especially in your area. Don’t feel like you’re prostituting yourself by giving these people money. They want it. ” At their next meeting, when he gave Susan the five hundred dollars, she seemed a little rattled, which was the first time he had seen her so.
Cat Eyes was recently released from prison and on probation for robbing banks; he’d apparently gone back to his line of work, probation be damned. As bank robbers go, Cat Eyes was an unusual case. He had much of the audacity of John Dillinger, only a little of the skill, and absolutely none of the discretion. A proud man, when he got out of prison, Cat Eyes Lockhart had announced his return to work in the Tug Valley to virtually everyone he knew. What’s more, Cat Eyes was spending his loot freely, on things like a used Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with the classic gold “Screaming Chicken” stenciled on the hood, much like the one Burt Reynolds drove in the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit.