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book cover of Lassiter Hill

Lassiter Hill

A novel by

A new novel inspired by one of Iowa's most notorious murders has been released by Raider Publishing.
Lassiter Hill is a fictional account of the Mark murders, which occurred in rural Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1975. The novel is authored by Dan Dundon a former journalist who covered the murder story as a reporter from the day the bodies were discovered to the day the verdict in case was announced.
Lassiter Hill substitutes fictional characters and incorporates many fictional events into the plot of the story. However, the novel closely follows the evidence presented at the actual murder trial in Sioux City, Iowa.
The actual case unfolded the day after Halloween, Nov. 1, 1975, when Black Hawk County sheriff's deputies discovered the bullet-riddled bodies of Leslie Mark, his wife, Jorjean, both 25 and their five-year-old daughter Julie and 21-month old son Jeff. Authorities said 12 bullets were fired into the victims.
On Nov. 11, 1975, Jerry Allen Mark, 32, of Berkeley, Calif. was arrested in connection with the murders of his brother and his brother's family.
In a 1976 trial prosecutor David Dutton alleged a jealous Jerry Mark murdered his brother's family execution-style because he felt he had been "screwed" out his father's will. The prosecutor claimed the quadruple murder stemmed from harsh arguments between Jerry and Leslie over distribution of their ailing father's property.
A Sioux City jury convicted Mark of four-counts of first-degree murder. He received an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The conviction remains under appeal.
Dundon said the passage of more than 30 years has allowed him to replace the personalities of those involved in the actual case and invent a new set of characters to populate the novel. Lassiter Hill takes place in the fictional town of Prairie Rapids, Iowa and revolves around the Lassiters, a prominent family that has farmed in the community for generations. The story focuses on the conflicts between two brothers and the pressure on a local prosecutor to solve a murder that has riveted the attention of the community and subjected immigrant workers to increased scrutiny.
"Some may wonder why I chose to reopen what are painful memories surrounding these murders," Dundon said. "Although I've covered many murder cases in my 20 years as a reporter, no other case has haunted me as much as this one. My goal was to create a fictional character and try to explain how such an individual could be motivated to commit such a horrendous crime. It was an exercise to bring closure in my mind as much as any desire to write a book."
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Used availability for Daniel Dundon's Lassiter Hill

Paperback Editions

October 2008 : USA Paperback

Title: Lassiter Hill
Author(s): Daniel Dundon
ISBN: 1-934360-95-3 / 978-1-934360-95-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Raider Publishing International
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

November 2008 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Lassiter Hill
Author(s): Daniel Dundon
Publisher: Raider Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA