The Angel, the SOB and the drunken cocktail waitress

father The story of a man who’s declared Father of the Year and then ends up on trial for the murder of his wife is all sorts of ironic until one pauses to consider that it was Father and not Husband of the Year. Undoubtedly that twist of irony is what drew Glenn Puit to the story of all around rotten human being Bill Rundle. Once again true crime fans are presented with evidence that being an SOB doesn’t automatically make one’s story interesting.

Rundle specializes in small scale crime, lies and romantic destruction until working his way up to the murders of his mother and wife. Along the way he has a son, Richie, that he genuinely seems to have loved. Then in a twist straight out of South Park, Richie is run over by a drunken cocktail waitress as he pushes his friend out of harm’s way. Vegas being Vegas, they name a school after the child.

This is a curiously pedestrian book. Puit is strongest when he’s detailing Rundle’s background. The chapters dealing with the investigation are, I kid you not, taken from a Dateline NBC episode which left me wondering why I was reading this when I could just catch a rerun on Discovery ID. The last 50 pages are pure filler. Most of the time Puit is dispassionate to the point of bland, except when he’s writing about Richie Rundle (“an angel”, “a gift from God”, “a miracle”) and then I wanted to turn a fire hose on him.

All in all, middle grade true crime. Recommended only for those very interest in the case or the commuting patterns of cocktail waitresses.

No comments: