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Anita Paddock

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Terry Winetsky

ISBN: 978-1-68313-245-5
166 pages

$14.97 in softcover

$5.97 in Kindle

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The Killing Spree

A true story of a string of brutal murders, rapes, and the cop who tried to stop it.

by Anita Paddock

John Edward Swindler never learned to read or write and instead became a bona fide criminal at the age of fifteen. His crimes quickly advanced from car theft to arson. At three hundred pounds, with long, fuzzy red hair and pimply skin, his appearance was so frightening that he intimidated fellow inmates into performing crimes from their jail cells. He sodomized other convicts, who dared not refuse him. He was moved in and out of solitary confinement in an attempt to break him of his violent ways. It failed. Released from prison because he was uncontrollable, he began a multi-state crime spree that culminated in the rape and murder of three young people and the shocking assault on a Fort Smith, Arkansas, policeman named Randy Basnett. In a matter of days, Swindler's lust for death grew into an unforgettable KILLING SPREE.
      On September 24, 1976, two men—John Edward Swindler, a force for evil, and Officer Randy Basnett, laying his life on the line for good—came together. The result altered their lives, and the lives of many others. This is their story.

Reader Reviews

Killers have long fascinated us, and there must be reasons for this. Perhaps our survival instinct demands knowledge of the things that threaten us; it's in our best interest to be able to identify predators—what makes them tick, what are their habits, and how do we avoid them. We want to gain this knowledge safely, and what could be safter than reading? Morbid curiosity—similar to slowing down and rubbernecking at an automobile accident—could also apply. Whatever the reasons, readers of true crime have made the genre very popular.

      Anita Paddock does a superb job of laying out the stories of these fearsome and often reprehensible killers. It's not happy reading, but it is compelling. One thing the author does that I find laudable is concentrating on those left behind by the victims and how they cope with the hurt and pain indirectly inflicted on them. She shows the humanity of these survivors in contrast to the inhumanity of the killers. There is no lack factual data—court testimony and such—but what I read her books for is the writing ability and the humanity. She does not disappoint. — Bill Wilwers

Reviews of Anita's other books

This is one of the best and most intriguing books I have read. I couldn't put it down. The author brought life to this story and I felt like I was there in the middle of the mystery. A must read. – BC

Wonderful book. This book flowed well and was easily read. I had little bit of a hard time with the two Linda's at one point but that was my issue not yours. I have been reading true crime for over 25 years voraciously and I LOVED your book.
      I was only puzzled at one time because of the nature of the crime scene. I kept putting myself back into what year this all happened. I may have missed it! I do remember reading that a strange disease was killing men. I remember back to about 1983. Of course I know that it had started in the early 70's I think. It was just a fantastic read. The only sad part for me was that it ended way too quickly. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. And all of a sudden!! Over. I will be waiting to read your next book. I wish you all the best!! – mwrice

This book was very interesting and I felt pain and sadness for Linda and the awful abuse she endured . . . But wow what a survivor! – LG Wilson

This book is really good. I started it and couldn't put it down. It is well written and a very interesting story. I found it to be a quick read because of the things I have noted. I think the author is to be commended and I look forward to her next book. – j phillips

I fell under the spell of this tale—must be something wrong with me to like true crime books, maybe that's why I stayed away from the genre so long. I read it in such a hurry I felt like I was running downhill and going so fast I couldn't slow down, but had to rush on even faster to prevent taking a spill, which to me is full proof of a really great read, and I rate Blind Rage right up there with Fatal Vision and Blood and Money.
      Blind Rage takes place in a small Arkansas town. A son finds his mother dead, lying in a pool of her own blood. She'd been murdered her bedroom and dragged into another part of the house. The police figure the woman's gay son, a lawyer, is the killer. There are many twists and turns in Blind Rage and those who love the true crime genre are sure to like this book, and even those who've never before read one, will thoroughly enjoy it. It will leave you with your hands on your knees attempting to recover your wind from the effort. It did that to me, at least. – Sumner Wilson

I really liked this book. It kept my attention from cover to cover and was so mesmerizing I couldn't put it down. Because I am an Arkansan, I recognized many names and places. I'm old enough to remember this most interesting case and loved the way Ms. Paddock told the story. – Izzy

Books by
Anita Paddock


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I suppose one can say I've had two separate lives. Over twenty years ago I became a widow and overnight went from being a wife who longed to be a writer to a widow who needed a job. I jumped at a chance to become manager of a Fort Smith, Arkansas, branch library. Though I no longer had a partner who encouraged my dreams, the customers in the Miller Branch Library became my friends and eased the pain of widowhood. As I've said many times, "The library saved my life."

After almost sixteen years, I reluctantly retired due to a bad hip I call "an old football injury." A dear friend who owned a bookstore suggested I get back into my writing life. Her encouraging words were, "You're a lot better writer now than you used to be."

I knew the book I'd write: a true story about a crime that took place in my hometown of Van Buren, Arkansas. I'd tried to write the story in different forms from the age of thirty-six on. This new version took a couple of years in the making, and "Blind Rage" became a popular true crime novel which was published by Pen-L Publishing in 2015. Three successful true-crime novels have followed, and I'm delighted to say I now have a tribe of readers to keep me company.

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