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The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders Hardcover – 3 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Union Square Press; 1 edition (3 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402768699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402768699
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.2 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ANTHONY FLACCO
Writers Guild of America/west,
International Thriller Writers Assn.,
Mystery Writers of America

Anthony's background as a trained stage actor with over 2,000 performances as an Actors Equity member provides the primary basis for his critically acclaimed ability to empathize with a wide cross-section of personalities. [See his reviews at Amazon.com.] He is able to convincingly write in a number of distinctly different literary voices. His film and documentary experience are also of great use in telling narrative stories that also have film or television potential.

He was selected for the prestigious American Film Institute fellowship in Screenwriting, and received his MFA in writing there in 1990 after winning AFI's Paramount Studios Fellowship Award for his script, The Frog's Legacy. He was then selected out of 2,000 entrants for the Walt Disney Studios Screenwriting Fellowship, and spent a year writing for the Touchstone Pictures division.

In 1995, his first nonfiction book, A Checklist for Murder, was acquired in auction by Dell Books as a mass market paperback and turned in solid sales. Anthony adapted his book as a two-hour television movie script and sold it to NBC Studios for a movie of the week. For the next several years, he worked as a freelance script doctor and story editor.

In 2002, Anthony was hired by the Discovery Channel to write a two-hour documentary entitled Deadly Spree, based on a true story, which still airs. His true crime writing was also featured on a one-hour episode of The Prosecutors for Court TV.

In 2003, Anthony served as a national Judge for the Illinois Arts Council, writing individual evaluations for over 100 screenplays for their 2003 Writing Awards. He also worked on finishing his longest running project, the historical novel, Tesla's Best Secret. His screenplay adaptation of that novel was a finalist in the Alfred Sloan Fellowship for Sundance in 2003.

Throughout 2004, in addition to his own writing, Anthony served as a freelance editor for books and book proposals that have recently sold to Hay House, Vanderwyck & Burnham, and Rodale Press. He also wrote book proposals for other authors who have gone on to garner publication contracts with Rodale Press, Random House, and St. Martin's Press.

During 2005, Anthony completed his nonfiction book Tiny Dancer for Thomas Dunne Books at St. Martin's Press, and the advance copy was selected by Reader's Digest as their Editor's Choice for August, 2005 -- their 1,000th Commemorative Issue. The Kansas City Star named Tiny Dancer "one of the Top 100 Noteworthy Books of 2005." The book's Italian translation: "La Danzatrice Bambina," is still a bestseller in Europe.

Also in 2005, he edited the first two manuscripts for a new series of humorous books written by gay and straight couples, called E-Musings, which have sold to Marabout for French translation.

In April, 2006 Anthony sold his first two novels of a historical fictional series to Ballantine/Random House. The first book, "The Last Nightingale," was released in Spring, 2007 to rave reviews in the NY Times and around the world. The second, "The Hidden Man," was released in spring of 2008, and has found a wide readership.

In November of 2009, Anthony published "The Road Out Of Hell" from Sterling Publications to rave reviews from the international marketplace and solid domestic sales.

In the same month, Writer's Digest Books released "Publish Your Nonfiction Book," co-authored with Literary Agent Sharlene Martin. The book has already become an important how-to manual for every writer seeking mainstream commercial publication.

Anthony Flacco Print Media Credits:

Reader's Digest Magazine
Stars and Stripes Newspaper [military paper sent to all U.S. combat forces]
Events Quarterly Magazine

Books written by Anthony Flacco:

A Checklist For Murder - Dell Books
Tiny Dancer - St. Martin's Press
The Last Nightingale - Ballantine/Random House
The Hidden Man - Ballantine/Random House
The Road Out Of Hell - Sterling Publishing
Publish Your Nonfiction Book - Writer's Digest Books

Filmed Documentaries:

Deadly Spree (2-hour) The Discovery Channel
The Prosecutors -- Court TV
L.A. Forensics - Court TV

Recent Editorial Credits -- Published Books
The Mommy Chronicles, Hay House
Front of the Class, VanderWyck and Burnham
But You Knew That Already, Rodale Press
The Postcard Killer, Avalon Books
He Typed...She Typed, Marabout Publishers, France

Philosophy of work:

With my screenwriting background, I make it a point to write in strongly visual terms. I believe that the most important part of any storytelling endeavor is to get into the heart and mind of the central characters. Even the most diverse personalities will share various common traits, and those traits can be the keys for creating strong characters on the page. The Who, What, When, and Where of a story are same the things that are covered in any journalistic approach. But the Why of any person's behavior is always a mother lode of fascinating twists and turns in human personality.

As a writer of nonfiction books and book proposals, I focus on stories that make genuine and powerful statements about the positive side of human nature. Often, that means delving long and hard into very dark places, in order to understand the story's conflict. But I am only interested in pursuing stories with an honest and compelling expression of hope. Literary expressions of despair are an easy way for a writer to affect a worldly appearance, but I see such points of view as failures of insight.

Video interviews and excerpts are available online at: www.AnthonyFlacco.com

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fiz on 17 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the story of Sanford Clark, the surviving victim of his serial killer paedophile uncle, Gordon Stewart Northcott. Sanford, at the age of 13 and with his mother's consent, went to live with her brother Steward in Wineville, near Hollywood. Sanford was repeatedly raped and beaten by his unspeakable uncle.It is obvious that his mother knew what her brother was - the rest of her family had left Canada in disgrace and set their son up with a chicken farm in the middle of nowhere. They knew what Stewart was, too. With his own sex slave and general dogsbody, Stewart began to bring back a succesion of young or teenage boys and began to rape, torture and murder them. Sanford was then expected to bury the bodies. Eventually, his sister came looking for Sanford as neither she nor her father believed the letters Stewart had dictated to his nephew were from Sanford. Jessie, the sister, having been told very little by Sanford, knew what was happening and began to force her will on the whole family and they eventually ran. She also telegraphed the police and let them know where her brother was. Sanford felt terrible guilt and shame, but was truthful and he told the police everything. He served three years in a young offenders' home but his uncle was hanged.He went to the scafford whining "No, don't, please", doubtless the words Sanford and many of his murder victims had used. I would like to know what happened to the grandmother, Louise, who also murdered a child. I would have liked a little more family background - both the Northcott children were conscience-less and their father a shadowless figure, just as Sanford's mother behaved to her husband and eldest son. Forget "Changeling", the movie. This is what really happened. Sanford suffered from PTSD, flashbacks and migraines for the rest of his life, but he and his wife adopted two boys, known to be difficult and turned their lives around. It's a must-read!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Simon Butler on 18 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is an account of the Wineville Chicken Farm murders in California in the late 1920s-it is an unbelievable story of horror that Sanford Clark went through and survived to become a decent adult. His inhuman uncle Gordon Stewart Northcott who committed the foulest acts imaginable is thought to be responsible for the murder of upto 20 young boys. What is amazing as you read this book is that Sanford didn't escape from the ranch when he had so many opportunities to-surely any type of life would have been preferable to what he had to endure on that desert ranch. If you can cope with reading this terrifying tale you will not be able to put this book down until the final page-very addictive. It is also the real story behind the disappearance of the boy Walter Collins, portrayed in the Angelina Jolie movie 'Changeling', because it was Northcott who murdered him or unbelievably if you read the book, you will find out that Northcott's evil mother was the one who struck the first blows on the boy's head with an axe -Sanford was forced to strike the next couple of blows and Northcott followed with further blows even though the poor boy was now obviously dead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have seen the famous film based on the story of one of the victims, it was great to read the story from another viewpoint, an excellent book
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By Kerry Spittle on 29 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never read a book so thought provoking.

My emotions are shattered and I feel I lived this poor boys 2 years of hell as a victim, nowhere to run or no one to turn to for help. The guilt he felt as a child not being able to save the victims was portrayed by the writer.

I feel sorrow for the families of the victims.
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By Judy Braithwaite on 24 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Very harrowing , quite explicit and very sad. For anyone to go through that and then lead a reasonable life is amazing.
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By Cookie on 30 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely terrific book so sad in some instances yet so heart warming in others. A story of a remarkable man God bless Sanford
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Would have given 5star's, but found it hard to get into it at first, slow story. after first few chapters I was gripped. loved the ending
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By Ms. E. Smith on 28 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is such a shame that victims always feel more guilt than the perpetrators. Anyone would have done exactly as Sanford Clark did. I only hope he is finally at peace.
This was beautifully written and had me in tears. Well done in being able to express the stories so well.
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