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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Burden of Proof
Twelve months ago, the authorities refused Sion Jenkins compensation for the time he'd spent in jail. Added to that, only one of the juries he faced during his three trials were able to deliver a verdict (the first, guilty). Therefore, I think it's safe to say, most people think Sion Jenkins is guilty of this grotesque crime. One person who isn't is the co-author here,...
Published on 24 Sep 2011 by A J Meredith

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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Justice system
The book serves to illustrate the criminal justice didn't get it right after trials as Sion Jenkins was let off on a technicality due to scientific evidence being disproved. However the case against him was not proven. The fact he has been refused compensation for his original conviction demonstrates that he was not acquitted. I think he is highly likely to be the killer...
Published 17 months ago by The ghost in the machine


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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Burden of Proof, 24 Sep 2011
Twelve months ago, the authorities refused Sion Jenkins compensation for the time he'd spent in jail. Added to that, only one of the juries he faced during his three trials were able to deliver a verdict (the first, guilty). Therefore, I think it's safe to say, most people think Sion Jenkins is guilty of this grotesque crime. One person who isn't is the co-author here, Bob Woffinden. There lies the problem with books of this nature, it can never be a truly authentic account of what went on that day, filtered as it is through the main protagonist, who might, or might not be, a murderer and his chief ally. The key information is exclusive to Sion Jenkins only of course, no matter what the scientific experts say as they conduct their game of ping-pong with the forensic evidence.

But what struck me most on reading this is how difficult, short of the deed actually being caught on film, it is for the police to get a murder conviction these days. Everything points to Jenkins being the murderer, nothing more so than the blood spatter on his clothes. And much of the book is devoted to the trashing of this evidence, but I remain convinced it is the defining point. It's said there wasn't enough blood on him, but that's not entirely true when one examines the science. Impact spatter goes forwards and sideways, not backwards towards the attacker. A fine mist will hang in the air for a few seconds that can settle on anything in the immediate environment (a blue fleece jacket for instance). The defence team's assertion that the specks on Jenkins were deposited onto him by the last gasps of Billie Jo seems far fetched in the extreme. Furthermore, it's estimated for the specks to be so far apart would have meant her exhaling a full 2.5 litres of air. From a dying/already dead 13 year old? Seems highly unlikely. And wouldn't that blood, coming as suggested from her airwaves, contain other materials in it...spittle, mucous etc. If it did, there was certainly no mention of it in the text.

This book, however, is a fascinating read and will be greatly appreciated by all those who take an interest in real crime. What's interesting though is how compelling the case against Jenkins actually is when one examines his incomprehensible actions that day, even after considering HE is the author so presumably would have been painting himself in a positive light. In conclusion, after turning the last page one is left with an overriding sense that forensic science can make a rod for its own back with its ability to muddy the waters. Perhaps when circumstantial evidence is so strong, it should be dispensed with altogether.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoot yourself in the foot, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: The Murder of Billie-Jo (Kindle Edition)
I've deliberated over how to rate this book. Is it well written? Not particularly. Is it informed? Yes, but one of the authors was convicted of the crime he describes. Is it persuasive? For me, yes. But probably not in the way the author intended. Should the author derive profit from sales? Absolutely not, in my view. Did I enjoy it? No, because the heart of the account is the murder of a bright and beautiful young woman at the outset of her life. Is it a book I'd recommend to other readers? Yes, because they could take an informed view with the 'benefit' of Billie Jo's stepfather/coauthor/ alleged killer input.

I recall this case when it happened. It's one I've followed over the years, every strange twist and turn adding a different and more unfathomable element. I don't buy in, at all, to Billies Jo being murdered by a random, opportunistic individual who, perchance, was lurking in the alley. In buying and reading this book, I've given the person accused of and tried for the crime the opportunity to persuade me that he was not responsible. I am not so persuaded. I found it a narcissistic account. A desire to remain in the public eye protesting innocence.

This book deserves a wide audience and for that reason alone, I'm giving it 5 stars. Make your own judgement, but consider other, better informed and less prejudiced accounts of events before drawing any conclusion.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More questions than answers, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: The Murder of Billie-Jo (Kindle Edition)
Without doubt this account is heavily biased from Jenkins' side. The more I read, the more I wondered if, just perhaps, he was telling the truth. There was still a very small niggle in my mind at the end, but ultimately I am not inclined to change my initial view that Jenkins is an articulate, educated, and very plausible killer.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Justice system, 18 July 2013
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This review is from: The Murder of Billie-Jo (Kindle Edition)
The book serves to illustrate the criminal justice didn't get it right after trials as Sion Jenkins was let off on a technicality due to scientific evidence being disproved. However the case against him was not proven. The fact he has been refused compensation for his original conviction demonstrates that he was not acquitted. I think he is highly likely to be the killer as the whole book is an essay in the machinations of the criminal justice system and it very unemotional. He did not cradle Billie Jo when by his own admission she lay dying but instead shut the door on her and went back out to his car ostensibly in shock. however it was to place himself in the car after he supposedly found her body and thus explains the forensic evidence of this encounter.

He comes across as very bitter about his ex wife and his estranged daughters but they have made no effort to see him. Indeed his ex wife indicated he was a controlling wife beater and he hit the girls. As a proven liar his moral compass also is in doubt.

None of this ultimately makes him a killer but his assertion a mystery intruder did it is fantastical. When he discovered Billie Jo he didn't rush to check for the intruder and it is testament to this fact he didn't go in the house by the supposed entry the intruder did even though much is made of the side gate being open which should have alerted him to the intruder. So Billie Jo is bludgeoned with a tent pole by a mystery man but remains in the position where she was painting. If someone had come in surely she would have ran away but not if she already knew them.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strong on detail and weak on facts, 11 Nov 2009
Too much of Sion Jenkin's story does not add up, the 'Man in the Hall should have been spattered with blood. Sion Jenkins questions that maybe the dark overcoat he was wearing masked the blood. The Man in the Hall brutally beats a young girl to death for no apparent reason, hangs around in the house and stops to chat with Sion Jenkins. The Man in the Hall is assumed to be a plain clothes police officer by Sion Jenkins. Why? Was he introduced as such? Sion Jenkins cannot remember, yet he remembers his appearance clearly, right down to the highly polished shoes.

Lois Jenkins is and remains totally convinced of her ex-husband's guilt. Why is this? The woman moved to the other side of the world to escape any connection with him. One day maybe the truth will out.

Innocent or guilty? I am not sure. Maybe the answer is 'not proven'

I also sometimes got confused as to who was writing which chapter and had to backtrack, maybe different fonts could have been used to clarify this.

Ultimately, a young girl's life was taken in the most brutal manner and the murderer is out there. I can only hope his conscience keeps him from ever finding peace until he unburdens himself of his terrible secret.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Murder of Billie-Jo (Kindle Edition)
Quite a heavy read and skipped a lot as its repetitive in parts. It's written for his children, to protest his innocence, I believe he did it, didn't before I read this book.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please please please do not buy this book....., 8 Feb 2010
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We all knew he was guilty at the time and there is nothing in this pathetic, self serving drivelling excuse of a book to remotely suggest otherwise.
Bob Woffinden tries to assist, but, as the man who vehemently professed James Hanratty's innocence,somehow lacks a little credibility.
As previously mentioned page 48 tells a tale. I, however take even more issue with page 239 and the blood-spatter evidence. If one is right-handed and uses a tent-peg to hit something(one), it stands to reason that one would steady that hand with the left.. therefore causing the spatter to be most predominant on the left arm. Larger spats of blood and tissue would be deposited on the right hand. Mr Jenkins washes that evidence off on page 53.On page 52, after finding the body, he has the presence of mind to send away an highly intellectual man who is at the scene and, instead,courts the help of an emotional mother to assist the other children.
Basically, he got off on a technicality. To gain financial renumeration from his story, is to me, quite wrong.Which is why I implore you to spend your money elsewhere.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TOO MANY INCONSISTENCIES IN STORY, 11 April 2009
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I believe it would have been better had Bob Woffinden been sole author of this book. With having two authors it was rather difficult at times to know who was writing what. Sion has too many inconsistencies in his story:

We are told on page 48 that "BEFORE leaving to pick up Charlotte from clarinet class, Sion closed the side gate and used bag of peat to hold it shut.

On page 91 Sion states "without shadow of a doubt side gate closed AFTER he returned from clarinet class"

Yet on page 423 Sion says "he had shut gate BEFORE he set off for Do It All"

If he had closed gate before leaving to pick up Charlotte, and it was still closed upon his return, then why did he have to close the gate yet again before leaving for Do It All. If he did this before leaving for Do It All,then he would certainly have seen Billie Jo painting as he would have had to go into garden to shut gate - yet Sion makes no mention at all of seeing Billie Jo at this time.

He also tells us of suspicious characters hanging around house, silent phone calls, attempted break-ins etc., and Billie JO being watched by a smart man from opposite his house and yet he thought nothing of leaving Billie-Jo several times on that Saturday.

His biggest mistake I feel in story, is mentioning in final chapter the "unexplained plain clothes policeman" he saw in his house just after paramedics arrived. Why would the "supposed" killer hang around to be seen by several people. Would he not want to make a quick getaway - I can hardly believe he would hang around for "a chat" with Sion.

To quote Sions very words in an earlier chapter "TO ILLUSTRATE THE WAY I FELT FROM THE MOMENT I CROUCHED NET TO BILLIE JO AND USED MY HAND TO MOVER HER HAIR, I THINK THAT AN ELEPHANT COULD HAVE BEEN IN MY HOUSE AND I WOULDN'T HAVE NOTICED IT, I WAS SO SHOCKED.

If Sion had not noticed an elephant, how on earth did he not only notice this plain-clothes policeman but also able to describe in great detail what he looked like, i.e. 40 years of age, 5'10" tall, pockmarked face which had a shine to it, pale skinned, dark hair with silver flecks etc., etc. Would anybody in such an horrific situation have noticed so much detail - I dont think so. I believe Sion's credibility is damaged by mentioning and pursuing this.

Also, although this was not mentioned in book, at original trial apparently jurors were told Sion was about half an hour late in picking up Charlotte from her clarinet class (class ended at 2.30 p.m. and Sion did not pick up girls until about 3.10 p.m.???) - Sion does not mention this in book and I am wondering why he was so late.

I am also wondering why Prosecution did not suggest that Sion could have killed Billie-Jo BEFORE he left to pick up Charlotte and her friend from the clarinet lesson. It is obvious there was no time for him to have killed Billie-Jo AFTER returning with the girls and before leaving for Do It All. as there was absolutely no time available for him to have done so.

Many other inconsistencies in story and because of this I had awarded just one star.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Murder of Billie-Jo (Kindle Edition)
Boring, boring, boring. Subject matter very interesting but that is all to recommend this book as I feel it was purely a 'poor me' tale from Sion Jenkins point of view. Nothing really objective at all. One of those very rare books I simply couldn't complete.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Billie Jo, 14 Feb 2014
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I really enjoyed this book, This Sion Jenkins is as guilty as hell, he paints such an idylic life with his wife and children, not an ounce of sympathy for poor Billie Jo. This man is deluded. She should never have been fostered by this family.
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