Saturday, March 9, 2024

Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Berman Murders by Doug Kari @Journada @RABTBookTours

Unraveling the Mojave Desert's Most Mysterious Unsolved Crime


True Crime

Date Published: March 5th 2024

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield


At daybreak on January 6, 1986, a couple on a camping trip in the Mojave Desert set out for a stroll and never returned. The local sheriff’s office eventually discovered that Barry and Louise Berman had been murdered. As years passed and the double homicide remained unsolved, the Berman case spawned speculation and conjecture. Despite extensive investigation by local and federal authorities, to date there’s never been an arrest made in the case – let alone a conviction. But this doesn’t mean the crime is unsolvable.

After years of investigation, research, and interviews, Kari was able to link the Berman murders to a Cambodian sex crimes and trafficking case involving a former Marine. This is the first book to tell the full story of the Berman murders and uncover the likely suspect.

Interview with Doug Kari

    Does writing energize or exhaust you?

    Writing devours your time but feels exhilarating.

    What is the first book that made you cry?

    A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - I loved Catherine and didn't want to see her die.

    How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

    It was a nine-year project, so I had to learn patience and persistence.

    What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

    My characters are real people. In my new book The Berman Murders, I'm grateful for the steadfast support of Michael Westerman, the sole surviving immediate family member of Barry and Louise Berman.

    Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

    My mother Dale Kari. Even in her 90s, when her eyesight failed, she kept reading by listening to books on tape.

    What do you like to read in your free time?

    I focus on nonfiction books about the subjects I'm researching. On an everyday basis I read newspapers: NY Times, Washington Post, WSJ, Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    Arthur Korb, who sponsored Barry Berman for initiation into Radha Soami, educated me about the faith and brought me to hear the satguru speak. Arthur came of age in the 1960s and took LSD with Timothy Leary in Mexico. As Arthur's artistry evolved, and he began crafting jewelry as a trade, he gave up dropping acid and instead pursued transcendental meditation. Arthur told me that the path to enlightenment requires "daily spiritual push-ups."

    Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

    The true-crime genre involves everyday people - victims, families, investigators - who become involved in life-and-death scenarios. The perpetrators are often dark and complex, manifesting the ghastliest elements of the human psyche.

    How do you begin writing a new book? What challenges come with it?

    When teenager Naomi Irion was kidnapped from a Walmart parking lot and later dumped in a desert grave, I covered the story for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. As I learned more about the horrifying case I wondered: What would make a 41-year-old construction supervisor with a six-figure salary, a fancy pickup truck, and a devoted girlfriend, do something so inhumane? I soon realized that answering that question would mean writing another book.

    Share a place that inspires you to write (don't forget to include lots of pictures!)

    Saline Valley, a remote location in the Mojave Desert where begins the story of The Berman Murders.


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Marcy Meyer said...

The cover looks great. Sounds like a good story.

Daniel M said...

looks like a fun one