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Publisher's Summary

The dark double life of Ellen Boehm, the mother who murdered her two sons - and nearly killed her daughter

Ellen Boehm, a single mom from St. Louis, Missouri, appeared devoted to her children. But in reality, she was unequipped for motherhood, financially strapped, and desperate. Within a year of each other, her sons, ages two and four, died mysteriously, and Boehm's eight-year-old daughter then suffered a near-fatal mishap when a hair dryer fell into the girl's bath. While neighbors wondered how Boehm remained so calm through it all, Det. Sgt. Joseph Burgoon of St. Louis Homicide had darker suspicions.

Burgoon soon unraveled a labyrinth of deception, greed, and obsession that revealed a cold-blooded killer whose get-rich-quick scheme came at the cost of her children's lives. Boehm had taken out insurance policies on her children with six different companies totaling nearly $100,000. Using police reports, case documents, and photos, journalist John Coston recreates the events that led to one mother's unspeakable acts of filicide - and a cop's relentless pursuit of the truth.

©1995 John Coston (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Sleep, My Child, Forever

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  • Shanonymous
  • 15-08-2020

Can I Give Minus Stars?

Not sure what's worse....the narrator or the book itself. There was ZERO emotion. He didn't even read the chapter titles to - at the very least - break up the monotony.

The book was all over the place. If you've ever done any illegal drug to excess and tried to have a conversation.... yeah, that's how it rambles. There's no chronology, no.... anything.

The ONLY part of this book that was even remotely acceptable was the very beginning about Stacy and the hairdryer.

After that.... good luck following the story. This narrator should be banned from reading audiobooks. I deserve my money back, a free credit, and a free toaster for painfully making it through the first 6 chapters (which I didn't realize were even chapters because mono-narrator didn't stop to tell the names until I stopped the book - then went to look to see how far in I'd survived); these chapters actually have titles!

Listening to this was akin to eating food you really hate at a restaurant that you would otherwise normally like, and finding larvae in your undercooked dish. When you complain, the manager not only doesn't give you a refund, but steals your wallet, locks you out, taunts you through the window, plants narcotics in your wallet without you seeing, returns it, then calls the police on you when you're driving away. Getting yourself out of that might be a little less painful than reading this.

In fact, I would've stopped at least 3 chapters sooner, but my phone was just out of my reach, and my dog was super comfortable lying on my legs and I didn't want to disturb her.

Go read War & Peace in Gaelic and see if that makes more sense. Instead of "Sleep, My Child, Forever," John Coston should've called this "Burn, My Book, Forever."

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Dwayne B.
  • 28-08-2020

Interesting story which needed more editing

I didn't buy this. It was in a free section. So I have zero cause for complaint. I did finish it but I'm glad I didn't pay for it. The story of Ellen and what she did was interesting but it went on and on and repeated things throughout. It probably mentions her weight about 40 times throughout, and even exacting weight of her friend. It was almost weird. Like yes, we get it, she was unattractive and wanted to live in a fantasy about being desired. It wasn't just this, but that's an example of the repetitive nature of this book.
The other thing which dragged it down was narration. The narrator read with no tone or inflection in many parts of the book. He was robotic, sounding like GPS directions.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Liz Grimes
  • 05-03-2020

Not there

Did not like the story teller made it very hard to follow. I believe may have been better if different person

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda M. Braubitz
  • 09-02-2021

Fat shaming

Listening to this book made me cringe. Why the focus on the weight and fat shaming? This woman was horrid, that was her shame, not her weight. “321 pounds to be exact”. At first I thought there was some sort of connection between her weight, that number and the story. But the more I listened, I realized it was the author’s bias, nothing else. I don’t think I will be listening to anything by John Coston again. Geez.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • 31-08-2020

Great Book, Tragic Story

I had never heard of this case... but oh my gosh. I finished this book in two days, and for me.. that's saying something. I would definitely recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Marsha L. Woerner
  • 19-06-2020

How sad!

(As posted in GoodReads)
What a sad situation! I would love to say that Ellen was a monster, but that sounds the situation up far too tidily and simplistically! She probably was, but her overall childhood and upbringing are doubtless a part of her character and actions later in life. The book was good as far as it went, but that background and upbringing deserved a more formal investigation for the reader to get an overall view of the troubled woman.
This is not to say that a horrible childhood and early circumstance excuse later actions, but a little more background in those areas would have been helpful. I weep for Ellen and Stacy both! I don't weep for the boys, because there's no point: they're dead :-(

2 people found this helpful

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  • Drea
  • 06-04-2021

Meh

I think I would’ve enjoyed this book a little more with a different narrator. He was horrible. He didn’t show any emotion, he didn’t change his voice for different “characters”. Also they referred to how unattractive Ellen was so much in this book, that I had to look her up. She definitely wasn’t as unattractive as they claimed.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • redheadmomx2
  • 29-01-2021

Even at Only 8 Hours, it Was Too Long

To begin with, unless you are a rabid true crime fan, this book will make feel icky. And secondly, there’s is way too much meaningless detail on irrelevant side characters that you catch yourself looking at a clock or hopping your battery will die! Like I said, if true crime is your wheelhouse, dive in.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Greb
  • 25-07-2019

Tragic lost of lives

Another case in which untreated child abuse breeds more child abuse and in this case leads to murder.

Great book.



7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-04-2021

Terrible

Why the emphasis on her weight. I can’t listen anymore. Very glad I didn’t have to pay for this or I would be incredibly upset.

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  • Hazel
  • 10-01-2020

Very robotically read

The narrator is terrible on this audio. No feeling no dynamic, At times l thought it was computerised voice.

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