Tragedy in Tin Can Holler By Rozetta Mowery- A True Crime

September 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm (Crime Novels, Suspense Novels, True Crime)

New Tragedy Cover_01.15.09INTRODUCTION

Did you ever wonder about your parents’, grandparents’ and greatgrandparents’

past? Did you ever wonder about the skeletons that are

hanging in your family closet? Rozetta did! Her father murdered her

mother in a place called Tin Can Holler when she was seven years old.

Her mother’s horrible death and disfi gurement by the hands of her father

always haunted her. She spent over twelve years of her childhood

in abusive foster homes being raised by strangers who did not love her

and was separated from her siblings, while her wealthy grandfather,

whom she did not know, lived in a mansion and had a life of luxury.

Her mother’s love and spirit gave her the courage to overcome the

many obstacles she faced during her lifetime. She was determined to

be normal and prove that even though she came from a place called Tin

Can Holler and was a foster child most of her childhood, there is hope

for a better life. She promised herself that she would someday fi nd the

truth about her beloved mother’s death.

At the age of 53, after her youngest child turned 21, Rozetta set out

on a quest to search for information about her family and her mother’s

murder. Her mother’s spirit was calling her to return to the place of

her birth and to Tin Can Holler where it all began in 1959. In February

2006 she sold her beautiful home in Florida, where she had lived for

over 34 years, and resigned from her position with a large corporation.

Discovering why her father murdered her mother was just the tip

of the iceberg. When a person brutally murders someone they proclaim

to love, it makes you question that person’s past and their upbringing.

Rozetta had no knowledge of her father’s background or his family,

but her instincts told her there had to be more to the story. Uncovering

the nightmarish details of her family’s past transgressions, traumatized

Rozetta and shocked the residents of three counties in southeast Tennessee.

Most people would not have done what Rozetta did. The family

secrets would have remained with the ghosts who haunt the ridge

where her grandmother disposed of her victims. Tragedy in Tin Can

Holler is the story of a back woods family who did unspeakable horrors.

The horrifi c cycle of hate and killings in her family span more

than a century before she was born. It’s also a story of understanding

and forgiveness. She knew she could not change or erase her family

history, but she owed it to her mother to fi nd the truth, because of all

the good that she had stood for when she was alive. She hopes her faith

and the love she inherited from her mother is all that she will need to

break the family curse, so it never surfaces again in her children, grandchildren,

nieces or nephews for generations to come.

She knew in her heart that she must set the record straight. By writing

her story she hopes to rectify the sins of her father, break the family

curse and spread her message about the dangers of domestic violence

and the horrible aftermath of what happens to the children. Even though

forty-seven years had passed since her mother’s death, and regardless

of the cost, she knew the truth would fi nally set her free.


Tragedy in Tin Can Holler is Rozetta Mowery’s account of

the hard things that led to the murder of her mother by her

father. The story, which spans generations and describes the

decades of physical, psychological, sexual and substance

abuse that culminated in that brutal murder, unspools in precise,

measured language that recalls Capote’s In Cold Blood.

Mowery in unsparing in the details as she pursues the leads

that will give her the answers she’s sought since her mother

was taken from her at age seven. Remarkably, she ends her

account with a word of forgiveness, which must be a testament

to the influence of a Higher Power. Tragedy in Tin Can should perhaps be read in pieces.

I raced through it in one sitting and couldn’t sleep for three nights. I suspect I’ll always

carry this story with me. When you read something by

Stephen King, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge

that it’s only fiction. Unfortunately, the monsters described



by Mowery don’t exist only between the covers of a book.

They’re real and they’re all the more haunting for it.”

Luke Osteen, Freelance Journalist

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Author Fran Lewis Reviews Tangled Minds by Florida Author Yvonne Mason

September 19, 2009 at 2:49 am (Books by Yvonne Mason, Crime Novels, mystery, Suspense Novels) (, , , , , )

tangled minds new front cover for press releasesTangled Minds By Yvonne Mason


Reviewed by Fran Lewis



Teenage prostitution, drugs, murder, small town cover ups and more are only part of the tangled webs that have been so craftily intertwined in this novel by the mistress of mystery, murder and mayhem Yvonne Mason. Throughout this novel we are introduced to characters whose decisions are poorly thought out, whose ideals and values are twisted and convoluted and his morals sink to the lowest depth of an ocean floor.



Brianna Van Pelt feels that she has been dealt a bad hand. According to her it is the world’s fault that she got pregnant and 17 and got stuck with a child. It is her parent’s fault that she lost her freedom to party hardy and go out with her friends because they felt she had to own up to her responsibilities as a parent. Not according to this self-centered and thoughtless teenager.


Wanting to get a job, her own place to live and be on her own, Brianna is angry with her parents for not understanding her points of view when she wants to spend time with her friends and they refuse to babysit her son Josh. Josh becomes the innocent victim of a poor and heartless mother who decides she hates this precious child and will care for him but with a cold heart.


Finding a job for this beautiful young lady was easy, the where and the what would forever ruin her life and hopefully teach teenagers and young adults that there are consequences for your actions and using poor judgment. Sometimes there is no turning back.


Leaving her son in a closed car with a small crack in the window, Brianna meet with the owner of a restaurant in order to get a job waitressing. Unfortunately for her, the child starts to cry and the next thing she knows she is arrested for endangering the life of her child. Instead of appreciating all of the help she receives from her parents and the social worker, she uses a key phrase that seems to become the mantra of each of the characters in the book: It’s not my fault. It is the fault of my parents or someone else. Never taking ownership of her mistakes, Brianna enters a world that would soon envelope her in mind, spirit and body with consequences so catastrophic that they will forever scar her in more ways than one.



Working in the restaurant for a man who is cruel and sleazy, she becomes involved with another, Ken Morgan who entices her into the world of prostitution and all the fancy luxuries he can bestow on her as long as she follows the rules and makes the clients happy.


But, this life was short lived and she and her friend Amber soon learn the other side of this profession and have to run for their lives in order to survive.


Added to this a young child who is sent from pillar to post and constantly in the care of other people, you have the formula for failure and more. Josh, who had the potential to be a good kid, also feels that it is the fault of the world for his fate, as the book opens and we meet him at 17 years of age in jail for murder.


Her employer and pimp, Ken Morgan, fulfilling the sexual desires of judges and those who await her services, bedazzle Brianna with wealth and money and more, we learn that there are many desperate and sick men out there that want to fulfill their wildest fantasies and will pay any amount for them.


The author is familiar with the inside workings of the legal system and she clearly explains and helps the reader to understand just how difficult it is to prosecute and arrest drug dealers, prostitutes and more when dealing with small town law enforcement and corrupt judges.


Learning the hard way she runs to the mountains and is kept safe there by a group of mountain people who protect their own and make sure that Brianna and Josh are taken care of. The Holt family is into making and selling moonshine, wild behaviors, keeping their secrets and justifying when they commit murders.


Within this story we meet Ms. Amy the woman that cares and loves Josh and protects him as a young child and whom he wanted to remain with when his mother had to flee and only took him with her out of necessity and not love.


Hannah Holt represented the only grandmother figure that Josh knew and upon her death his entire character changed and as his mother’s did and they become too cold-hearted and unfeeling people caught up in their own tangled and twisted minds whose knots are so intertwined they might never form a straight and single smooth line.


But, life is not always what it is cracked up to be and you need to find your own way even in a world that seems against you. Making excuses for yourself and going down the wrong path is easy and what some people do when they are afraid of standing tall and learning that success comes with hard work. But, Josh watches how his mother destroyed herself, how she succumbed to a life of hard knocks and desolation, decides to leave and follow his own path of destruction and more.


Michael, Josh and Louis rob and kill Louis uncle for money and rob Ms. Elmira Jones of her diamond rings. This is the straw that will break all three and forever change their lives. Winding up in jail but protected by a judge in their town, we can only hope that the police department of these small towns will win out and teach these boys a lesson in life they won’t ever forget and maybe learn from.


But, learning from their mistakes was not what happened. Brianna spent her entire life blaming her parents and Josh for what she endured in her life. Blaming Benny, the boy’s father and Bredlove and anyone else that she could for her own mistakes instead of taking ownership of them and moving forward.



Anger and hate are terrible and can eat away at the core of your being as they did to not only Brianna, Josh. Mack and Louis.


With the tenacity and persistence of a bloodhound and the perseverance and diligence he could muster, Captain Beck of Georgia, CSI Trip and Detective Askew managed to do the impossible, break the case and thwart the efforts of a corrupt judge to make the entire matter go away.


Children are our most precious diamonds and they deserve a change to have love, understanding and nurturing. Although Josh was able to finally reunite with Ms. Amy and heard her words before being taken away to prison, he never quite accepted the fact that it was his fault and he was responsible for his actions and he now had to pay for his crime.


Without the love or a parent it is hard for children to live life and understand that are special and worth something. Working with children who had learning disabilities was what I am proud to say I did for over 36 years in the NYC Public School system. I encountered many like Josh many like Mack and fortunately not too many that were like Louis. But, the one thing I will say is that the author has it right when she states in the Afterword of this book that many times people do not understand children that need that extra bit of understanding and love. All too often when children act out in public they parent is blamed and wrongly accused of misconduct toward the child. All of us learn at a different pace and all of us learn discipline in many different ways. But, what everyone needs and what Josh and Brianna never did is LOVE. The last line of this book gives up hope that maybe by seeing Ms. Amy and listening to her words that this mother and son might yet be saved.


Stop saying it is not your fault and learn from your mistakes and you will be ten steps ahead. Yelling at children and physical discipline is wrong. Coming from a home where my parents never yelled or inflicted physical punishment to any one of us, myself, my sister or my brother, I can honestly say that explaining, talking and patience works better. I never blamed anyone for my errors and I know I have made some too. But, I will say it is no one’s fault but my own that I love this book and it should be on the shelves of every high school, college, parent and teenager’s shelf to learn the harsh realities that face you when you say: IT IS NOT MY FAULT.



Fran Lewis: Reviewer

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