Monday, December 23, 2013

"The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff"

Nancy Bartley is or has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at American University in Bulgaria, a Seattle Times journalist, a writing teacher, and the author of short fiction as well as the 2013 book, The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff – the Redemption of Herbert Niccolls Jr., a work of narrative nonfiction.

Bartley applied the “Page 99 Test” to The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff and reported the following:
Father Flanagan of Boys Town fame arrives in Seattle, then a small bustling city with a cold-sea smell that drifted up from the waterfront where the fishing boats came in with the daily catch and farmers sold their products at the market on Pike Street. Flanagan is in Seattle for only one reason: He wants to meet Gov. Roland Hartley and try to convince Hartley to release the 12-year-old murderer Herbert Niccolls to Boys Town.

Flanagan also plans to meet Armene Lamson, who is introduced on Page 99. She's a Johns Hopkins-educated doctor's wife, and a well-connected denizen of pink teas and society balls. She knows how to get things done and she is determined to convince the governor to free the 12-year-old from the Washington State Penitentiary where he was sent after shooting Asotin County Sheriff John Wormell.

The shooting happened while Herbert was burglarizing a store to get something to eat. At one point the people of Asotin wanted to hang Herbert but instead he received a life sentence -- even though he was only 12 and the penitentiary wasn't set up for incarcerating juveniles.

What happened to Herbert is the stuff of movies and that's why I wrote the book. One thing for sure, he defied the odds. Who would ever think that a boy who was raised so poor he didn't own shoes and hid crusts of bread in the turkey house to have something to eat, would one day be rubbing shoulders with celebrities?
Learn more about the book and author at Nancy Bartley's website, and follow her on Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff.

--Marshal Zeringue