BORN TO LOSE
Stanley B. Hoss and the Crime Spree that Gripped a Nation
The bullet that pierced the heart of Patrolman Joe Zanella in a small Pennsylvania town
was the opening moment of a crime story with few parallels.
It wasn't the robberies, rapes, the daring escape or even the cop killing that catapulted
Stanley Barton Hoss to the FBI's most wanted man, but it was the broad daylight
kidnapping of the lovely young mother and her child. In a nearly unprecedented step,
J. Edgar Hoover enlisted the army to assist in a nationwide manhunt. An engaged
public followed the drama by hour, day and week, and year to year -- for when all
thought the carnage was over, it wasn't. And how Hoss struck again, in virtually
impossible circumstances, and who fell, brought a governor to a funeral and provoked
racial divide in a county.
Distinguished by exceptional cruelty, heartbreak and landmark trials, this story about a
resolute criminal is one of superlatives, thick with intrigue, blunder and surprise. It was
a guess which legislature more often referenced Stanley Hoss as the perfect reason for
Beyond researching traditional sources and having been granted access to previously
sealed state and federal archives, as well as Hoss's most personal and revealing letters,
the author has interviewed scores of individuals who lived the roles depicted on the
pages. Hoss's victims of assault and rape, police and prison personnel, assorted
cutthroats, the prosecution and defense, judges, the wife, mistress, all have talked for
the first time on record.
Yet, it wasn't precisely what Hoss did in Pennsylvania and Maryland, it was to whom and
why and how that his reign of violence has sunk into the psyche of a region. This
notable saga is a natural read for any true crime devotee, but will as well captivate an
audience drawn to a darkling tale that explores -- and explains -- how occasional human
error and the very systems set in place to protect us can so easily be the cause for
James G. Hollock has had 30 years experience with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, primarily at Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh.
|Born To Lose is the gold medal winner of the 2012
Independent Publisher Book Awards - Best in True Crime.