Reviews for Souls Speak: Missing Children Identify Their Serial Killer From Beyond
“I’m rattled to the core. This is an incredible true story; spooky, chilling, most definitely jaw-on-the-floor compelling.
The author’s investigative prowess and candid transparency will give even the staunchest skeptic reason to seriously consider the astonishing discoveries examined in this book. These paranormal events are mind-bending, unforgettable and not readily explained in any other way. Read this book!
Mary Beth Maas, Omaha reviewer
New “Killer Clown” Mystery. Troubling, Squared.
I was a journalist working in TV news in the years when that monster, John Wayne Gacy, the so-called “Killer Clown”, was so often headline news. Many people in the justice system and elsewhere reportedly believed that Gacy was never held to account for all his crimes; there were so many unanswered questions.
When I read John Wingate’s first book, “Lost Boys of Hannibal”, I was fascinated by the heroic efforts of so many would-be rescuers but also troubled by the unanswered questions “Lost Boys” raised – including the possibility that they were victims of a criminal, not a cave in.
Wingate’s follow-up book, “Souls Speak,” is a chiller. It is troubling squared. Count me a skeptic when it comes to psychics and mediums. Count me a skeptic, too, of anyone who claims we know the full truth about Gacy’s full list of horrors. But after reading this book … well, best have an open mind about whether this is a long-cold case or whether it offers new and accessible evidence. Highly recommended!
Gary Reagan, former WRAU-TV news director
I can’t stop thinking about Souls Speak. This proved to be a uniquely compelling read that I just couldn’t put down! John Wingate’s loyalty to his childhood friends, Joel, Billy, and Craig, who disappeared in Hannibal, Missouri on May 10, 1967, is pretty straight forward and admirable. The most common belief has been that they had disappeared into the cave system and that’s probably where they still were, which is detailed in Wingate’s first book, The Lost Boys of Hannibal.
Then, along came these three psychics, who totally rocked his world with the news that John Wayne Gacy abducted and murdered the boys. That’s where the author’s faith struggle begins. As he journeys through the investigation unraveling the psychic mysteries behind the Hoag and Dowell boys’ disappearances, the author runs a parallel exploration of Christian principles in his personal search for a faith comfort zone in handling this new information. As with his first book, Wingate’s research is impeccable.
I adore Wingate’s writing style. He takes you with him as he travels through Hannibal separately with each of the three psychics. His descriptions bring pictures to mind, the sentences flow and are written conversationally, with intelligence — the vocabulary choices are masterful! He conveys tender compassion for the boys and their families, respect for the psychics, and disdain for Gacy and his evil. It’s such a pleasurable read — albeit a shocking addendum to his first book!
This excerpt from Chapter 10 really strikes a chord:
“Eternity it seems does not start at death; we have been in eternity for our entire lives, this continuum of earthly life to death to eternal life into which we are born. The Bible speaks of us as merely a vapor. Indeed, life on Earth, for those blessed with the gift of many decades, is but a nano second compared to the eternity of life beyond.”
This an amazing true story written by an extremely talented writer who brings every page to life for the reader. I highly recommend Souls Speak!
Souls Speak is a fascinating book – I couldn’t put it down. The premise is unnerving to say the least and the storytelling is mesmerizing. It’s more than a little frightening to think it happened so close to where I live. Kudos to John for following up with this unconventional twist to the case of the Lost Boys of Hannibal. He artfully intertwines the stories of the mediums with the facts of the case. Highly recommend.
“A shocking paranormal twist to a historic missing childrens case. Riveting!
Steve Sederwall, Cold West Detective Agency
“I couldn’t put this book down. A real page-turner!”
Gary Lindberg, author, Letters from Elvis
Reviews for Lost Boys of Hannibal
“I grew up a few miles from where the Lost Boys of Hannibal disappeared. But I had no inkling of the epic dimensions their story held until I opened the pages of John Wingate’s spellbinding book.”
Ron Powers, bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
“This book is hard to read but harder to put down. Mr. Wingate writes with a journalist’s insight and clarity, a scientist’s curiosity, a father’s tender heart and a true friend’s compassion (the people involved were his friends and neighbors). This true story is amazing, fascinating and heartbreaking. Mr. Wingate honors the boys and all who tried to help them with his respectful analysis of the events. This is a true untold story which deserves to be known and understood.”
Mary Beth Maas, Omaha Book Club reviewer
Lost Boys of Hannibal takes a caver’s bright headlamp to the boys’ story, illuminating dark corners and mazy passages of what happened as thoroughly as the people who spent weeks crawling beneath South Hannibal in 1967. Authoritatively researched. What a story this is! Recommended.
Jo Schaper, Speleohistorian
John Wingate’s book is powerful. Powerful enough at times I had to put the book down; I didn’t realize that even after 50 years the memory was still raw. John, thank you for documenting these days, your writing touched me. Life in Hannibal, Missouri changed that Wednesday.
Steve Sederwall, Cold West Detective Agency
The book is very well written and even though difficult to read (knowing the outcome) it is an important part of the history of Hannibal, MO. I hope this book helps bring closure to the families and people who lived through this terrible event. Mr. Wingate deals with a difficult topic in a compassionate and respectful manner.
Well done, Mr. Wingate. As a mother of two, I cannot imagine your child(ren) never coming home and never knowing what happened (that would be a lifetime of torture). Your hard work paid off, John. Well done!
This is the book I seriously considered writing myself several years ago. But I’m glad John Wingate beat me to it because he’s done a better job than I could have. John has done an excellent job. This is what fellow journalists call “a good read.” It blends solid shoe-leather reporting with in-depth research and the personal insights that can only come from someone who was there. Best Hannibal story since [Ron Powers’] White Town Drowsing. only thing holding it back from being Hollywood material is the lack of a happy ending, but there’s still screenplay potential here.
J. Craig Shearman
I’ve spent much of my childhood and adulthood visiting Hannibal as I have family there. I’m in love with this little Mississippi river town. When I was in Hannibal, I picked up this book and was immediately hooked! I even found myself on Google looking up maps of Hannibal and picturing what it must have been like back then. The story is mesmerizing and will leave you wondering – where are those boys?
It takes a lot for a book to keep my interest, and Lost Boys of Hannibal did just that! I felt the author did an incredible job of taking the reader through this real-life tragedy. This book would be excellent for book clubs, school reports, and discussion groups as there is just SO MUCH to talk about! I found it incredibly interesting to read about how a search this massive was executed during the late 1960s. It seemed the author was always surprising me! I think my favorite part about the book was the fact that John included many photos from the search. It made it easy to picture how this all played out. Simply put it was an excellent read. I highly recommend it!
A great read! Hard to put down. It puts you into the heart of the search and gives you a tremendous insight into the time and place of the search. One of my books that I will read again and again.