Abandoned Prayers by Gregg Olsen

Abandoned Prayers

On Christmas Eve in 1985, a hunter found a young boy's body along an icy corn field in Nebraska. The residents of Chester, Nebraska buried him as "Little Boy Blue," unclaimed and unidentified-- until a phone call from Ohio two years later led authorities to Eli Stutzman, the boy's father.Eli Stutzman, the son of an Amish bishop, was by all appearances a dedicated farmer and family man in the country's strictest religious sect. But behind his quie...

Details Abandoned Prayers

TitleAbandoned Prayers
Release DateJun 16th, 2003
PublisherSt. Martin's True Crime
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery

Reviews Abandoned Prayers

  • Slayermel
    The first half of this book was really interesting, as we learn a lot about the Amish life style. The author explains a little of what it was like to grow up on an Amish farm, the dating, marriages etc...Eli Stutzman not only grew up Amish he was also gay. His wife dies in a mysterious barn fire and he takes off across the states with his son living a wild life of gay parties, turning tricks and pornography. This book gets into a lot of detail ab...
  • Stephanie
    While I really enjoyed the story itself, I did not care for the writing of this book. I think it could have been cut in half if the author had stuck to the story itself and not the underlying sexual relations of Eli Stutzman. This is the second book by this author I have read and I think his style is a bit all over the place. I think it'll be the last of his I read.
  • Rebecca Huston
    One of the more disturbing tales of murder that I've read about, it tells the story of Eli Stutzman and his son, Danny. Eli was a drifter, having once been married and a member of an Amish community in Ohio. Eli was quiet and soft-spoken but on the inside he was quite a different person. He could explode with anger and when he had a grudge, he kept it. In 1985, a dead child was found by cornfield in Nebraska, clad only in a blue sleeper suit, and...
  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
  • MAP
    This book is practically a how-to in terms of writing BAD true crime. The book presents these (pretty true-crime typical) questions for us, the readers:1) Did Eli Stutzman kill his wife?2) Did Eli Stutzman kill his son?3) Why did Eli Stutzman kill Pritchett?4) Was Danny Stutzman abused in some way?5) What was up with Eli Stutzman??These are the answers we get:1) Probably, but who knows2) *shrug*3) No idea4) speculation speculation speculation but...
  • Shana
    It's pretty rare that I give a true crime book a low rating. On the surface, this should have been an interesting book-formerly Amish guy turns out to be murdering psychopath. However, rather than delve into the psychology of Eli Stutzman and his life with his son, this book goes into a tedious description of Eli Stutzman's "gay lifestyle" and uses this as proof of his psychopathology. I realize this book was written 20 years ago and I hope that ...
  • Katie
    I will not read another book by Gregg Olsen for a few reasons. I was annoyed by page 15, when he defined Rumspringa only as "the equivalent of sowing wild oats" and nothing more. Yet, there were other useless details, such as where the town sheriff went to college, and the brand of cigarettes he smoked. He did a fairly good job of painting a picture, but many of them were totally inconsequential. This continues through out the entire book. He wil...
  • Fishface
    The true story behind the "Little Boy Blue" mystery. Renegade Amishman lays waste his family. I'm destined to re-read this one, in part because the author could never answer the question he asked repeatedly through the story: WHY??? On a second reading, 20 years later, I could hardly believe how much weirder this guy was than I remembered.
  • Peter
    A disappointing read. Not only do we know what happened, who did it and why early on, but the writing is very disjointed, making even the storytelling uninteresting. Plus, there are WAY to many chapters describing the killer's reckless gay lifestyle in detail. Abandon any prayers for a good read with this book.
  • John
    This book was good, and the narration was fine.But I could have done without this one.
  • Katherine Addison
    (N.b., I made a new edition for this book in Goodreads because (1) the edition I have is a hardcover, but the subtitle on the dust jacket is "The Shocking True Story of Obsession, Murder and 'Little Boy Blue,'" not "The Incredible True Story of Murder, Obsession and Amish Secrets," and (2) careful inspection of the book itself reveals no subtitle on title page or copyright page, which says to me that the bibliographic entry shouldn't list a subti...
  • Eva Leger
    This is one of the better written t.c.'s out there/ Olsen is one of the better t.c. authors though. This guy featured in this book is just nasty. That's the best word I can think of for him. (Oh, believe me, I can come up with some others but just an overall nastiness is what I get from him and even his look. Ugh.) This poor little boy, not to mention this guys unfortunate wife and "friends"/"roommates"/"lovers" who came into contact with him. I ...
  • Julie
    This is the unbelievable and horribly true story of the life of Eli Stutzman, an Amish man whose wife died in mysterious circumstances in 1977 and then years later in 1985; his son was also found dead. Many believed Eli killed them and this is the story of their deaths and Eli's wild life. Unfortunately, this ends before we find out what happened to Eli at the end of his life but there are a couple of web pages that discuss what happened to him a...
  • Lee
    I found this book a real slog to get through.A good third of the book seemed to be about the murderers sex life as opposed to the murders themselves.After finishing it I still don't feel like I learnt a great deal about the actual crimes and the ending seemed kind of rushed.One thing that really annoyed me was a one page postscript telling us the main character killed himself after getting parole,no explanation of how he did it.I love true crime ...
  • Vicki Krivak
    First off there was a lot of sexually graphic content that disturbed me. It was a very sad, true story. Although I feel that the actual story was interesting and worth reading it was way too wordy and tended to drag on in places. I found myself skipping pages. What a sad story and life of Danny Stutzman, and the shocking details surrounding his death.
  • Sherry
    I liked the beginning f this book, but as it got toward the middle, it kind of lost me. The ending left me with a lot of unanswered questions. Not good for a true crime mystery.
  • Valerie
    This edition of this book was republished in 2003 (it had originally been published in 1990). It is a very interesting story involving a member of the Amish community in Ohio. The book is very graphic in places, and I would suggest that if you are squeamish at all, you might think twice before reading this. I thought the story was very interesting, although I believe that justice was probably not served in this man's crimes, since he is already p...
  • Rissy
    I was pretty sad that I didn't like this book at all. The story was heart felt and crazy, but the reason I didn't like it was all based on how it was written. Short chapters that were broken up too much, random people that had nothing to do with the case/story at all, kept being put into the story. Like, so what this guy Eli knew/interacted with a lot of people in his life but there were some he just had a conversation with or that he met once an...
  • Donna
    If truth is stranger than fiction, why are the books so boring? Goodreads needs another option for books you start reading and can't finish for some reason. In this case I just lost interest. Way too much info on his homosexual encounters and too little progressing the story I was actually interested in--does he finally go to jail for the murders he committed? Also, the sub-title is VERY misleading. The guy was no longer Amish--he was banned and ...
  • Lee Husemann
    I read this book quite a while back and realized that I had not reviewed it. This is an excellent book about Eli Stutzman, a gay Amish man who abuses his wife and murders her, sexual abuses his son and then ends up murdering him too. This is such a sad story and is a story that I will never forget.
  • Katina
    The story was too long. The author took too many pages to describe certain things and situations. It was also difficult at times to follow all of the characters because so many people and places were involved. This story was not made for a book and may be better as a movie.
  • April Barber
    This book sounded interesting but ended up being disappointing. It was less about the murder of the boy, and more about an Amish man who was mentally unstable and gay. It was slow reading and seemed to be quite repetitive.
  • Susieqkw
  • SouthWestZippy
    Very good book. Not so detailed that you lose focus but enough detail to keep the story interesting. Hard to read because of the subject.
  • Natasha
    This case was just sad. So many people knew Danny was being abused by his dad and not one person called the police to report it. This man pretty much got away with killing 5 people.
  • Emmie
    Where to begin with this book, I am unsure. I got this book from a friend from book club when she was getting rid of some of her books. Since I enjoy a good mystery I thought I'd give it a go.The difference: this story actually happened.Criminal Minds and CSI are some of my favorite shows, so I suppose I expected it to be similar to one of those. Because it's a true story it was far from being like a show. Instead it was a very long newspaper art...
  • Amanda
    3.75 StarsThis book was sensational, disturbing, and terribly sad. This sweet baby angel Danny Stutzman endured a terrible life with his mother's murderer, his father Eli. Like Erased by Marilee Strong and Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer but more tabloidy.Note: before reading, check out the summary. If you are not comfortable with learning about anything mentioned in explicit detail, don't read this book.TW: child sex abuse
  • Red In
    Horrible subject matter, but it sure did hold my interest. I wish there had been a DEFINITE cause of death identified for "little boy blue". I will always wonder, how, exactly he died. And I never quite figured out, based on this book, exactly WHAT the autopsy showed in terms of his possible sexual abuse.
  • Kristina Kranig
    This was a very good book. The things this man supposedly did is just unbelievable. The fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more bone chilling. I would definitely read it again!