Lynch, a former beauty queen at WakenForest University and the niece ofnNorth Carolina’s first woman SupremenCourt justice. Although Susie seemednan unlikely suspect in murders involvingnher own parents as well as membersnof the Lynch family, there werensome puzzling circumstances. Fromnchildhood Susie had been an impetuousnand high-strung girl, prone tonsudden outbursts of rage. At the age ofn24, while working on a graduate degreenat Wake Forest, she had met andnmarried Tom Lynch, son of the firstnvictim. The marriage broke up a fewnyears later, and at the time of thenmurders Susie was engaged in a bitternlegal battle with Tom over the custodynof their two young sons. Susie was alsonknown to have become increasinglynbitter toward her mother and father,nRobert and Florence Newsom, becausenof their refusal to side with her innthe custody fight. These were rathernthin motives, but the police were interested.nAs they pried deeper into the case,nthey learned that Susie had formed anstrange and unhealthy relationshipnwith Fritz Klenner, her first cousin.nLike Susie, Klenner was related to bothnthe Newsom and Sharp families. Thenson of a nationally famous physician,nKlenner was described by acquaintancesnas a neurotic and unstablenyoung man who nursed secret grudgesnand odd anxieties. A medical schoolndropout, a health freak, a gun collector,nand a self-described “survivalist,” henlabored under a thwarted ambition ofnliving up to the expectations of hisnprestigious father. Fritz and Susie werenapparentiy drawn to one another byntheir mutual frustrations. When Susienmoved in with him, bringing her sonsnalong, the stage was set for a version ofnEuripides’ Medea in modern dress.nAs more and more clues fell intonplace, it became evident that Susie andnFritz had planned and executed thenfamily murders out of a twisted desirenfor revenge on Susie’s husband as wellnas the Newsom family. The policencollected the necessary evidence andnmoved quickly to make an arrest—butnnot quickly enough. The final episodenof this 20th-century Gotterddmerrung,nin which Susie and Fritz destroyednthemselves after first executing Susie’snsons, adds a grisly twist to a tale ofnpride, hatred, and pointless revenge.n36/CHRONICLESnLike many examples of the truencrime story, Bitter Blood is told naivelynand without literary embellishment.nThe artistry, atmosphere, and nuancesnof Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood arenmissing. Bledsoe’s journalistic preoccupationnwith “just the facts, ma’am”nleads him into needless complexities,nand the reader often must wadenthrough an unassimilated mass ofnnames, dates, family connections, andnbiographical sketches, many of whichnhave little relation to the central narrative.nAs a consequence, the book sometimesnreads like a police report. Paradoxically,nhowever, this gives it a sensenof immediacy and verisimilitude that anmore artistic finish might have lessened.nThe thesis arising indirectly fromnBitter Blood contradicts a number ofntheories dear to modern sociology andnpsychology. By implication Bledsoenseems to argue that evil is not necessarilynthe result of environmental factors:nthat it is more like an ingrained flaw innhuman nature. Susie Sharp Lynch andnFritz Klenner had the advantages ofnmoney, education, and social position.nBoth were from upper-class Southernnfamilies, and both were raised in annatmosphere of what used to be calledn”good breeding.” Yet in spite of this,nthey seemed bent on wrecking theirnlives and the lives of others.nWhat went wrong? Bledsoe siftsnthrough the paraphernalia of abnormalnpsychology — “classical mental disorders,”n”father hatred,” “paranoia” —nbut appears to rest his case on purenmetaphysics. He closes the book with anstatement by Susie’s brother RobnNewsom: “My sister despised the parablenof the prodigal son. She thought itnwas unjust, unfair, and she didn’t believenJesus said it … in my sister’snmind, you always had to be rightnbecause the consequences of beingnwrong were awesome … I don’tnknow anything to call that but a sort ofnspiritual sickness.” This is a great dealnlike the classical definition of pride, andnwhile such terminology may not appealnto the modern psychologist, it wouldnperhaps have appealed to Dostoyevsky,nSophocles, or St. Augustine. Storiesnsuch as this remind us that social andnfamily relationships are often a thinnveneer covering the mysterious area ofnhuman nature that Joseph Conradncalled “heart of darkness,” HermannnnMelville termed “the mystery of iniquity,”nand Christians refer to as “originalnsin.”nAll of which returns us to the mysterynof the mystery story. Why do wen”enjoy” these horrendous tales ofnblood, jealousy, spite, and violence?nDo they appeal to some unhealthyninstinct in us? Do they encourage thenmayhem they describe? Recently, annumber of high-minded reformersnhave taken this view, and I must admitnthat in certain instances they may benright. But in the long run, humanitynhas given a diff^erent answer. AlthoughnPoe invented the modern version ofnthe crime story, its antecedents extendnback to the Bible, Creek tragedy. Renaissancendrama, and the Gothic novel.nThe general public, as G.K. Chestertonnpointed out, is going to have itsnmurder stories, whether in the form ofnpenny dreadfuls or in the work ofnConrad, Dostoyevsky, and Faulkner.nPerhaps the prophet Jeremiah summednup the ultimate appeal of such tales:n”The heart is deceitful above all things,nand desperately wicked: who can knownit?”nS.L. Vamado is a professor of Englishnat the University of South Alabamanand author of Haunted Presencen(University of Alabama Press).nA Way Outnby Peter J. LeithartnAfter Apartheid: The Solutionnfor South Africanby Frances Kendall and Leon LouwnSan Francisco: Institute fornContemporary Studies;n253 pp., $17.95nDiscussions of the future of apartheidngenerally assume that SouthnAfrica must remain a homogenousn”unitary state.” This assumption notnonly presents a paralyzing dilemma (eitherndemocracy or apartheid), but also anprescription for continued social turmoil,nif not outright civil war. A unitarynstate is a “winner take all” state—ifnthere are indeed only two alternatives,nthen there is simply no hope for a justnand stable settlement. Almost no onendefends the injustices of apartheid; onnthe other hand, as if any additionaln