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The Events of October: Murder-Suicide on a Small Campus
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The Events of October: Murder-Suicide on a Small Campus

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  97 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
On a Sunday night during Homecoming weekend in 1999, Neenef Odah lured his ex-girlfriend, Maggie Wardle, to his dorm room at Kalamazoo College and killed her at close range with a shotgun before killing himself. In the wake of this tragedy, the community of the small, idyllic liberal arts college struggled to characterize the incident, which was even called -the events of ...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Painted Turtle Book
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Oct 12, 2010 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
This book haunted me. This is my second Gail Griffin book, and I knew, of course, that she was a good writer. But at first, this book wasn't particularly strong in its prose styling. It came across as journalism, personalized journalism to be sure, but not very deftly worded. But as the story went on, Gail's unmistakable gifts as a writer became more prominent. And from the start, her deep humanism shown through. She has sympathy for everyone here, even the murderer, and especially for the murde ...more
Sep 15, 2014 Kirsten rated it it was amazing
This book is essentially impossible for me to rate or review in a traditional sense. I can take about six steps back and say this is an important work, it's a well-written work, and it's the kind of thing everyone, particularly people who work with young people, should read.

I can't rate it or review it traditionally, though, because I lived it. This was my campus, where I was an RA in the dorm next door and knew nearly every single name that appears on these pages, if not personally, than to pic
Nov 01, 2010 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
This is actually more of a sociological study than your typical true crime book. The crime took place at K College, a highly respected college only 45 minutes away from where I live.

It was intriguing to read of the faculty members' reactions to the crime, the political aspects of how to view it (was it a tragedy or violence against women), how to comfort friends of the perpetrator, and the effect it had upon close friends of the couple.

Actual text messages from days and weeks preceding the crime
Justin Leatherwood
This book helped shape my perspective on violence against women and helped me understand an extremely powerful event that took place on my college's campus over 10 years ago.

Hard to read because the contents are horrifying, but well worth it.

Highly recommended.
Apr 09, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This terribly tragic story tells about a murder-suicide on a private college just down the street from where I went to university. It happened, when I was in middle school and I had no idea about it until I stumbled across this book at my favorite bookstore in the world, Kazoo Books. I'm so glad I found this book because it carefully set the plot describing Kalamazoo College with vivid descriptions, laid out the characters, and began telling the story about the warning signs and conflicts prior ...more
Oct 22, 2014 Frandy rated it really liked it
Especially poignant for me, given I am an alumna of this college and I have just returned from my own 40th reunion. Well written and researched, the fiber of this tragedy left me speechless and saddened. Though the horrific murder/suicide occurred in 1999 and the book published in 2009, I hadn't heard about this until now. Aside from the story itself, there is much information about violence against women in society at large and on college campuses.
Sep 22, 2010 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
I was first drawn to this book because it concerns the college where I spent my freshman year, and also because it was written by my academic advisor at the time, but what drew me in was Griffin's compelling narrative and analysis of the 1999 murder of student Maggie Wardle by her ex-boyfriend Neenef Odah with a hunting rifle, and his subsequent suicide. Far from being a salacious true crime story, Griffin frames this event with an examination of male violence against women.

In addition to detail
Kathy Ginocchio
Jan 05, 2012 Kathy Ginocchio rated it really liked it
I just read this book and I can't give it 5 stars only because of the subject matter. It's hard to say you LOVED LOVED a book when it is about murder/suicide on a college campus. I found this book to be gripping and fascinating and deeply disturbing. It attempts to analyze how and why such a thing could happen, and puts this specific instance of violence into the larger context of femicide/violence against women. I found myself wondering what the author could possibly have to say in the second h ...more
Sep 07, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing
I was drawn to this book for two reasons: 1. The author is one of my favorite professors from my undergraduate years, and 2. I was a few weeks into my freshman year at Kalamazoo College (the small campus of the title) when these events transpired. That I can directly recall many of the events in the book and know many of the people interviewed made it especially poignant for me. Even with my obvious biases for this book, I found it to be a very engaging and fascinating account of a profoundly sa ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it
An unsettling read, not only because it was about the hideous deaths of two K College students for no good reason, but because most of the book -- and most of the people named in the book -- struggled mainly with what political framework to fit the killings into. Apparently, the author, who set up the women's studies program at K, could not separate herself from the college well enough to just let her feelings come out as they would. Sad! On the other hand, the people involved in the story were ...more
Mar 31, 2011 Alice rated it liked it
The story about the murder-suicide at Kalamazoo College in 1999. It gives a good idea of what a young man went through, trying to please his father, who came here from the middle east and fit in at a small, private college. He becomes obsessed with his girlfriend and after they break up,he kills her and himself. the author, who is a professor of English, tries to explore partner violence, gun accessibility and depression and suicide on campus.
I found it quite interesting.
Apr 13, 2015 Renée rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, death
Gail Griffin is an extraordinarily gifted writer and scholar. In "The Events of October," she turns her lens on the multiple ways a murder-suicide involves domestic abuse and violence against women, which is codified in American society. This is a fascinating book, and I could not put it down. Griffin conveys all aspects of these horrific events with compassion and eloquence and analysis. This would be a fantastic book to teach in a creative nonfiction, literature, or Comp course.
Mary Follis
Mar 21, 2016 Mary Follis rated it it was amazing
A combination of cultural bias against women and violence against women, this is the true story of the murder of Maggie Wardle, K College sophomore, by Neenef Odah, K College junior, who then committed suicide. Many details from their lives are here, and it is a sobering story. I never knew about femicide or how pervasive domestic violence is.
Elizabeth Grace
Nov 27, 2013 Elizabeth Grace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookclub
What an excellent book. I found myself crying through a good half of it. It was recommended to me by a friend who runs domestic abuse programs in Austin, Texas. She knew I went to K College, and urged me to give it a read. I'm so glad I did. It is a beautifully written, compelling story, as well as an informed, critical analysis of, "the why of it all."
Feb 04, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
This book was a tough subject matter and hard at times to read without cringing, but so well written. I loved the style in which Gail Griffin used to document this horrific incident. I called my own 14 year old daughter several times to listen to certain passages, hoping that she can begin to learn now, before she starts dating, the warning signs in men she should be aware of.
May 11, 2011 Steevigh rated it liked it
Overall I liked the book...there was a bit too much about debate whether it was a Femicide/murder-suicide/domestic abuse etc. for my liking. It seemed to me like the author was trying to push her agenda, rather than giving the reader the facts of what happened. All of that portion was hard to read (boring) and slowed the pace of the book.
Jul 30, 2010 Zinta rated it it was amazing
Author interview and book review with Gail Griffin in The Smoking Poet's Fall 2010 Issue, online in mid September 2010.
Dec 19, 2011 Verm rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Could not put it down.
Aug 27, 2011 Kirsten rated it really liked it

Re-reading for book club, June 2012
Nov 11, 2010 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Wow, it is really hard to put down ...
Wendy Malish
Jun 28, 2013 Wendy Malish rated it really liked it
Required reading for every young adult in order to recognize the signs of abuse - mental and physical.
Kelly rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2015
Emily Hitchings
Emily Hitchings rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2017
Apr 20, 2017 Melissa rated it liked it
This is a book about a 1999 murder-suicide at Kalamazoo College written by a professor who actually didn't know either student. This book is very well researched. The author reviewed police reports, interviewed students, faculty, administrators, law enforcement, the victim's parents. She also obtained chat logs btwn the 2 students. The beginning of the book covers the history of their relationship and it's fascinating. Also very scary b/c it's apparent that there is really nothing anyone could h ...more
Clémence rated it it was ok
May 30, 2015
Jill Wagner
Jill Wagner rated it liked it
Dec 23, 2012
Aileen rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2010
Tammy Matthews
Tammy Matthews rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2014
Ruth Brueck
Ruth Brueck rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2013
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