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Who Killed These Girls?: The Twenty-Five-Year History of Austin's Yogurt Shop Murders

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,791 ratings  ·  278 reviews
The facts are brutally straightforward. On December 6, 1991, the naked, bound-and-gagged bodies of four girls--each one shot in the head--were found in an "I Can't Believe It's Yogurt!" shop in Austin, Texas. Grief, shock, and horror spread out from their families and friends to overtake the city itself. Though all branches of law enforcement were brought to bear, the inve ...more
Hardcover, 488 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Knopf
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Frances Holladay yes it is , it has so much you could learn you have to read it
yes it is , it has so much you could learn you have to read it
Chango Salamanca Not sure whether you are talking about Springsteen or Scott here. It is true that the juries found both men guilty, but the "knew for sure they did it…moreNot sure whether you are talking about Springsteen or Scott here. It is true that the juries found both men guilty, but the "knew for sure they did it" thing is debated. Basically all the prosecution had in the way of evidence were confessions that both defendants later retracted, saying they were coerced by the police. At the trials of both, the prosecution tried to corroborate each's confession by showing how close it was to other person's confession. This was deemed a 6th amendment violation because neither was able to confront the witness (other's confession). Basically, you can't read a statement that incriminates somebody unless the accused gets to ask questions of who is saying it. In this case that right was denied. It was a huge mistake by trial judge and I was shocked it took as long as it did to overturn. The DA considered retrying them, but since new DNA came to light that was not connected to any of the four, it pretty much made the confessions worthless. (less)

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Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The men with guns did things to us. Afterward, our cheeks were against the tile, we could smell something in the air like our own blood. Then lighter fluid. Burning plastic. Flames climbed the walls, flashed over the ceiling…We waited for a voice. We waited for a light…"
- from Scott Blackwood's See How Small, a novel based on the Austin Yogurt Shop Murders

Beware: You’ll never think about frozen yogurt in the same way again.

There were four of them working at the I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! sho
Hank Stuever
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Too long (by at least 100 pages); reader must follow the author down whatever tangent or detail occurs to her, with very little distinction between what's relevant and what's not. Writing and organization/structure are weak in several spots -- you'll wonder if there was any editing (besides copy editing). One of the later chapters actually opens with the sentence "Things kept happening."

All that said, this cold case remains a fascinating story of mishandled police and prosecution efforts. I get
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was quite young when these murders occurred, so all of this information was new to me, and it made for a truly compelling read.

The foremost emotion one feels at the beginning is, of course, horror that those young girls were subjected to such brutality, and the details of their demises are grisly, to say the least.

As the investigations begin to unfold, and references to other cases and Supreme Court rulings come into play, the book becomes a true page-turner. The clues quickly stack up, as d
jv poore
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it, non-fiction, crime
It is clear that Ms. Lowry researched and wrote this book with the singular, selfless goal of uncovering the truth behind the horrific murders. While she focuses on facts, having chosen her words meticulously, there's no hiding her real and relentless determination to portray each person honestly.

It's evident that she makes every effort to present the case as transparently as possible, balancing that with various theories and opinions. The matter-of-fact, yet warm tone evokes every emotion. Thi
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A riveting true crime thriller I could not put down. At all.
Brooke (Brooke's Books and Brews)
It wasn’t until recently that I became a fan of true crime. In fact, it was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote that made me realize that this was a new genre that I would enjoy but only if it’s done right. Who Killed These Girls is now right up there with In Cold Blood for me. The author was respectful and, while the horrendous crimes are mentioned, she focused more on the girls lives when they were alive. I think that because the author has experienced her own tragedy with the loss of her son and t ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was extremely disappointed by this book. My hopes were high. The case has everything that draws me to true crime: a unique crime scene, red herrings, questionable police work, legal drama, and possible (likely) wrongful conviction. But this book was boring. The author took an interesting case and added about 100 pages of irrelevant tangents until it dulled substantially. I knew I was in trouble when I reached a third mention of El Niño. And again when other weather phenomena were described in ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Written by Beverly Lowry
2016; Knopf Doubleday (377 Pages)
Genre: nonfiction, true crime, literary


Since I enjoyed Lowry's previous book, Crossed Over, I was so happy to see that the library had her newest book, Who Killed These Girls?  I have also been following this case on 48 Hours: Mystery so I was interested to see what Lowry's thought in the case were.

The Case:
Four young teens, two being sisters
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I had never heard of these murders until I picked up this book. Very sad, very brutal in my opinion. At the same time I feel it could of been a bit shorter. The flip flopping in the beginning confused me at first. The fact that they almost put four boys away for a murder they didn't commit...well Reading this I can understand why that seems to happen. What happened to those girls was horrific and I hope they one day find who did this. :( ...more
Amy Decker
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Very confusing. I think that the author could've shortened the book--especially the court sequences. ...more
Susan Albert
For me, Beverly Lowry's book about the Austin TX Yogurt Shop murders ranks right up there with In Cold Blood as among the very best of true crime. But you have to be patient, for the story world Lowry recreates is initially--and deliberately, artfully, confoundingly--as confusing as the real world she must represent. And every bit as ugly, too. So you'd better bring a strong stomach to this book, as well as patience. There is nothing pretty about it, on any level, in any dimension.

The brutal 199
Lauren Hopkins
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I feel like the author of this book listened to "Serial" and watched "Making a Murderer" all in one weekend and was like "I wanna do THAT!" There's nothing new or exciting posited here. It's here's what happened, here's who they arrested despite most likely being innocent, here's how the trial went down, and here's what happened when they finally were able to test DNA. Like "Serial" and "Making a Murderer" you kinda walk away nothing actually happened in the end? We still know NOTHING ...more
Angus McKeogh
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A cold case murder. Loads of suspects. Coerced confessions. Petty thugs. Physical evidence that points elsewhere. Police foul ups. Law challenges. Exonerations. Leads that are apparent but are willfully not followed. New evidence decades old. Still no justice for the victims. Bull-headed State prosecutors and cops steadily following a narrative that is clearly wrong as demonstrated by the evidence. This book had it all. And it's true. Sad. Interesting. Makes you gag on reality. ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
DNF - interesting case, but the structure of the book is all over the place and difficult for me to engage with. I’m giving up. May try again later.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m glad I learned more about this case, but felt like things ran a little too long. Glad I listened to the audiobook so I didn’t have to pay 100% attention during the rabbit holes
True crime is a genre that I used to really really like, and now I kind of read sporadically because it's ultimately super depressing. I can handle being depressed, but not as much as I used to be able to handle it. When I heard about WHO KILLED THESE GIRLS: THE TWENTY FIVE YEAR HISTORY OF AUSTIN'S YOGURT SHOP MURDERS by Beverly Lowry, I decided that I would pick this one up for one of those sporadic visits to the genre. I sounded interesting: an unsolved murder, a town rocked by the crime, some ...more
Robin Redden
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I moved to Austin a few months after this terrible crime happened. Four young teen girls were brutally killed in an "I Can't Believe It's Yogurt" shop. It was a part of everyone's life in Austin in the 90's. I saw the billboards for years. I've shopped in the strip mall where the murders occurred. I followed along, with everyone else, the various "breakthroughs" in the case during the past 25 years. I heard "rumors" about the "held back" evidence. I wanted the murderers to have been caught. Both ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, nonfiction
Exhaustive and exhausting. Lowry's obviously a novelist and I'm intrigued by the premise of her 1992 memoir, Crossing Over, about her relationship with Karla Faye Tucker and the hit-and-run death of her son, but editing down her prosody would've trimmed this book significantly. (Personally, I could've done without the jabs at Oklahoma, my home state, and Baltimore, where I currently live.)

I felt like this covered a lot of the same thematic territory as "The Innocent Man" -- John Grisham's book
Cait Poytress
This book was infuriating on so many levels! Not because of the writing or the research, that was all very well done. No, it was infuriating when listening to the circumstances that led up to what I really believe were false confessions. It reminded me of the WM3 or Brendan Dassey. The justice system is intriguing and fascinating - everyone from the detectives to the DA's office to the defense attorneys to the judges to the expert witnesses to the jury to the evidence - but man, does it disappoi ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
I could not get into this book at all. It seems as though every tiny, minute detail that the author learned during her research is given to us as the reader. In the first half of the book race is mentioned over and over again but race has zero to do with the crime. That's just one example of the tons of irrelevant information in this book. I ended up just reading about it on Wikipedia. ...more
Rachel Holtzclaw
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
i was very eager to get my hands on this book, but this book, to put things frankly, was boring. i think a big part of that is because there is so little evidence or just pure fact here; so much of this case is conjecture - has to be, because it's the coldest of cold cases. i think that, ultimately, there's not enough here to merit even writing an entire book, let alone one that clocks in at around 350 pages. i personally find the courtroom aspect of true crime related things to be the least int ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you were around in 1991, you remember these murders. If you don’t live in Texas, you might be fuzzy on the details of what happened next and not be aware that the case has never been solved. All I will say about what happened with the police and the 4 boys accused of the crime is this: if the police ever want to ask you some questions, you’d better lawyer up. After all that the families of these girls have been through, it’s easy to understand why the mother of two of the girls is quoted as s ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edie Reynolds
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was a little too long and it was hard to keep up with all the characters and the dates. Other than that, it was an interesting book. I had not heard of these murders before.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was really excited to receive this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was even so excited that I bumped it to the top of my to read list. So thank you for picking me!

So I live in Lewisville, TX which is a suburb outside of Dallas. I was in high school when all this went down in Austin (3-4 hours south of us) but I never heard about this. One of the suspects worked in Lewisville and the dental assistant who replaced my old metal fillings said she worked with him at a si
Stuti Kokkalera
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I do read a lot of true crime because of my work in criminal justice issues. This was a crime I knew of, but very briefly. The book cover got me interested and luckily, I was one of the people to receive this through the Goodreads Giveaway.
The case is totally heartbreaking. Ms. Lowry does a good job of reminding you of how wonderful these girls were and how well loved they all were. She also dedicates a major portion of the book (I'd say one-third or so) to what happened in the courts- which we
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tl;dr - this was lowest "rated" book I've read on Goodreads this year, but one I personally found to be fantastic.

I read many poor reviews before reading this true crime/court room drama, but I couldn't agree less with them. A lot of them said there was too much irrelevant detail, whereas I was hungry for more details. Perhaps it's my personal geographic connection (I used to live several blocks away from the site of the grizzly murders), but I was hooked from chapter one.

This is a story of cri
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is really a book about false confessions. It is hard to believe that anyone could be bullied into confessing to murder but it does happen. Sometimes they just want out of the interrogation. Sometimes they just want attention. And sometimes they are convinced they did it. It is pretty clear in this case that the guys who were convicted and then let go...did not do it. DNA leaves very little doubt that they had nothing to do with it. The cops just needed someone to go down and concentrated on ...more
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
What was done really well in this book was the character building- of the girls, and of the young men accused. The legal stuff... less of a story, and a bit too reporter-ish. And it got tedious. Also, and this is a minor point, I got a bit annoyed by the case being called simply "yogurt shop" without the "THE" in front. Also, nobody called it "ICBY"-there was TCBY, and I Can't Believe Its Yogurt. The whole name, never shortened to initials. I grew up with the case- I was 12 when it happened, and ...more
Linda Hutchinson
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a stunning true life crime story but it suffers under the voluminous amount of information covered in 377 pages. I think the author had good intentions but ended up regurgitating the same sensationalistic facts.

The inside jacket cover boasts that the author has "fashioned a riveting saga that reads like a Russian novel." I am in the middle of War & Peace and I can guarantee that this does NOT read like a Russian novel and it is NOT riveting.

If you want a true crime novel, I would recom
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“In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that while investigators shouldn’t threaten possible consequences—grand jury investigation, prison time, execution—or make promises of leniency, they can use tactics of “reasonable deception” and duplicity to solve crimes. Another reason neither to believe what cops say nor to answer their questions.” 0 likes
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