A Kitchen Painted in Blood

The Unsolved Disappearance of Joan Risch

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SKU: 9781476681849 Categories: , ,
Imprint or Series:Exposit Books

About the Book

On October 24, 1961, Massachusetts wife and mother Joan Risch vanished seemingly into thin air. Even with her children home and neighbors nearby, Joan disappeared from her upscale suburban house, never to be heard from again. The search that followed was one of the most intensive investigations of its time, but detectives were unable to identify any suspects.
Using extensive police casefiles and hundreds of newspaper articles written about the disappearance, this book carefully explores the story of Joan Risch and the investigation into her disappearance. With the assistance of a former FBI criminal profiler and an LA cold case detective, this book reports previously undisclosed facts from the investigation, including multiple witness statements. Also evaluated are the numerous theories on the disappearance, ultimately revealing a possible explanation of what happened to Joan Risch that fateful October afternoon.

About the Author(s)

Stephen H. Ahern worked as a corporate and commercial lawyer in Massachusetts and Maryland for over 40 years. He lives in Boxborough, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen H. Ahern
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 287
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8184-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4096-9
Imprint: Exposit

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword by Cliff Shepard 1
Preface 4
1. The Joan Risch Disappearance 7
2. Buying the Lincoln Home 15
3. Lincoln and the Redcoats 24
4. Joan Risch, 1930–1950 29
5. Joan Risch, Possible Sexual Abuse 36
6. Joan Risch, 1950–1960 43
7. Massachusetts, 1961 50
8. The Risch Family in Lincoln, April–October 1961 56
9. October 24, 1961, 6:50 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. 65
10. October 24, 1961, 1:55 to 4:33 p.m. 73
11. October 24, 1961, Woman Walking Along Highways 81
12. The Police Investigation Begins 91
13. Forensic Evidence 96
14. The Search for Joan Risch 110
15. The Complex Mystery 115
16. The Investigating Agencies 119
17. Martin Risch 124
18. Martin’s ­Co-Workers 130
19. The Investigation, 1961 135
20. The Elusive Oldsmobile 143
21. Voluntary Abandonment 148
22. Botched Abortion 156
23. Happenstance 159
24. The Investigation Moves Into 1962 164
25. The 1962 Investigation Continued 170
26. Violence by a Stranger 176
27. Violence by an Acquaintance or Familiar Stranger 181
28. Family Conflict 185
29. Lessons of Similar Cases 189
30. 1963 and the Nattrasses 197
31. A Planned Abduction? 204
32. Women by the Highways 219
33. A Possible Crime 227
34. Conclusion 235
35. Aftermath 246
Chapter Notes 251
Bibliography 267
Index 273