Body Count book cover

Body Count

Body Count By Best Selling Author Burl Barer

On August 26, 1997, the half-naked body of 16-year-old street hooker Jennifer Joseph was found in an empty lot in Spokane, Washington. The same day, the decomposed corpse of prostitute Heather Hernandez, 20, was discovered in a wheat field. Both women had been shot point blank in the head.By the day after Christmas, four more women were added to the mounting death toll. All were found with plastic grocery bags tied over their heads — the gruesome signature of a killer who had sexually violated each one of them after snuffing out their lives. Spokane’s elite Homicide Task Force’s intense investigation turned up only one common link: a white Corvette driven by a frequent customer of Spokane’s prostitutes.

After building a data-base of Corvette owners, investigators found a button from Jennifer Joseph’s blouse and multiple blood stains in a vehicle recently sold to Robert Lee Yates, Jr. On October 18, 2000, Yates, a devoted husband, father of five, National Guard helicopter pilot, and Desert Storm veteran pied guilty to 13 murders and was sentenced to 408 years behind bars. Charged with two similar murders in Washington’s Pierce County, Yates now faces a possible death sentence.


I don't know why Burl Barer isn't getting more attention for his powerful, haunting, and disturbing true-crime books. He has an uncanny knack for finding the most unusual murder cases to explore and manages to get inside the minds of the gruesome killers he profiles. This isn't just a paperback court transcript and a hodge-podge of newspaper clippings. Barer brings a fiction-writers skill and a journalist's hunger for facts to his unforgettable true crime tales.

Anonymous - Amazon

Body Count was a very interesting read. As an avid true crime fan, I don't remember hearing about the Yates case until now. Burl Barer perfectly balanced Yates' background with the investigation and victims' stories. Ann Rule is still my favorite true crime author, but Burl Barer is a close second.

Tanya Mravik - Amazon

Burl Barer is, in my opinion, the #1 true crime writer in America. Each book takes a tragic case, elevates the victims' deaths to the level of sacrifice, and probes the inner working of the killer's mind and upbringing. I was mystified by the review that said there was no information about Yates' life and upbringing -- in truth, Barer delves deeply into Yates personal history. An added shocker is that author Burl Barer knew Yates' first victims, and also knew one of Yates' final victims. Both the killer and author lived in the same small town; their daughters attending the same school.

Judi Faye - Amazon