Kids Who Kill - Sandy Charles - Kathryn McMaster - 3D Book Cover
Non-Fiction,  True Crime

Kids Who Kill Case 4: Sandy Charles – Kathryn McMaster

Cold shivers down my spine, my mind in an uproar after having found myself exploring the mental state of child killer Sandy Charles. A horrific, unspeakable crime has been committed within the mining town of La Ronge, Saskatchewan – home of the Cree. 


Within the rough exterior of Northern Canada lies the little mining town of La Ronge. After having been almost inaccessible due to lack of roads leading towards it, the Cree culture and traditions – once strongly embedded within the community, fades. Added to that, the arrival of salaried working causes unemployment in La Ronge.

The circumstances are hard and children barely have time to experience a carefree childhood. Elder children have to take care of the younger ones while their mothers go out to earn some money for food. At least, this was the case in Jean Charles’s home. Sandy’s father died when he was three, his siblings, a younger brother and sister, are from different fathers.

Sandy is a good elder brother to them. That is until the ghosts take over. By then, he is 13 years old but he claims to have heard them since he was 3 – coinciding with the death of his father. It is this growing darkness surrounding him that leads him to the horrible acts of 8 July 1995. The day the lights went out for 7-year-old Johnathan Thimpsen.

My Thoughts

How on earth can something so horrific happen? What possesses a 13-year-old boy to come up with the idea let alone execute it? Even if the images kept hurdling through my mind, still I was unable to fully fathom poor little Johnathan meeting his gruesome end in this horrible way.

Kathryn McMaster relates a fascinating story, in all its hideousness, about this tragedy and shares with us the circumstances in which it happened. She does this expertly by setting the scene – by showing us the society Sandy Charles and his little victim lived in. The author has deliberately written down the details as they are – barely colouring it in, only sharing the facts and circumstances.

This shows her talent and extensive research into the murders she investigates in her true crime series Kids Who Kill. What Kathryn does, is weave the murder against the setting of that time – she takes us with her to the village and the trial; her narrative is detailed and gives you insight into the proceedings, such as the deliberations of the judge in question.

This book reads like an intriguing, fascinating, and extensive paper on the topic with all the relevant info disclosed. There is no judgment, no trying to get behind the characters but a sort of ‘journalistic approach relating to facts from witness interviews and other research material.

We do not get to know any of the characters, we merely perceive things as they happened and assume from proceedings why some decisions were made – this leaves a lot of questions open but also makes for a well-written and excellently investigated narrative leaving judgments and opinions in the hands of the reader.

There were so many thoughts in my head after reading the book. What was his accomplish’s role in all of this? Did Sandy speak the truth after? Is Sandy Charles a demon or a product of a failing society? I refuse to believe it is solely watching violent films or playing video games that make someone a murderer – there has to be more. An inkling? A childhood ending too soon? Nurture or nature – this is a topic I find utterly intriguing. Can you blame circumstances and if so, does it make someone less responsible?

Kids Who Kill case 4: Sandy Charles. Intriguing, shocking, fascinating.

About the Author

Kathryn McMaster Author Image

Kathryn McMaster is a writer of true crime set in America and historical crime fiction set in the UK, transporting you back to a different era. Her true crime books are well-researched, unbiased and based on court records, interviews and newspaper articles.

With her novels she crafts stories around unsolved murders of the Victorian and Edwardian eras highlighting poor policing practices with a rudimentary knowledge of Forensic Science that allowed the guilty to walk free, and the innocent to hang.

Kathryn’s books are further enhanced by her in-depth knowledge and training in Psychology, Criminal Profiling and Forensic Investigation which she draws on to analyze each crime in the Afterword of her novels.

She has long had a fascination with crime and the criminal mind, looking at the ‘why’ rather than the ‘how’, and the dark side of the psyche.

Where to find Kathryn McMaster:

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Book Info

 Publisher True Crime Press (28 Feb. 2019)
ASIN (ebook) B07N8YRCKK

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