New York State Police Investigator Thomas M. Aiken was asked to reopen a 22-year-old cold case homicide in August of 1994. It involved a little boy who was abused, beaten, tortured, and starved literally to death. A little boy who never felt the love or protection of a mother in his short life with the fatal strike occurring just before his third birthday. As they began their grueling investigation, they discovered one lie after another by the professionals that were trusted to protect these children, allowing a murderous monster to walk free for 22 years and horrendously abuse six additional siblings. Until a caring and dedicated prosecutor, tenacious investigators, and world-renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, put all the broken pieces together and obtained justice for a little boy who no one ever thought anyone would ever care about. All the while during the non-stop gathering of evidence and statements, this book also includes a couple of other chilling homicides that were intertwined during this investigation with all of this adding up to a made for TV movie.
Now They Lay me Down to Rest was written from the perspective of Connie, Tom's wife and mother of six children, who navigated her way through a 30-year career involving over 100 homicides and 700 horrendous child abuse cases all coming home to her. One case in particular, the story of Hodgie, has always been on their minds and in their hearts. They knew someday they wanted to write a book about this case to bring awareness to help children that are in similar situations. Their goal is to educate police, CPS, doctors, teachers, neighbors, and anyone who is in a position to observe children being abused or hear their cries, and to give them the courage to speak up and take action.
About the Author
Connie and Thomas Aiken have always been a very family-oriented couple but have never lost sight of who they are and their interests. That is what they believe has made their marriage successful as they approach their 38th wedding anniversary. They are both very active people and love planning their family vacations, boating, swimming, and family get-togethers. They have had a very stressful life together as they have navigated Tom's 30-year career in the New York State Police, as many of these cases came home with him while raising their three sons. They went on to adopt three Asian daughters internationally. That in itself has kept them very busy. After Tom's 30-year career and retirement, they made a life-changing decision to move south and have absolutely enjoyed every moment of that decision.
Comments from October 4, 2021 Lecture at the University of South Carolina Beaufort:
"The knowledge of the presenter and how he presented it. It was fascinating, horrifying, and enlightening."
"The most moving and deep presentation I have ever attended outstanding!!!"
"Unbelievable how evil people can be. True evil in this world frightening!"
"Extremely informative. The instructor's work experience. More than I expected. Excellent"
"Totally riveting! Created multitude of emotions! Yes, I cried during the "I Miss You Daddy" video/song. But touched at the passion and dedication to help make a change when evil lives among us! Continued success and bless both of you for your caring and dedication. I look forward to your book! As an aside makes me angry!"
"Yes, this class has too many WOW factors to adequately recognize here. I gained a high level of appreciation for the focus, determination, and professionalism of our civilian police forces and especially the detectives who work to solve these horrific and unsettling crimes. I have not attended a more interesting (even though the crime was horrific and unsettling) and engaging class. The presenter was fabulous mainly because he was genuine and forthcoming in so many ways."
"What these officers go through it is hard to imagine being able to turn if off outside of work."
Comments from May 2, 2022 Lecture at Clemson University:
"Excellent..!! Want more by these folks."
"Would love other classes taught by Mr. Aiken."
Now They Lay me Down to Rest is a 378-page paperback with a retail price of $64.00 (eBook $59.00). The ISBN is 979-8-8860-4218-4. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For members of the press, to request a review copy, visit our virtual pressroom at https://dorrancepressroom.com/now-they-lay-me-down-to-rest-hodgies-story/ or to buy the book visit our online bookstore at https://bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com/now-they-lay-me-down-to-rest-hodgies-story/
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You can see the original version and more on PRLeap here: http://www.prleap.com/pr/289654/pickens-sc-author-publishes-true-crime-novel