My evening read is starting to get suspenseful for all the wrong reasons. I am currently reading ‘Evil Obsession: The Annie Cook Story’ written by Nellie Snyder Yost. I mentioned this book in my previous post, but I now seem to have read up through the years to the time when my grandfather possibly arrived on the scene.
The story so far: Annie was such a hateful, hideous, sick woman living on a farm near Hershey, Nebraska, from early to mid 1990s. She was completely obsessed with money and power and did everything to obtain these. Some of her atrocious acts include forcing her sister and her neice to hard labour by forcing them to work on her farm, killing her own daughter during a bout of rage, killing several of the county poor who were in her care (some with her own hand, some by breaking down their spirit to the point that they committed suicide), her whip seemed to be her method of choice to enforce her rule. And yet…and yet…so many officials in North Platte during that era were corrupt and did nothing to help the unfortunate people that were under her charge. Annie was involved in running brothels as an additional way of making money. She also conducted many shady deals with several people in power during that time and was closely connected to the Al Capone of the Midwest. And mind you, this list just barely covers her actions. At some points I have become so disgusted by this awful woman’s actions that I have had to put the book down and get on with something else.
I guess the interesting part of the true story is that I am now reading into the 40’s, as Annie continues her bargaining, side businesses and manipulations. I think that my grandfather arrived on the scene in the late 40’s, early 50’s and as I read I think ‘He could be mentioned in these last few pages!’ So the suspense for the end is mounting, and I can’t bring myself to skip ahead to see how it all ends. Well, I know how it ends for her because obviously she dies. But unfortunately, it doesn’t end for everyone else who suffered under her rule. They had to carry on through the rest of their lives, carrying their physical and mental scars. And then they people had children and grandchildren that are currently kicking about the midwest today. In some way they, too, will be carrying the burden of Annie’s hatred. Unknowingly. It’s what is passed down from one generation to the next, through our actions, our words, how we live our lives.