GITCHIE GIRL Book Discussion Questions

After receiving many requests, the book club questions for GITCHIE GIRL are now available here and on our Facebook page: Phil Hamman and Sandy Hamman (

Gitchie Girl Book Discussion Questions

1. Why do you think this murder still generates interest over forty years later?

2. The Fryer brothers claim that they originally confronted the teenagers in Gitchie Manitou State Park because the kids had marijuana, and the brothers were under the impression that DEA could shoot to kill if someone possessed drugs. Do you believe their explanation? If not, elaborate. What do you know about the social climate of the mid-1970s that would provide context for this situation?

3. There has been talk of incorporating Gitchie Manitou State Preserve into a larger park area known as Blood Run National Historic Landmark, the largest known Native American site formerly occupied by the Oneota culture. Should Gitchie Manitou retain its name in honor of the memory of the slain boys and the Native American burial mounds that are still there?

4. The murders at Gitchie Manitou brought the horrors of the big city to small town, Midwestern America. After this, people in the area expressed a formerly unknown fear of being in remote areas and began locking their doors. Was this change of becoming more cautious a positive development or was it a weakening of the small town charm where people can live without the constant fear of impending crime?

5. The narrative doesn’t proceed chronologically but rather goes back and forth between the events of the night and the crime scene. Why do you think the authors structured it this way and does it add to or detract from the story?

6. What role did animals play in Sandra’s life? Why are animals so helpful to people who have suffered a traumatic experience?

7. After the trials ended, Sandra fell victim to society’s attitude toward rape victims. What changes have occurred since 1973 that have caused a change in attitudes? What changes still need to be made?

8. When Sandra has a face-to-face meeting with Allen Fryer in Fort Madison Prison, he says the reason he didn’t kill her is because she reminded her of his step-daughter. Do you believe him? If not, what facts or feelings cause you to believe otherwise? What was his reason for asking for her phone number before letting her go that fateful night?

9. Allen Fryer was supposed to finish off Sandra after leaving Gitchie Manitou and again after meeting up with his brothers at the abandoned farm. Why do you think he didn’t carry through with this? Do you think her fate would have been different had she been left in the hands of one of the other brothers?

10. After over 40 years, Sandra met Allen Fryer in a face-to-face prison interview. What would be the most difficult part of a meeting like this for a survivor?

11. The authors tell the survivor’s story. What would you want to know about the murderers’ story?

GITCHIE GIRL Featured in Huffington Post!

Phil Hamman, Sandy Hamman "gitchie manitou" "gitchie girl"

Phil Hamman, Sandy Hamman “gitchie manitou” “gitchie girl”

Julee Morrison, the esteemed blogger from Mommy’s Memorandum penned this incredible article which was snapped up by the Huffington Post and whisked to the top of their book section.


Stop on over to Mommy’s Memorandum for your daily fix of whatever you-have-GOT-to-read-this article Julee whips up for the day.



GITCHIE GIRL Tops National Hot New Releases Category


gitchie girl best seller hot new

We couldn’t be happier with Gitchie Girl’s first month on the market. Thank you for the great ratings and reviews. We will soon release inside information about the Gitchie Manitou murders that will only be available to subscribers of this blog!

5 Page-Turning True Crime Books You Can Read in an Afternoon!

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Let’s face it…smart people are naturally drawn to the intrigue of true crime, right? There’s strategy, psychology, and it’s just plain challenging. By the end, we’re privy to a secret that took law enforcement weeks, months, or years to uncover. Here are five of my favorite true crime books, starting with, (and there is no shame on my part here!) my own “Gitchie Girl” that hit  #1 bestseller within 2 days on Amazon’s Fresh New Releases for True Crime/Murder and Mayhem.




Gitchie Girl cover

Gitchie Girl– by Phil Hamman and Sandy Hamman (164 pages)
The lone survivor of this 1973 massacre broke a 40-year silence to bring you this long awaited inside story! “Who are you? What do you want?” one of the teenagers yelled into the darkness. The sound of snapping twigs closed in on the five teenagers enjoying an evening around a glowing campfire at Gitchie Manitou State Park. The night of music and laughter had taken a dark turn. Evil loomed just beyond the tree line, and before the night was over, one of the Midwest’s most horrific mass murders had left its bloodstains spewed across the campsite. One managed to survive and would come to be known as the “Gitchie Girl.” Harrowing memories of the terrifying crime sent her spiraling out of control, and she grasped at every avenue to rebuild her life. Can one man, a rescue dog, and a glimmer of faith salvage a broken soul? This true story will touch your heart and leave you cheering that good can prevail over the depravity of mankind.
Phil Hamman is the author of two fast-paced, inspirational memoirs as well as the author of this blog “5 True Crime Books you can Read in an Afternoon.”


The Aalcohol murderslcohol Murders: The True Story of Serial Killer Gilbert Paul Jordan (Crimes Canada: True Crimes That Shocked The Nation) (Volume 10)- by Harriet Fox (142 pages)
View the collection at: Preying on middle-aged Native women in Vancouver’s Skid Row district, Gilbert Paul Jordan’s insatiable taste for drunken sex led to at least ten cold blooded killings.

Unlike any others in the known history of serial homicide, Jordan used alcohol to murder his victims. All of these young women were found dead with blood-levels many times over the safe range. The driving force behind Jordan’s evil was his egocentric desires that led him on a fifty year criminal record path causing havoc along the way. Delving into Jordan’s crimes, alcoholism and mental illnesses, his life tells a story all his own, and it is no wonder why, Gilbert Paul Jordan became one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers.

This is volume 10 in the monthly issue of Crimes Canada: True Crimes That Shocked The Nation.

The Crime crime museumMuseum Uncovered – by Jackie Keily and Julia Hoffbrand, Curator of Social History at the Museum of London. (144 pages)
The book summary says it all! This October―for the first time ever―never-before-seen-objects from the London Metropolitan Police’s Crime Museum will go on public display in a major new exhibition opening at the Museum of London. Since its establishment by serving officers in 1875, the Crime Museum has previously only been open to police professionals and invited guests. Using original evidence from this extraordinary collection, The Crime Museum Uncovered will unlock real-life case files to take the reader on an uneasy journey through some of the UK’s most notorious crimes from Dr Crippen to the Krays, the Great Train Robbery to the Millennium Dome diamond heist.
“You won’t look at everyday objects in the same way again after thumbing through this superb collection of crime memorabilia… provides a riveting overview not only of the variety of cases investigated by the Metropolitan Police, but also of how crime has evolved over the last 40 years’”- The Daily Mail

milwaukee mayhemMilwaukee Mayhem: Murder and Mystery in the Cream City’s First Century – by Matthew Prigge (225 pages)
These were not simpler times! From murder and matchstick men to all-consuming fires, painted women, and Great Lakes disasters–and the wide-eyed public who could not help but gawk at it all–“Milwaukee Mayhem” uncovers the little-remembered and rarely told history of the underbelly of a Midwestern metropolis. “Milwaukee Mayhem” offers a new perspective on Milwaukee’s early years, forgoing the major historical signposts found in traditional histories and focusing instead on the strange and brutal tales of mystery, vice, murder, and disaster that were born of the city’s transformation from lakeside settlement to American metropolis. Author Matthew J. Prigge presents these stories as they were recounted to the public in the newspapers of the era, using the vivid and often grim language of the times to create an engaging and occasionally chilling narrative of a forgotten Milwaukee.
Admirably Published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press

unsolved murdersUnsolved Murders and Disappearances in Northeast Ohio– by Jane Ann Turzillo (128 pages)
Turzillo was a national winner in the nonfiction book category of the 2015 National Federation of Press Women for her book Ohio Train Disasters.
Cold case files litter the desks of authorities all across Northeast Ohio. Louise Wolf and Mabel Foote, Parma teachers, were on their way to school one winter morning when a maniac sprang from the bushes and bludgeoned them to death. When young Melvin Horst went missing on his way home from playing with friends in 1928, many thought he was kidnapped or accidentally killed by a bootlegger’s car. Charles Collins’s death looked like suicide but was proved otherwise by two preeminent surgeons and has remained a mystery for more than one hundred years. Author Jane Ann Turzillo recounts eight unsolved murders and two chilling disappearances in Northeast Ohio’s history.
Turzillo is the author of several books and and is a former owner of the weekly West Side Leader newspaper.

Lone Survivor of 1973 Gitchie Manitou Mass Murders Tells Her Story

Gitchie Girl cover
Writing “Gitchie Girl” was a complex process that involved interviews with not only the survivor but also with law enforcement personnel who were involved with the case as well as family members of the victims. We spent many hours digging through boxes of dusty old police reports and court records. Having my wife, Sandy, as a co-author was a necessity to bring the book to life. “Gitchie Girl” will be released January 12, 2016! People are welcome to share their memories of this event as well as their opinions or to post questions regarding the murders or the book. Let’s talk!

“Under the Influence” on YouTube

Looking for an anti-bullying video to show your middle school or high school classroom? Here’s a YouTube video with discussion questions included. I hope your class enjoys this video, and “likes” are always appreciated!

“Gitchie Girl” to be released January 12, 2016

When you’re a thirteen-year-old girl and the only survivor of a mass murder, what paths will your life take? Physical, spiritual, and emotional survival test her will to carry on. This true tale laced with unbelievable twists will bring you face-to-face with the evil that lurked in the treeline, yet leave you believing that good supersedes the dark side of mankind. (Published by a dedicated team of amazing people eLectio Publishing, Little Elm, Texas)