"Apprentice to Murder" movie starring Donald Sutherland was based on this book. The book relates the accounts of true events that occurred in York County, Pennsylvania. Media coverage of the ensuing famous murder trial was worldwide.
Having read this work some twenty years ago, I'm dealing with a somewhat clouded memory, but I clearly remember being enthralled by this book. It recalls a grizzly murder and the subsequent trial that took place in the Pennsylvania Dutch country around Harrisburg. I believe the period was the 1920s. Three young men, raised in the local culture of superstition and dark rituals became convinced that their personal and family misfortunes were the result of a hex. Before long, they identified the perpetrater as a local farmer,whom they believed to be a witch. The ensuing turn of events was to shock America. The author writes a thorough examination of the prevailing rural culture and its medieval European roots. The charming farmland and hamlets of the time hide the more sinister traditions of the populace, who's greatest fear is exposure by the outside world of the 20th century. Though it's somewhat dated, I believe this book is a useful look into the dark side of the human psyche. I would dearly love to read it again, if I could find it.