Share This Page

Book examines brutal Tarentum killer

A first-time author is tackling the violent story of Stanley B. Hoss Jr., the Tarentum man who killed a Verona police officer in 1969 and is suspected of killing a young Maryland woman and her child.

"I constantly heard his name when I worked in Western Penitentiary. After all, it was the most infamous crime of this region — maybe ever," said Jim Hollock, a resident of Pittsburgh's North Side. "I've always wanted to be an author and I thought, 'Why not?' "

The book, "Born to Lose: Stanley B. Hoss and the Crime Spree that Gripped the Nation," is scheduled for publication next spring by Kent State University Press. It is named for the tattoo on Hoss' arm, which read "Born to Lose."

Hollock, a retired prison counselor, said he knew many of the prison staff who knew Hoss. As part of his research for the book, Hollock said he talked with the relatives of Hoss and a police officer Hoss killed, as well as the killer's girlfriends and associates.

"It took me five years to research the book before I wrote one word," Hollock said.

Hollock's introduction sets the tone.

"It wasn't the robberies, rapes, the daring escape or even the cop killing that catapulted Stanley Barton Hoss to the FBI's most wanted man," he wrote. "It was the broad daylight kidnapping of the lovely young mother and her child.

"In a nearly unprecedented step, J. Edgar Hoover enlisted the Army to assist in a nationwide manhunt. An engaged public followed the drama by hour, day and week — and year to year — for when all thought the carnage was over, it wasn't. And how Hoss struck again, in virtually impossible circumstances, and who fell, brought a governor to a funeral and provoked racial divide in a county."

Hoss' story is "distinguished by exceptional cruelty, heartbreak and landmark trials," Hollock wrote. Hoss became to many lawmakers the "perfect reason for capital punishment."

Hollock's book looks at some of the mysteries Hoss took to the grave: What happened to kidnap victims Linda Peugeot and her 2-year-old daughter• Did he commit suicide, or was he murdered?

The book includes an epilogue in which Hollock explains what happened to most of the people associated with Hoss, including his ex-wife and mistress.

A graduate of Butler High School and Marshall University, Hollock served with the Peace Corps. He worked for 30 years for the state Department of Corrections, primarily in Western Penitentiary.

Additional Information:

Read about it

'Born to Lose: Stanley B. Hoss and the Crime Spree that Gripped the Nation' will be published by Kent State University Press in May 2011 as part of the university's True Crime series. Pittsburgh resident Jim Hollock is the author. Hollock can be reached via e-mail .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.