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UnGodly: The Passions, Torments and Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair

2 Ratings: 4.0
2003 non fiction book by Ted Dracos

From Publishers Weekly  Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the notorious atheist who launched the Supreme Court case taking prayer out of America's public schools, was also the victim (along with her son and granddaughter) in a brutal Texas murder that … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Nonfiction, Atheism, Criminal Law, Religion And Spirituality
Author: Ted Dracos
Publisher: Free Press
Date Published: October 7, 2003
1 review about UnGodly: The Passions, Torments and Murder...

Sordid tale of the life and murder of Madalyn Murray O'Hair.

  • Dec 23, 2008
She was frequently described as "America's Most Hated Woman".  The mere mention of her name would repulse a large segment of the population.  Any number of adjectives (or expletives for that matter) might describe this woman.  She was arrogant, smart, vulgar, domineering, outrageous and crooked to mention just a few.  In "Ungodly:  The Passions, Torments and Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair" author Ted Dracos traces the career of this most unikely American icon.  Madalyn Murray O'Hair came out of nowhere in 1960 to challenge the tradition of daily prayer in the public schools.  It was perhaps the first shot in the cultural war still being waged across this country even as we speak.  O'Hair succeeded in taking the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where she won a startling victory that essentially banned prayer in the public schools.  Ever the opportunist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair decided to cash in on her triumph and founded American Atheists to promote her cause.  Over the years American Atheists would become a mostly family affair with leadership positions being filled by Madalyn herself, her son Jon and her granddaughter Robin.  And Madalyn would see to it that they were all handsomely compensated for their services.

Fast forward now to the mid 1990's.  It seemed that after all these years the jig just might be up for American Atheists.  The Feds had gotten wise to several of Madalyn's schemes and were ready to pounce.  It was about this same time Madalyn's granddaughter Robin would hire an office manager named David Waters.  No one ever bothered to check references because if they had they would have discovered that not only was Waters a bad actor, he was also a convicted murderer!!  In his fast moving and highly entertaining book, Ted Dracos recounts the circumstances of the relationship between Waters and the O'Hairs and the events that led up to the disappearance of the trio.  We also meet those individuals who pooled their efforts to solve the mystery of just what happened to Madalyn Murray O'Hair and her family.  At first, no one could be sure if they just flew the coop, had been kidnapped or possibly were the victims of murder.  I found "UnGodly: The Passions, Torments and Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair" to be very well researched and quite well written.  I learned an awful lot.  Recommended.
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April 24, 2009
I remember reading a lot about the O'Hair's in the 70s and 80s...then they seemed to disappear from the spotlight. She truly was one of the most hated women in America. I also heard through the grapevine that her son converted to Catholicism. Did you ever hear anything about that? You say you learned a lot....this seems to be a book worth checking out. Good review!
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