Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder by Jerry Bledsoe (April 1989)

Publication Date:
April 1989
Onyx True Crime

Reviewed by:
5 Stars
On March 18, 2012
Last modified:July 12, 2012


For THE unbiased, truly neutral book about Fritz Klenner and Susie Lynch, this is the one you want to read.

Very Detailed. Very.
Review by Kim Cantrell

Susie Sharp Newsom came from a large Southern family of fine reput; even producing the first women to be elected as Chief Justice of a state Supreme Court.

Yet when Susie divorced her husband Tom Lynch, she would become a much gossiped subject as she embarked on a path filled with bitterness, vengence, and danger. So much so that she would be (somewhat) excommunicated from the family.

Bitter Blood by Jerry BledsoeSoon questions began to arise about the relationship between Susie and her eerily strange cousin Frederick “Fritz” Klenner; a relative Susie barely associated with growing up and a man know for telling wild stories about being a secret government agent.

As a child custody dispute between Susie and Tom over their boys, John and Jim, reached a boiling point, murders began to occur.

First it was Tom’s widowed mother, Delores Lynch, and his sister, Janie Lynch, in Kentucky.

The following year, murder victims would include Susie’s parents, Bob and Florence Newsom, as well as her grandmother, Hattie “Nanna” Newsom, of North Carolina.

When police learned that Bob Newsom had recently agreed to testify on Tom’s behalf against his daughter in an upcoming hearing, Susie became a prime suspect.

And when investigators began digging into the background of the cousin suspected of living with her as a lover, they knew they were on the right trail.

As the evidence accumulated and police were closing in for an arrest, there would be an explosive ending that no one could have ever suspected.

True crime author Jerry Bledsoe spent more than two years researching the Lynch and Newsom murders and created a fascinating 570+ page story in his 1989 book Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder.

Readers won’t find a more thoroughly researched or detailed book as this one. Information about information about the families, their histories, and interviews with key players of this fatal drama keeps readers on the edge of their seats, waiting and wanting more.

For the unbiased, truly neutral book about Fritz Klenner and Susie Lynch, Bitter Blood is the one you want to read. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!


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Tom Lynch still practices dentistry in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rob Newsom co-authored a book about the murders of his family with Dick Trotter, published in June 1989, titled Deadly Kin: A True Story of Mass Family Murder. Although I have not read it, I’m told it disputes Jerry Bledsoe’s claims that Susie Sharp Newsom Lynch was a high maintainence gal and thoroughly argues against her having any role in the murders.

Susie Marshall Sharp, a.k.a. Aunt Su-Su, passed away in March 1996. In 2008, Anna R. Hayes published a book about Justice Sharp, including information about the murders, in a book titled Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp.

Annie Hill Sharp Klenner died at the age of 89 in December 2003. Oddly, her obiturary does not mention being proceeded in death by her sister, Florence Sharp Newsom or being survived by other siblings, still living at the time.

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