New Book Detailing Knox County Murder Of 3 Called ‘Distasteful’ By Family


UPDATED: Tuesday January 8, 2013 5:51 PM

A terrible murder and a bizarre set of circumstances surrounding a suspect are detailed in a new book already on store shelves.

Tina Hermann, her son Kody Maynard and friend Stephanie Sprang were killed, dismembered and stuffed in a hollow tree in 2010. A man also abducted Sarah Maynard, who was 13 at the time.

Sprang’s family told 10TV News on Tuesday that they believe the book is exploitative, distasteful and heartless.

Sprang’s family said that parts of the book, “The Girl in the Leaves,” is untrue.

The book was written with the help of Sarah Maynard, who survived being kidnapped, and her father.

Special Section: Saving Sarah

 “These people were brutally murdered in a very brutal way,” said Stephanie Sprang’s mother, Patricia Cullins. “This is not a fantasy story. This is about my daughter, her sister, my grandchild. I don’t understand why people would need to read how my daughter was dismembered.”

Cullins said that they were told the book was supposed to be about Sarah Maynard’s road to recovery, not about the details of the crime.

“Sarah lost her mother, her brother, was kidnapped,” Cullins said. “Why would her father want to bring this all back up? How can this child heal if it’s constantly going to be thrown in her face.”

Larry Maynard, Sarah’s father, declined to comment about the book.

But the Sprangs said that the book has other issues. The family said that they are offended by a photo in the book that shows the bloody carpet where Stephanie was murdered.

They also are angered by an inference that Sprang and her ex-husband knew the killer, Matthew Hoffman. The book states that Stephanie Sprang was seen with Hoffman buying plumbing, something the family says is a lie.

“He said none of that. Not true. Absolutely not true. He’s going to an attorney, that’s how untrue it is,” Cullins said.

The book is not the last work on the Knox County tragedy. A movie is in the works and Sarah Maynard will talk to Dr. Phil on 10TV at 4 p.m. Monday.

“It’s time for it all to stop now,” Cullins said. “It’s time to let it go.”

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