Innocence Lost

Carlton Stowers

St. Martin's Paperbacks

Undercover officer George Raffield's job was to pose as a student in the small town of Midlothian, Texas and infiltrate the high school drug ring. When Raffield's cover became suspect, word spread through a small circle of friends that the young officer would pay with his life. No one stopped it. On a rainy fall evening in 1987, Raffield was lured to an isolated field. Three bullets were fired-one unloaded into his skull. The baby-faced killer, Greg Knighten, stole eighteen dollars from Raffield's wallet, divided it among his two young accomplices, and calmly said, "it's done."

With chilling detail, Carlton Stowers illuminates a dark corner of America's heartland and the children who hide there. What he found was an alienated subculture of drug abuse, the occult, and an unfathomable teenage rage that exploded at point blank range on a shocking night of lost innocence...


Praise for Innocence Lost

"When the dust clears, a handful of writers will be recognized as masters of the true crime book. And Carlton Stowers will be at the head of that class...Stowers has a very special ability to create page-turning books that both fascinate and educate-conveying the human dimensions of crime and exploring the psychological complexities of good and evil. In innocence Lost he paints an unforgettable portrait of youthful corruption in the heartland-a Texas story, to be sure, but very much an American story." -Jonathan Kellerman

"Stowers recounts in riveting detail the events leading up to the shooting. And then he explores in depth its impact of the guilty, the innocent, the investigators and the community itself...Stowers is rarely judgmental, yet spares nothing in describing the horror of the execution-style slaying and the flawed psyches of those involved."-Houston Post

"The most powerful aspect of Innocence Lost is Stowers's unusually skilled development of the drama's main characters...but most of all, the book is about the loss of innocence of a typical American small town, and the heartbreaking knowledge that a once pristine and comfortable society has been somehow and forever violated by an insidious enemy, powerful and evil. Innocence Lost is well-written and thoroughly researched. It is an important book because it warns every reader...about how out of touch with our own children it is possible to be."-Dallas Times Herald

"Carlton Stowers, whose 1986 true-crime book, Careless Whispers, won an Edgar Award, uses the same gripping narrative style to tell of the events leading up to and following the execution-style killing of Raffield...provocative."-The San Antonio Express-News

"A disquieting, involving account."-Publishers Weekly

"Succinct and suspenseful."-Kirkus Reviews

"Stowers explains what can happen, and how and why, when kids run amok."
-Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

"The sensitivity and skill Carlton Stowers possesses puts him a rung above other true crime writers...disturbing."-Waco Citizen (Texas)

"A disquieting story told in a splendid narrative style that matches the whispery, Southern drawl of its author...chilling."-Los Angeles Daily Journal

"An excellent job."-Midlothian Mirror

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Carlton Stowers

  • Carlton Stowers is the author of more than two dozen works of nonfiction, including the Edgar Award-winning Careless Whispers, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Innocence Lost, and Open Secrets. He and his wife live in Cedar Hill, Texas.





    Available Formats and Book Details

    Innocence Lost

    Carlton Stowers

    • e-Book



    St. Martin's Paperbacks