Kent State graduate comes back for book talk

Britney Beaman

Janis Froelich discussed her book about “Golf. Murder. Love.”

Kent State graduate Janis Froelich visited the Kent Free Library yesterday to talk about her book, “My Life Looking back at a Murder.”

In the book, Froelich tells the story of her coworker’s murder in 1975, one year after the two became friends as they worked temporarily for the 57th PGA Tournament in Akron in 1974.

Linda McLain, the victim, began to show signs of distress at work around Christmas time, Froelich said. A couple months later, in February, McLain told Froelich how mean her husband Tom was to her. One day, McLain came back from a lunch date with Tom after some marriage counseling; she was sweaty and upset.

Because Tom’s behavior had not improved, Froelich gave McLain some advice.

“Being passive isn’t the answer,” Froelich said she told McLain.

That night in 1975, as the couple’s three children slept soundly in their bedrooms, Tom stabbed his wife to death. Froelich said police reports showed that Tom mentioned to police that McLain had told him she “had enough of this” the night he killed her.

Froelich wanted to write this story for years, and with motivational help from her reporter friends, she completed the book.

“My biggest surprise is what a fresh power my past has over me,” Froelich said.

This may explain why Froelich felt the need to write “My Life Looking Back at a Murder.”

During her talk, she mentioned that speaking with McLain’s kids would be the hardest.

“I gave their mother advice and we all know how that turned out,” Froelich said, as she sighed as though she wish she hadn’t given the advice.

The author donates the proceeds from her book to women shelter groups, which is her way of honoring McLain.

“The whole idea was to donate money in Linda’s name,” Froelich said.

Froelich graduated from Kent State in 1968 and is a past editor of The Daily Kent Stater. After college, she reported for The Akron Beacon Journal, the St. Petersburg Times and other media sources.

Froelich’s next event will be Wednesday at Our Lady of the Elms in Akron.

Contact Britney Beaman at [email protected].