A Matter of Conscience: Redemption of a Hometown Hero, Bobby Hoppe, is Released Today.

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This murder mystery mimics an Alfred Hitchcock tale, offering a twist the reader doesn’t expect

A Matter of Conscience: Redemption of a Hometown Hero, Bobby Hoppe, written by Sherry Hoppe, along with Dennie Burke is being released today, Monday, October 4. The true story of a 31-year-old unsolved murder is finally being told.

Chattanooga native Dr. Sherry Hoppe wrote the book about her husband to set the record straight. Bobby Hoppe, a Chattanooga high school and Auburn football star was accused of murder 31 years after it happened. Through reliving the dramatic trial, in which one of America’s great attorneys, Bobby Lee Cook, defended her husband with all the skill and wit he could muster, Hoppe tells the story of the mystery submerged in Hoppe’s conscience as he faced the consequences of that fateful July night back in 1957. In the weeks before his death in 2008, with Bobby’s blessing, Sherry began to write his story, pouring through trial transcripts, combing through boxes of old newspaper clippings and interviewing friends, family and witnesses.

No one in town wanted to believe the hometown hero was a killer, and the authorities turned their heads, allowing the case to become another unsolved homicide. But for Hoppe it was a moment seared into memory, plaguing his conscience constantly. He fled to Auburn, to the football field where he could exorcize his demons by running and hitting, and where his senior leadership helped lead the Tigers to the 1957 national championship. As years passed, Hoppe struggled to appear normal. No one saw into his dark conscience or knew he was always seeking penance, yet never able to forgive himself.

In a historic indictment, Hoppe was charged with first-degree murder 31 years later, although witnesses had died, police records had been lost, and memories had faded. Bobby Hoppe’s demons were exposed to the light—and his loved ones saw for the first time what lay hidden behind his stoic mask.

Fifty years have passed since that traumatic event, and mystery still surrounds Bobby Hoppe, his demons have been banished, but what really happened that

The authors will be speaking at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on Sunday, October 10 and will also be featured at events in six other Southern states.

Dr. Sherry Lee Hoppe was named president emeritus of Austin Peay State University in 2007 after serving there almost eight years. Well regarded for her visionary leadership, she was also president of two other colleges. She is co-author of Maxine Smith's Unwilling Pupils (University of Tennessee Press, 2007), the authorized biography of a civil rights leader. She has co-edited four published books (Jossey-Bass [2], Praeger, and Peter Lang) and authored eight chapters in three books. She served six years on the Commission on Colleges Executive Council and was active on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Board of Directors. Sherry lives in Chattanooga, where her hometown hero grew up.

Dennie B. Burke served 22 years as executive director of Public Relations and Marketing at Austin Peay State University, working as the spokesperson with the media as well as the editor/primary writer for the university’s national award-winning alumni magazine. For five years, she was an editor for South-Western Publishing Company, Cincinnati, subsidiary of Scott Foresman. A former president of the four-county Pennyroyal Arts Council, Dennie served on the Kentucky Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors. Dennie and her husband, Sam, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

For video on the case and to see more about this incredible story, go to

For more information, please go to http://www.wakestonepress.com. Contact: Nanette Noffsinger
Director, Public Relations , Wakestone Press; nanetten(at)WakestonePress(dot)com, 615-776-4230

Reaction to the Book -

“This murder mystery mimics an Alfred Hitchcock tale, offering a twist the reader doesn’t expect”

  • Chattanooga Times Free Press

“An amazing book...We highly recommend it as a truly intriguing read." - Kentucky New Era Newspaper

“Certain to be a blockbuster” - Chattanoogan.com

"I couldn't put the book down. It is an amazing story, absolutely riveting, one that is sure to end up as a movie. Even people who think they know what happened will be intrigued by the end of the book." - Gary Haskew, WGOW-FM Sportstalk Host

“Compelling and insightful, effectively showing the complexities of the trial and how it was handled” - Bobby Lee Cook, famed defense attorney who represented Bobby Hoppe

A Matter of Conscience, Redemption of a Hometown Hero will be released in October, 2010. Published by Wakestone Press, Nashville, Tennessee. Hardcover, ISBN: 9781609560010, US $27.99.

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