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Local Author Hitting The Road To Tell Story Of Bergen County Rapist, Murderer

Former Ramsey mayor Richard Muti will begin his second book tour and lecture series on his latest book Tuesday. He'll be at the Glen Rock Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

A Ramsey author is about to embark on a 12-stop tour promoting the true crime book he co-wrote.

Richard Muti, former mayor of Ramsey and current member of the borough’s board of education, will tour beginning Tuesday to promote The Charmer: The True Story of Robert Reldan—Rapist, Murderer, and Millionaire—and the Women who Fell Victim to his Allure.

He'll be appearing at the Glen Rock Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 7-9 p.m.

For many local readers, Muti says, the Bergen County-based story is “chilling. This story played out here.”

Robert Reldan was convicted of raping and murdering two women in the 1970’s, and is still serving a life sentence in the New Jersey State Prison. In The Charmer, authors Muti and Charles Buckley, the prosecutor who got the conviction against Reldan, take readers through Reldan’s criminal history, which they say he began at age 16.

“Reldan looked like the all-American boy,” Muti said. “He was like the kid next door that you’d love to see your daughter go to prom with. Instead, he was actually a serial assaulter of women and a vicious killer. But, he had this ability to win people over.”

That ability was not limited to women that he assaulted and later killed, Muti said. “This story is a lesson in the holes in our justice system. How, early on in his criminal career, he got a lot of free passes.” Though Muti said he feels the criminal justice system is “more stringent” now than when Reldan was charming his way around it, “there is no question that something similar could happen today.”

Muti, who has authored two other published books and numerous op-ed pieces in local and national newspapers, said he was “very interested” in researching this case when Buckley presented him with the idea of co-authoring a true crime book telling Reldan’s story. “I was shocked that no one had written about this case before.”

In preparation for the book, Muti said he interviewed those involved with the case, families of the victims, and poured through piles of court documents. “We worked on this for over three years,” he said.

One thing he did not do in preparation was interview Reldan, who is now 72. “Part of my research was reading his depositions. They were filled with his versions of convoluted facts,” Muti said. “I knew that if I interviewed Reldan, he’d lie. And, I didn’t want to publicize those lies.”

Muti and Buckley will make the following local stops along their book tour:

  • Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 8 p.m., Fort Lee Museum, 1588 Palisade Ave., Fort Lee
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 7-9 p.m., Glen Rock Public Library, 315 Rock Rd., Glen Rock
  • Thursday, October 18, 2012, 7-9 p.m., Cresskill Public Library, 53 Union Ave., Cresskill
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 7-9 p.m., William E. Dermody Free Public Library, 420 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt
  • Thursday, October 25, 2012, 7-8:45 p.m., Tenafly Public Library, 100 Riveredge Rd., Tenafly
  • Sunday, November 4, 2013, 2-4 p.m., Demarest Public Library, 90 Hardenburgh Ave., Demarest
  • Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 7-9 p.m., Waldwick Public Library, 19 East Prospect Street, Waldwick
  • Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 7-8:45 p.m., River Vale Public Library, 412 River Vale Road, River Vale
  • Sunday, January 6, 2013, 2-4 p.m., Fort Lee Public Library, 320 Main St., Fort Lee
  • Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 7-9 p.m., Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights, 320 Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights
  • Monday, January 14, 2013, 7-8:45 p.m., Edgewater Free Public Library, 49 Hudson Avenue, Edgewater
  • Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7-9 p.m., Dixon Homestead Library, 180 Washington Ave, Dumont

The authors already spoke at the Ramsey Public Library during a book tour over the summer, which included 14 other stops. For more information on The Charmer, which is available in paperback, eBook, here.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

longtimer66 October 11, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Interesting article -- made me want to read the book. Seems to have many parallels to the Edgar Smith case, which was a big local and national story at the time. In a strange coincidence, another Buckley (William F) helped Smith after years on death row. Some overview info on Smith case is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Smith

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