A wealthy and well-connected legal ace and the proud owner of a champion show horse, Larry McNabney had every reason to love his life. But when he disappeared in September 2001, his wife, Elisa, claimed he joined a cult.
When Larry’s body was found in a shallow grave three months later, Elisa was already gone. In a red convertible Jaguar, her brown hair dyed blond, Mrs. McNabney was speeding toward a new life in Florida—and a brand new identity.
Who was Elisa McNabney? Beautiful, seductive, and ruthless, she had thirty-eight aliases and a rap sheet a mile long. Carlton Smith, coauthor of the true crime classic The Search for the Green River Killer, reveals one shocking surprise after another in this harrowing tale of broken vows and deadly betrayal.
In the 1980s and 1990s, forty-nine women in the Seattle area were brutally murdered, their bodies dumped along the Green River and Pacific Highway South in Washington State. Despite an exhaustive investigation—even serial killer Ted Bundy was consulted to assist with psychological profiling—the sadistic killer continued to elude authorities for nearly twenty years.
Then, in 2001, after mounting suspicion and with DNA evidence finally in hand, King County police charged a fifty-two-year-old truck painter, Gary Ridgway, with the murders. His confession and the horrific details of his crimes only added fuel to the notoriety of the Green River Killer.
Journalists Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen covered the murders for the Seattle Times from day one, receiving a Pulitzer Prize nomination for their work. They wrote the first edition of this book before the police had their man. Revised after Ridgway’s conviction and featuring chilling photographs from the case, The Search for the Green River Killer is the ultimate authoritative account of the Pacific Northwest killing spree that held a nation spellbound—and continues to horrify and fascinate, spawning dramatizations and documentaries of a demented killer who seemed unstoppable for decades.
Over the course of seven months in 1988, eleven women disappeared off the streets of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a gloomy, drug-addled coastal town that was once the whaling capital of the world. Nine turned up dead. Two were never found. And the perpetrator remains unknown to this day.
How could such a thing happen? How, in what was once one of America’s richest cities, could the authorities let their most vulnerable citizens down this badly? As Carlton Smith, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his coverage of the Green River Killer case, demonstrates in this riveting account, it was the inability of police officers and politicians alike to set aside their personal agendas that let a psychopath off the hook.
In Killing Season, Smith takes readers into a close-knit community of working-class men and women, an underworld of prostitution and drug abuse, and the halls of New England law enforcement to tell the story of an epic failure of justice.
Stunningly, police arrested Dennis Rader, the president of his church board and the father of two. As a shocked community watched, evidence began to pile up. Then Rader coldly described how he went about "his projects" as the families of his victims relived the horrific scenes this supposed pillar of the community had unleashed on their loved ones.
From the tricks he used to enter his victims' homes to the puzzles he sent the media and the key role his own daughter may have played in his arrest, The BTK Murders is the definitive story of the BTK killer. He was, as one victim's family member called him, "a black hole inside the shell of a human being"—and the worst American serial killer since Ted Bundy.
Randy Roth was handsome, hardworking, kind, and in top physical shape. But for all his charm and good looks, he was seemingly cursed with the ladies. His first marriage ended in divorce before the couple’s fifth anniversary; his second wife plunged to her death during a hike; and his third wife left him after less than five months.
But when Roth’s fourth wife, Cynthia, drowned in an apparent speedboating accident in Washington State’s Lake Sammamish just weeks after their first anniversary, a pattern of suspicious behavior finally caught up to him. As Roth set about collecting on a hefty insurance payout, the authorities were on to his game.
Roth had been careful—and so close to getting away with it. But, as chronicled by Seattle Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize finalist Carlton Smith, his lies were about to come crashing down around him.
Watkins' body was found in a steamer trunk near the Appalachian Trail. Half-naked and strangled, he remained unidentified for more than six years. Meanwhile, Nancy cashed his Social Security checks and opened new lines of credit under his name. By the time the police tracked her down, she had committed bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and more. New York Times bestselling author Carlton Smith takes you inside the greed, the gambling, and one gruesome murder—to question the very nature of evil...
Kathleen Savio was married to Drew Peterson for eleven years before filing for divorce in 2003. The next year, she was found dead in her bathtub. Her drowning appeared to be an accident—and for years, no one had reason to question it. But when Peterson's next wife, Stacy—thirty years younger—went missing, the tough-talking and wise-cracking former Illinois cop came under suspicion....
With Stacy Peterson missing—and presumed dead—authorities exhumed Kathleen Savio's body, looking for answers. A new autopsy pointed to homicide, and a 2002 letter was revealed in which Savio wrote that Drew, "knows how to manipulate the system, and his next step is to take my children away. Or kill me instead." He was arrested for Kathleen's murder, and is a prime suspect in Stacy's disappearance, Peterson continues to protest his innocence. New York Times bestselling author Carlton Smith digs deep into the mystery behind the two Peterson wives—and sheds some light on one of the most complex crime cases in modern American history.
Michele married Yelenic in 1997. But by 2002, the relationship fell apart...and what followed was a bitter, three-year-long battle in which Michele made demands for Yelenic's money and even accused him—falsely, it would later be shown—of sexual abuse. Michele began dating Kevin Foley, a Pennsylvania State Trooper. When, in 2006, Yelenic was found murdered—slashed to death in his own home—Foley was the prime suspect.
At the time of Yelenic's death, Michele was listed as beneficiary on more than $1 million in insurance benefits. Did Foley believe Michele stood to inherit this money? Or did this well-known hot-head act alone? This is a shocking true story of greed, corruption, and cold-blooded murder.
Police had a hunch that Jeff was responsible for the massacre, but they didn't have enough evidence to convict. The case went cold...until, more than a decade later, when law officials resolved to finally try to unravel the truth about Jeff and to establish a motive—that he was angry toward his father for grounding him on prom night. Then it would be up to prosecutors to prove that Jeff was responsible for THE PROM NIGHT MURDERS
On a picturesque street in Sacramento County, California, three healthy saplings stand side by side. But what they symbolize are the deaths of three innocent people—two of them children. The man who took their lives, then planted trees in their honor, was their own husband and father.
Hearts went out to Jack Barron when his wife, Irene, died mysteriously in her sleep. Soon after, his two young children were also found dead in their beds. Barron claimed they suffered from the same rare genetic disorder as their mother. But when his fifty-two-year-old mother died, also of asphyxiation in her sleep, law enforcement officials finally took action: The fatal pattern was impossible to ignore.
Was this “devoted” father really a heartless murderer? Did he suffer from a bizarre syndrome known as Munchausen by proxy, whereby a parent kills a child to gain sympathy? With firsthand interviews and exclusive inside information, author Carlton Smith paints a chilling portrait of a man driven to commit the most unspeakable of acts.