Breaking Point

Diversion Books
6
Free sample

From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Fortune Hunter, “a classic true-crime tapestry” (Ron Franscell, bestselling author of The Darkest Night).
 
Andrea Yates, a suburban Houston mother of five, horrified the nation on June 20, 2001, when she dialed 911 and said, “I killed my children.”
 
While her husband Rusty, a NASA engineer, was at work, Andrea filled the family bathtub with water and systematically drowned their children, ages six months to seven years. As her eldest child lay lifeless in the bathtub and the bodies of her four youngest rested in her bed, Andrea, a devoted Christian wife and former nurse, called the police to confess her sin.
 
The investigations by the prosecutors, by the defense, and by the press delved deeper into Andrea’s mind and history, revealing a disturbing web of suicidal tendencies, depression, and psychoses. While her husband struggled between his overwhelming grief and his loyalty to his incarcerated wife, an outraged nation asked one question after another: How could anyone do this? What would drive a mother to kill her children?
 
Drawing from hundreds of hours of interviews, court testimony, and medical records, including new access to psychiatric and legal files, Breaking Point traces the story of an all-American family struggling with the darkness of a mental illness that twisted a loving mother into a killer obsessed with hellfire.
 
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About the author

New York Times bestselling author Suzy Spencer wrote the controversial true crime book "Wasted," a 1999 Violet Crown Book Award finalist, as well as" Wages of Sin," Spencer is the recipient of two Chilton Editorial Awards and a three-time semi-finalist in the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Awards. She holds a Masters of Professional Writing and a Masters of Business Administration, both from the University of Southern California. She lives in Texas.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Diversion Books
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Published on
Oct 18, 2015
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Pages
332
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ISBN
9781626818217
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
True Crime / General
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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One mother's son is killed in a tragic accident; another's daughter murders two people in a wild rage. From these bitter facts, Beverly Lowry--the first child's mother and an acclaimed novelist--has fashioned a memoir in which the objectivity of true-crime reportage resonates with acute feeling and even, ultimately, with redemption.

In Houston, in the early morning hours of June 13, 1983, twenty-three-year-old Karla Faye Tucker showed up with two friends at the apartment of a man they hated, Jerry Lynn Dean. Fired by a lost weekend of drugs and bravado, during which their grievances against Jerry Lynn became magnified out of all proportion, they had it in mind to steal motorcycle parts. Maybe to scare him a little. But by the time they left, both Dean and his chance, one-night companion had been murdered with such thorough wickedness as to ensure Karla's place among the handful of young white women on Death Row in this country.

The next fall, outside of Austin, Beverly Lowry's son Peter, after an increasingly troubled adolescence, was back in high school and back living at home when he was killed--an unsolved hit-and-run. He was eighteen. The despair that descended into Lowry's life seemed without end, but eventually and almost inevitably she became obsessed by the beautiful young killer whose photograph she'd seen in a Houston newspaper. "If Peter hadn't been killed," she writes, "I would not have made that first trip up to see Karla Faye."

In Crossed Over, Beverly Lowry reveals how Tucker, a full-time addict and part-time prostitute, had been dealt this fate as a child--only to pursue it relentlessly herself in Houston's violent subculture of bikers and outlaws. Working backward from the murders, Lowry delves into character and motive, looking for reasons that might explain these unthinkable acts. But this is also an account of the unlikely and powerful friendship between a writer--a mother--coming to terms with her loss and a young woman who, even under the sentence of death, begins the life she'd never before had a chance to lead.

Crossed Over is a story of crime and punishment, but more importantly it explores the connection between grief and hope, and between different kinds of victims. In the end, what Beverly Lowry uncovers is the unexpected ability of life, however blighted the circumstances, to assert its best, most urgent claim upon us.


From the Hardcover edition.
The true story of Theresa Knorr, the twisted child abuser who murdered her daughters—with the help of her sons—told by a former New York Times reporter.
 
In June 1985, Theresa Cross Knorr dumped her daughter Sheila’s body in California’s desolate High Sierra. She had beaten Sheila unconscious in their Sacramento apartment days earlier, then locked her in a closet to die. But this wasn’t the first horrific crime she’d committed against her own children.
 
The previous summer, Knorr had shot Sheila’s sister Suesan, then ordered her son to dig the bullet out of the girl’s back with a knife to hide the evidence. The infection that resulted led to delirium—at which point Knorr and her two sons drove Suesan into the mountains, doused her with gasoline, and set her on fire.
 
It would be almost a decade before her youngest daughter, Terry Knorr Graves, revealed her mother’s history of unfathomable violence. At first, she was met with disbelief by law enforcement and even her own therapist. But eventually, the truth about her monstrous abuse emerged—and here, an award-winning journalist details the jealousy, rage, and domineering behavior that escalated into homicide and shattered a family. 
 
A former reporter for the New York Times and Los AngelesTimes and the author of true-crime classics including Angel of Darkness, about serial killer Randy Kroft, and Blood Cold, about Robert Blake and Bonny Lee Bakley, Dennis McDougal reveals the shocking depths of depravity behind a case that made headlines across the nation.
 
From R. Barri Flowers, award-winning criminologist and the bestselling author of Murder at the Pencil Factory, Murder Chronicles, Murder During the Chicago World’s Fair, Serial Killer Couples, and The Sex Slave Murders, comes the gripping historical true crime anthology, Jealous Rage: Stunning True Tales of Intimates, Passion, and Murder (Volume 1).

Each chapter will chronicle a riveting, real life, age-old murder case involving jealousy, betrayal, and homicidal fury between spouses, lovers, and others caught in the fatal crossfire, and justice being served or not.

Chapter 1: Murder of the U.S. Attorney: Congressman Sickles’ Crime of Passion in 1859

Chapter 2: Murder of the Doctor’s Wife: The 1867 Crimes of Bridget Durgan

Chapter 3: Murder of the French Lover: The Killing of Madame Lassimonne in 1892

Chapter 4: Murderess on the Loose: The 1922 Hammer Wrath of Clara Phillips

Chapter 5: Killer of Her Husband’s Secretary: The 1935 Love Triangle Ire of Etta Reisman

Chapter 6: Murdered by the King of Western Swing: The Beating Death of Ella Mae Cooley in 1961

Chapter 7: Murder of the Horse Trainer’s Rival: The 1978 Bitter Breakup of Buddy Jacobson and the Model

Chapter 8: Murder of a Star Quarterback in 2009: The Tragic Tale of Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi

Bonus material includes two complete and captivating historical true crime shorts, The Amityville Massacre: The DeFeo Family's Nightmare, and Missing or Murdered: The Disappearance of Agnes Tufverson; as well as excerpts from the author’s bestselling books The Sex Slave Murders: The True Story of Serial Killers Gerald & Charlene Gallego; The Dreadful Acts of Jack the Ripper and Other True Tales of Serial Murder and Prostitutes; Murder During the Chicago World's Fair: The Killing of Little Emma Werner; and Murders in the United States: Crimes, Killers, and Victims of the Twentieth Century.

The true story of Barbara Hoffman is a tale of money, men, and the Madison, Wisconsin, massage parlor where a biochemistry major turned into a murderer.
 
On a freezing Christmas morning, a distraught young man named Gerald Davies led Madison police to Tomahawk Ridge, where they found the body of Harold Berge, naked, bloody, and beaten. Davies insisted that he hadn’t killed the man, but that he and his fiancée had simply buried the corpse in a snowbank.
 
The investigation confirmed that the victim had died in the apartment of Barbara Hoffman—a young woman who had dropped out of the University of Wisconsin and had worked at Jan’s Health Studio, a local massage parlor. She and Davies, whom she met at Jan’s, had recently become engaged.
 
The circumstances were suspicious already. But when the police discovered that Berge was Hoffman’s ex-lover, that he had signed over his house and an insurance policy to her—and that Davies had also made her his beneficiary—they began to suspect that Davies might also be in danger . . .
 
The police kept him under watch, but eventually had to stop surveillance. Soon after, Davies turned up dead in his bathtub, a Valium bottle nearby, in an apparent suicide. But, an accomplished student of chemistry, Hoffman knew how tricky it could be to detect cyanide poisoning. It would take a dedicated effort by detectives to sort out the truth about the highly intelligent masseuse, her work in the shadowy local sex trade, and the real circumstances that led two of her clients to their deaths.
 
Winter of Frozen Dreams is the full story of the case that would become a sensational televised trial and inspire a film of the same name starring Thora Birch. It’s a “snappy read” by an author with a “talent for sleuthy description and psychological insight” (Kirkus Reviews).
 
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