Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors: Ann Rule's Crime Files, Volume 16

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#1 New York Times bestselling author and queen of true crime Ann Rule’s sixteenth volume in her True Crime Files series, Deadly Neighbors delves into the unsolved case of a billionaire’s son mysteriously falling off a balcony to his death and more.

In July 2011, billionaire Jonah Shacknai’s Coronado, California, mansion was the setting for two horrifying deaths only days apart—his young son’s plunge from a balcony and his girlfriend’s ghastly hanging. What really happened? Baffling questions remain unanswered, as these cases were closed far too soon for hundreds of people; Rule looks at them now through the eyes of a relentless crime reporter. The second probe began in Utah when Susan Powell vanished in a 2009 blizzard. Her controlling husband, Josh, proved capable of a blind rage that was heartbreakingly fatal to his innocent small sons almost three years later in a tragedy that shocked America as the details unfolded. If anyone had detected the depth of depravity within Josh Powell, perhaps the family that loved and trusted him would have been saved. In these and seven other riveting cases, Ann Rule exposes the twisted truth behind the façades of Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors.

These doomed relationships are the focus of queen of true crime Ann Rule’s sixteenth all-new Crime Files collection. In these shattering inside views of both headlined and little-known homicides, Rule speaks for vulnerable victims who relied on the wrong people. She begins with two startling novella-length investigations.
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This New York Times bestseller—from “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews) and the author of The Stranger Beside Me—is a shocking tale of greed, sex, scandal, and murder on an isolated and eerie island in the Pacific Northwest.

With more than 50 million copies of her books in print—from her chilling personal account of knowing Ted Bundy to sixteen collections in her #1 bestselling Crime Files series—Ann Rule is a legendary true crime writer. Here, in Practice to Deceive, Rule unravels a shattering case of Christmastime murder off the coast of Washington State—presented with the clarity, authority, and emotional depth that Rule’s readers expect.

Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest. Accessible only by ferry, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansion—a single bullet between his eyes—the whole island was shocked. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel’s manner of death became homicide.

Brenna Douglas, Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. The couple owned the popular Just B’s salon. Brenna’s good friend Peggy Sue Thomas worked there, and Brenna complained often to her that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes. Married three times, hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale in which she’s played many roles, from aircraft mechanic to “drop-dead gorgeous” beauty queen as a former Ms. Washington. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.

Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive, a heart pounding true-crime tour de force.
From bestselling author Ann Rule comes the engrossing true story of two beautiful, loving women, and their murder by the man in their life—handsome, charming, rich, a man marked for unlimited success—but one who would never allow any woman to leave him, no matter what the provocation.

Jenn Corbin, a lovely, slim, brown-eyed blonde, appeared to have it all: two dear little boys, a posh home in one of the upscale suburbs of Atlanta, expensive cars, a plush houseboat, and a husband—Dr. Bart Corbin, a successful dentist—who was tall, handsome, and brilliant.

But gradually their seemingly idyllic life together began to crumble. There was talk of seeing a marriage counselor. Bart was distraught; Jenn seemed disenchanted. She needed to reach out to someone she could confide in—beyond her mother and her sisters. Then, just a few weeks before Christmas 2004, Jenn was found dead with a bullet in her head, a revolver beside her. From the position of the body her death appeared to be a suicide. But Gwinnett County detective Marcus Head was not totally convinced, nor was Jenn's family, who could not believe she would take her own life.

And how was this death related to another apparent suicide fourteen years earlier—that of Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn, a spectacularly beautiful dental student? A star athlete and homecoming queen in high school, Dolly later dated Bart Corbin in dental school. Was there a connection, or was the answer to be found in a secret—even dangerous—relationship Jenn Corbin was having outside her marriage? For Too Late to Say Goodbye, Ann Rule has interviewed virtually everyone in any way related to the story—the victims' families, police investigators, prosecutors, and sources from Georgia to Australia—to uncover the truth behind the headlines of these two sensational deaths. What emerges is an incredible tale of jealous rage; of stunning circumstantial and physical evidence that runs from the steamy to the macabre to almost-unheard-of forensic techniques; and of a tragic irony—a fateful discovery that motivated the killing. The definitive unraveling of one of the strangest murder investigations of our time, Too Late to Say Goodbye is perhaps the finest achievement of a truly great writer's career.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Nov 27, 2012
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Pages
544
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ISBN
9781451648300
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Language
English
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Genres
True Crime / Con Artists, Hoaxes & Deceptions
True Crime / General
True Crime / Murder / General
True Crime / Murder / Serial Killers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The “riveting” #1 New York Times bestseller: A true story of three wealthy families and the unbreakable ties of blood (Kirkus Reviews).
 
The first bodies found were those of a feisty millionaire widow and her daughter in their posh Louisville, Kentucky, home. Months later, another wealthy widow and her prominent son and daughter-in-law were found savagely slain in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mystified police first suspected a professional in the bizarre gangland-style killings that shattered the quiet tranquility of two well-to-do southern communities. But soon a suspicion grew that turned their focus to family.
 
The Sharps. The Newsoms. The Lynches. The only link between the three families was a beautiful, aristocratic young mother named Susie Sharp Newsom Lynch. Could this former child “princess” and fraternity sweetheart have committed such barbarous crimes? And what about her gun-loving first cousin and lover, Fritz Klenner, son of a nationally renowned doctor?
 
In this tale of three families connected by marriage and murder, of obsessive love and bitter custody battles, Jerry Bledsoe recounts the shocking events that ultimately took nine lives, building to a truly horrifying climax that will leave you stunned.
 
“Recreates . . . one of the most shocking crimes of recent years.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Absorbing suspense.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“Astonishing . . . Brilliantly chronicled.” —Detroit Free Press
 
“An engrossing southern gothic sure to delight fans of the true-crime genre. Bledsoe maintains the suspense with a sure hand.” —The Charlotte Observer
After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.

Cullen's murderous career in the world's most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When, in March of 2006, Charles Cullen was marched from his final sentencing in an Allentown, Pennsylvania, courthouse into a waiting police van, it seemed certain that the chilling secrets of his life, career, and capture would disappear with him. Now, in a riveting piece of investigative journalism nearly ten years in the making, journalist Charles Graeber presents the whole story for the first time. Based on hundreds of pages of previously unseen police records, interviews, wire-tap recordings and videotapes, as well as exclusive jailhouse conversations with Cullen himself and the confidential informant who helped bring him down, THE GOOD NURSE weaves an urgent, terrifying tale of murder, friendship, and betrayal.

Graeber's portrait of Cullen depicts a surprisingly intelligent and complicated young man whose promising career was overwhelmed by his compulsion to kill, and whose shy demeanor masked a twisted interior life hidden even to his family and friends. Were it not for the hardboiled, unrelenting work of two former Newark homicide detectives racing to put together the pieces of Cullen's professional past, and a fellow nurse willing to put everything at risk, including her job and the safety of her children, there's no telling how many more lives could have been lost.

In the tradition of In Cold Blood, THE GOOD NURSE does more than chronicle Cullen's deadly career and the breathless efforts to stop him; it paints an incredibly vivid portrait of madness and offers a penetrating look inside America's medical system. Harrowing and irresistibly paced, this book will make you look at medicine, hospitals, and the people who work in them, in an entirely different way.

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