Jenny Friel is a journalist and features writer with the Irish Mail on Sunday (formerly Ireland on Sunday). She lives in Dublin.
When Tom Nevin was brutally murdered in Jack White's Inn on the morning of 19 March 1996 there was widespread mourning for the man known as a 'gentle giant'. And none seemed as grief-stricken as his widow, Catherine. She stood by the graveside holding a single red rose, the classic symbol of a lost love. But even as that picture occupied the front page of the nation's newspapers, the rumours had started.
Four years later Catherine Nevin stood in the dock and listened impassively as a jury found her guilty of murdering her husband, and guilty on three counts of soliciting others to murder. The trial had kept the entire country enthralled, as every day more bizarre stories emerged: contract killers, money laundering, the IRA, sexual affairs, plastic surgery, contacts in high places. It had all the ingredients of a bestselling thriller, but this was real life, and with a real victim.
The Black Widow is the story of a woman who wanted it all and didn't care how she got it. Niamh O'Connor, a journalist who sat through every day of the record-breaking trial, explores the personality behind the glamorous mask, the real motives for the murder, and, in a series of revealing interviews, unravels the web of intrigue, deception and violence that brought the woman who once gave deportment classes to schoolchildren to the cells of Mountjoy.
Behind the facade of normality lay a psychopathic mind struggling to control its homicidal urges. Having seduced and married his sweetheart Mary Gough, Whelan immediately began planning her brutal murder.
While his young wife dreamed of a love-filled marriage, Whelan searched the internet for information on serial killers and the methods they used to strangle their victims.
Compelling and disturbing, this book reveals how Whelan murdered his wife to claim a hefty life insurance policy, and how he faked his own suicide when he became the prime suspect for the murder.
Till Death Do Us Part offers a fascinating insight into the true motivation behind one of Irelands most notorious murders, and is a horrifying story of love, lust, revenge and murder - all the more shocking because every word is true.
Six years later, and despite an extensive investigation, the killer of Sophie is still at largeand the file remains open. Death in December is the fascinating and compelling story of how an independent and beautiful woman sought peace and sanctuary and instead found violence and the ultimate terror. It gives a chilling profile of the killer whom pyschologists believe will strike again.
Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer -- the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew -- Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.
But something about her story was fishy, and detectives began to suspect Diane was lying. Was it possible that she was the shooter? Absolutely not, her supporters insisted. Diane, they said, adored her children. When investigators suggested a motive, Diane was indignant. Not only would she never harm her own children, she certainly would never do it for the reason detectives suggested. Was the attractive blonde the wonderful mother she claimed to be? Or was she a woman so obsessed, she would kill her own young to achieve her goal?
Ann Rule's critically acclaimed SMALL SACRIFICES, was an instant bestseller, and later Farrah Fawcett was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Downs in the TV miniseries based on Rule's book.