On December 26, 1997, near the affluent community of Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, a house went up in flames. In it was the shy, beloved minister's wife, Dawn Hacheney. When the fire was extinguished, investigators found only her charred remains. Her husband, Nick, was visibly devastated by the loss. What investigators failed to note, however, was that Dawn's lungs didn't contain smoke. Was she dead before the fire began?
So begins this true-crime story, which is unlike any other. It investigates Nick Hacheney, a philandering minister who had been carrying on with several women in the months before and just after his wife's death. He would be convicted for the murder five years to the day after the crime. From one of the foremost names in true crime, this is a gripping and truly unforgettable story of a man whose charisma and desire rocked an entire community.
©2010 Gregg Olsen (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
“Olsen is a top-notch writer.” (Michael Connelly)
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
This story took place in my home county, and I'd even met the anti-hero of this book, Nick Hackney, many years before this all took place, but I had no idea how twisted and shocking all the details of this case really were. Since finishing this book last week I can't stop thinking about it, and have had amazing discussions with people who knew Nick very well.
The story of the murder and arson following it are very interesting, but even better is what happened in the five years between the murder and Nick's eventual arrest. He used the sympathy-factor of his wife's "tragic death" in a fire to cajole what seemed like every woman he was close to into a sexual relationship. If it would have been a fictional story it would have seemed too ridiculous to believe, but the fact it is a true story made this a story I couldn't stop listening to.
If you enjoy listening to true-crime stories this book is a must-listen. Like all true-crime books, you can't say it's "awesome", because real lives were destroyed, but this story is a fascinating look into the persuasive power a diabolical liar can posses over his unsuspecting victims.
Say something about yourself!
I must say, I enjoyed this book. Sad to say that because a woman was murdered. What I mean was I am fascinated that people behave in such awful ways. Yes, some of them were incredibly stupid. Others were vain. While it was hard believe real people could be so ridiculous, the author made it all work in my mind. I found this one compelling for that reason. Sad but true.
I liked this book and I really enjoyed Dennis Boutsikaris' performance. However, I thought the "third book" should have been drawn out a bit more. There was so much time spent going into how Nick Hacheney got his claws into so many of the church women and how the events after his wife's death unfolded but then it seemed like the author lost interest once Nick's schemes began to unravel and wrapped the book up too quickly.
I would have liked it more if the author have delved into the investigation and trial instead of just giving us a perfunctory epilogue.
My heart goes out to Jimmy Glass though. After poor Dawn Hacheney he really got put through the wringer and deserved much better than what he got from his so called family and friends.
Boring story about a boring man and the gullible or egotistical people around him. This is a story about miserable people lacking common sense allowing a group of putzes to lead them astray despite the pull of their intuition. Couldn't even finish it.
"Great, fascinating story"
I've listened to this time and time again. Its a story of how a community can be twisted by one man who is a plauseable devil. The effect that he has on many others, he not only destroys the life of his wife, but he nearly destroys the lives of those around him. The lesson - we must hold all those people to account, even those that say they have 'the truth'.
I was interested enough to research this case after listening to Gregg's story - so a great yarn, well told and with the right outcome eventually.
I recommend it to people who are interested in crime and the human condition.
"AN UNBELIEVABLE USE OF RELIGION"
It never fails to astonish me the things people will do in the name of God. And this story reminds me of that all over again. Truly intelligent people can be convinced to do things, unspeakable acts, that under normal circumstances would be beyond their nature.
This tale once again demonstrated this phenomena. It is written in such a way that you are left with a better idea of what people were thinking as they were drawn into the unbelievable. And how one man, just one person can can change, disrupt and destroy so many lives.
I found the book captivating, and would say it was definitely a listen/read true crime fans would like.
"An OK read."
Yes. It was an interesting enough story.
I find human nature fascinating. This story relates to individuals who professed a strongly moral stance, but whose behaviours were the antithesis of religious morality. The story reveals how the minister Nick Hacheney systematically used his position to further his own aims, and how the church community allowed and even facilitated him, with fatal results.
Least interesting: in some places perhaps a bit repetitive.
A little lack lustre, but competent
An interesting read, but you cannot beat the queen of true crime Anne Rule.
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