In Creekstone, Texas, a small, quiet suburb of Houston, football was king and David Temple was a prince. A former high school and college gridiron-star-turned-coach, he had a fairy-tale marriage to bright, vivacious Belinda Lucas, a teacher at the local high school who was so warm and popular her colleagues called her "The Sunshine Girl". The fairy tale ended savagely on January 11, 1999, when Belinda's lifeless body was discovered in a closet. Her skull had been shattered by a shotgun blast at close range. She was eight months pregnant.
"WELL DONE STORY IN A DECLINING GENRE"
Bright, attractive, and both from good families, University of Texas college student Colton Pitonyak and vibrant redhead Jennifer Cave had the world at their beckoning. Cave, an ex-cheerleader, had just landed an exciting new job, while a big-money scholarship to UT's prestigious business school lured Pitonyak to Austin. Yet the former altar boy had a dark, unpredictable streak. When Jennifer failed to show up for work on August 18, 2005, her mother became frightened. Sharon Cave's search led to Colton's West Campus apartment, where Jennifer's family discovered a scene worthy of the grisliest horror movie.
"Not my cup of tea."
The officer responding to a 911 call at one of Houston's hippest high-rises expected the worst. After all, domestic violence situations can be unpredictable. But nothing could've prepared him for what he found: a beautiful woman drenched in blood, an older man lying dead on the floor, and a cobalt blue suede stiletto with tufts of white hair stuck to its five-and-a-half-inch heel.
At first, Linda Bergstrom's marriage to her husband James was idyllic. They were young and in love; he was about to enter the Navy and she was eager to start a family. But it wasn't long before the dream exploded. James became abusive and violent, prone to sudden bursts of anger, long silences, and unexplained disappearances. But Linda vowed to hold on, despite the pain and fear...and her disturbing suspicions about her husband's secret life.
"Good effort, needs polishing"
A small town, East Texas love triangle ends in a brutal execution. A teenage girl guns down her loving mother. A drag queen falls in love with a beautiful young woman, resulting in a horrific murder. A woman left for dead by a serial killer refuses to be a victim. These are just four of the cases explored in Murder, I Write, an exciting new anthology by critically acclaimed true crime author Kathryn Casey.
To his parishioners, minister Matt Baker seemed a pious and good man. To his wife, Kari, he was a devoted husband and caring father. Always sunny and vivacious, Kari never questioned their frequent relocations from one small Texas Baptist church to another. Even when tragedy struck, Kari remained strong - until one day, inexplicably, she took her own life.
The day before Halloween 2004 was the last day on Earth for respected, well-liked college professor Fred Jablin. That morning, a neighbor discovered his body lying in a pool of blood in the driveway of Jablin's Virginia home. Police immediately turned their attentions to the victim's ex-wife, Piper, a petite, pretty Texas lawyer who had lost a bitter custody battle and would do anything to get her kids back. But Piper was in Houston, 1,000 miles away, at the time of the slaying and couldn't possibly have been the killer...could she?
Best-selling authors Gregg Olsen and Kathryn Casey take a new look at some of the Southwest's most heinous crimes, including drag queen Cliff Youens (who went by the name Brandi West on stage), convicted of stabbing his/her girlfriend 39 times; Hurley Fontenot, a junior high school principal accused of killing his rival, the football coach, over the love of a school secretary; and Tanya Reid, the first Munchhausen Syndrome By Proxy mother most Americans ever heard of.
Trophy wife Celeste Beard wasn't satisfied with a luxurious lifestyle and her rich Austin media mogul husband's devotion - so she took his life! The wife: She wanted everything, but her husband stood in the way. The lesbian lover: A love-struck, middle-aged woman with a history of mental illness, she would do anything to set Celeste free. The beauty salon receptionist: Celeste hired her to tie up the loose ends ... in a second conspiracy to commit murder.
Over a three-decade span, more than 20 women - many teenagers - died mysteriously in the small towns bordering Interstate 45, a 50-mile stretch of highway running from Houston to Galveston. The victims were strangled, shot, or savagely beaten.
"Creepy creepy creepy"
Problems had always followed Susan White, but when she remarried and moved to Houston's posh suburbs, she thought the past was behind her - until she met a deputy sheriff named Kent McGowen who would soon become her worst nightmare. McGowen was an aggressive cop with a spotty record. When Susan rebuffed his advances, she claimed he stalked and harassed her, using her troubled teenage son as bait. And then, in an act of arrogance and revenge, he made good on his threats, setting her up for the kill.
On a quiet afternoon in the park, four-year-old Joey plays in the sandbox, when a stranger approaches looking for his puppy. While Joey's mom, Crystal, talks on her cell phone, the stranger convinces the child to help search. By the time Crystal turns around, her son has disappeared. Yet her reaction is odd, not what one would expect from a distraught mother. Is Crystal somehow involved in her son's abduction?
"Kathryn Casey Sarah Armstrong great listen!"
Profiler Sarah Armstrong knows what it's like to be in a sticky situation. As a single mother and one of the few female Rangers in Texas history, she has had to work twice as hard to rank among the best cops in the Lone Star State. But when mega-wealthy businessman Edward Lucas III is found murdered along with his mistress, their bodies posed in grotesque ways, Sara quickly senses that this will be the deadliest case of her career. While others focus the investigation on Lucas's estranged wife, Sarah disagrees.
Listeners loved Sarah Armstrong, the feisty and vulnerable profiler in Kathryn Casey's first mystery, Singularity. She's back in this second book in the series with her hands full with two cases at once: A persistent and potentially lethal stalker pursues pop mega-star Cassidy Collins, and a high-energy Houston businesswoman is found dead in her house. Though the businesswoman's death is being called a suicide, when Sarah is shown photographs of the scene, something seems off.
"entertaining but predictable."