Archive | True Crime

The Doomsday Mother

Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family

John Glatt

St. Martin’s Press

 

 

perfect father_3DAt first, the residents of Kauai Beach Resort took little notice of their new neighbors. The glamorous blonde and her tall husband fit the image of the ritzy gated community. The couple seemed to keep to themselves—until the police knocked on their door with a search warrant. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell had fled to Hawaii in the midst of being investigated for the disappearance of Lori’s children back in Idaho—Tylee and JJ—who hadn’t been seen alive in five months.

For years, Lori Vallow had lived a life of devotion to her children and her Mormon faith. But when her path crossed with Chad Daybell, a religious zealot who taught his followers how to prepare for the end-times, the tumultuous relationship transformed her into someone unrecognizable. As authorities searched for Lori’s children, they uncovered more suspicious deaths with links to both Lori and Chad, including the death of Lori’s third and fourth husbands, her brother, and Chad’s wife. In June 2020, the gruesome remains of JJ and Tylee were discovered on Chad’s property. In a shocking development, horrifying statements revealed that the couple’s fanatical beliefs had convinced them the children had become zombies.

Bestselling author and journalist John Glatt takes readers deeper into the devastating crimes of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell in an attempt to unravel the lethal relationship of this doomsday couple.

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Golden Boy

A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite

John Glatt

St. Martin’s Press

 

 

perfect father_3DBy all accounts, Thomas Gilbert Jr. led a charmed life. The son of a wealthy hedge fund manager and a financier, he grew up surrounded by a loving family and all the luxury an Upper East Side childhood could provide: education at the elite Buckley School and Deerfield Academy, summers in a sprawling seaside mansion in the Hamptons. He was strikingly handsome, moving with ease through glittering social circles and following in his father’s footsteps to Princeton. His friends saw him as a leader; his parents adored him.

But Tommy always felt different, and the cracks in his façade began to show. What started as quiet exhaustion turned into warning signs of OCD, increasing paranoia, and—most troubling—an indescribable, inexplicable hatred of his father. As his parents begged him to seek psychiatric help, Tommy pushed back by self-medicating with drugs and escalating violence. When a fire destroyed his recently-estranged best friend’s Hamptons home, Tommy was the prime suspect—but he was never charged. Just months later, he arrived at his parents’ apartment, calmly asked his mother to leave, and shot his father point-blank in the head.

Now, journalist John Glatt takes an in-depth look at the devastating crime that rocked Manhattan’s upper class. With exclusive access to sources close to Tommy, including his own mother, Glatt constructs the agonizing spiral of mental illness that led Thomas Gilbert Jr. to the ultimate unspeakable act.

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The Perfect Father

The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder

John Glatt

St. Martin’s Press

 

 

perfect father_3DIn the early morning hours of August 13th, 2018, Shanann Watts was dropped off at her Frederick, Colorado home by a colleague after returning from a business trip. It was the last time anyone would see her alive. By the next day, Shanann and her two young daughters, Bella and Celeste, had been reported missing, and her husband, Chris Watts, was appearing on the local news, pleading for his family’s safe return.

But Chris Watts already knew that he would never see his family again. Less than 24 hours after his desperate plea, Watts made a shocking confession to police: he had strangled his pregnant wife to death and smothered their daughters, dumping their bodies at a nearby oil site. Heartbroken friends and neighbors watched in shock as the movie-star handsome, devoted family man they knew was arrested and charged with first degree murder. The perfect mask Chris had presented to the world in his TV interviews and the family’s Facebook accounts was slipping—and what lay beneath was a horrifying image of instability, infidelity, sexual ambivalence, and boiling rage.

In this first major account of the case, bestselling author and journalist John Glatt reveals the truth behind the tragedy and constructs a chilling portrait of one of the most shocking family annihilator cases of the 21st century.

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The Family Next Door

The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the 13 Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue.

John Glatt

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

 

One Deadly NightOn January 14, 2018, a seventeen-year-old girl climbed out of the window of her Perris, California home and dialed 911 with shaking fingers. Struggling to stay calm, she told the operator that she and her 12 siblings—ranging in age from 2 to 29—were being abused by their parents. When the dispatcher asked for her address, the girl hesitated. “I’ve never been out,” she stammered.

To their family, neighbors, and online friends, Louise and David Turpin presented a picture of domestic bliss: dressing their thirteen children in matching outfits and buying them expensive gifts. But what police discovered when they entered the Turpin family home would eclipse the most shocking child abuse cases in history. For years, David and Louise had kept their children in increasing isolation, trapping them in a sinister world of torture, abuse, and near starvation.

In the first major account of the case, investigative journalist and author John Glatt delves into the disturbing details and recounts the bravery of the thirteen siblings in the face of unimaginable horror.

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My Sweet Angel

The True Story of Lacey Spears, the Seemingly Perfect Mother Who Murdered Her Son in Cold Blood

John Glatt

St. Martin’s Press

 
My Sweet AngelNew York Times bestselling crime writer John Glatt tells the true story of Lacey Spears, the mommy blogger obsessed with medicine who poisoned her own son while he was in the hospital.

Lacey Spears made international headlines in January 2015 when she was charged with the “depraved mind” murder of her five-year-old son Garnett. Prosecutors alleged that the 27-year old mother had poisoned him with high concentrations of salt through his stomach tube.

To the outside world Lacey had seemed like the perfect mother, regularly posting dramatic updates on her son’s harrowing medical problems. But in reality, Lacey was a text book case of textbook case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. From the time he was an infant, she deliberately made Garnett sick to elicit sympathy from medical professionals, as well as her hundreds of followers on Facebook and other social media. When a Westchester County jury found her guilty of killing Garnett in April 2015, she was sentenced to twenty years to life in prison.

Using Lacey’s own never-before-seen Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts, an exclusive prison interview with Lacey herself, as well as interviews with her family and the three police investigators who broke the case, My Sweet Angel gives the definitive account of this extraordinary case that shocked the world.

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The Lost Girls

The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus

John Glatt

St. Martin’s Press

 
The Lost GirlsNew York Times bestselling crime writer John Glatt tells the true story behind the kidnappings and long-overdue rescue of three women found in a Cleveland basement.

The Lost Girls tells the truly amazing story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped and beaten in a Cleveland house for over a decade by Ariel Castro, and their amazing escape in May 2013, which made headlines all over the world. The book has an exclusive interview and photographs of Ariel Castro’s secret fiancé, who spent many romantic nights in his house of horror, without realizing he had bound and chained captives just a few feet away. There are also revealing interviews with several Castro family members, musician friends and several neighbors who witnessed the dramatic rescue.

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Deadly Affairs (Video)

Hot Gardener Does More Than Landscaping

Soon, the truth began to emerge. Of a brilliant man whose beautiful wife had a lover she could not stay away from. Of a family—including three innocent children—pushed to the breaking point. And of one brutal moment, when a man finally ended his torment by horrifically murdering the woman he loved…

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The Prince of Paradise

The True Story of a Hotel Heir, His Seductive Wife, and a Ruthless Murder

John Glatt

St. Martin’s Press

 

Buy The Prince of Paradise

Ben Novack, Jr. was born into a life of luxury and opulence. Heir to the legendary Fontainebleau hotel, he spent his childhood surrounded by some of the world’s biggest stars, including Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Elvis Presley, and Ann-Margret, who performed regularly at the Fontainebleau’s La Ronde Room. He sat by while his parents entertained presidents and movie stars, as they reigned over Miami Beach in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, and when the family business went sour he became wealthy in his own right, founding a multi-million dollar business using connections he made at the Fontainebleau.

But Ben, Jr.’s luxurious, celebrity-studded lifestyle would end in another hotel room—a thousand miles away from the one where he grew up—when police found him bound up in duct tape, beaten to death.

Seven years earlier, police found Novack in an eerily similar situation—when his wife Narcy duct-taped him to a chair for twenty-four hours and robbed him. Claiming it was a sex game, he never pressed charges and never followed through with a divorce. Now prosecutors claimed Narcy let the vicious killers into the room and watched as they beat her husband with dumbbells. They also suspected she was involved in the horrendous death of Novack’s mother, just three months before. But it would be Narcy’s own daughter who implicated her to the police—in this twisted case of passion, perversion, and paradise lost.

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Read the Review by Publishers Weekly (February 11, 2013)

Secrets in the Cellar

John Glatt

St. Martin’s True Crime

 

Secrets in the CellarJosef Fritzl was a 73-year-old retired engineer in Austria. He seemed to be living a normal life with his wife, Rosemarie, and their family—though one daughter, Elisabeth, had decades earlier been “lost” to a religious cult. Throughout the years, three of Elisabeth’s children mysteriously appeared on the Fritzls’ doorstep; Josef and Rosemarie raised them as their own. But only Josef knew the truth about Elisabeth’s disappearance…

For twenty-seven years, Josef had imprisoned and molested Elisabeth in his man-made basement dungeon, complete with sound-proof paneling and code-protected electric locks. There, she would eventually give birth to a total of seven of Josef’s children. One died in infancy—and the other three were raised alongside Elisabeth, never to see the light of day.

Then, in 2008, one of Elisabeth’s children became seriously ill, and was taken to the hospital. It was the first time the nineteen-year-old girl had ever gone outside—and soon, the truth about her background, her family’s captivity, and Josef’s unspeakable crimes would come to light.

John Glatt’s Secrets in the Cellar is the true story of a crime that shocked the world.

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