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Open Secrets: A True Story of Love, Jealousy, and Murder

by Carlton Stowers

On a fall afternoon in 1983, in an upscale Dallas suburb, Rozanne Gailiunas was found stripped, bound to her bed, and shot through the skull. Her four-year-old son has been napping peacefully in the next room when she was killed. Rozanne's husband, Dr. Peter Gailiunas--and her lover, Larry Aylor--immediately fell under suspicion. Until a surprise informant identified the mastermind behind the murder as Aylor's own wife, Joy--a woman so driven by jealousy and greed that she put out a contract on both Rozanne and later her own husband.On the run and managing to elude investigators for eight years, the two-year search for the socialite would eventually end in the south of France. There, authorities found the elusive femme fatale, living as comfortably among the world's elite as she was among hired killers. At last, the authorities' questions would be answered, to reveal a shocking insight into the heart of an unlikely killer, and a small-town Texas crime that made international headlines.

Scream At The Sky

by Carlton Stowers

Carlton Stowers, the two-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling master of true crime, is back. Scream at the Sky is his masterful chronicle of one man's murderous career, and another man's sworn promise to deliver justice and closure to the people of Texas. Wichita Falls, Texas, was home to a hundred thousand people in the last months of 1984. That winter was harsh, as the normally arid Texas plains gave way to ominous dark clouds that delivered freezing sleet and rain. But a much darker force was looming, and soon the quiet town was besieged by a faceless evil-and its young women were dying because of it. In the next seventeen months five women were found brutally beaten and murdered, their young lives cut short and their bodies left haphazardly where they fell. In the years that followed, grieving families fruitlessly sought answers. A haunted district attorney chased every lead only to meet one dead end after another. And the killer's identity remained unknown to the ravaged townspeople. Then, fourteen years after the killing started, an investigator who had been assigned the cold case brought to it a renewed dedication, and came upon a chance discovery. Searching through the yellowed case files, he caught a minor detail that suggested one more suspect. Faryion Wardrip was an unhappily married family man who drowned his anger in substance abuse and violent fantasies. But for five unfortunate families, the drugs sometimes took over and the fantasies became realities. Investigator John Little followed his instincts and tirelessly ruled out every possibility until he was left with but one conclusion: Faryion Wardrip was the serial killer who had eluded his office for so long. How he tracked down Wardrip and used the legal system to beat the killer at his own game of deception is a remarkable story of justice served.

To The Last Breath

by Carlton Stowers

Two-year-old Renee Goode was buried with a ribbon in her hair and surrounded by her beloved stuffed toys. Her death for unexplained medical reasons while spending the night at her father's house had decimated her estranged parents, Michael and Annette Goode, and her doting grandmother, Sharon Couch. Her grief-stricken grandmother, working part-time as a private investigator, refused to accept the medical verdict of death from natural causes. When a police investigator named Sue Dietrich -a mother who had lost her own child to a rare virus-came across the Goode case, she asked to take it on. Enlisting the help of Assistant District Attorney Jeri Yenne, the grandmother and the detective battled the skepticism of Texas law-enforcement officials. Eight months later, Renee's tiny coffin was dug up from its resting place and her body exhumed to reveal the dark secret her grandmother had long suspected: Renee Goode had been murdered in cold blood by her own father.

Where Dreams Die Hard: A Small American Town and Its Six-Man Football Team

by Carlton Stowers

An hour's drive south of Dallas, in the tiny community of Penelope (population 211), Carlton Stowers found the perfect vantage point from which to view a small town as it came together around their six-man high-school football team. Here, where shopping for groceries is a forty-five-minute round-trip drive and there is no stoplight on Main Street, he followed the hapless Penelope Wolverines in their quest to win their second game in four years since reviving their football program after a thirty-seven-year hiatus. But even as the team struggled, the entire town still came out to show its support every Friday night. Why? Because as one Texas writer recently said, "Texas high school football is a six-point favorite over Sunday-go-to-meetin' in most small towns. " A wide-open game in which teams sprint up and down the field and where the combined score can typically exceed one hundred points, six-man football was invented in Nebraska in 1934. At its peak in 1953, 30,000 teams across the country and in Canada competed in the sport. Though there are fewer teams now, it is still played in states as far flung as Texas, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, and Kansas, among others. A poignant story of a small town, and its unwavering support-through thick and a lot of thin-of the winless Wolverines,Where Dreams Die Hardis a warm and revealing slice of life in the American heartland and of a culture fast disappearing.

Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain

by Carlton Stowers Carroll Pickett

Within These Walls is the powerful memoir of Rev. Carroll Pickett, who spent fifteen years as the death house chaplain at "The Walls," the Huntsville unit of the Texas prison system. In that capacity Reverend Pickett ministered to ninety-five men before they were put to death by lethal injection. They came with sinister nicknames like "The Candy Man" and "The Good Samaritan Killer," some contrite, some angry--a few who might even have been innocent. All of them found in Reverend Pickett their last chance for an unbiased confessor who would look at them only as fellow humans, not simply as the convicted criminals the rest of society had already dismissed them as. This firsthand experience gave Reverend Pickett the unique insight needed to write an impassioned statement on the realities of capital punishment in America. The result is a thought-provoking and compelling book that takes the reader inside the criminal mind, inside the execution chamber, and inside the heart of a remarkable man who shares his thoughts and observations not only about capital punishment, but about the dark world of prison society.

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