First of all, apologies for the late post. I’ve got a midterm coming up. Life gets a bit crazy.
But back to my bookshelf, still on the short shelf, we have one of my favorite things: books about murder.
This is one of my especial favorites, which I’ll talk more about later, but it’s a true crime novel. It’s called And Never Let her Go, by Ann Rule. I’m proud to say that it’s the only book I ever bought at an airport.
I was on a family vacation, and I already had a book (we were going to Hawai’i which I hate, so I brought books and homework), but my parents made the mistake of checking out the Powell’s in PDX, and I saw this book on the shelf and read the back cover. I saw what it was about, and I was going through a pretty dark place in a relationship that resonated a bit with some of the things in the book, and I begged my mom to buy it, and she did because she’s amazing.
It’s a fairly thick book, telling the true story of a murder that occurred in the 1990s in Delaware. You can actually look it up on Wikipedia, but the book is better. It’s the story of former Delaware deputy attorney general Thomas Capano, who killed his lover, Anne Marie Fahey. She worked for the then-governor of Delaware, which is how they met, if I recall.
Basically, it’s the age-old story of a man cheating on his wife and unable to control one of his lovers any longer. He killed her, and used other people (like his brother and latest lover) to help him commit and cover up the murder.
If you’re interested at all in criminal psychology, this is a really interesting book. There are lots of ways to learn about this murder, of course. It was a pretty big deal at the time, and the whole thing was highly publicized. It’s been covered on true crime television shows and in at least three different books, but Ann Rule does a really fabulous job of covering all relevant angles, making you really get inside the heads of both killer and victim, and it’s chilling how you come away and think, “That was real. A real man did that to a real woman.”
For those of you just interested in the verdict: he was convicted and sentenced to death, which was commuted to life imprisonment. He’s dead.
The thing that drew me to this book was the character of the killer. I read all kinds of murder mysteries and true crime books, and I even write them, but I’ve always been fascinated with this type of killer, the magnetic personality capable of bending almost any situation to his will. The drawing in of other people – which obviously backfired in the end when they testified – and the reasoning for killing her in the first place reminds me of some of the most interesting killers. He doesn’t have the completely sick nature of some of my favorite serial killers, but there’s a chilling coldness that makes Thomas Capano his own kind of fascinating.
This book actually was a huge push toward writing my own murder mysteries, and if you’re looking for a good true crime book to read, I highly recommend this one.