Dr. Kenneth Stahl wasn’t happy in his marriage to optometrist Carolyn Mae Sokolowski Stahl. It wasn’t really anything to do with her, more to do with his numerous affairs. Fidelity had never been Dr. Stahl’s strong suit, even long before he wed Carolyn.
But having been divorced once before, Dr. Stahl knew he’d pay mightily for his indiscretions in another divorce so he needed another way out. Murder seemed a viable option.
So Dr. Stahl turned to his former receptionist and lover, Adriana Vasco, for help in finding a hitman to kill his wife. Adriana wasn’t really in a position to decline his request, considering that she was extremely dependent on Dr. Stahl for money to pay the rent and raise her children.
Through Adriana, Dr. Stahl was introduced to Dennis Earl Godley, a low life from North Carolina, and the pair subsequently struck a murderous deal.
Things didn’t go according to plan, however, and soon Adriana found herself in a heap of trouble. Very serious trouble.
In his 2005 book, Deadly Mistress: A True Story of Marriage, Betrayal, and Murder, author Michael Fleeman recounts the case of murder for hire by Dr. Kenneth Stahl and the the surprise murder about which most won’t feel very bad at all.
Although there were a few pages that became a bit tedious, overall the book was a quick, interesting read about a case which, for the most part, went unnoticed by anyone outside of Orange County, California.
I kind of have a love/hate relationship with Michael Fleeman’s books; some I like, most I don’t really care for but Deadly Mistress is actually one of the few I can give a thumbs up to and recommend adding to your reading list. It won’t be the best book you’ve ever read but an interesting one nonetheless.