Who Killed Chrissy?: The True Crime Memoir of a Pittsburgh girl’s Unsolved Murder in Las Vegas by Beverly Simcic

Publication Date:
October 2011
Version:
Self-Published
Price:
$7.74 Paperback or $2.99 Kindle

Reviewed by:
Rating:
1
On February 27, 2013
Last modified:February 18, 2013

Summary:

Was this is a murder or an accidental death? I'm still not certain.

Who Killed Chrissy by Beverly Simcic
Buy It Not On Amazon

In 1982, Beverly Simcic and Christine Casilio were friends. Sort of.

The pair had been roommates for a while but Christine’s lifestyle was a bit more risky than Beverly liked, especially with a young son in her care and she’d parted company with Christine.

But in May 1982, when Christine presents Beverly with the idea of a vacation in Las Vegas, the unemployed Beverly decides that just may be what she needs.

Leaving her son behind with her parents, Beverly and Christine, or Chrissy as she was called, headed West to Sin City.

Not long after their arrival, the same issues which had sent Beverly packing in Pittsburgh began to rear their ugly head in Las Vegas. And again, the duo went their separate ways.

In the end, however, one would wind up dead and the other would spend two decades burdened by too many unanswered questions.

Who Killed Chrissy is written by Beverly Simcic, the surviving friend in this fickle relationship.

While marketed as a true crime, I found this to be more of an unburdening of the author’s survivor’s guilt. While readers are given some details into the “crime,” more pages are dedicated to recalling Chrissy’s poor decision making and bad behavior. Frankly, several times it crossed my mind, “Friend?”

And if I must be perfectly honest, I walked away from the book wondering if there even was a crime. Beverly certainly believes so and, based on her recollection, I can certainly see why but if there is one thing I’ve learned in the years I’ve been involved in criminal fields, the mind can play nasty tricks on us all. There is quite the possibility Chrissy’s death was nothing more than a horrible accident just as the Las Vegas Police Department believed.

Yes, there are indeed some shady characters: a Pittsburgh cop and a black dude named Fred who was also staying at the Woodbridge Inn Apartments – with whom, it should also be said, Beverly had sex with in the hot tub within minutes of meeting him. (Can anyone else say WTH?!)

I know the author needed to unburden herself, she says as much in the book, but it was just a little too much. When I was done I knew only a little about the suspected crime, too much about Beverly, and felt very sorry for Chrissy to be trash-talked in such a way so many years after her departure from this world.

There is no way I can recommend Who Killed Chrissy? And judging from the comments left by Beverly Simcic to other reviewers at Amazon, I know the author isn’t going to like it. But my obligation is to you, dear readers, so steer clear folks unless you’ve got money and time to burn.

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22 Comments

  1. Kim Cantrell says:

    Just as I had suspected would happen, I received a scathing email this morning from the author. Please, y’all, take this into consideration when considering this book -

    From: Bev Sim
    Date: Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 8:56 AM
    Subject: you’re an ugly cunt

    Kim,
    You make me laugh honey. You’re an ugly, miserable, unemployed cunt who takes out her frustrations on others, thus making yourself feel important. You’ve achieved nothing, but are trying to be ‘something’….you are NOTHING. No one cares about your unimportant opinions Kim.
    Oh, and did I include BACK WOODS, goofball….living in the woods on Tennessee must be the place for trailer trash bags like you.
    Ugly piece of shit is what you are.
    Of course, you already know this:-)
    You are simply a jealous CUNT and women like you don’t impress me one bit. Hopefully, you’ll walk outside and fall down your front steps on your ugly face.

    • Melanie says:

      Wow. Just wow. Glad I hadn’t purchased this one, yet. Won’t be, either. She needs to hire a PR firm and keep her mouth shut.

  2. Koren says:

    I posted a reply to your review on Amazon. I do think the book wasnt bad as a memoir, it just cant be called True Crime, as the author has no facts to back up her story. I noticed that the author replied to all negative reviews in the same vein as yours. I now notice that she has removed all of her replies to all of the reviews. Someone must have talked some sense into her.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Koren, I agree about it being okay as a memoir but as true crime, it just didn’t make the cut. Regardless of Beverly’s email to me, I wish her no ill will. I hope she gets the help she so obviously needs.

  3. Donalie says:

    As an author, I am so very sorry you had to endure this abuse, Kim. It was uncalled for and borders upon hysteria. I have learned in my lifetime, people who use nasty words only do so because they are not educated enough to know how to express themselves any other way.

    I have a true crime book coming out at the end of the year, and it is okay if you don’t like it. You have that right!

    God Bless,

    Donalie

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Donalie, thank you for your kind words. Emails like this aren’t uncommon, but being from an author of a book is what shocked me.

      I am always willing to read new true crime books, so definitely shoot me an email (truecrimezine at gmail.com) when it’s ready for review and I’ll be happy to do so. :)

  4. DizzyBlueBaby says:

    Wow….just, wow. Vicious and disturbing immediately come to mind after reading this email. How absolutely embarrassing, unprofessional, and undignified for a published author (be her talent good, bad or indifferent) to respond with a near hysterical email to a reviewer of her work. With her limited vocabulary, and obvious inability to express her displeasure in a mature and intelligent manner, I doubt Ms. Beverly Simcic has much of a future as a writer.

    Keep up the good work, Kim. I always look forward to your reviews, which I have always found to be fair and balance.

  5. valerie kell says:

    Wow, this title keeps showing up on the recommended for you section on my kindle. Have almost purchased it several times, but always found a more interesting title.
    Thank you so much for posting her response to your review. She will never get a dime from me!

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      You’re welcome, Valerie. I wanted people to know who they would spending their money with. Thank YOU for reading this review and the comments and making an informed choice. It’s exactly why I’m here. :)

  6. Kim Cantrell says:

    I have had no contact whatsoever with this author. After her initial email, any response just seemed futile. Nonetheless, I received a second email today. It reads as follows:

    Kim,

    Over the last month I have done extensive research into this entire episode of ugliness with you and your team of sock puppet followers. If you think for one moment that I am not well versed on this subject matter—-think again. I have dozens of author, screenwriter, and publishing industry friends. Some are NY Times bestsellers with traditional publishing houses. I network daily with many people in the publishing industry. So if you want to continue to deny your purposes, I’d like you to know that I already know what your PURPOSE was with your lousy review, and it had nothing to do with my book at all. There were influences that motivated you as a reviewer that shouldn’t have. So, we both know this. Whether you can acknowledge it to yourself as a professional is your business.

    Anyone who is anyone in the publishing business knows that a professional reviewer does not leave one star reviews, period. I cannot tell you how many professional reviewers I spoke with on this subject, but not one of them said they would do this. By doing this, in their words….constitutes hating the book, and if you hate something that badly, as a professional reviewer, you are risking the appearance of inappropriate behavior as a pro. If you hate it, you leave it alone. And, as I am SURE you already know Kim, by professional standards of reviewers, not only do they never give one star reviews, but even a two star means the book had massive grammar and other editing errors, as to writing issues. I know you know this. You could not possibly have been doing what you do for all this time now, and not be aware of ‘reviewing standards’…that is why I KNOW what your purpose was here. The three star indicates the book was ok, but that’s the standard where the reviewer starts giving their thoughts as to why they found the book not suitable to their liking, etc. The made up THE BOOK WAS NOT TRUE CRIME in the traditional sense, is not a legitimate reason for trashing an author’s book. It would have been more appropriate to say, “the book was not traditional true crime, it was a personal catharsis of the author”, which is exactly what some reviewers of the book stated….but again, giving a one star is still not a fair book review for those reasons.

    You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. Setting out to attack someone that you don’t know is something I would never, ever do. For me, as a four time entrepreneur and business owner for thirty years, I learned a long time ago that having any sort of business venture means not burning bridges. I assure you, in thirty years as a business owner, I have burnt very few, and none without making every single attempt with the other party to resolve the issues first. The ones that went unresolved were ones that Karma handled down the road, and I am strong on the belief that what goes around, comes around…

    It always does. It may take years, but somewhere down the road you will encounter the person that you were unwilling to reason with, and who knows for what reason, but stranger things have happened, and it usually ends up that this person, in some way, turns out to be someone who plays an important role in some aspect of your business, and you end up regretting the missed opportunity for closure when you had it. I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me in business. Thus, I am making this attempt at closing the issue.

    Yesterday, I had a lengthy conversation with my Amazon publishing rep., and as I am sure you already know, it was about the attack mob group. Whether you are part of this group or not, I cannot say, I don’t know, but this morning comments were removed by one belonging to the Vine group of Amazon reviewers who had returned to my book page and attempted to turn it into their own personal attack chat room. These people are now on a watch list. Their risky behavior has garnered the attention of Amazon, and if they continue, they will likely be banned. I removed all my comments a month ago, under the advice of my rep., and I will no longer participate in any comments, period. I truly don’t have time for it, it’s ridiculous, immature and a waste of valuable time for me, but I will continue to pick up the phone every time I encounter this form of attack, and Amazon, (I am sure), will continue to address the issue. You see, indie authors are a big part of their revenue, and whether you realize it or not, as a very large number of people, they have importance to the Amazon self publishing division. This issue of attacks on authors, shill reviews, fake reviews, and all other forms of abuse, are in the spotlight right now because it has become a plague to all involved. I am sure you’re well aware of the issues between trad publishing and indie publishing, so I won’t go on about it….but it is in the spotlight—it is being addressed—it is being dealt with.

    In closing, I say…

    You can write what you want. You can do what you want, it’s a free country. You’ve attacked my book and also me personally, someone you have never met face to face. I don’t have much respect for that viewpoint in life. I always prefer face to face before settling in on an opinion, and even then, I find it best to keep an open mind about people ‘impressions’…always.

    ATTACK is never, ever an intelligent way to do things in business.

    Bev

  7. The Grammar Nazi says:

    Wow! All I can say is, if the book was written anywhere near as poorly as this “professional” (not) email, how did you EVER even get through it?

  8. Joyce says:

    She protests too much. This thing has been burning her up. What she can’t go on with her life. She rant’s on forever about the 1 star you gave her and the only reason is because she’s pissed that’s all you gave her. So she want’s to degrade you by not knowing how to review and to go on and on about all the people she know’s and businesses she’s owned. If she has so called dozens of author, screenwriter, and publishing industry friends. Some are NY Times bestsellers with traditional publishing houses which she network’s with daily with many people in the publishing industry. Then they should have helped her write the book. She can’t take criticism or reviews of her book well so maybe she should rethink being a writter. To have Amazon remove reviews shows to me she’s being childish. You have to be able to take criticism good or bad.

    ” I assure you, in thirty years as a business owner, I have burnt very few, and none without making every single attempt with the other party to resolve the issues first.”

    “I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me in business. Thus, I am making this attempt at closing the issue.”

    She contradic’s herself by saying she burnt very few bridges, but then later she say’s she cannot tell how many time’s it’s happened to her in business. Wonder which it is. I just hope she will let this go and go on with her life instead of insulting people who don’t quite agree on what she thinks is a true crime book.

  9. Melanie says:

    Wow. This is exhausting. I’m going to make this my last involvement with this situation but, I feel I must reply. First, I still do not know what agenda she thinks we “sock puppets” have against her. Your review was merely the truth of how you felt about the book. SHE is the one that went on the attack. And that is evident with the first email she sent you (see earlier replies to this review) and by all the nasty comments on Amazon.com reviews that she has since deleted. Second, I’ve never heard of her “professional review system/rules” in all the years I’ve been reviewing and I’m certain you haven’t either, Kim. If we allowed the authors of these books to dictate to us how we should review their works, there would be no honest reviews out there. You and I both know that an “Amazon Rep” is anyone that happens to pick up the phone that particular day and that these are merely scare tactics on her part. I’m sure we both have been on a “watch list” for quite some time – especially you – since publishers, authors and anyone else in the business know exactly who you are. I don’t see this as a bad thing but, merely, another awesome testament to your “weight” in the market. I truly thought the author would drop this after her first week of rants. However, I see I was wrong. If giving a one-star review on a book is an “attack” then we are all guilty. I suppose we should stop giving truthful reviews?

    Please don’t let her bully you into removing your review and/or prevent you from being honest about the books you read. Too many depend on your reviews to find decent reading material.

  10. Steve Jackson says:

    Yikes! But I will say she managed to not use the “C” word in this response. I always love the ‘I’m in contact with DOZENS (HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS, A MULTITUDE) of NYT authors, and publishers and PR folks and they all tell me …” blah blah blah, and not a single name. Not one of these dozens allowing her to use their name to join her righteous indignation? As an author who didn’t have to pay to get myself published on Amazon, I get lots of emails, FB contacts etc. from wanna-bes like this one–not all, but most, are a few light bulbs shy of a well-lit house, have little to no talent which is why no publishing house would touch them (along with the heavy doze of “crazy” that comes through no matter how they try to hide it), and while they ask for guidance or mentoring, what they really want is for me to rave about what great authors they are–no editing necessary–and get them a big contract with a publisher. Not saying there aren’t excellent self-published authors, and the way the industry is going, I’m looking to dabble there myself; the biggest drawbacks are the white noise of people like this.

  11. valerie kell says:

    Awesome, Can’t believe she deleted her previous comments and then had to come back with another response. I have never not purchased or read any book based on a one star review. It may have had some influence based on content and my own likes and dislikes, but I damn sure am more influenced by an author who has such a weak ego. That kind of mental attitude just doesn’t deserve our time or money!

  12. Dizzybluebaby@gmail.com says:

    We live in a society where many people are totally incapable of accepting criticism, correction, or opposing ideas. Their egos are delicate, and even a hint of criticism sends them running to their keyboard in righteous indignation to angrily address what they perceive as a personal attack on their very worth as a human being. Reminds me of the quote, “People don’t want YOUR opinion. They want THEIR opinion confirmed.” How true.

  13. Kim Cantrell says:

    Thank you all for taking the time to comment today, for your kind words, and motivational reminders. This lady is truly becoming comical in her behavior and I anticipate there will likely be more emails from her. When they arrive, I’ll be sure to post them. Who doesn’t love cheap entertainment, right?

  14. Kim Cantrell says:

    Oh wow, oh wow. This just keeps getting crazier. New email from Beverly Simcic. Bear in mind, I have NOT responded to any of her emails.

    From: Beverly Simcic
    Date: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 9:00 PM
    Subject: Tennessee Attorney General
    To: kimberly.cantrell@gmail.com

    Based on your refusal to STOP cyber stalking and harassing me, I will contact the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office tomorrow.

    Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include the making of false accusations or statements of fact (as in defamation), monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information that may be used to harass. The definition of “harassment” must meet the criterion that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would regard it as sufficient to cause another reasonable person distress.[1] Cyberstalking is different from spatial or offline stalking in that it occurs through the use of electronic communications technology such as the internet. However, it sometimes leads to it, or is accompanied by it.[2] Both are criminal offenses.[3] Cyberstalking shares important characteristics with offline stalking. Many stalkers – online or off – are motivated by a desire to control their victims

    Cyberstalking is a criminal offense that comes into play under state anti-stalking laws, slander laws, and harassment laws. A cyberstalking conviction can result in a restraining order, probation, or even criminal penalties against the assailant, including jail.

    Further information: Stalking

    Stalking is a continuous process, consisting of a series of actions, each of which may be entirely legal in itself. Technology ethics professor Lambèr Royakkers writes that:

    “Stalking is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, unwantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom he has no relationship (or no longer has), with motives that are directly or indirectly traceable to the affective sphere. Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect

    When identifying cyberstalking “in the field,” and particularly when considering whether to report it to any kind of legal authority, the following features or combination of features can be considered to characterize a true stalking situation: malice, premeditation, repetition, distress, obsession, vendetta, no legitimate purpose, personally directed, disregarded warnings to stop, harassment, and threats.[6]

    Experts attribute the destructive nature of anonymous online mobs to group dynamics, saying that groups with homogeneous views tend to become more extreme as members reinforce each other’s beliefs, they fail to see themselves as individuals, so they lose a sense of personal responsibility for their destructive acts, they dehumanize their victims, which makes them more willing to behave destructively, and they become more aggressive when they believe they are supported by authority figures. Internet service providers and website owners are sometimes blamed for not speaking out against this type of harassment.[18]

    Fortunately, y’all, truth (and emails as well as screen shots of Amazon comments BEFORE they were deleted) is a viable defense to charges such as this. By the time all is said and done, I believe Ms. Simcic may find herself in the defendant’s seat.

  15. Kim Cantrell says:

    Ah, thanks to a clever and competent reader who took the time to post a wealth of information at Amazon, it seems Ms. Simcic is wanting the negative publicity. According to her postings at the Amazon KDP Support forum, she’s following the advice of a blog post which explains why one wishes to have negative reviews to increase sales.

    Knowing what I know now, Ms. Simcic will receive no further publicity, negative or otherwise, from me. It’s all a ruse, folks, to sell more books – a book, I might add, that I still believe deserves not a single star but gets them because rating programs don’t have a 0 value.

    Good night, y’all. Sweet dreams!

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