Life seemed to be perfect for Craig Rabinowitz and his wife Stefanie. They lived in a beautiful home in Philadelphia’s ritzy Main Line area and had been blessed the previous year with a beautiful, curly-headed daughter they named Haley Sarah Rabinowitz.
But things aren’t always what they seemed.
In April 1997, the truth about the Rabinowitz family would come to light with the seemingly accidental death of Stefanie as she bathed in the Main Line home’s tub. Further inspection, however, revealed that Stefanie had been strangled.
Her husband Craig had stated right from the beginning that no one had been in the house but he, Stefanie, and the baby. A police inspection of the home would prove that no intruders had come through the locked windows and doors. Craig was the obvious suspect, but why would he kill his wife?
As investigators worked to answer this question, they uncovered a myriad of information about a husband’s Ponzi scheme, excessive life insurance policies, strippers, and five star hotel rendezvouses. Craig wasn’t above using anyone to satisfying his sexual obsessions while avoiding any kind of real work.
Ken Englade recounts the tale of the pathetic man who was willing to kill his wife when his financial facade was ready to collapse in his 1999 true crime book Everybody’s Best Friend: The True Story of a Marriage That Ended In Murder.
Englade’s book starts out very strong, really delving into the secret life of Craig Rabinowitz. Every time you think you’ve learned all there is to about Craig, police uncover another juicy little tidbit. I couldn’t stop reading!
But then all is finally revealed and all I was left with was mundane details of an ongoing dispute between a prosecutor and defense attorney, with the District Attorney smug in knowing his arch rival couldn’t buy an acquittal with the stuff he has on Craig Rabinowitz. And for a case that ends with a surprise plea, one would believe they would be spared the mundane Court room scenes; nope, the bail hearings, the arraignment, and every motion, is described in detail.
I’ve liked most of Ken Englade’s books, but this one would have been better in a short story collection than a book. Alternatively, someone willing to really dig deep and interview more than just one side of the case could probably write a heck of a book.
I’m sad to say that my recommendation for Everybody’s Best Friend is to just skip it altogether and read about the case online.
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UPDATES FROM THIS BOOK:
Craig Rabinowitz is currently incarcerated at the prison in Houtzdale, Pennsylvania.
Information about the now almost sixteen-year-old Haley Rabinowitz was nonexistant; unusual in this age of social networking extremely popular among teens. It is rumored her name was changed to Haley Newman, but this is unconfirmed.