Fatal Friends Deadly Neighbors and Other True Cases: Ann Rules Crime Files: Volume 16 (November 2012)

Publication Date:
November 2012
Pocket Books

Reviewed by:
On December 12, 2012
Last modified:April 11, 2013


Two fast-paced, page-turning stories followed by seven interesting crimes from the 1970s. I loved it!

Fatal Friends Deadly Neighbors by Ann Rule
Buy It Not On Amazon

I just recently reread one of Ann Rule’s earlier crime files series and was anxious to her newest Fatal Friends Deadly Neighbors and Other True Cases.

Featuring the worldwide headline case of the missing Susan Powell and the tragic deaths of her young sons at hands of possessive, abusive husband Josh Powell, eight other interesting cases, predominately from the 1970s, are also chronicled; including -

* The questionable accident of six year-old Max Shacknai and the death of his father’s girlfriend, Becky Zahau, which followed within a couple of days. Police initially said Becky’s death was a suicide but the bound hands, the strange message painted on the wall, and more said otherwise.

* Elderly philanthropists Burle and Olive Bramhall were brutally murdered in their Windermere community home. Neighbors and police alike wondered who would do something so horrible to such a well-like couple. The answer was closer than anyone realized.

* When fires continue to break out at the University Towers Hotel, investigators think they know who is responsible but there just simply isn’t enough to arrest him – until he strikes again, in an even deadly locale.

* In 1975, Dina Peterson was found murdered only sixteen feet from her own backdoor. It would more than three decades to bring a man to justice.

* Sue Ann Baker was trying desperately to end her marriage but her husband was unwilling to let her go.

* Wendy Ann Smith was an exceptionally beautiful nine year-old when she went missing from her McChord Air Force Base home. As her family searched, one “volunteer” was a bit too eager to be near her family and they would soon learn why.

The “Queen of True Crime” does a fan-freakin’-tastic job of recounting the Powell case; neatly outlining the important evidence rather than tossing the same old minutiae as the 24 hour news channels. I truly walked away with a clearer understanding of a case I have long followed.

And the Spreckels Mansion double mystery really rocked my boat. This was a case I had never heard of (where have I been?). It’s a true mystery which will remain with me for quite some time and for which I will most definitely be adding to my “updates list.”

Then the pace slows down. Rule throws us back a few decades with old files from the latter years of the 1970s. For some, it’ll be a let down but, for me personally, I love old true crime stories and found it a nice slow-down from the page grippers in the first two stories. Be forewarned lovers of homicide-only stories, there is one story of arson and rape each mixed among the murder mysteries.

It’s been a while since I’ve given Ann Rule five stars but, gotta say, she earned it this time and I’m happy to give it.

Last updated by on .

Share This Post

Related Articles

4 Responses to “Fatal Friends Deadly Neighbors and Other True Cases: Ann Rules Crime Files: Volume 16 (November 2012)”

  1. Sandee says:

    Why are there always so many typos, left out words, apostrophes, just “mistakes” on this website? In every review it is the same, and I highly doubt Kim is writing it that way. Weird.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Sandee, thank you for your confidence in me but, to be perfectly honest, it probably is me. Despite my use of spell check and reading and rereading before publishing, chances are my brain reads it as it was supposed to be rather than what it is. Which is why I never think of myself as nothing more than just a run-of-the-mill blogger not a professional. :)

  2. Sandee says:

    “Police initially said Becky’s death but the bound hands, the strange message painted on the wall, and more said otherwise.”

    lol, ok Kim, but if your brain inserted “was suicide” in this sentence it really is running way too fast! I just won’t read with my red pen in hand.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Ha! Yes, indeed, it does appear my brain is in high gear. Please, feel free to point them out to me. I love the folks I call “red penners”! :)

Leave a Reply

© 2014 True Crime Zine. All rights reserved. Site Admin · Entries RSS · Comments RSS
Powered by WordPress · Designed by Theme Junkie