It’s 1983 in Richardson, Texas. Larry Wayne Aylor is having an affair with neighbor Rozanne Gailiunas. They’ve filed for divorce from their respective spouses and have future plans to marry.
But on October 4, 1983, Rozanne is raped, beaten, and shot in her home as her preschool son sleeps in the next room. Peter Gailiunas, Jr. would late find his mother unconscious and call for help. To no avail, however, as she would die in the hospital two days later.
Rozanne’s husband pointed the finger at his wife’s lover. Larry, in turn, blamed the husband. They were both wrong, more than they could have ever imagined.
The answer would come after Larry was ambushed by two gunmen on his ranch. Coincidentally it came when he and Joy were again considering divorce. (They had reconciled after Rozanne’s murder)
True crime author Carlton Stowers does an excellent job of relaying the story of Joy Davis Aylor, a Texas socialite sociopath who wants what she can’t have and doesn’t want anyone to have what she doesn’t want. (The actual, spelled-out reasons for the murder will shock the pants off readers!)
Though it takes almost a decade to solve the case of Rozanne Gailiunas’ murder, readers are taken on a interesting trip with police detectives as the conspiracy ring keeps growing and growing; until it comes full circle with the capture of Joy Aylor in the south of France.
Open Secrets is an absolute MUST read for any true crime fan. As an avid reader of this genre, I would rate this riveting story in my top 20 favorites!
UPDATES FROM THIS BOOK:
George Hopper, the man who was paid $1,500 by Aylor to murder Rozanne, was executed by the state of Texas on March 8, 2005, by lethal injection.
According to witnesses, Hopper was extremely remorseful for his role in the murder, making a last statement wherein he told Gailiunas’ son (who was the one who discovered her body), “I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. The things I did changed so many lives. I can’t take it back. It was an atrocity. I am sorry. I beg your forgiveness. I know I am not worthy of it.”
He then turned to a second window, behind which his parents watched and told them he loved them and thanked them “for everything.”
Eight minutes later, at 6:22 p.m., he was pronounced dead.
Joy Aylor remains incarcerated, being housed in the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas. She is serving a life sentence. She became eligible for parole in March 2011, but apparently was denied or disqualified since she remains behind bars as of November 2011.
Larry Aylor now lives in Virginia, where he continues to build custom homes.
Other books about this case: To Hatred Turned: A True Story of Love and Death in Texas by Ken Englade
Movies about this case: Contract for Murder (2005) starring Cybill Sheppard [Region 2 (Non-USA) Format only]