Deadly Blessing by Steve Salerno (1988)

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On March 15, 2012
Last modified:July 7, 2012


Even told with mundane writing, the volatile of the Daniels is fascinating and mind-boggling.

Murder Was The Ending For This Rags to Riches Romance
Review by Kim Cantrell

Vickie Loretha Carroll Moore was a single mother of two, working at the Liberty, Texas, Dairy Queen to make ends meet when she met Marion Price Daniel, Jr.

Deadly Blessing by Steve SalernoPrice was himself a divorced father, the son of former Texas Governor Marion Price Daniel, Sr., and the great-grandson of Sam Houston.

It raised more than a few eyebrows when Vickie and Price began dating, and even more when they wed in November 1976; just a few months following Vickie’s divorce from her first husband, Larry Moore.

It was a whirlwind romance that came to sudden halt just weeks after the couple exchanged their vows.

Despite troubles that brewed between the newlyweds, they would add two children to their brood of three from their previous marriages before the marriage came to a fatal end.

Vickie Daniel alleged Price was abusive and she killed him in self-defense. Price’s family alleged Vickie wasn’t happy with divorce settlements offered by her soon-to-be-ex-husband -often comparing his offers of support to that paid to his first wife – and she killed out of anger.

A police investigation wouldn’t provide any answers, only entertainment.

Combine wealth, power, and murder investigation and what you’re going to wind up with is a regular three ring circus.

And that’s exactly what became of the inquiry into the death of Marion Price, Jr.

Everybody formed an opinion (mine personally being that I believe Vickie did kill Price in anger, having a desire to never be poor again) and they proudly boasted their sides.

Want an ending that you wasn’t expecting? You’ll get it with Steve Salerno’s 1987 true crime book Deadly Blessings.

While written in a mundane tone, it’s a fascinating story nonetheless. Typically I’m not a fan of authors who tell every single little detail, but it’s absolutely necessary here.

I recommend reading Deadly Blessings by Steve Salerno or catching an airing of the made-for-tv movie Bed of Lies on Lifetime for information on the case that was a stepping stone for the battered women’s defense.


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Governor Price Daniel, Sr. passed away in August 1988. His lovely wife Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel left this world just four short years later in December 2002.

Franklin Baldwin Daniel followed a long standing tradition in his family by becoming a member of the Texas Bar in 2005. Looking very much like his father, he is now associated with the Houston law firm of Essmyer, Tritico & Rainey.

Thomas Houston Daniel, Price Daniel Jr.’s oldest son from his first marriage, is also an attorney and living in the Austin area.

In 1992, ABC aired Bed of Lies, a made-for-television movie, which many people close to the case say was generous with its creative licensing. On rare occasion, this movie will re-run on Lifetime Movie Network. It is not available on DVD.

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3 Responses to “Deadly Blessing by Steve Salerno (1988)”

  1. Poetess says:

    My main comment is prompted by the horrible writing in this article.You not only can’t write worth a flip ,you can’t add either.You do have a right to your opinion as to her “guilt for money” & I find that opinion one as mundane in it’s validity as your ability to form a worthy article.Battered women fight back & they are accused by idiots to be nothing more than money hungry or angry without any reasoning.When one fights to save themselves & their children & the abuser is killed,he (or she) deserves what they get.It seems to me that Mr.Daniel got exactly what he had coming to him as well as Mrs.Daniel.He got what he intended for her and she got justice.Learn to have some semblance of empathy for battered women & children.You’ll be lucky not to find your own loved ones in that situation & being accused just as you’re doing to this victim.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Well, first things first, I’m not going to writing tips from someone who has difficulty with grammar, punctuation, and paragraphs.

      That said – I have had loved ones in that situation and they found another way besides murder.

      See, here’s the thing, women kill these men when their unconscious – be it sleeping or drunk or whatever. That is MURDER not self-defense.

      I do have sympathy for battered women and children. Men, too – or do you believe they don’t exist? But I also believe in truth and justice.

  2. Leo Reyes says:

    I knew Price Daniel Jr. while in High School in Austin. Price Daniel and I became friends and he invited me to the Governor’s Mansion on several occasions, one occasion was to show me what he had hidden in his closest safe. I think I must of been the only Hispanic that walked the mansion unescorted while the Governor was away.

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