Horrifying true story of murder in small town NC...covers the investigation into a stepfather's murder and the children's roles in the crime. A must read for fans of true crime books.
This is a fascinating true crime story of parricide in a wealthy North Carolina family. Joe Mcginniss' hours of interviews with the Von Stein family, friends, law enforcement officers and lawyers are recounted in painful detail and bring to light the story of a sadly disfunctional family and a horrible murder. The son, a college student, plots with his 'dungeons and dragons' player buddies to kill both his mother and stepfather for the multi-million dollar inheritance he thinks will make his life perfect. His mother survives and spends several years desperately trying to find her husband's killer, yet refusing to see where all the evidence is leading. Only after the son admits to the crime is the mother able to accept it - even as she continues to love and support him. A troubling question is never satisfactorily answered. Did the younger sister of the murderer play a part in the crime?
Very nicely written. Good true crime book.
This book is a true crime about Bonnie and Leith Von Stein. The couple was beaten and stabbed in their own home. Bonnie lived to tell about it. Leith was murdered and Bonnie was convinced it was not a family member. Read about how the investigators uncovered the plot to kill the Von Stein's.
Good true crime book-fascinating study of a dysfunctional family
"There's no way you can hurt her. This is a woman with nothing left to lose."
With these words from a distinguished North Carolina criminal lawyer, Joe McGinniss entered the bizarre and tangled life of Bonnie Von Stein-the former Bonnie Lou Bates of Welcome, NC-whose new wealthy husband was brutally murdered as he lay in bed beside her, during an attack in which she herself was stabbed, beaten, and apparently left for dead.
Cruel Doubt is a riveting account of small-town murder; a terrifying tale of a seemingly ordinary family whose lives and illusions about each other were shattered one hot summer night in 1988.
McGinnis was drawn personally into the center of this mysterious story. At Bonnie Von Stein's request, he set out on a search for the truth, only to discover a reality that threatened to eclipse even the worst of her fears.
With a mother's unquestioning love, Bonnie staunchly defended her 20 year old son as suspicion mounted that this North Carolina State college student had arranged the murder in order to inherit his stepfather's wealth. But both investigators and Bonnie herself soon found themselves plunged into an eerie netherworld as new and mystifying leads suggested that the crime could have been a real-life enactment of a strange and sinister Dungeons and Dragons adventure.
Cruel Doubt is the story of Bonnie: stoical victim of an earlier failed marriage, so stubbornly determined to make this one succeed that she may have been blinded to the growing gulf separating her husband from her children, and unable to explore or express her own feelings until it was too late.
Most tenaciously, she clung to her faith in her children: Chris, lost in a maze of drug use, academic and social failure, and an inability to distinguish reality from the bizarre rituals of the fantasy game, Dungeons and Dragons; and Angela, 19, detached and emotionless, whose account of sleeping undisturbed through the attack provoked skepticism from investigators even before they learned that the game's "Dungeon Master" may have coveted both her and the fortune she would inherit if her parents were dead.