The author of eight New York Times bestsellers, Ann Rule first won nationwide acclaim with The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer Ted Bundy. Her Crime Files volumes, based on fascinating case histories, have assured her reputation as our premier chronicler of crime. Now the former Seattle policewoman brings us the horrific account of a charismatic man adored by beautiful and brilliant women who always gave him what he wanted...sex, money, their very lives....
When attorney Cheryl Keeton's brutally bludgeoned body was found in her van in the fast lane of an Oregon freeway, her husband, Brad Cunningham, was the likely suspect. But there was no solid evidence linking him to the crime. He married again, for the fifth time, and his stunning new wife, a physician named Sara, adopted his three sons. They all settled down to family life on a luxurious estate. But gradually, their marriage became a nightmare....
In this gripping account of Cheryl's murder, Ann Rule takes us from Brad's troubled boyhood to one of the most bizarre trials in legal history, uncovering multiple marriages, financial manipulations, infidelities, and monstrous acts of harassment and revenge along the way. Dead By Sunset is Ann Rule at her riveting best.
True crime writer Rule's latest, about a successful and charismatic banker accused of murdering his estranged wife. (Apr.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Good read!
Posted December 13, 2011 by DizzyBlue , Marcy, NYJust when I thought I had read all of Ann Rule's books, I found "Dead by Sunset". As usual, another great read by one of the best true crime authors out there.
Simon & Schuster
April 01, 1996
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Excerpt from Dead by Sunset by Ann Rule
September 21, 1986, was a warm and beautiful Sunday in Portland -- in the whole state of Oregon, for that matter. With any luck, the winter rains of the Northwest were a safe two months away. The temperature had topped off at sixty-nine degrees about four that afternoon, and even at 9 P.M. it was still a relatively balmy fifty-eight degrees.
Randall Kelly Blighton had traveled west on Highway 26 -- the Sunset Highway -- earlier that evening, driving his youngsters back to their mother's home in Beaverton after their weekend visitation with him. A handsome, athletic-looking man with dark hair and a mustache, Blighton was in his twenties, a truck salesman. His divorce from his wife was amicable, and he was in a good mood as he headed back toward Portland along the same route. The Sunset Highway, which is actually a freeway, can often be a commuter's nightmare. It runs northwest from the center of Portland, past the OMSI zoo and through forestlike parks. Somewhere near the crossroads of Sylvan, the Multnomah/Washington county-line sign flashes by almost subliminally. Then the freeway angles toward the Pacific Ocean beaches as it skirts Beaverton and the little town of Hillsboro.
The land drops away past Sylvan, giving the area its name West Slope. Route 8 trails off the Sunset Highway down the curves of the slope, past pleasant neighborhoods, until it runs through a commercial zone indistinguishable from similar zones anywhere in America: pizza parlors, supermarkets, car dealers, strip malls. Approaching Hillsboro, the Washington County seat, Route 8 -- the TVA Highway -- slices through what was only recently farmland. The Tualatin River valley, once richly agricultural, is now a technological wonderland. Its endless woods are dwindling and the area has become known as the Silicon Forest. There are acres and acres of corporate parks in Washington County now: Intel, Fujitsu, NEC, and Tektronix. Intel is already the largest single employer in Oregon; soon there will be more workers in the computer and electronics industry in Oregon than there are timber employees.
Apparently serenely untroubled by the encroachment of modern technology, the Sisters of Saint Mary have been stationed along the TVA Highway for many years, their nunnery and school on the left, their home for wayward boys on the right.
In an instant Route 8 becomes Tenth Avenue in Hillsboro. A left turn on Main Street leads toward the old city center and the county courthouse. Main Street is idyllically lined with wide lawns, wonderful old houses with gingerbread touches, jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween and spectacular lights during the Christmas season. But it hasn't fared so well commercially since the new Target store and the mall went up south of town; its chief businesses are antique stores and, except for the Copper Stone restaurant and cocktail lounge, the kind of restaurants where ladies linger over tea.