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Fighting the Devil: A True Story of…
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Fighting the Devil: A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and… (udgave 2011)

af Jeannie Walker

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
1641,067,817 (4.25)Ingen
A Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him. After he demanded the money back, he started getting sick. While in the hospital, doctors were mystified as to how an otherwise healthy, energetic man could become so deathly ill. The dying man told everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher succumbed in the hospital while strapped down to his bed with restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. After the rancher died, an anonymous caller tipped off the police. The widow was the sole beneficiary of the estate and a $350,000 life insurance policy. A week before the man's death, a teenager visited the rancher's home and became deathly ill after he drank juice that was in the rancher's refrigerator. Two years after the millionaire's death, a bottle of arsenic was found in a storage locker rented by a woman under an assumed name. The millionaire's ex-wife, the mother of his children, became a sleuth to help solve the murder. No one could have predicted the aftermath with its strange twists and unexpected results.… (mere)
Medlem:Solh
Titel:Fighting the Devil: A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder
Forfattere:Jeannie Walker
Info:CreateSpace (2011), Paperback, 336 pages
Samlinger:Ønskeliste, Favoritter
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Fighting the Devil: A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder af Jeannie Walker

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Viser 4 af 4
Every now and then I feel the need to read a book based on reality. Non-fiction if you like, though my head tells me non-fiction has more to do with text books, exams and sleepless nights. But what do I know? Anyway, like I said, sometimes I need to read something autobiographical.

I have to say, Fighting the Devil wasn't what I expected. I was expecting suspense, drama, some really intense moments, maybe a little scary scenes. What I didn't expect was to be so emotional while I was reading. From sadness to anger, love, hate, fear, pity, revolted, I felt them all. I wasn't expecting that or the fact that I couldn't put it down.

The story is, I think, one of the saddest I've read this year. It's even sadder because it's true. I always get amazed by some people's cruelness and greed and their lack of compassion and conscience. It's something that to me is extremely disturbing sometimes. Of course, I did get to read about murder cases, so it's not exactly news to me, but it is still a little weird and sad.

The only thing I felt was a little too much were the religious references or the little scenes around that subject. But that's just because I'm not an overly religious person.

If you like non-fiction, true crime stories, you should try this one. It's a book that won't let you put it down. ( )
  Rubys.books | Oct 15, 2016 |
This is one of the most unusual true crime books I've ever read - and I read a lot of true crime books.

The story starts out with a man poisoned by arsenic, and the prime suspects are his wife and her best friend... so far, nothing unique in the true crime genre. What sets this book apart is that the author - the poisoned man's ex-wife - begins a decades-long crusade to bring the killers to justice. As the years go by, her determination does not recede, even when the prospects for justice look grim. Buoyed by her strong faith and a desire to see the killers punished, the book details the agonizing process of trying to determine what happened, how and who did it.

True crime aficionados will not be disappointed, and what can I say about Jeannie Walker and her pursuit of justice?

I hate to call true crime "enjoyable" given the topic, but this is a compelling read that will have you turning the pages to find out what happens. ( )
  PaulaKrapf | Apr 30, 2013 |
Fighting the Devil – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat, Think With Your Taste Buds and A Book and A Dish

I had to put a gown and mask on. Lou Ann and Debbie helped me do that and I walked in and I saw Jerry had some tubes, one running up his nose and I believed he had a little…uh…a hospital gown on. His hands and feet were tied to each side of the bed with some sort of restraint. Jerry raised his head up and looked at me when I walked in. He said, “Gamble!” I said, “Yeah, Jerry! What in the world are you doing up here?” He said, “Oh, I’m sick. They’ve been doing all kinds of tests on me.” I said, “Well, you’re gonna have to get well so that you can get out. You gotta get a lot of things going, you know.” He said, “Gamble, you gotta help me get out of here! They’re trying to kill me. I’m gonna die! I’ve got $35,000 missing. They took it. Those two women took it. They’re trying to kill me. They fed me … Lou Ann and Debbie, they’re trying to kill me. You gotta help me get out of here! You gotta help me! Cut me loose! Gamble, cut me loose!”

This was just one of many pleas from Jerry Sternadel after he had been admitted to Bethania Hospital, not once but for a total of 3 times before dying of arsenic poisoning on June 12, 1990. Most people ignored his pleas after talking to his wife Lou Ann and his company bookkeeper Debbie Baker. They assured anyone who asked that Jerry was getting better and would be coming home soon.

Arsenic poisoning creates one of the most horrible deaths as it eats away at the bodily systems until the body shuts down. Symptoms are severe gastric distress, esophageal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea with blood. The skin becomes cold and clammy and the blood pressure falls. If death isn’t immediate, the skin becomes jaundice and is unable to void. There may be moments of paralysis and if death is delayed by several days, the arsenic will hit the liver and kidney. Convulsions and coma are final signs and death usually comes from circulatory failure. This is a horrible way to die! A bullet to the head would be more humane.

But, this is the death that Lou Ann and Debbie chose for Jerry Sternadel. Now came the task of proving they were the ones guilty of administering the poison and how. Jeannie Walker, who is not only the author of Fighting the Devil, but also Jerry’s first wife and mother of Jerry's only children, spent years working with the police and interviewing friends of Jerry. She even hired a private detectives, all to prove the two women were guilty of murder and have them stand trial. Will she succeed?

When I read Fighting the Devil, I was amazed at the court systems within Texas at that time. There was actually a law that would allow a jury to find a defendant guilty of murder but still be able to receive parole and a fine! Apparently the law was written for those who kill their abusers after years of abuse. But will it work for someone as cunning as Lou Ann and Debbie? This book made me aware of the trials the actual victims are put through. Yes…the victims are actually put on trial as their character is dissected and torn apart. Then there’s the jury. Spending time in a locked room with 11 other people trying to decide if someone is guilty or not and then deciding what sentencing they will receive can, I’m sure, get to you and make you actually rush through your decision just to get it over with.

The actual case of Jerry Sternadel’s death kept me reading even as my anger for the system grew. I have to admire Jeannie Walker for her determination to find closure for her children and their families. This case caught the attention of the producers of Oxygen channel’s Snapped series and was aired on February 17, 2005. The case is still open and justice is still being sought. I personally hope that for Jerry’s family and friends, closure will soon be found.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com Stir, Laugh, Repeat ( )
  marthacheves | Jan 31, 2012 |
Successful business owner Jerry Sternadel died of arsenic poisoning in 1990. The book makes a strong case that the poisoning was at the hands of Sternadel's wife and bookkeeper. Sternadel claims to have caught them stealing $35,000 from the business and was going to go public with it when they fed him some arsenic-laced taco salad from a fast food restaurant in Texas.

I was tipped off that I might like this true crime book from a Goodreads message directly from the author, Jeannie Walker. Jeannie didn't spam me, she looked at what books I've been reading recently (JFK being one of them) and wrote me a note explaining why I might like her book. Smart marketing that worked. I went right over to Amazon, one-clicked and paid $4.95 for her Kindle book. Was so impressed by her personalized approach, in fact, that I jumped the book to 'current reading' instead of putting in my TBR stack. Kudos to the author for using Goodreads effectively.

And once I started reading the book, I was hooked. Tore through this in a few reading sessions.

Jeannie Walker and Jerry Sternadel had two children together but divorced while the kids were small. Walker tells a dark story of Sternadel being a mean, abusive husband with stalker tendencies. I didn't find myself having much compassion for the man until Walker details his slow, painful death by rat poison.

The rat poison was so nasty that the FDA banned it in the late 80s.

Several times during this book I found myself wondering what was wrong with the hospital? Why didn't the doctors suspect that Sternadel's increasing levels of toxicity were because those supposedly taking care of him were the ones poisoning him? I realize the Devil in the book title refers to the killers, not the hospital or the justice system which somehow, strangely decided to only prosecute one of the two alleged killers (huh?!). Or maybe the devil is the jury who came up with a bizarre sentence for the crime based on a Texas law loophole?

The author details the amount of time, effort--including her own spiritual beliefs--and hard work to bring the perpetrators in this disturbing crime to justice. Although the homicide occurred in 1990, the details surrounding the crime and investigation are brought to present day (as of this review date, 2011). There are a bunch of pictures included, although on the Kindle they were a bit rough. Probably easier to enjoy in the paperback version.

As for the writing? The author did an excellent job exposing the human horrors responsible for her ex-husband's murder, including various bits of detailed information with a power amplified by someone personally connected to the events. It's not often I've read true crime books by somebody this close to the actual crime that also tell a good story (not just relating interesting facts). Usually they have help from another writer or it's an attorney involved with the case (like Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi or the OJ book by Marcia Clark).

I took away a star from the rating because some parts of the story are a bit repetitive (like the part about the boy who accidentally drinks the arsenic-laced juice) and the Kindle formatting needs significant work in the first 40% of the book. The formatting gets better as the book continues. Several paragraphs are grouped together with no indenting and this threw me unnecessarily out of the narrative.

Formatting concerns aside, this is one of the better true crime books I've read by someone personally connected with a horrific crime. I feel for Jeannie's children and grandchildren who were denied a longer life with Jerry Sternadel because of avarice. Recommended reading for those who enjoy true crime. ( )
  Todd_Russell | Dec 6, 2011 |
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A Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him. After he demanded the money back, he started getting sick. While in the hospital, doctors were mystified as to how an otherwise healthy, energetic man could become so deathly ill. The dying man told everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher succumbed in the hospital while strapped down to his bed with restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. After the rancher died, an anonymous caller tipped off the police. The widow was the sole beneficiary of the estate and a $350,000 life insurance policy. A week before the man's death, a teenager visited the rancher's home and became deathly ill after he drank juice that was in the rancher's refrigerator. Two years after the millionaire's death, a bottle of arsenic was found in a storage locker rented by a woman under an assumed name. The millionaire's ex-wife, the mother of his children, became a sleuth to help solve the murder. No one could have predicted the aftermath with its strange twists and unexpected results.

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