The Stranger She Loved: Book Review

The Stranger She Loved is one of the few true crime books our base library has. I picked this book up because honestly I had it confused with a different murder that took place in a bathtub. This book is much more twisted than the crime I had it confused with and surprisingly one I wasn’t familiar with. I don’t remember much of the crime I had it confused with. I had seen it on the ID channel and the only things I remember about the it was that it was a fairly recent murder (I want to say around 2010ish), the tub was a similar shape (a garden tub) like in this book, and that the case was realized to be a murder because of how the towel bar had fallen or was found at the scene. Not much to go on but if anyone knows what crime that was, please tell me because now its bugging me to try and remember it. I don’t have cable anymore to watch the ID channel to see if it will pop up again. Once I realized this case was different than the other bathtub murder, I couldn’t put the book down.

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In 2007, Dr. Martin MacNeill—a doctor, lawyer, and Mormon bishop—discovered his wife of 30 years dead in the bathtub of their Pleasant Grove, Utah home, her face bearing the scars of a facelift he persuaded her to undergo just a week before. At first sight, the death of fifty-year-old Michele MacNeill, a former model and mother of eight, appeared natural. But days after the funeral, when Dr. MacNeill moved his much-younger mistress into the family home, his children grew suspicious…

Soon the McNeill daughters conducted their own investigation into their mother’s death- only to uncover their father’s multiple martial affairs, past criminal record, and falsified college transcripts he’d used to con his way into medical school. It would take six long years to solve the mystery of Michele MacNeill’s death and secure the first-degree murder conviction. This is the shocking story about how one family unmasked a monster in their very home – and lived to tell.

I can’t imagine what it was like for his children while this was going on. He arranged it so that his adopted daughter, Ada, who was only six years old at the time, discovered her mother’s body in the bathtub after coming home from school. Then trying to bring in his mistress, Gyspsy, in to the home under the guise of her being a nanny sent by God. No, really. He arranged a random meeting a few days after the funeral between his oldest daughter, Racheal, outside their temple after they were suppose to go to pray for God to send them a nanny. He might have gotten away with the murder if it wasn’t for Racheal and Alexis (his two eldest children that had moved out of the house prior to the murder) and his sister-in-law trying to find any evidence they could, uncovering Martin’s past and keeping pressure on the police to keep looking into this case even after they had determined that Michele had passed away from an accident.

The fact that I didn’t know anything about this case when I really got into the book hooked me. I loved the author’s writing style of laying out the story without going off on random tangents like when I read the book about the Craigslist Murderer. Shanna Hogan made it an easy to follow story that allowed you follow the crime and realize how much of a monster Martin was as his children discovered it. I am excited to read more books by Hogan. Especially since she has a Jodi Arias book. Now to track down a copy of it.

 

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