Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fighting the Devil by Jeannie Walker

“Fighting the Devil”

~ A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly, Poison, and Murder

By Jeannie Walker

In the midst of Texas ranch country, on a peaceful spring day in 1990, a 49-year-old millionaire rancher sat down to lunch with his wife and bookkeeper, as he often did. Less than half an hour later, he was deathly ill, with stomach pains, severe vomiting and intense intestinal distress. Three weeks later, he was dead from a mysterious illness. His wife seemed to show no emotion when she learned of his death. However, his bookkeeper became very nervous and upset upon hearing the news, and ran through the hospital corridor to the elevator.

The Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him, he demanded the money back by Memorial Day, or else. Instead of getting his money back, the millionaire became very sick from some mysterious illness and was hospitalized, within a few weeks he was dead.

Doctors were mystified as to what had caused this otherwise healthy forty-nine-year-old man to become so deathly ill. The rancher did not smoke or drink and exercised daily. On the rancher's last stay in the hospital toxicology tests showed 4,895 mcg of arsenic in his system. Even while he was a patient in the hospital the arsenic level in the rancher’s system continued to climb. The dying man told his friends and everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from the drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher became a virtual prisoner when hospital personnel strapped him down to his hospital bed with restraints on his hands and feet. The man's wife and bookkeeper were constantly at the hospital and at his bedside, keeping visitors at bay. In the last days of his life, the millionaire would scream out that the two women were killing him and beg for someone to help him. On June 12, 1990, the rancher died a horrific and very painful death while still strapped down to the hospital bed with leather restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. Immediately after the rancher's death, a doctor called the police anonymously to report the arsenic poisoning death. An autopsy later proved the rancher died from extreme arsenic poisoning. The Death Certificate read: Patient was given arsenic over a period of time until lethal amounts finally killed him.

The widow was the sole beneficiary on his $350,000 Life Insurance Policy and his Estate.

It was later learned a teenager had visited the rancher's home just before the rancher died. The youngster had become violently ill after he drank cranberry juice that was in the rancher's refrigerator. Toxicology tests later revealed the teenager had arsenic poison in his system.

During the investigation, the widow's answers and statements raised the hairs on the back of the investigator's neck. Her story did not wash at all. Neighbors, friends and relatives of the dead man believed they knew the widow to be a loving wife. But, the police saw the widow in a different light. They believed the marriage had grown stale and a divorce was in the offing. They had an idea that the man's wealth gave the widow a taste for a more exciting lifestyle and she needed him out of the way to retain that lifestyle. They saw the widow as a person who may have wanted to dispose of her husband and may have used at least one accomplice or more to help her achieve that goal.

A troubling thought lingered in the minds of the investigators: If the widow was not responsible for the arsenic poisoning of her husband, then who was? The Sheriff and Texas Ranger believed they knew the answer, but would have to prove it. They were going to live with this homicide investigation both night and day. It was a murder case the Sheriff would work on and live with until his untimely death from lung cancer.

Two years after the rancher's death a bottle of arsenic was discovered in a storage locker. The storage locker had been rented several months before the rancher's death by the rancher's bookkeeper, under an assumed name. And, people connected to the rancher, who knew about his business dealings suddenly began showing up dead.

The millionaire’s murder might not have been discovered. But, the local police were tipped off by an anonymous call about the suspicious death. The murder case would become the jurisdiction of Clay County. The Clay County Sheriff had been in law enforcement for twenty-five years. He believed the widow planned the death of her husband. He also felt the widow had help in poisoning her husband to death.

The Texas Rangers were called in to help with the homicide investigation. This wasn't a typical murder or an ordinary homicide investigation. It wasn't an open and shut case like a homicide where the victim was shot or stabbed to death. This was a murder the perpetrator had planned on getting away with. It was going to be a hard case to investigate and prove. A death caused by arsenic poisoning could easily mimic or appear to be a natural death caused by some unknown disease. In essence, murder by arsenic could be a perfect murder.

With the case at a standstill, the millionaire's ex-wife and mother of his only children became a sleuth to help solve the murder. No one could have foretold the strange twists and unexpected results.

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  1. To one and all: It is a privilege and an honor to be a member of The Independent Author Network. It is such a fine group with so many talented and award-winning authors. Of course, I hope everyone will check out my Award Winning True Crime story -"Fighting the Devil". This story is about what actually happened to me and my family when we unwittingly became victims of a horrific murder. I also wrote of the demonic underpinnings thrust upon me by the monster from hell. It was only through the grace of God that this battle with the devil ended with my life being saved from the depths of hell. Most readers say they cannot put my book down once they start reading. Naturally, I love hearing that. I'd like to know what you think! I am looking forward to hearing from everyone. Thanking you in advance for your valuable time and kind consideration. May God bless you immensely and forever. Yours truly, Jeannie Walker - author of "Fighting the Devil"

  2. Fighting the Devil by Jeannie Walker has been selected the FINALIST of the 2011 Indie Excellence Award in the category of True Crime.

    The Indie Excellence Awards are reserved for the “best of the best” in books published in various genres. The criteria for recognition are stringent and include overall excellence in presentation. This award celebrates the highest achievements in independent press and self-publishing, a sector of the industry that has grown exponentially in recent years. Winners and finalists were announced on Sunday, May 15, 2011.
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