A week or so after their meeting, Trent emailed Ben. He included an attachment with the email. It was a photo. Ben was getting ready to head home for the night. It was Friday. After reading the brief email, Ben opened the attachment.
Disturbing couldn’t really describe what Ben was staring at. The back of a man’s head, bloodied, obviously riddled with bullet wounds. It shocked Ben. The graphic nature of the photos was jarring to a guy who had just stepped into office. Ben had never seen anything like it.
“She claims she did this under [stressful] circumstances—think about that this weekend,” Trent wrote. She—Tracey Roberts—was the shooter. The victim (alleged intruder) was Dustin Wehde, a twenty-year-old so-called “special needs” kid, who had been shot nine times by a woman who lived on the other side of town from where Dustin lived with his mother and father and siblings. So much had happened since Dustin was killed. If this case had been a murder, why hadn’t it been prosecuted as such inside the past decade?
Ben sat back in his chair. Took a deep breath.
What is Trent not telling me?
He stared at the photos.
What am I missing here?
“Phelps is a true-crime veteran.” —New York Post
“Phelps is the Harlan Coben of real-life thrillers.” —Allison Brennan
Iowa housewife Tracey Pittman Roberts seemed to have it all: natural beauty, three loving children, and a fairy tale second marriage to a wealthy businessman. But beneath the happy façade was a woman who used lies, manipulation, sex, ugly allegations, blackmail—and even murder—to serve her own selfish ends.
On December 13, 2001, police rushed to Tracey’s home after a shooting left her vulnerable young neighbor dead. Tracey claimed it was an act of self-defense. Nine gunshot wounds—and a decades-long trail of extortion, fabrication, fraud, and intimidation—said otherwise. Ten years after the crime, Tracey’s case finally went to trial in an explosive courtroom showdown. In a searing exploration of the criminal mind, bestselling investigative journalist M. William Phelps traces the saga of a psychopath who hid in plain sight—until her wicked ways caught up with her.
“Phelps dares to tread where few others will: into the mind of a killer.” —TV Rage
“Phelps is the king of true crime.” --Lynda Hirsch, Creators Syndicate columnist
“One of our most engaging crime journalists.” —Dr. Katherine Ramsland
“Phelps treads dangerous ground like an Amazon jungle guide—fearless, compassionate, insightful.”
—Geoff Fitzpatrick, Executive Producer of Dark Minds
“Anything by Phelps is an eye-opening experience.” —Suspense Magazine