An Unimaginable Crime.
An Unlikely Place.
An Unrelenting Killer.
On December 16, 2004, a Nodaway County, Missouri 911 operator received a frantic call from the mother of 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Bobbie Jo, an eight-months-pregnant mom-to-be, had been found lying on her family room floor bleeding profusely and barely breathing. Her unborn baby was gone.
Only 150 miles away, in Melvern, Kansas, Lisa Montgomery dressed the baby she’d brutally kidnapped in a Winnie the Pooh outfit and called her husband to say that she’d given birth to a baby girl she named Abigail. While televisions blared the nation’s first Amber Alert for an unborn child, Lisa proudly showed off “her” new baby at church and a local diner, duping many while arousing the suspicions of others. And that was only the beginning of one of the most unthinkable events in American history, one that shocked the nation and left two Midwestern communities reeling in the crime’s aftermath.
Investigative journalist and acclaimed author M. William Phelps delivers a definitive literary investigation of this compelling story, one that is as suspenseful as it is heartbreaking. With the exclusive cooperation of Lisa Montgomery’s ex-husband, Carl Boman, Lisa’s children and mother, law enforcement officials, friends, relatives, and neighbors, Phelps reveals what really happened that fateful day in December and traces the tortured history of sexual abuse, abandonment, and desperation that planted the seeds of a potential sociopath destined for “moral insanity.” Here is the true story of the frantic search for a baby born under the most horrifying conditions imaginable, of the lucky break that led to the killer, of Lisa’s family’s fears about her mental health, and of the shock waves that linger in two American towns that will never be the same again.
Like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Murder in the Heartland takes an unflinching look at an American tragedy, exploring its terrible trajectory with courage, insight, and compassion.
Praise for M. William Phelps:
"A first-rate investigative examination…Phelps goes behind the headlines. "—Dr. Michael Baden
"Phelps is writing at a level rare in today’s true crime genre."—Lowell Cauffiel
"An intense roller-coaster of a crime story."—Steve Jackson
Every Move You Make
"M. William Phelps is the rising star of the nonfiction crime genre."—Douglas Clegg
Sleep In Heavenly Peace
"An amazing story!"—Catherine Crier
"An exceptional book by an exceptional writer."—Kathryn Casey