Written In Blood by Diane Fanning

01 Nov
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 written-in-blood.jpgWritten in Blood
Diane Fanning
True Crime
ISBN 10: 0312994036
ISBN 13: 978-0312994037
400 Pages
St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Not once, during either of two frantic calls to Durham 9-11 did Michael Peterson mention the blood…and there was a lot of blood. During the early morning hours of December 9th, as Kathleen lay dying on the stairs, police and rescue personnel rush to the home on Cedar Street.
Connecting the complex sequence of dots that convinced a jury of his peers that Michael Peterson was indeed guilty of murder would have been the easy part, because the evidence had been painstakingly detailed during the five month trial. But, Diane Fanning takes the reader behind the carefully orchestrated performance in the court room and delivers the journey through the raw, unfiltered eyes of those who lived it. Detailing the crime scene, police procedure, the autopsy and the trial I fully expected, however, this book is chock-full of extras. Intimate conversations between Kathleen and her beloved sister, details concerning the exhumation and autopsy of Elizabeth Ratliff, the suspicious death of George Ratliff and much more. There’s also eight pages of photographs that give the reader a glimpse of the Peterson’s before, during and the aftermath is punctuated with a single photo of Kathleen’s headstone.

During the trial, the defense displayed an air of arrogance both in and outside the courtroom. And much to the chagrin of Peterson’s few remaining supporters, the author pulls no punches describing the showboating behavior of David Rudolf and Thomas Maher, the mysterious discovery of the missing blowpoke and the effect these antics had on the grieving families.

Superb, unflinching, emotionally gritty at times, Written in Blood is a stinging, in your face novel that paints a haunting picture of the madness that often lurks behind the gates of the nicest communities or in the home right next door. And reminds us all that the monster hiding in the shadows is easily recognized in hindsight…but, that’s too late!
Although the last chapter of this story will be written by the North Carolina Supreme Court, Written In Blood is as complete a history of the Peterson saga as could possibly be written. If you enjoy reading a true crime novel that goes behind the scenes and beyond the glare of the cameras, Written In Blood does not disappoint!

Happy Reading!


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3 responses to “Written In Blood by Diane Fanning

  1. PLE

    September 5, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Well, i just finished watching the Staircase documentary and was left questioning his
    conviction, even though, after watching the trial coverage on Court TV I had been
    thoroughly convinced of his guilt. So in seeking more information I’ve found out about
    this book. I’m looking forward to reading it, hoping to be re-convinced, especially
    since he’s exhausted his last appeal to the state supreme court which upheld the
    the conviction. And also because I laughed out loud at the new defense theory
    they hope to gain a new trial with, that Kathleen was attacked by an owl! We’ll see
    where that one leads…

  2. Gavin

    May 4, 2008 at 3:55 am

    Teri, have you read the book or looked at the evidence presented at the trial? Staircase, whilst an interesting documentary, deliberately left out key parts of the trial to increase the sense of mystery in this case.

    This case does say a lot about the judicial system – a murder has been convicted, as he should have been.

  3. Teri

    March 16, 2008 at 1:07 am

    I would urge the reviewer and readers to watch “Staircase”, the documentary that follows the supposedly ‘arrogant’ defense team. Mr. Peterson’s family especially his two adopted daughters were grief stricken when he was pronounced guilty. I had the impression of viewing trial lawyers at their best. Also, the blow poke discovery was a real event, not an “antic” designed by the defense. The film made it clear that the discovery was not necessarily in the best interests of the defense, precisely because it could be seen as contrived by the jury.
    All in all, I beleived there was not enough evidence to convict. This film has a lot to say about our judicial system. It’s a tragic story of the destruction of a family.


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