Read Empty Promises Online

Authors: Ann Rule

Tags: #General, #Law, #Offenses Against the Person

Empty Promises



Empty Promises
and Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 7
Ann Rule
New York London Toronto
Sydney Singapore










The names of some individuals in this book have been changed. Such names are indicated by an asterisk
the first time each appears in the narrative.
Publication of POCKET BOOKS
POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Visit us on the World Wide Web:
Copyright © 2001 by Ann Rule
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
eISBN 0-7434-2405-0
POCKET and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Books by Ann Rule
…And Never Let Her Go
Bitter Harvest
Dead by Sunset
Everything She Ever Wanted
If You Really Loved Me
The Stranger Beside Me
Small Sacrifices
Empty Promises and
Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 7
A Rage to Kill and
Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 6
The End of the Dream and
Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 5
In the Name of Love and
Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 4
A Fever in the Heart and
Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 3
You Belong to Me and
Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 2
A Rose for Her Grave and
Other True Cases
Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 1
The I-5 Killer
The Want-Ad Killer
Lust Killer

To all the women trapped in abusive and tragic relationships, with the sincere hope that
Empty Promises
may help you find a way to be free and to be safe at last.




Sometimes I tell myself that I can turn in a perfect manuscript the first time out, but I know I'm just whistling into the wind.
Empty Promises
needed far more talent and expertise than I possess. The skill of editors, the canny knowledge of detectives, the brilliance of prosecutors, lawyers and judges all combine to make a book. And always, always, there are the victims' families who are willing to share their stories with me.
I thank my publisher, Judith Curr, and my very encouraging editor, Mitchell Ivers— who had some editing assistance from Amanda Ayers and Emily Heckman— as we put together the many cases in
Empty Promises.
No writer can manage without an able production staff and I was lucky to have Donna O'Neill and Penny Haynes. As he always does, Paolo Pepe designed a cover that embodies the essence of my book.
My literary agents, Joan and Joe Foley, have been with me for three decades and we are like family now.
I'd also like to thank my theatrical agent, Ron Bernstein.
My all-time first reader, Gerry Brittingham Hay, somehow managed to read my manuscript in planes, trains and automobiles as she headed east for a family wedding. Gerry read the end of the book as she drove up to the church!
For the
Empty Promises
book-length feature, I am indebted to Lt. J.W.B. Taylor and Detectives Greg Mains and Mike Faddis of the Redmond Police Department.
solved an unsolvable case with the help of Detectives Lon Shultz, Brian Tuskan, Anne Malins, Rob Bunn, Glenn Rotton, and Detective Secretary Sandy Glynn, who transcribed a tower of notes and tape recordings. Officers Christine Penwell and Kristi Roze and Victims' Advocate Linda Webb were vital to the probe. The Redmond crew was headed by Commander Chuck Krieble and Commander Gail Marsh.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecutors Marilyn Brenneman, Hank Corscadden, and Kristin Richardson took on a murder case that few prosecutors would have attempted— and won. Val Epperson kept all their files in order, a gargantuan job. I also admire King County Superior Court Judge Anthony P. Wartnik for his ability and calm as he oversaw a trial with inflammatory possibilities. And thanks as well to his very helpful assistants, Pam Roark and Barbara Tsuchida, and to King County Court Deputies Andre Tuttle and Richard Clements.
I especially appreciated Judy and Jerry Hagel's kindness as they shared memories of their daughter with me, and I admire their courage and commitment.
Without exaggerating, I have interviewed thousands of detectives in my life, and they have taught me a great deal and have shared their feelings and their philosophies with me to the point that I sometimes feel a little like a detective myself. My gratitude for the cases in
Empty Promises
goes to Don Cameron, Wally Hume, the late Don Dashnea, Arnold Hubner, Jim Byrnes, John Boatman, Walt Stout, Terry Murphy, John Nordlund, Mike Tando, Danny Melton, Gary Fowler, George Marberg, William Dougherty, George Vasil and Darryl Stuver.
Many thanks to former Oregon Attorney General Bob Hamilton, Kent and Kim Smith, Bob Grau, C.N. "Nick" Marshall, Trilby Jordan, Ila Birkland, and to my own office staff: Leslie, Mike and Don.


Empty Promises
Bitter Lake
Young Love
Love and Insurance
The Gentler Sex
The Conjugal Visit
Killers on the Road
A Dangerous Mind
To Kill and Kill Again
The Stockholm Syndrome




Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that, over the last three decades, I have researched and written about more than 1,400 actual felony cases. Most of them dealt with homicide, but many were also about sexual predators, arsonists, bank robbers, and con artists. As I leaf through some of the fact-detective magazines for which I was a correspondent early in my career, I come across cases that once captured my attention for weeks, or even months, and I'm back in a kind of true-crime time tunnel. How many times I sat on hard benches in a stuffy courtroom, and how many hours I spent interviewing detectives or friends and families of victims.
Each case comes back to me as though it is my first. Out of those 1,400 cases, there are probably 300 whose stories might well have happened yesterday; I can recall every detail. Initially, some seemed almost impossible to solve, and others involved human aberration that still shocks me. Sadly, the way humans respond to their needs, wants, desires, and compulsions has not changed, although in many cases it would be fortunate for society if they did.
While I was working on the older cases in this book, I was also writing about and attending the trials of two recent cases that came to court. With an intense rush of déjà vu, I found myself in the same courtrooms I'd visited years
ago, where nothing but the faces had changed. After thirty years, a certain philosophy has burned itself into my mind: Bereft of honesty, empathy, trust, concern for other human beings, and any sense of guilt, there are those among us who seem destined to commit the kinds of crimes that make headlines. There are certain rules of human interaction that, when broken, will lead to tragedy, if not violence. The era in which we live doesn't change that. But sometimes we can only understand the people who break these rules with the clear vision that comes with hindsight.
Then we can see that long before relationships escalated to a point where murder was committed, there were lies. There are people, both men and women, who pretend to be someone they are not. They make commitments, agreements, assurances, pledges, and vows— promises— to get what they want. When they abuse the trust of those who believe in them, those empty promises often lead to violent death.
This is the seventh volume of the crime files series I began in 1993.
Empty Promises
focuses on cases where all manner of victims were betrayed by killers who were adept at making pledges that they never intended to honor. The naïveté of the victims often led to chilling endgames. As I looked for cases for this volume, I wasn't surprised to find an inordinate number of homicides that were spawned by broken love affairs, where one partner "loved" too much. I found many hollow vows made to victims who were kind and trusting— so trusting that their lives ended at the hands of the devious schemers who ensnared them. For many, the promises were implicit in a friendly smile. Innocents— who failed to recognize the danger in those smiles— died.
Two disturbing categories of homicide keep appearing in the letters and calls I receive from readers and detec
tives. One has, I fear, always been with us and is finally surfacing because the victims are no longer ashamed to come forward to ask for help. Many years ago I responded to domestic violence calls when I was a policewoman, but there was nowhere for battered women to go for help in those days. Even though there are now shelters and help, many women live with abuse, both mental and physical, until it is too late. The second murder genre that has accelerated alarmingly in the last decade may well reflect the violent images our children are routinely exposed to: homicides committed by teenagers. Cases representative of each category appear in this volume.
I often say that what real people do can be so heroic, bizarre, savage, and completely unpredictable that no fiction writer could have pulled it out of her imagination. The characters in
Empty Promises
won't disappoint you as you read their incredible stories.
As many of you know, in the seventies and eighties my territory as a correspondent for five fact-detective magazines was the Northwest: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana. In my fifteen years as a stringer, I wrote about the same detectives from big-city police departments dozens of times. Readers of my true-crime files may recognize the names of these investigators. The names are the same; the cases are unique. If I were producing a television series, it would be along the lines of
NYPD Blue, Homicide: Life on the Street,
Hill Street Blues.
But the series would be called
Seattle: Murder in the Emerald City
Portland: Cops and Roses.
Another, far more important, difference would be that every one of my cases would be absolutely true.
Most of the stories in this collection are companion pieces. They show slightly different views of similar motivation on the part of the killers. The first book-length
case deals with the bleak mystery of wives and mothers who vanish inexplicably from their homes. In "Empty Promises" you will learn about a lovely young woman, trapped and seduced by a world that was completely alien to the atmosphere in which she was raised. Her marriage was a nightmare. It's necessary only to turn that story a few degrees to find a tragically similar puzzle.
"Bitter Lake" and "Young Love" demonstrate that not being loved at all can be preferable— and much safer— than being loved too much.
"Love and Insurance" and "The Gentler Sex" seem at first to be quite different from one another. And yet they both deal with charming con artists who actually seem to savor the elaborately deceptive plots they have concocted more than the sex and money that appear— at first— to be their motivation.
"The Conjugal Visit" and "Killers on the Road" explore the mindless kind of murder that we all fear in our deepest hearts. Why would an absolute stranger set out to earn our trust— and at the same time be coldly willing to destroy us? These predators are out there, prowling our streets and highways, looking for a perverted and deadly thrill.
"A Dangerous Mind" and "To Kill and Kill Again" explore the phenomenon of socially alienated youthful murderers whose motivation is more difficult to understand than any I have encountered. Teenage killers inspire shocking headlines as their number increases in our society. We have to wonder how someone so young can be so full of rage.
"The Stockholm Syndrome" stands alone. This is the case on which I based my only novel,
This Oregon case may be a lesson for anyone who has ever said that he or she could never be brainwashed. Think again; it is only a matter of how long it would take.

Other books

Moron by Todd Millar
Totally Toxic by Zoe Quinn
The New Girl by Tracie Puckett
Gift of the Gab by Morris Gleitzman
Ricochet Baby by Kidman, Fiona