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This is a well-researched, well-written book that devotees of the true crime genre will enjoy. The author, Jerry Bledsoe, is right up there with the other true crime greats, Jack Olsen and Ann Rule. The book, which contains eight pages of photographs, reveals an astounding tapestry of deceit, lies, and greed, all of which led to a cold blooded murder of a husband by his seemingly devoted wife.
Barbara Stager was a middle-aged woman with expensive tastes. Unfortunately, she and her husband Russ, a high school coach, did not earn the kind of money that could pay for the finer things in life. She needed money. He was insured. So, this church going, ostensibly devoted wife and mother, shot her husband while he slept, claiming that it was an accident. Funny thing, almost the same thing had happened to her first husband, who had died in bed of a gunshot wound, when a gun she claimed he was handling went off accidentally.
The investigation following the death of her second husband revealed a web of lies and a private woman far different from her public image. Barbara Stagers was a woman given to sexual licentiousness, excess spending, thievery, and compulsive lying. The investigation of the murder of Russ Stager led the police to believe that the death of her first husband, Larry Ford, a death that had originally been classified as accidental, was also almost certainly murder. The scary thing is that she almost got away with it a second time. This book is a fascinating look at a real life, black widow.
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on 21 March 2001
Barbara Stager. What a cunning web of deceit and lies she spun, and for what? MONEY. A truly brilliant story by Jerry Bledsoe that kicks right into the heart and soul and devious mind of Barbara Stager. A woman so consumed with the prestige of money and what it could buy resorted to the ultimate crimes, killing both her husbands! Every page was absorbing from start to finish, and I can only hope that her surviving family members feel that maybe some justice did prevail at the end.
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on 13 April 1999
Having read pretty much "everything" true crime related; I can say this is one of the best. I really did read it all in one night.There wasn't any of that "needless" details et. al. Just a great book and to the point.
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on 18 September 2014
This book was well written and, as others said, did not have the unnecessary padding a lot of true crime books have. But there was practically no evidence of murder! Also the sentencing retrial was a farce with some jurors clearly not understanding what they had voted for. Still, a great factual account and I look forward to reading more from Mr Bledsloe.
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on 26 July 2014
Excellent writer. I love true crime books but I had never come across this writer before. He captures the essence of the situation brilliantly and allows the reader to become immersed in the events. I will certainly be reading his other books. He has a fine flowing style and doesn't bog you down with superflous detail yet doesn't leave anything out.
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on 13 August 1997
Barbara Stager was the ultimate black widow. She spun a giant web of lies, larceny and murder, with never a backward glance. She was a cold calculating murderess who gambled the life of her husbands and sons for money. This book was fantastically written and kept me intrigued until the very last page. I was totally convinced, that woman would do anything for a nickel. Anything.
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on 29 August 2014
Another excellent book by Jerry Bledsoe. I had not heard of this case before and was amazed with what this woman thought she could get away with. If she ever gets out, lock your sons up as this is one very very manipulative woman.
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on 8 May 2015
Great read, I love true stories, couldn't put the book down, well my kindle I mean
Well written and love it when you don't know the ending, don't think this was on CI
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on 3 September 2014
It's the first Jerry Bledsoe book I have read and will read his other books. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend if you like true life crime.
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on 7 June 2014
Another well written true crime book by Jerry Bledsoe . This is the third book I have read now by this author and have enjoyed them all.
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