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.
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.
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.
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.