Cruel Doubt by Joe McGinniss

Cruel Doubt

From the #1 bestselling author of Fatal Vision and Blind Faith comes a rivetingr on a harrowing journey into the bizarre housewife and mother whose millionaire husband is savagely murdered in bed beside her, leaving her near death.

Details Cruel Doubt

TitleCruel Doubt
Release DateOct 1st, 1991
PublisherSimon & Schuster
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, History

Reviews Cruel Doubt

  • Nancy
    One of the best true crime books I have read in a very long time. Fascinating pre-trial legal maneuvering in a very complex case, as the attorneys for three defendants sought the truth of the matter and tried to ethically and professionally represent each of their clients while protecting the emotional needs of the one surviving victim. The defendants, the sister, the surviving wife/mother victim, all of the attorneys, the judge that heard the ca...
  • Tanja Berg
    This book is obviously well-written, but I did not like it. There were too many unanswered questions. I particularly disliked the fact that the jury sentenced one boy to death based on hear-say, incosistent evidence of his supposed two co-conspirators who both had the obvious motive of saving their own skins. So yes, in the United States of America, it is perfectly possible to be sentenced to death without a single shred of physical evidence. Tha...
  • Jill Hutchinson
    This book started out well but it started going downhill about half-way through. It became repetitive and the subsequent trial was a real snooze inducer. It is the true story of a family in NC in which the father is beaten and stabbed to death in his bed and his wife is left barely alive. Although they are a very non-social couple, they apparently have no enemies and it does not appear to be a robbery that went wrong. The local police do a terrib...
  • Della Scott
    This is one of those true crime books that haunts you because, I, at least, had more questions at the end of the book than at the beginning. Joe McGinnis is the author of Fatal Vision, about the Jeffrey McDonald case, and there are some similarities with this one. Both take place in the same part of the country, and both are about family members under an umbrella of suspicion. When Washington, NC resident Leith Von Stein is found stabbed to death...
  • Jessica
    As a North Carolinian, the authors disrespect for the entire state with the exception of UNC was difficult to get past. He spends a lot of time rehashing biases typically ascribed to outsiders and the "UNC" elite of the state. He clearly has no affection for the small towns he describes and practically blames the central crime on NC State University. By the by there are good reasons to go out of the way to visit Washington. It has a cute little d...
  • Tom
    It was an ok read and kept me occupied when I needed distraction. It reminded me that once upon a time in the eighties Dixiecrats still existed.
  • Leslie
    Hm...this is hard. The book is better written than 3 stars. The difficulty is that it's a true horror story, which turns out to be wickedly unsettling. Also, although I have no memory of this case - I was 10 when the murder was committed - I was living in Raleigh, had friends we visited in Little Washington around this time, and have close ties to NC State, so it feels very close to home. And I feel somewhat like I stopped to watch a train wreck....
  • Teresa
    Bonnie Von Stein 's life was perfect - married to her heart's true love; two nearly grown children; and forever stretching out in front of her. But her perfect bliss was shattered the night an intruder broke into her home, killing her husband and almost killing her.In "Cruel Doubt," Joe McGinniss writes about this terrible tragedy that would have destroyed a lesser person.Invited by Wade Smith, one of Jeffrey MacDonald 's defense attorneys to who...
  • ♥ Marlene♥
    Very well written but I noticed I started to get a bit annoyed because it appeared the author believed anything Bonnie van Stein told him. I want to read jerry Bledsoe's book about the same case. I've heard that he had access to the other defendants. I am not sure if the real killer(s) was punished enough. 3.5
  • Debdanz
    this is an extremely redundant, repetitive account of true crime- the 1988 murder in NC by a drug using, D&D playing NCSU student and his friends. could have told the same story just as effectively in 100 pages. this is an extremely redundant, repetitive account of true crime- the 1988 murder in NC by a drug using, D&D playing NCSU student and his friends. could have told the same story just as effectively in 100 pages.
  • Nicole Gust
    was a slow read for me so that normally means it is not that good.
  • SouthWestZippy
    Very good true crime book.
  • Lynne
    This book describes the mystery of the brutal murder of Lieth Von Stein and the violent attack on his wife, Bonnie, as they lay sleeping in their bed. In Cruel Doubt, the author considers all attempts to solve this heinous crime from every angle: that of the local police and state investigators, as well as attorneys representing all sides in the crime. Joe McGinniss covers the investigation in great detail- which may be his downfall. At first, I ...
  • Jami
    this was a very well written book. engaging. but the story is crap. that this book could be written, that some of the details could be put out there for each one of us to read, and that there is nothing any of us can do to change any of it. that a prosecutor can convince a lawyer to convince his client, the victim, to change her story to fit the uncorroborated narrative of a man with everything to gain from his lies. so that the prosecutor can co...
  • Wanda Keith
    I read this book many years ago but when I came across it at Goodwill recently I thought I would give it another try. McGinniss is very thorough in his telling of this very sad story. Though it gets a bit bogged down with so much detail, it is understandable why the writer does so. Just as Dungeons and Dragons played such a big part in this story, one can see how this same scenario could be played out with the video games of today. It is interest...
  • Michelle Tackabery
    I listened to this to compliment my reading of Blood Games by Jerry Bledsoe, which was a far superior book. While this work benefits from direct access to the victim and her children, the only revelation it holds is the suspected relationship between Angela Pritchard and James Upchurch, and the possibility (likelihood) that Neal Henderson participated in the murders. On the whole, however, for what was a full year of access to the family, McGinni...
  • Connlou Ross
    (c)1991 I loved the book. Just the way it was written draws the reader in from the get go. I have to admit I googled the survivor when I first started reading the book. As a reader I couldn't read fast enough to see who would be indicted for the murder and attempted murder. I wanted to know who was involved and I have to admit I was shocked. This was a book worth picking up.
  • Stephanie
    I don't know - this is the second novel of the author's that I've read, also Fatal Vision, and I just couldn't get behind either. I don't like his writing style in the least - I find it hard to follow and this case in particular which should have been incredibly interesting, wasn't.
  • Lloyd A. Dooley
    Tragic story on many levelsThe story of a murder that, even with McGinniss' thorough investigation, still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Every time I had to put this book down, I was looking forward to when I could continue reading.
  • Jane Thompson
    True Crime StoryThis author's two other books were excellent.However,I could not find anyone to relate to or even to like in this book. It was well written, it not a book that I could enjoy.
  • Tiffany Manning
    Joe McGinniss tells a gripping story of pain, pathos, horror, and humanity. He takes the reader through the investigation, trials, and aftermath that left a family in ruins. This book was wonderfully written and the story interesting. I highly recommend.
  • Teresa
    Oh my God, this book was SOOOOOO slooooow! I picked it up and put it down so many times that I thought I'd never get through it. Interesting case (and I still think the daughter had something to do with it) but at 450+ pages, it could easily have been wrapped up in 200 or less.
  • Debbie
    McGinnis has a way of making true crimes read like mystery novels. But the murder, evil motives, and family heartbreak are all too real.
  • Rosie
    Rather repetitive throughout book—seemed to go over & over & over the crime, investigation, & trial, I was glad to be finished. Rather repetitive throughout book—seemed to go over & over & over the crime, investigation, & trial, I was glad to be finished.
  • Melva Clark
    This is a true crime. The people are real and the author makes you see them as they are. The crime is shocking and the solving is too.
  • Linda
    A very well-written "true crime" story. I've not read true crime before; very interesting. Although, at the end, we still don't know what truly happened....
  • Stephanie
    This book was easy to read and enjoyable. However, I found myself reading the same thing over and over, as if the offer just needed length.
  • Jan
    True story told with compassion and quotes from those involved.
  • Donna Humble
    An interesting book but, it dragged in places.
  • Candice
    Good one