Before He Wakes by Jerry Bledsoe

Before He Wakes

Barbara Stager appeared to be a devoted mother, loving wife, and dedicated church leader in her North Carolina community. When she "accidentally" shot her husband, a popular high school coach, the police believed it was an accident. Then they found out her previous husband had died in a similar manner, and her facade began to unravel. Photos.

Details Before He Wakes

TitleBefore He Wakes
Release DateFeb 1st, 1996
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery

Reviews Before He Wakes

  • Charlene
    This audiobook kept me entertained while working out, but it so awful in so many ways. I cannot believe how many people gave this book a good rating. I get that people don't care for too much ambiguity when murder is involved. There is a murderer and a victim. The style chosen by this author to tell this story was just absurd. Everything she, the murderer, did was awful. She wanted a new washing machine, talked about sex with her friends, talked ...
  • Lori
    "Before He Wakes" is a frightening tale of sleeping with a monster and a bit of a cautionary tale. Barbara Stager - - devoted wife, loving mother, churchgoer, obedient daughter or cold blooded murderer? If you believe this book, not to mention the State of North Carolina and good, basic common sense, she is nothing more than a cold blooded murderer, masquerading as the devoted wife, loving mother, churchgoer and obedient daughter. This book is an...
  • Mmyoung
    You don't need to be interested in 'true crime' stories to find this a fascinating and worthwhile read. For me it shed light on a number of subjects.1) the practical/legal aspects of living in a gun culture. "Accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun in the middle of the night" and "Accidentally shot her husband while removing the loaded gun he kept under his pillow for fear he would wake up and mistakenly shoot their son thinking him an i...
  • Georgiann Hennelly
    Barbara Steger appeared to be a devoted mother, loving wife, and dedicated church leader. In the Durham community of North Carolina. When she accidently shot her husband popular high school coach Russ the police were inclined to believe her-until they found out that ten years earlier her first husband had died in a strangely similar way . When Det Rick Buchanan starts relentlessly investigating her life a stunning vortex is revealed of compulsive...
  • Heather Fineisen
    Some people like The Love Dare or Gary Chapman when they need to recharge their marriage batteries. Some of us just need a good old she-killed-him-true-crime to get us through. Guess which one I subscribe to?
  • J.H. Moncrieff
    Started off as an excellent read, but--like many true crime books--fell apart in the last third, which was a long, drawn-out description of the trial, with biographies of all the lawyers, the judges, etc. Up until that point, it was an intriguing, fast-paced story.
  • Kandyce Barber
    It was difficult for me to feel strongly for any character, though intriguing storyline.
  • Naomi
    It is a rarity that I find a book that impacts me, even a true crime book. I still remember every detail of this book even though I probably read it 15 years ago. This story impacted me so much that I still follow where Barbara Stager is in the North Carolina judicial system..thank God she has been up for parole numerous times yet has failed to get it...Keep up the good work North Carolinea Parole Board! Now, too bad the police can't get it toget...
  • Jenn
    ****Spoiler Alert******Wow. I was surprised that it took such a short time to come up with a verdict. And that to this date she's still rotting in prison. She was deceitful, disgusting and received no sympathy from be at all. Maybe it's the way the book was written but I somehow doubt that. An interesting read for sure.
  • Fishface
    An excellent read about some really hideous crimes. The author kept things moving at all times and never bogged down for a moment. Instead of telling you what he thought should have been the outcome, he asked the parties involved in the situation. Really well done. Made me wonder how often other people get away with this sort of thing.
  • Rachel Aranda
    This book made me nervous about having a step parent for the longest time. It made me feel relieved that my step dad at the time, while we have disagreements on many things, I know that he loves and respects my mom.The book started off very strong in my opinion as it held onto my attention. however around the last third of the book I noticed that my attention wandered.
  • Elizabeth Saunders
    From the moment you read the jacket, you know who gets killed, and you kinda know who gets caught, but you still can't put it down. Jerry Bledsoe did a great job both on detailed research and in putting all the facts in order in a way that really flows.
  • Ronnie Cramer
    I've read this book several times in the last twenty years and I heartily recommend it. It tells the story of Barbara Stager, who lost two husbands in firearm 'accidents' (think about those odds for a moment). Full of memorable sequences; I wish more true crime books were this good.
  • Donna Humble
    A good book that left me wondering if justice was served.
  • Lenny
    Excellent true crime murder story. Wife who kills two different husbands in bed. Says they both were shot in bed by accident.
  • Stephanie
    Guilty pleasure time...crazy lady kills husband. AGAIN.
  • Cheryl A. Breidigan
    Both times just as goodRead this book a few years ago and second time around just as good. Well written and to the point without a lot of unnecessary wording.
  • Laura Beth
    A book I re-read over and over again. It's a classic.
  • Heather
    She sooo did it! Two husbands accidentally killed 10 years apart? Very convenient. It is a well written, page-turner for true crime enthusiasts. She sooo did it! Two husbands “accidentally” killed 10 years apart? Very convenient. It is a well written, page-turner for true crime enthusiasts.
  • Clare
    Listened to in audio format.This was a fascinating account of murderer Barbara Stager. In the early hours of the morning mother of two Barbara accidentally shot her husband High school coach Russ Stager. When interviewed she told the police she accidentally shot Russ whilst removing the gun from under his pillow.The police ruled the shooting as an accident until Russ's ex wife contacted the police. Russ told her that he and Barbara were heavily i...
  • Gail Hedlund
    Well written story of a horrific of til death us do part...twice. I for one am very glad she is still behind bars where she belongs. Feel for her children & the families of her victims, they didn't deserve this nightmare.
  • Jeff
    An interesting, well written book, except that my usual pet peeve comes into play here. I just hate long, drawn out trials in true crime books. I find the trial portion to be boring and tedious. That applied to this book. Lost one star because of that.
  • Melissa
    Interesting True CrimeAs someone who loves watching true crime series on TV, I found this book incredibly interesting. The story was laid out well and was an easy read even for those who do not typically enjoy nonfiction.
  • Tal
    This was my first true crime book. I was expecting something that read more like a novel instead of like a case report. The writing did not do the story justice.
  • Kathiey V.
    It is a good book. It does not read like a novel but tells you the facts in this true life case.
  • Candice
    Jerry Bledsoe is always readable, though he lays the Christianity on pretty thick.
  • Kristi Richardson
    A Christian mother who is accused of killing both of her husbands in the same way.Barbara Steger is no longer on death row. Jerry Bledsoe takes us through the life and trials of this woman, who for all appearances was a model wife and mother. Underneath that façade, she was a woman who craved things more than anything else in her life. She was continuously in debt and cheated regularly on both husbands. She was a great churchgoer and still has m...
  • Kitty
    I should have read this book years ago, but I am catching up. I love the way that Mr. Bledsoe writes. It just covers about every particular one could possibly want to know. From the killing to the back ground and life of the killer, to the families on both sides. It's a lot to take in. There is just enough of the trial and legalese to make it a page turner. And last but not least, God has his place in the various tenets of belief. Mr. Bledsoe als...
  • CatBookMom
    There's a lot made in this book - and in the trial - about this woman being a Christian, working a lot with her church, doing good deeds, etc. But she also coldly, and with greed as her primary motive, shot two husbands dead. And nearly got away with it, because the good-'ol-boy cops just couldn't begin to do their jobs or even imagine that such a sweet li'l lady would do such a thing. If it weren't for Husband #2 saying something to his still-fr...