American Mother: The true story of a troubled family, motherhood, and the cyanide poisonings that shook the world by Gregg Olsen
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If You Tell comes the absolutely unputdownable and chilling true-crime story of Stella Nickell-a mother and wife who did the unthinkable... and the unforgivable.
At 5.02 pm on June 5, 1986, an emergency call came into the local sheriff's office in the small town of Auburn, Washington State. A distressed housewife, Stella Nickell, said her husband Bruce was having a seizure. Officers rushed to the Nickell's mobile home, to find Stella standing frozen at the door... Bruce was on the floor fighting for his life.
As Stella became the beneficiary of over $175,000 in a life insurance pay-out, forensics discovered that Bruce had consumed painkillers laced with cyanide.
A week later, fifteen-year-old Hayley was getting ready for another school day. Her mom, Sue, called out 'I love you' before heading into the bathroom and moments later collapsed on the floor. Sue never regained consciousness, and the autopsy revealed she had been poisoned by cyanide-tainted headache pills. Just like Bruce.
While a daughter grieved the sudden and devastating loss of her mother, a young woman, Cindy, was thinking about her own mom Stella. She thought about the years of neglect and abuse, the tangled web of secrets Stella had shared with her, and Cindy contemplated turning her mom into the FBI...
Gripping and heart-breaking, Gregg Olsen uncovers the shocking true story of a troubled family. He delves into a complex mother-daughter relationship rooted in mistrust and deception, and the journey of the sweet curly-haired little girl from Oregon whose fierce ambition to live the American Dream led her to make the ultimate betrayal.
A sensational real-life mystery, American Mother will hook those fascinated by The Staircase and Making of a Murderer.
This book was originally published as Bitter Almonds.
Read what everyone is saying about Gregg Olsen:
A riveting, taut, real-life psychological suspense thrill ride... All at once compelling and original, Gregg Olsen's If You Tell is an instant true-crime classic. -M. William Phelps, New York Times bestselling author
Classic true crime in the tradition of In Cold Blood and The Stranger Beside Me. -James Renner, author of True Crime Addict
Bristling with tension, gripping from the first pages, Gregg Olsen's masterful portrait of children caught in the web of a coldly calculating killer fascinates. A read so compelling it kept me up late into the night, If You Tell exposes incredible evil that lived quietly in small-town America. That the book is fact, not fiction, terrifies. -Kathryn Casey, bestselling author of In Plain Sight
This riveting account will leave readers questioning every odd relative they've known. -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An unsettling stunner about sibling love, courage, and resilience. -People Magazine (book of the week)
A compelling portrait of terror and a powerfully honest, yet still sensitive, look at survival. -Bookreporter
A true-crime tour de force. -Steve Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of No Stone Unturned
Olsen has done it again, giving readers a glimpse into a murderous duo that's so chilling, it will have your head spinning. I could not put this book down! -Aphrodite Jones, New York Times bestselling author
A suspenseful, horrific, and yet fascinating character study of an incredibly dysfunctional and dangerous family by Gregg Olsen, one of today's true-crime masters. -Caitlin Rother, New York Times bestselling author