“Rother is the next Ann Rule.” -- NYT bestselling author Gregg Olsen
“A suspicious headline-making death proves to be only the beginning as Rother unlocked the door of this real-life mansion of horrors to reveal a shocking true story of money, power, duplicity and scandal.”
-- NYT bestselling author Michael Fleeman on DEATH ON OCEAN BOULEVARD
“With a journalist's eye for the telling details of life, Caitlin Rother is a keen architect of the most important part of storytelling: character. The people in her prose grip you tightly with their truth.”
-- NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly
Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored 14 books, several Kindle ebooks, and a COVID anthology. As a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist, Rother worked nearly 20 years for daily newspapers. Drawing from decades of watchdog reporting on topics ranging from addiction to suicide, mental illness, murder, government, and political corruption, she has written books full-time since 2006. A popular speaker, she appears regularly on TV and radio as a true crime expert. As a private narrative non-fiction writing coach, she helps aspiring and published authors to shape, write, research, and promote their books. She also works as a research consultant. She loves to go ocean swimming, and sings and plays keyboards in the acoustic group, breakingthecode. Read on to learn about her latest titles, backlist, videos, and podcasts, and explore the photo galleries!
"A tantalizing mystery... Rother's vast research catalogs the numerous, extensive, and conflicting inquiries into both deaths, focusing on an intriguing cast of characters with competing motivations."
DEATH ON OCEAN BOULEVARD: Inside the Coronado Mansion Case (trade paperback, April 27, 2021, Kensington/Citadel Press)
Many locals call the death case of Rebecca Zahau "the Coronado mansion murder," despite the sheriff's department's findings that Rebecca committed suicide at the Spreckels Mansion. A jury in civil court agreed, finding Adam Shacknai, her boyfriend's brother, responsible for her "wrongful death." The Zahau family believes Rebecca was murdered, but Shacknai contends he is wrongly accused. As he fights to clear his name, the Zahau family continues to push for the Medical Examiner's Office to change the cause and manner of death to homicide by manual strangulation, and for the criminal case to be re-opened and re-investigated as a murder. Caitlin, whose husband committed suicide by hanging, gives readers an objective, but uniquely personal look at the evidence and theories in this case.
Please check Caitlin's Blog page for her virtual tour calendar and her Events page for a series of virtual book events via libraries and bookstores in Southern California and Arizona, where you will be able to purchase signed copies.
DOPAMINE FIX: A sequel to Caitlin's first mystery novel, NAKED ADDICTION, follows the sexy and intelligent homicide detective Ken Goode as he investigates two suspicious deaths of a plastic surgeon and his daughter, who run a biotech company that is developing a new sex drug. This book takes another look at the underbelly of the wealthy enclave of La Jolla, California. (WildBlue Press/2021)
THE MCSTAY FAMILY: Joseph and his wife Summer, and their two young sons, Joseph Jr. and Gianni, went mysteriously missing from their house in Fallbrook, California, in February 2010. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSD) investigated their disappearance as a missing persons' case for months, after finding no blood or any physical evidence of foul play in the house. However, the circumstances were certainly suspicious: eggs were left out on the counter, a half-eaten apple on the stairs and a bowl of popcorn on the futon, indicating they left in a hurry, yet their family had no idea where they were. The SDSD let the case go cold, deciding the McStays had left voluntarily to Mexico, even though there was no activity on their credit cards. Three years later, their bodies were tragically discovered in the desert of San Bernardino County -- with holes in their skulls, along with a hammer consistent with the injuries, and Summer's pants pulled half off. A year after that, Joseph's business partner, Charles "Chase" Merritt, was arrested for their murders, but maintained his innocence. After many twists and turns in the case, a revolving door of different defense attorneys, and a protracted trial, Merritt was found guilty and, after more delays, sentenced to death. Nonetheless, some people believe Merritt was wrongly convicted and have raised questions about the prosecution's case. For one, three different DNA profiles were found in the graves -- one on the cord tied around Joseph's remains, and one on each of Summer's bra cups, yet none of the profiles matched Merritt's. Did prosecutors send the right man to prison, or was this the work of a drug cartel or a former business associate?
If you have tips on these or other stories, please contact Caitlin at , or find her on Facebook or Twitter.
This short memoir tells the story of my marriage, a traumatic chapter of my life that drew me to the Rebecca Zahau case, and gave me a unique insight into her mysterious death. Drawn to his love for me and his passion for passion, I married a pension fund executive who was my best friend. Little did I know he was a closet alcoholic with borderline personality disorder, a troubled man who would take me on a roller coaster ride of constant chaos and crisis management, 911 calls, suicidal threats, a trip to the psych hospital, and a life-threatening bout of domestic violence. Years after this tragic series of events, which ended in his suicide by hanging in Mexico, I learned how to heal and achieve a happy balance in my life, applying my insights and experiences to my career as a true crime author. This is yet another type of #MeToo tale, which I hope will be eye-opening for many women—and men as well—underscoring the message that even strong, accomplished women can find ourselves in these crazy-making situations. And how we can—and must—find the strength to leave before it’s too late.
STOP THE WORLD: Snapshots From a Pandemic
Caitlin is honored to be one of 40 authors, from 10 countries, to be invited to publish personal essays, stories and poems in this anthology, which represents this historic and devastating crisis in modern times. In her essay, titled, "Carpe Diem," Caitlin writes about the challenges of isolation while in a committed relationship with a partner that has a separate residence, and all the moments of conflict joy they've experienced together. The book is available anywhere books are sold, and all profits will go to charity.