Rother is the next Ann Rule. -- NYT bestselling author Gregg Olsen 
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
Secrets, Lies, and Shoelaces is a terrific piece of writing--inward looking, vulnerable, reflective, wise, profoundly sad, with an uplifting sendoff. -- Author Craig Lancaster

Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored 13 books and several Kindle ebooks, and has several titles in the pipeline. As a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist, Rother worked nearly 20 years for daily newspapers. Now, drawing from decades of watchdog reporting on topics ranging from addiction to suicide, mental illness, murder, government and political corruption, she writes books full-time. Appearing regularly on TV and radio as a true crime expert, Caitlin is a popular speaker and narrative non-fiction instructor. She also helps first-time authors and aspiring authors as a coach to write, research and promote their books during these challenging times of COVID-19. She also works as a research consultant. In her spare time, you might find her ocean swimming, or singing and playing keyboards in the acoustic group, breakingthecode. Read on to learn about her latest titles, her backlist, videos, podcasts -- and more. Click around and explore the photo galleries!


Caitlin works simultaneously on multiple book projects, which take off like planes on a runway. Next up:


1) "DEATH ON OCEAN BOULEVARD: Inside the Coronado Mansion Case": 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 a personal, but objective look at the evidence and theories in this case.

(Pub date: May 21, 2021)

If you have tips on these or other stories, please contact Caitlin at, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

2) The story of the San Diego Zoo's Frozen Zoo, where scientists have collected more than 10,000 specimens of animals and plants nearing extinction for conservation purposes (bottom left).  This book will be released by San Diego Zoo Global Press in 2021 or 2022.

"Well researched and a quick, engrossing read, this should be popular with true crime readers, especially the Ann Rule crowd."
-- Starred review,

    Library Journal


new edition, revised and updated 

This new version has 30 pages of material since the first edition was released in 2011. Caitlin covered all three trials for Jennifer Henderson-Deleon, Skylar Deleon, and "Crazy John" Kennedy, all of whom were found guilty of murder and sent to prison in the killings of Tom and Jackie Hawks. (Skylar was also convicted of killing of Jon Jarvi).  Jennifer got life without parole, and Skylar and Kennedy were both sent to death row. Now, in this newly updated book readers will get the most recent developments in this tragic but fascinating case. Skylar, who is now living as a transgender female at San Quentin State Prison, killed the Hawkses to cover more than $100K in debts, but her underlying motive was to get money to pay for gender confirmation surgery she could not afford. Effectively forced by the court, California has since adopted a policy allowing transgender inmates to get taxpayer-subsidized surgery. Should Skylar, who tried to cut off her genitals with a razor in jail and has lived for years in the psych unit at San Quentin, be granted the surgery when it was her motive for killing the Hawkses? The victims' families say a resounding "no." 



In one of her latest titles (HarperCollins/Nelson Books/2018), Caitlin and her co-author, Lis Wiehl, take a fresh look at the most notorious

murder case of the 20th century. HUNTING CHARLES MANSON is

chalk full of new details that offer a different and broader perspective on the murderous actions and "Helter Skelter" motive ascribed to Manson and his cult, known as the Manson Family. Many of these details were gleaned not only from new interviews with characters in this 50-year-old case, but also from reviewing original source materials and dozens of recent parole hearing transcripts to re-examine contributing factors and cultural dynamics that have been overlooked in the past. Overall, this book is a cautionary tale, underscoring that history repeats itself. Many of the same dangers exhibited by cultish idealogues like Manson during the era of LSD, the Vietnam War, and the Summer of Love, still exist today.

SLS, paperback front cover, jpeg, 8-6-18

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, 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.





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