“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 
“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 14 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!

COMING SOON

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

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: April 27, 2021)

2) 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 gone 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 still believe Merritt was wrongly convicted and have raised questions about holes in the prosecution's case, believing that other people either helped or were entirely responsible for the McStays' deaths. 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. Was this the work of a drug cartel, a child molester, or a former business associate, or did prosecutors send the right man to prison?

3) 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. To be published by WildBlue Press in 2021. 

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.

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

    Library Journal

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." 

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

This is a memoir about my marriage, a story 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.

SECRETS, LIES, 

AND SHOELACES

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