New York Times Bestselling Author
True Crime, Narrative Nonfiction, Memoir, Mystery
“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. As a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist, Rother worked nearly 20 years for daily newspapers. Writing books full-time since 2006, she draws from decades of watchdog reporting on topics from addiction to suicide, mental illness, murder, government, political corruption and the criminal justice system. A popular speaker, she has appeared more than 250 times on TV, radio and podcasts as a true crime expert. She loves to go ocean swimming, and sings and plays keyboards in the acoustic group, Harmonic Convergence. Explore the photo galleries and learn about her latest titles, backlist, videos, and podcasts!
If you have tips on this or other book-worthy stories, please contact Rother at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
DOWN TO THE BONE: A Missing Family's Murder and the Elusive Quest For Justice (Citadel, January 2024)
Joseph and Summer McStay, and their two young sons, Joey 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 two bowls 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 phones or credit cards. Nearly four years later, their skeletal remains were discovered in the High Desert of San Bernardino County -- with holes in their skulls, along with a sledgehammer consistent with the injuries, and Summer's bra sliced in half and her pants pulled off. A year after that, Joseph's business partner, Charles "Chase" Merritt, was arrested for their murders, but maintains 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 row. Nonetheless, some observers believe Merritt was wrongly convicted, or if he was involved, didn't act alone. Rother takes her usual deep dive into this case.
Now under development for a limited TV series, with Rother as executive producer along with Untitled Entertainment
DEATH ON OCEAN BOULEVARD: Inside the Coronado Mansion Case (Citadel, 2021)
"You’ll be convinced first one way then the other as you race through the pages of this disturbing mystery. DEATH ON OCEAN BOULEVARD is so meticulous, so organized... Caitlin Rother is the journalist we all want to be when we grow up."
--True crime author Camille Kimball
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. (See more inside.)
"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."
-- Library Journal
“Bondage, power, and secrets-- The 350-page book, laden with details, reports, and information, guides the reader through the chilling death, the lawsuit and lingering questions in swift fluidity. Most importantly, it unveils insightful new details, most as vexing and troubling as they are illuminating.
-- The Coronado Times
Please check Caitlin's Blog page for her virtual tour calendar for book signings, interviews, and more.