Sunday, April 19, 2009

House Of Secrets by Lowell Cauffiel

The most dysfunctional family in America,the Sexton family is written about by Lowell Cauffiel in his true crime book,House Of Secrets.Lowell Cauffiel takes readers into a shocking world of abuse, incest, and family murder. In October 1993, Eddie Lee Sexton told his daughter, Pixie, to silence her crying baby. Incredibly, the young mother smothered the infant, and buried it in a shallow grave. Less than a month later, Eddie Lee ordered his son to strangle the baby's father during a family picnic. Sexton was priming his third victim when the FBI and Florida cops caught up with him. Authorities soon learned that these killings were the final heinous acts of a sadistic monster whose reign of psychological and sexual violence had begun back in Ohio. For years, Eddie Lee whipped his children daily, raped his daughters, abused his sons, and even fathered three Sexton babies. But in early 1992, teenager Machelle Sexton fled to authorities, and by early 1995, Sexton was on death row.

What an absolutely brilliant book!This book features in my top ten true crime books of all time and I suppose the fact that Lowell Cauffiel is a bestselling true crime author and veteran investigative reporter must have something to do with this.Despite the intricate story and the many members of the Sexton family who all form part of this story,this brilliant writer manages to bring together all the facts and details in a smooth flowing fashion with focuses on a time line starting from the very beginning till the monstrous father is put away.

I was able to keep track of everyone easily and each member's own story just seemed to mesh and flow so easily.I can only imagine how difficult this must have been for the writer but he did it.This story is unbelievable but sadly true.The power that this father had over everyone offers some insight as to how cults work and succeed at brain washing large numbers of people.You will finish reading this book and heave a sigh of relief that thank goodness you have never lived close to this family.I have no idea if this was the writer's aim but even though there was just one "bad guy" in this story I do not want to ever meet any of these members of the Sexton family.

Which brings me as to why I decided to suddenly review this book.I read a "tweet" about a 47 year old woman named Tammy Sexton who was shot in the head by her husband Donald Ray Sexton who then also shot himself.He died but she survived well enough to make tea for the police who came to help her after she called them.She was then taken to hospital and is doing okay.(the article is dated 18 April 2009)To find out more

What was weird for me was that as soon as I saw the name "Sexton"(for obvious reasons)I remembered this book and the impact it had on me and I wondered if this was maybe one of the sons who "escaped" from the evil father,Eddie Lee, and now was living the same kind of life his father led,by being abusive to his own family.

And for the cherry on the cake this is a piece from another reader's review:
...two people are dead, and the children who suffered the cruel fate of being born into the Sexton family may never completely heal from their injuries.... How strange is that?

Access the full review above and other readers' reviews on this book by using the Amazon link below
House of Secrets

or for South African readers please access more details via Kalahari Books

I read this book in May 2007 and it has 429 pages and an amazing 16 pages of photographs most of which are personal photos of the Sexton family and a few of the body of the dead baby.It was heart breaking to see a photo of little Skipper alive and well before this mad family killed him.This story is a true tragedy and I believe the sins of this father are going to replay well into further generations.That is the absolute crime.The modern day "gift of crime" that carries on giving.....


  1. You're right about that. The survivors are scared and who knows what that "father" has left them with. I pray they got help.

  2. I hope so too although if the Donald Ray is truly a family member then he either got no help or it didnt help.

  3. Hi Yvette! Love your blog! And am nominating you for a Premio Dardos award! I'd nominate you for One Lovely Blog, but you have one already! And I need to thank you for nominating me for it!! Here's the link to your new award:
    Keep up the wonderful blog!

  4. Hey Suzanne
    I went over to your blog to "claim" my award and a big thank you again.And also got quite a few good leads on other blogs to follow so double thanks!!

  5. I read this book many years ago and I still can't believe of the crimes that took place in that house. The author really has a way with words that not only paint the picture, but offers the chilling aura of their actions.

  6. I just read the book and live close enough to this home and have gone by it on numerous occasions. What is really eerie is the degree of lasting horror and effect on these children to almost a possible demonic experiences from some of them and effects. These episodes they have are very intense and scary, especially from the one girl who would be overtaken with demonic voice coming from her and actions and strength......and well the father did do satanic rituals and used how many babies and fetuses it was divulged toward the end of the book were used in these ceremonies?!?!! Also him killing Sherri's baby and they never have found that how many true bodies and murders?
    An endless bottomless pit of yuck and bad things perpetrated by this individual. The degree of despair and isolation these children must have felt and it's a shame some of the attempts to flee and get away for most of them never worked.
    A book I couldn't put down and read in one day.

  7. Thank you for your great review. And yes, researching and writing this book was its own nightmare. It took several years for me to recover, and I decided it would be my last true crime book. I always wondered what pure evil looked like. I found it in House of Secrets -- Lowell Cauffiel, author.

  8. I know one of the now adult children personally and I have had the pleasure of her friendship. She is one of the most benevolent, nonjudgmental people I know. She is also an amazingly wonderful, loving, protective mother. She is a good Christian as well. A much better person than most people I meet daily! God heals if we ask and accept. No, I am not a religious fanatic. I just felt some of you needed to be enlightened.

  9. I read the book and I tell ya I thought It was was very disturbing .I hope the survivors do find Jesus and are able to pick up the pieces.I can only imagine the nightmare they lived and the fear they carried daily.God bless them


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