Friday, May 29, 2009

Every Woman's Nightmare by Steven Long

Well-liked and respected, Mark Hacking came from a highly successful Mormon family. His father was a pediatrician. One of his brothers was also a doctor, and his other brother was an electrical engineer. With acceptances into both George Washington University and University of North Carolina medical schools, Mark was on the road to continuing his family's legacy of achievement. And with a beautiful wife by his side, Mark seemed to have it all. But what he had was a tangled web of lies... For eight years, Mark lived a double life of deceptions, petty crimes, and failures, duping everyone, including his trusting wife Lori. But when Lori uncovered his most extraordinary lie, Mark Hacking turned from deceiver to stone-cold killer. On a hot July day in Utah, Mark Hacking told police that his wife had disappeared while jogging. For fourteen days, searchers looked frantically for Lori. The people who knew Mark Hacking and his wife best, watched in amazement as suspicion fell on the outwardly normal, doting young husband who everyone thought was on his way to medical school. When Lori Hacking's badly decomposed body was found in a Salt Lake City landfill, investigators and even family members finally discovered the shocking truth: Mark Hacking was not the man he seemed to be...

This book by Steven Long is about the apparent fairy tale marriage and subsequent murder of Lori Hacking by her husband Mark Hacking who had pretended for years to be going to college.After telling everyone he had been accepted into medical school,Lori Hacking,resigned from her job,as they were now moving to North Carolina so Mark could attend medical school.Lori Hacking then made a call to the university so she could enquire about health benefits and found out that her husband Mark was not registered to attend the medical school.Lori then confronted her husband with this information.This was her last day alive.

I could not find any other true crime books by Steven Long so I assume this is his first one.And if it is indeed his first book then I am waiting anxiously for his next one.This style of writing is my favorite.All the events are set out clearly following an easy to follow timeline.The first chapter takes us into the mind of Mark Hacking as he contemplates his next step forward.Taking research into the mindset of a Mormon and the man being head of the family,Mark's reaction to the confrontation he had with his wife,where she laid everything down,that she was leaving,that the lies were too much,that he was substandard as a husband.He decides to kill her to prevent the lies coming out in the open.Obviously that is as far as the thinking processes go.He has to kill her.He then proceeds to go through half hearted attempts to cover up this murder.

It was interesting to read up on the Mormon way of life,how the young men are sent off on certain missions at a certain age.The scriptures as they read into them,a whole different way of seeing things.This information is provided with no bias and is merely a way of getting the reader to perhaps understand how this crime came into being.

Lori Hacking was adopted and I had this one recurring thought while reading this book.I have always heard of women who give their children up for adoption,how they think of the baby they gave up,especially on their birthdays.I wonder with all this publicity if this young mother(she was 13 when she gave birth to Lori)had an idea that her daughter was now dead or was she still thinking she was alive and well.

I am going to keep Steven Long on my shortlist of writers to follow up on.Despite writing about such a well publicised case which I had followed in the news I was still able to enjoy this book and found quite a lot of information that had not been in the news.The insight into the Mormon way of life was enlightening.

If you would like to find out more about this book then South African readers can access via Kalahari Books and for some more reviews on this book please see the link below
Every Woman's Nightmare: The True Story Of The Fairy-Tale Marriage And Brutal Murder Of Lori Hacking

Here are some more book details:

Country: United States of America
Format: Mass market paperback
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780312937416
Publication date: April 2006
Pages: 256
Illustrations: Illustrated

I read this book in May 2009 via Kindle and there were photographs included so that was nice.


  1. So glad I found your interesting blog on blogcatalog in the blogspot group. I signed up to follow! I love true crime books and have always wanted to write one (if there is an interesting local story). It's late, but I will be back to check out your blog later on. Great blog!

  2. Hi John
    Welcome and very glad you found me too.
    Come back soon!

  3. THis looks like a great book. I'll read it whenever I have it in my hands.
    Thanks for the great review

  4. I am adding this to my summer read list. We have an intresting connection to the Hackings.

    If it were not for Mark Hackings Dad, we would have lost our first born son. His dad save our sons life. For almost 2 weeks we wondered if he would live.His dad caught what was happening after the birth of our son. What was to be a routine new born check turned into a race to get our son from the small hospital to one with a NICU. After this his dad was my childrens Dr for years. This story hurt us, since the family is truely a good family. To watch this story unfold was (even as I type this I fight the tears) how could He be saving childrens lives only to have lost his son in a web of lies, and secrets. It shows us that even though he grew up in a good family, Mormon or not we all have fee agency to choose in this life. He made a bad choice, now he has to live with it. Yet his family still loves him despite this aweful, aweful crime.

    I am really looking forward to reading this book.

  5. Hey Jenny
    It's so strange for me to know someone who knows these people personally.How small is this world!

  6. Thank you so much for the kind review. I have two other books, Death Without Dignity, Texas Monthly Press, 1987, and Every Woman's Nightmare, St. Martin's Press.

    Again, thank you so much.

    Steven Long

  7. It looks like a great book and I cant wait to start reading it!!!! I followed the whole case and it is just to bad that people think that they have to lie to get what they want out of life!!!


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