Sunday, June 7, 2009

Deadly Mistress by Michael Fleeman

West Coast doctor Kenneth Stahl would do anything to free himself from his wife Carolyn. Then Adriana Vasco,Kenneth' s former receptionist and mistress of nine years,obliged by introducing him to ex-con Dennis Earl Godley. The deal was set. Godley would murder Carolyn for thirty-thousand dollars. On the day after her 44th birthday, the trusting victim was lured to a lonely stretch of road. The deadly rendezvous took a shocking turn. Not only was Carolyn gunned down with a .357 Magnum, but Kenneth would also be killed. The hit man' s getaway driver was the other woman, Adriana Vasco. In a sensational trial, a tangled web of lies, sex, and betrayal unfolded as Adriana and Dennis turned against each other...

This story on its own should convince you to not even consider a life of crime.What happened to Kenneth Stahl was in my opinion,deserving,but should also prove to be a deterrent to people who might have the same idea.This saying comes to mind "Lie down with dogs and you will get fleas." Sorry to Oprah and Suzanne because I know their dogs don't have fleas!!

This book also brings forth the amazing skills of investigators and how through their knowledge and expertise are able to track down killers and bring them to justice.You have to remember that in this case the husband and wife were shot.How the investigators came to unearth the truth that the husband was also involved is investigative skills at its best.

Michael Fleeman is a good writer and this book certainly attests to that.I just have one complaint.Referring to other crimes which were not well publicised when referring to an area does not really add reader value.I think there is value when you mention a criminal that we all know but when we don't,this information just falls under "filler" details.Unless of course you give some details on the crime itself and the crime actually has a strange twist to it.Mentioning that so-and-so killed so-and-so on this stretch of road is just not that interesting.Just my opinion,use it don't use it!

What amazed me about this true crime story is that the couple were so well established career wise.The husband was a doctor and an anesthisiologist and the wife was an optometrist.I always assume when I see couples like that that they must be normal as they are both well educated.I assume that having had the determination to study for 5+ years that they must be outstanding responsible citizens.Well,it appears that it does not really matter how high your IQ is,the need for love,and acquiring it either though money or sex,seems to be at the very base of our existence and likely to be a reason for murder for centuries to come.Some things just never change and despite evolving from apes we have yet to evolve (or at least bring under control) the need for love or versions of love which can best be described as "tainted" or "warped".

I enjoyed reading this book and although it was about the all too familiar husband kills wife I was intrigued by the fact that he also ended up shot so I wanted to find out how this happened and how it came out into the open.Michael Fleeman provides that in an easy to understand and follow writing style.

If you would like to find out more about this book then South African readers can access via Kalahari Books and for more reviews then access via the Amazon link below
Deadly Mistress: A True Story of Marriage, Betrayal and Murder (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
I read this book in June 2007 and has the usual 8 pages of photographs.

Here are some more book details:

Country: United States of America
Format: Mass market paperback
Publisher: St. Martin's True Crime Classics
ISBN: 9780312937409
Publication date: November 2005
Pages: 291
Illustrations: Illustrated

My Question:
Seeing as Kenneth Stahl actually arranged to have his wife killed but also ended up getting killed in the process,do you think he deserved it?And if your answer is an immediate and resounding NO,no one deserves to die,then what about the fact that if he had survived he would have been prosecuted and given the death penalty,does he then deserve to die?


  1. That is quite a twist, sounds like an interesting read! Yet, he deserved it. It is amazing to me too when I read about a well educated or wealthy person doing this.

  2. Loving Natalee cane in today. Thanks so much, Yvette!

  3. Normal-looking people can definitely have "dark sides". People are so foolish to think that they can have their spouse murdered and get away with it. Like you said, he got what he deserved...Adriana Vasco turned out to be the "Dirtiest Of Them All". Great review!

  4. an eye for an eye - which ever way he ended up dead - he deserved it..

    As you said the fact that he knew some life, a level of professionalism behind him - clearly it's not insanity...

    I would probably go strongly with premeditated- so which ever method he died by - yeah - well deserved..
    At least this way - less of tax payers money to waste on a trial..


  5. Sharon,glad ur book arrived and hope you enjoy!
    Missy & E.H.,I must have the most ruthless readers.Anyone looking for a really good jury should come here hey?
    But you know what the funny thing was?You know just before someone gets sentenced the families of the victims get to have their say.Well it was so funny for me that Kenneth Stahl's father actually stood up and had his say along the terms of you killed my wonderful son.I mean really!sometimes you really should just keep quiet??

  6. I thought i was the only one who cringe when people state the obvious...

    But i suppose you have to feel for him, and think - "say less rather than more"...

    And I am ruthless - I think I'm blacklisted from jury service anyhow... scary thought me on Jury duty...

    Missy -defend yourself girl...(LOL)


  7. Him being killed is a twist in the story huh? I think that is the first time I have heard of that. :)

  8. I worked with Dr. Carolyn Stahl she had the sweetest voice.. Well to this day I still wonder what really happened why did he get killed to. One scary thing that haunts me is that a few weeks before they were killed I saw to strangers in a car out side of the building we worked in. After finding out the killers got caught I remembered them. They looked evil especially Adriana Vasco..


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