Saturday, June 6, 2009

Death In Texas by Carlton Smith

Robert and Doris Angleton seemed to have the perfect life. Until she was coldly murdered in her own home, shot thirteen times in the head, chest, and abdomen...
Suddenly the ideal husband seemed anything but perfect: he was jailed, accused of hiring his older brother, Roger, to kill his wife for money,possibly as much as $2 million. However, without the crucial eyewitness testimony of Roger,who soon committed suicide in a Houston jail cell,the case against Robert rested entirely on circumstantial evidence. But the facts raise more questions than answers...

* Doris Angleton,deeply involved in a secret love affair,had asked her husband for a divorce, which might have exposed him as a tax-skipping millionaire bookie and favored police informant...
* Extensive handwritten and typewritten notes, coupled with a secretly taped conversation between Roger and another man outlining the murder, were found in a briefcase Roger Angleton was carrying when he was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, it was later concluded that the second voice on the tape was not Robert's...
* Also in Roger's briefcase: $64,000 in cash, along with a money wrapper with Robert's fingerprint on it...
* Ultimately Roger confessed to the murder in his suicide note, exonerating his brother of any guilt...
A Texas jury came to one conclusion. (editorial review)

Carlton Smith was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting in 1988, and for the true crime readers who enjoy books that delve deeply into the investigation process Carlton Smith always delivers.This book did not have much background information on the main characters so in my case I was disappointed.

The investigation is detailed as and when the actual investigators would have found out about each certain fact.Due to this I got an insight as to how confusing investigative work actually is and how you ned to keep the facts in order in your own mind to avoid getting sidetracked by details which might be irrelevant.Carlton Smith does go one step further by helping to keep the details clear by emphasising on the importance of each.But this was a really complicated crime and his work was cut out for him from the get go.

This book is only available on Kindle now but I have the "real" book version.This review is part of my mission to review all my "old" books in the month of June and get that out of the way so I can concentrate on "new" and current books that I am reading.

I prefer true crime books that give a reasonable amount of attention to all the main categories of a true crime and this book was full of the investigation and very little background(which I enjoy) so it does not rate highly in my eyes.

Here is the link if you would like to read some more reviews on this book
Death in Texas: A True Story of Marriage, Money, and Murder

I read this book in November 2007 and it does have the 8 pages of photographs.I was also horrified that they would include a photo of the dead victim.How that happened I have no idea.It is not a gory photo at all but I really would have liked to have been warned first.

Here are some more book details
Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's True Crime (October 4, 2005)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
and here is the ISBN code which I got off my original order from back in 2007
ISBN 9780312970758

My Question:
Do you feel more sympathy for husbands that kill wives who were going to leave them as in a crime of passion as opposed to husbands who kill their wives for money?


  1. Another Texas stroy! I'll have to look into this.

    I don't know if sympathy is the word I'd use but I could see a little more leniency being shown in a crime of passion. It depends on the man and how he treated his wife before. If he was an abuser and a controller then killed his wife when she wanted to leave I would feel no more sympathy than toward the cold blooded money killer.

  2. ok then.How about this?Where do we classify Scott Peterson.He didn't kill his wife for money so does that fall under a crime of passion then?He never abused/controlled his wife before one fine day he decided to kill her?
    And you're right I used the wrong word in my question by using "sympathy"-thanks for pointing that out.What was I thinking,me,who says they should all rot in hell(lol)

  3. Sharon you are right.Am busy reading the book Eraser Killers and there is information on this case that I never knew about although I think I have read every other book on this case.Will post review soon.


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