A True Story of Murder, Passion, and an Astonishing Hoax
New York Times Bestseller: The “astonishing” true story of the notorious “black widow” who preyed on her husband and daughter and faked her own death (The Washington Post Book World).
Pretty, smart, and pampered, Audrey Marie Hilley grew up in a small Alabama town believing she was entitled to the best of everything. But marriage to her high school sweetheart, a cushy secretarial job, and motherhood were not enough to satisfy Marie, and she soon began to act out in troubling ways. Only when her husband, Frank, became sick with a mysterious illness, did it seem that she was ready to put someone else’s needs ahead of her own. The truth was far more disturbing.
Four years after Frank died, Marie’s daughter, Carol, began to experience debilitating stomach pains. The young woman was near death when the horrifying reality finally emerged: Marie had poisoned her husband with arsenic and was attempting to do the same to her daughter. It was the first in a series of shocking twists that exposed Marie Hilley as a cold-blooded chameleon capable of the most sinister of crimes. From Alabama to Florida to New Hampshire, her trail of death and deceit included multiple identities, a second marriage, a false kidnapping, a fake death, several dramatic escapes, and a final act of desperation that brought the whole sordid saga to an astonishing end.
A mesmerizing portrait of an American murderess with “a genius for deception,” Poisoned Blood is “one of the most riveting true-crime stories in memory” (Publishers Weekly).
The tale of a woman with a genius for deception, this is one of the most riveting true-crime stories in memory. Audrey Marie Hilley grew up in Alabama as a pampered child, feeling that she was entitled to the best; when her middle-class lifestyle after marriage and two children did not provide funds for the best, she kited checks and then poisoned her husband for his insurance money and attempted to poison her daughter. Arrested, she jumped bail and assumed a new identity, that of Robbi Hannon, met and married a second husband and moved with him to New Hampshire. Evidently bored with that identity, she left temporarily and returned as her "twin sister,'' Teri, announcing that Robbi had died; the disguise apparently fooled her husband, but not all of the people she had known as Robbi. She was eventually unmasked, returned to Alabama for trial, found guilty of murder and imprisoned in 1983. The saga of this cold, cruel and calculating person, told expertly by former Providence Journal-Bulletin reporter Ginsburg, is memorable. First serial to Good Housekeeping; Literary Guild alternate.