David loved Cindy and was loved in return. Or so he thought. The troubled young man clung to his new love and dreamed of their future together. So begins the chain of events that was to evolve into a horror of terrifying proportions. Jack Olsen, bestselling author of "Son," now reveals the details of a true-life romance gone hideously awry.
After weeks of planning, the young misfits from two fine old Texas families donned grotesque battle gear and crept into the luxurious home where Cindy Ray's parents lay asleep with her two small sons. In the hot muggy room, the "cold kill" was over in seconds.
Everyone who knew the unpredictable Cindy suspected that she was involved, but the ghastly crime had been so carefully orchestrated that Houston's top homicide detectives could get nowhere. Cindy wore black and sobbed at the funeral, then began a frenzied attempt to collect her inheritance and as many of her wealthy parents possessions as she could haul away. No one except David West was surprised when she walked out on him.
Then the story took another bizarre turn. In a final bid to solve the case, a seductive young private investigator named Kim Paris was assigned to cozy up to West. Soon the gullible killer was in love, once again with fateful consequences.
Traditionally, true-crime drama illuminates the sinister motivations in the human psyche. Yet Cold Kill reveals something still more frightful -- unspeakable murders are committed, not out of greed, revenge, or blind demented rage, but out of a troubled young man's tragically misconceived code of honor and a desperate need to please and protect the woman of his dreams.
Jack Olsen's Cold Kill is a stunning testament to the profoundly discerning eye of a grand master of true crime. To read Cold Kill is not to forgive David West. It is, however, to undergo the uncanny experience of feeling oneself slowly but surely moving into the shoes of a pathological killer.
Olsen (The Man with the Candy, "Son'') has another winner in his account of the 1984 double murder of Texas lawyer James Campbell and his wife Virginia by their daughter Cindy and her lover, David West. It is a somewhat unusual true-crime study, not because the case was broken by a private detective rather than the police and not because the final disposition of the case is not included, but, rather, because of its searching psychological depiction of the killers. The analysis of the daughter suggests that she was a classic sociopath, a pathological liar incapable of any emotion or thought that did not involve her self-interest, unique in a close and loving family. The lover was far more complex, a weak man, an ex-Marine, who desperately wanted to appear strong, a man chivalrous toward women and uniformly unsuccessful with them. Their story makes for shattering reading.