If anything ever happens to me, promise me that you will see that there is an investigation....And find Ann Rule and ask her to write my story," Sheila Blackthorne Bellush told her sister after she divorced multimillionaire Allen Blackthorne. Now, in perhaps the first book ever written at a victim's request, America's Number One bestselling true-crime writer, Ann Rule, untangles a horrific web of lies that culminated in Sheila's savage murder more than ten years after she left Blackthorne.
When beautiful, blond Sheila married the charming, handsome Blackthorne, she was convinced she had found her perfect soul mate, and helped him reach his goal of living the privileged life of the country club set. But behind Allen's smooth facade, she discovered a violent, controlling sociopath -- a liar, a scam artist, a sexual deviant. When she finally fled with their two young daughters, she was skeletally thin, bruised, and beaten.
Although Sheila recovered, remarried, and was starting a new life and family, she still felt she was doomed. Joyously pregnant, she and her new husband expecting quadruplets, Sheila still feared Blackthorne, who had sworn to her he would monitor her every move and "every breath you take." And, in fact, Blackthorne inevitably tracked her down, as did her killer, who left her in a pool of blood marked by the tiny footprints of her two-year-old toddlers. The questions remained: Could the authorities ever link Sheila's murder to Blackthorne himself? Was his true obsession high-stakes golf and his extravagant pink mansion -- or was it to destroy Sheila?
Following a trail of deception from Oregon and Hawaii to Texas and Florida, Ann Rule gained complete access to Sheila's family, friends, and neighbors, as well as to the detectives and prosecutors on the case. With Every Breath You Take, Ann Rule has written a heart-pounding account of obsession, revenge, and murder that will enthrall readers from beginning to end.
The latest from respected true crime veteran Rule (And Never Let Her Go,etc.) walks readers through the tortured life and ugly murder of Sheila Bellush, a woman relentlessly pursued by her sexually obsessed ex-husband, Allen Van Houte. The crime scene is horrific: Bellush lies dead in the kitchen while her toddler quadruplets are left to walk naked through her blood. Bellush had long warned close friends that she feared her ex-husband's reprisals and went so far as to request "if I'm not here... find Ann Rule and have her write my story." Rule, in classic form, meticulously re-creates the prosaic lives of her characters, charting one woman's pleasantly humdrum existence undermined by a man bent on making a fortune though defaulting on bank loans and pedestrian cons, such as swindling family members. After he lured Bellush into his world of sexual play, she left him, and he hired a man to kill her. The subsequent fallout included a complex and lengthy inquiry by investigators. There are no surprises here for the reader, though some may enjoy Rule's examination of Van Houte's manipulative and predatory nature. Essentially, this account is too long for its limited subject matter.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I was so into this book. I can't begin to describe my disgust of Allen. He mad my skin crawl. He is the devel. I wondered why Maureen was't prosecuted for her involvement. I think there was no question she knew everything from the beginning. My heart and prayers go out to Sheila's family. No one should have to live through what they did.
Every Breath You Take
Entertaining well researched story. Terrible proofreader.