The bestselling author’s “auspicious debut in the true-crime genre . . . [a] sensitive and searching story of the murders of at least six nursing home patients” (Publishers Weekly).
Outside the dining hall of the Alpine Manor nursing home, there is a sign that reads, “This is Grand Rapids, Michigan,” a reminder for those who can no longer trust their own minds. For months, Cathy Wood has fed these residents, bathed them, and even moistened their eyes with artificial tears. To her, they live in a state worse than death—and she has decided to relieve them of their pain. Wood and her lover, Gwen Graham, make a pact to kill those whom they were hired to care for. No one notices when an elderly person dies a quiet death, but as these two slip deeper into their plan, the terrible secret becomes unbearable.
Lowell Cauffiel’s account of the Alpine Manor murders is a chilling saga of true crime and the twisted lengths to which some will go in pursuit of justice.
Ex- Detroit News writer Cauffiel makes an auspicious debut in the true-crime genre with this sensitive and searching story of the murders of at least six nursing home patients in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1987. The killers were two aides at the home: Cathy Wood, a divorced mother who had turned to lesbianism, and Gwen Graham, long gay. Wood was a brilliant, manipulative individual who enjoyed stirring up trouble; Graham was a harder, more physical woman, capable of violence. They told others about the slayings but were not believed, principally because Wood was known as a congenital liar who delighted in ``mind games.'' She finally convinced her ex-husband of the murders, telling him that she and Graham had killed for fun and excitement. The authorities apprehended Wood first and she turned state's evidence. Graham got five life terms and Wood a sentence of 20 to 40 years. What makes this study noteworthy is Cauffiel's discreet handling of the killers' homosexuality (a restraint not shown by media at the trial) and the excellent concluding section of analyses by a number of psychotherapists which help explain what motivated the crimes. Photos not seen by PW.