(Guest post by Jade)
Welcome to Jade’s Book Reviews! I have to say I was thrilled when Trench approached me with the idea of reviewing true crime and crime fiction books, since more than likely you will find me with my nose in a book during any downtime I have. And 9 times out of 10, that book will be true crime or crime fiction.
My first review is of Kathryn Casey’s “Die, My Love”. It is the story of Professor Fred Jablin, who was murdered in his own driveway by his ex-wife, Piper Rountree as he went outside to get his morning newspaper on October 30, 2004. Let me start by saying that one of everyone’s favorite true crime writers, Ann Rule, has referred to Kathryn Casey as “one of the best in the true crime genre”. After reading “Die, My Love” I have to agree with her. This is one of the absolute best books I have read in quite some time.
Mrs. Casey takes us through Fred and Piper’s relationship from the time they met when she was a student and he was a professor at University of Texas – Austin, to the time of Fred’s murder when Piper was living in Houston after many failed attempts at a law career and Fred was a pioneer and leader in the field of Organizational Communication at University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Mrs. Casey’s eye for details and sympathy for the victims (Fred, of course, and his children who lost their loving father) made me feel like I was actually a part of the investigation and trial. She gives us such a clear picture of everyone involved with this case to the point that I felt like I know them personally.
At this time, I would like to thank Mrs. Casey for taking the time to answer a few questions I had about her book and the case itself.
1. Have you kept in touch with Michael Jablin or any of Fred’s children? I’m sure anyone who reads the book will want to know how Jocelyn, Paxton, and Callie are doing.
The most recent information I have is in the Author’s note at the end of the book. At that point, they were doing very well.
2. Have you had any further contact with Piper since you finished the book? Is she still denying that she killed Fred, and is she still trying to convince us that Tina may have done it?
Yes, Piper still maintains her innocence. Piper would be willing to blame anyone, even her own mother, if she thought it would get her out of prison. After all, as Jerry Walters tells us: With Piper, it’s always about Piper.
3. What was your impression of Piper? Did she come across as mentally ill, or just evil?
There are people out there that aren’t really mentally ill but rather display what are termed as personality disorders. Most people who have these, shall we call them traits, are far from dangerous and many live very good lives. In some instances, however, such tendencies become unusually pronounced. Piper is a true narcissist: she cares about herself to the exclusion of even her children.
4. What drew you to this case initially?
Fred and Piper were such an odd couple to have their story end in murder. He was steady and methodical; on the surface, Piper appeared the perfect mother, a woman who loved children and animals and claimed to be guided by angels. I wanted to know why this happened.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I definitely give this book a 5!