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Cross Plains Public Library (TX)

"If You Tell" by Gregg Olsen

This was a somewhat disturbing true story about murderer Michelle Knotek. Shelly, as she was called, made "Mommie Dearest" look like Mother of the Year! I usually don't read true crime, but it was on sale, so I bought it.

Not only did Shelly bully and torture her own children, but she also preyed on outsiders who were weak and vulnerable.  Under the guise of being a good Samaritan and taking people in who had no place to go, Shelly inflicted pain and suffering on them for years. It was shocking that several of her murder victims were adults that just could not break themselves free from her and leave. I was flabbergasted at what they put up with. The book goes into graphic detail of the abuse and torture: everyone had to have Shelly’s permission to use the restroom and if they did without asking, they drank their urine or ate their feces; showers were given outside with a hose and Clorox; old moldy food was thrown into a blender and fed to them; the abuse goes on and on!  The kids were sent to school in the same clothes for weeks and yet no teachers noticed?

 Shelly intimidated her weasel husband to do her bidding and he believed every lie she told. He helped her burn the bodies and throw the bones and ashes in the ocean!  If you like true crime and have the stomach for it, I recommend this book.

 And note that because the bodies were never found, Shelly and her husband could not be sentenced to life.  Hubby has already been released from prison and Shelly will be out in a couple of years!


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