Bitter Almonds: The True Story of Mothers, Daughters, and by Gregg Olsen

By Gregg Olsen

Stella Nickell's small-time international used to be considered one of big-time goals. In 1986, her greatest one got here precise while her husband died in the course of a seizure, making her the beneficiary of a $175,000-plus assurance payoff--until professionals chanced on Bruce Nickell's headache pills were laced with cyanide. In an try to conceal her tracks, Stella did the unconscionable. She observed to it stranger may additionally turn into a "random casualty" of cyanide-tainted painkillers. yet Stella's crafty plan got here undone whilst her daughter Cynthia notified federal brokers. And troubling questions lingered just like the mystery of sour almonds...

What may flip a gregarious barfly like Stella right into a cold-hearted killer in a single day? Why could Cynthia, a reflect snapshot of her mom, activate her personal flesh and blood? Did Cynthia demonstrate every thing she knew in regards to the crimes? the beautiful solutions could spread in a case that sparked a countrywide uproar, dug deep right into a afflicted family members heritage, and uncovered an American mom for the gorgeous poison she used to be.

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Davidson believed Fraser understood his criminality as a result of being given too much freedom too often by his parents, but didn’t elaborate. ’And Fraser was doing his best to make sure of it. Fraser’s relationship with Pearl appeared to be the only stable period in his life. Davidson believed Fraser drew his knowledge of women from his contact with prostitutes, bikie girls and women who visited him in prison. He did not express any warm feelings towards any of the women he claimed to have known, and the only way he expressed emotion was through anger.

His increased output when working solo turned his case managers’ tide of criticism to praise, for his work ethic as an external gardener on the prison farm. Staff were happy to work Fraser hard from ‘daylight to dark’ to keep him settled and not let him go ‘hypo’. Prisoners perceived him to be in the ‘screw’s pockets’. qxd 10/5/06 8:49 AM Page 34 compliant with those in authority to violent outbursts of defiance. With the few prisoners he did interact with Fraser was prone to bragging, indicating where he would dispose of bodies and lying about the real crimes for which he had been jailed.

Former chief prison officer Dave Robinson, who worked both in Townsville and Rockhampton jails when Fraser was an inmate, knew it would only be a matter of time before he returned to custody. ‘He was a very violent person,’ Robinson said. ‘He had bouts of violence, you never knew when he was going to go off. ’ As the end of Fraser’s sentence drew near, his temper would erupt. A contractor for the prison nursery later told police he often witnessed Fraser go ‘absolutely mad and was rather frightening’ when he got upset.

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