OVERRIDE

A Need to Kill

Confessions of a Teen Murderer

Michael W. Cuneo

St. Martin's True Crime

Alec Krieder knew his best friend’s family never locked their doors—making Kevin Haines and his family the perfect targets for a crime. One night, he waited until they were asleep…then entered the house with a knife. Alec burst into the master bedroom and stabbed Tom and Lisa Haines first. Then he attacked Kevin, who fought for his life. Meanwhile, at the end of the hall, Kevin’s sister Maggie awoke to the sound of violence—and was the only one who made it out alive.

Clean-cut and academically gifted, Alec seemed to have no motives, no history of psychosis—and no remorse. Some believed he was a serial killer in the making, a soulless monster plagued by “demons.” Now, for the first time, acclaimed author Michael W. Cuneo shares the inside story—with shocking details of Alec’s confession to his father, disturbing messages to his classmates, and chilling excerpts from his diaries—and takes you inside the dark, troubled mind of this teenage killer.

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1
 
It was shaping up to be a perfect Friday evening for the Haines family. A soft breeze was blowing through their Blossom Hill neighborhood. The air was filled with the sweet fragrance of early spring. Best of all, the entire family was on hand. Twenty-year-old Maggie had just gotten back from college the day before, and both she and her younger brother, Kevin, were planning on spending the evening at home. Parents Tom and Lisa couldn’t have been more pleased. They’d always treasured times such as this, when they were all together with nothing more to do than bask in the
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REVIEWS

Praise for A Need to Kill

Praise for Michael W. Cuneo’s true crime classic…

ALMOST MIDNIGHT

An American Story of Murder and Redemption

"Vivid. Gripping. Undeniably potent. Almost Midnight barrels along like a hot rod on a twisty Ozarks road…a fast, furious read that leaves one plagued by disturbing toughts every time one manages to pause before turning another page.”—The Kansas City Star

“Crisp, informative and evocative . . . Compelling, vibrant, rich with winning details about scuffling life.”—The Washington Post

“Engrossing…disturbing noirish undertones and undeniable spiritual flair.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Cuneo handles these saints and sinners with equal aplomb.”—Playboy

“A richly detailed exploration…Cuneo’s writing does not flinch.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Cuneo’s detailed descriptions of the virtues (loyalty, self-reliance, faith, family) and negatives (violence, chemical dependency, lawlessness) of the Ozarks’ culture not only fleshes out Mease’s personality but also vividly portrays this overlooked area of Americana. Cuneo’s skillful writing allows him to convey the romantic notions of Mease’s outlaw ways and travels on America's back roads, while never romanticizing the violence or the hand-to-mouth living…One cannot help but appreciate Cuneo’s in-depth, interwoven stories of Mease and the Ozarks.”—Publishers Weekly

 

Praise for Michael W. Cuneo’s true crime classic…

ALMOST MIDNIGHT

An American Story of Murder and Redemption

"Vivid. Gripping. Undeniably potent. Almost Midnight barrels along like a hot rod on a twisty Ozarks road…a fast, furious read that leaves one plagued by disturbing toughts every time one manages to pause before turning another page.”—The Kansas City Star

“Crisp, informative and evocative . . . Compelling, vibrant, rich with winning details about scuffling life.”—The Washington Post

“Engrossing…disturbing noirish undertones and undeniable spiritual flair.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Cuneo handles these saints and sinners with equal aplomb.”—Playboy

“A richly detailed exploration…Cuneo’s writing does not flinch.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Cuneo’s detailed descriptions of the virtues (loyalty, self-reliance, faith, family) and negatives (violence, chemical dependency, lawlessness) of the Ozarks’ culture not only fleshes out Mease’s personality but also vividly portrays this overlooked area of Americana. Cuneo’s skillful writing allows him to convey the romantic notions of Mease’s outlaw ways and travels on America's back roads, while never romanticizing the violence or the hand-to-mouth living…One cannot help but appreciate Cuneo’s in-depth, interwoven stories of Mease and the Ozarks.”—Publishers Weekly

 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Michael W. Cuneo

  • Michael W. Cuneo’s research has been featured in media coast to coast. The author of the critically acclaimed American Exorcism and Almost Midnight, Cuneo divides his time between New York City and Toronto.

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    A Need to Kill

    Confessions of a Teen Murderer

    Michael W. Cuneo

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    St. Martin's True Crime

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