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Bitter Almonds

The True Story of Mothers, Daughters, and the Seattle Cyanide Murders

Gregg Olsen

St. Martin's True Crime

Stella Nickell's small-time world was one of big-time dreams. In 1986, her biggest one came true when her husband died during a seizure, making her the beneficiary of a $175,000-plus insurance payoff—until authorities discovered Bruce Nickell's headache capsules had been laced with cyanide. In an attempt to cover her tracks, Stella did the unconscionable. She saw to it that a stranger would also become a "random casualty" of cyanide-tainted painkillers. But Stella's cunning plan came undone when her daughter Cynthia notified federal agents. And troubling questions lingered like the secret of bitter almonds... What would turn a gregarious barfly like Stella into a cold-hearted killer overnight? Why would Cynthia, a mirror image of her mother, turn on her own flesh and blood? Did Cynthia reveal everything she knew about the crimes? The stunning answers would unfold in a case that sparked a national uproar, dug deep into a troubled family history, and exposed an American mother for the pretty poison she was. Gregg Olsen's Bitter Almonds is true crime writing at its best.

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Bitter Almonds
PART ONESue KathrynCHAPTER 1Sue Snow's free-spirited oldest daughter, Exa, was off at the Pony Soldier Inn with a man she had just met who was going through a drug-treatment program."Should I worry about your creepy sister?" Sue asked with a rueful smile when she saw her youngest daughter, Hayley, that morning.It was true that Exa Snow, always the independent one, could take care of herself--even if she didn't exercise the best judgment. Sue had always treated her eldest more as a friend than a daughter. And because of that, Exa pushed the line to the limit. But when push came
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REVIEWS

Praise for Bitter Almonds

"Absolutely fascinating...one of the most devious female minds in crime history."--Ann Rule

""[A] truly remarkable book. The trailer park babes of Bitter Almonds leap off the page, fingernails sharpened and aimed for your eyes."--Jack Olsen, author of Son: A Psychopath and His Victims and "I": The Creation of a Serial Killer
"Absolutely fascinating...one of the most devious female minds in crime history."--Ann Rule

""[A] truly remarkable book. The trailer park babes of Bitter Almonds leap off the page, fingernails sharpened and aimed for your eyes."--Jack Olsen, author of Son: A Psychopath and His Victims and "I": The Creation of a Serial Killer

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Gregg Olsen

  • Gregg Olsen has been a journalist and investigative author for more than twenty years. He is the recipient of numerous writing, editing, and photojournalism awards, including citations of excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists (Sigma Delta Chi), the International Association of Business Communicators, Washington Press Association, Society of Technical Communication, and the Public Relations Society of America.

    A resident of Washington state, Olsen has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and the Discovery Channel. Olsen also appeared several times on CBS's 48 Hours, MSNBC's Special Edition, Entertainment Tonight, Sally Jesse Raphael, Inside Edition, and Extra. He has been featured in USA Today, Salon Magazine, Seattle Times, and the New York Post.
  • Gregg Olsen Howard Petrella
    Gregg Olsen
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    Bitter Almonds

    The True Story of Mothers, Daughters, and the Seattle Cyanide Murders

    Gregg Olsen

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    St. Martin's True Crime

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