Cruel Deception

Gregg Olsen

St. Martin's True Crime

In and out of hospitals since birth, angelic nine-month-old Morgan Reid finally succumbed to what appeared to be Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Morgan's Texas-born mother Tanya, a nurse and devoted wife, pulled up stakes with her grieving husband Jim, and moved on. It was the best way to put the past behind them. Until their son Michael, a boy who by all accounts was terrified of his mother, began showing signs of the same affliction that stole the life of his baby sister...

First, the suspicion: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Then, Tanya was charged and convicted with felony child abuse of her son. She was later tried and ultimately convicted for first degree murder of Morgan. It would become a landmark trial that unfolded in a series of reversals and bizarre twists of fate as it gradually revealed another side of Tanya Reid--of her own troubling childhood and the dark secrets that drove a woman to the cruelest deception of all...
Gregg Olsen tells the whole shocking story of this true crime in Cruel Deception.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
Tanya Reid was like a lot of women. She was not unattractive, though neither was she gorgeous. She was a woman with the kind of looks that either went unnoticed or sparked a person’s memory of someone else. Tanya’s tiny nose at times seemed too small to hold the bridge of her oval-shaped eyeglass frames; her brown hair was of a sensible cut, the kind that takes only a minute to shampoo and just a few more to brush out. It was the look of a woman with plenty to do.
Of course, Tanya could dress up. And when she was in one of her skinnier cycles, she looked pretty good


Praise for Cruel Deception

"A tough new voice rises in the ranks of true-crime writers." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Gregg Olsen's work is absolutely top notch, masterful. With [Cruel Deception], Gregg takes his rightful place among crime masters."-Dennis McDougal, author of In the Best of Families and Whatever Mother Says

"Compelling...suspenseful...Gregg Olsen is masterful in creating this incredible story. As he brings his characters to life, he evokes emotions in us, as we hope against hope that the inevitable crime will not happen."-Rod Clovin, author of Evil Harvest

"A must read for all true-crime junkies...It picks up speed with each page and rapidly moves from absorbing to riveting, sweeping the reader along...Combines diligent, exhaustive research with a crisp, captivating style."-Steven Nickel, author of Torso

"A riveting, often horrifying, and important book...a much needed addition to the canon of serious criminal justice literature."-Joseph Bosco, author of Blood Will Tell and A Problem of Evidence: How the Prosecution Freed O.J. Simpson

"Intensely interesting and moving...eye opening and educational. An in-depth and sensitive analysis of this complex disorder."-Gary King, author of Web of Deceit and Blind Rage

"Gregg Olsen has a rare and unique talent for getting to the bottom of weird, complex cases and writing about them in an understated style that makes the readers eyeballs bulge. [Cruel Deception] is his best."-Jack Olsen, author of Doc

"A remarkable and amazing book...a piece of art in suspense and entertainment for the reader of crime books."-Thomas V. Hill, criminal justice consultant

"[Cruel Deception] is a fascinating and groundbreaking book. Through a riveting examination of harrowing psychological issues, Gregg Olsen has triumphed with both sensitivity and insight."-Elizabeth F. Loftus, Ph.D., coauthor of The Myth of Repressed Memory

cf0"Illuminating. The most complete account of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy I have seen."-Murray Levine, J.D., Ph.D., codirector, Research Center for Children and Youth, adjunct professor of law

"Compelling...impossible to put down...the author deserves credit for writing a must-read book!'-Yvone M. Chase, ACSW, vice chair, U.S. Advisory Board of Child Abuse and Neglect

Reviews from Goodreads



  • 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.

    The author's website is www.greggolsen.com
  • Gregg Olsen Howard Petrella
    Gregg Olsen





    Available Formats and Book Details

    Cruel Deception

    Gregg Olsen

    • e-Book



    St. Martin's True Crime