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Roger and Penny Scaggs seemed a poster couple for family values. Evangelical Christians living in booming Austin, Texas, in the mid-1990s, they were respected leaders in their church and community. As Roger diligently worked his way up the high-tech corporate ladder, Penny kept a pristine home and coached similarly devout young women on how to be perfect wives. But on a windy March evening, this godly woman met the devil head-on. And when the police discovered her lifeless body—repeatedly bludgeoned with a lead ...
Roger and Penny Scaggs seemed a poster couple for family values. Evangelical Christians living in booming Austin, Texas, in the mid-1990s, they were respected leaders in their church and community. As Roger diligently worked his way up the high-tech corporate ladder, Penny kept a pristine home and coached similarly devout young women on how to be perfect wives. But on a windy March evening, this godly woman met the devil head-on. And when the police discovered her lifeless body—repeatedly bludgeoned with a lead pipe, then mutilated with a knife from her own spotless kitchen—they were shocked by the rage and savagery behind her slaying.
The Good Wife is a startling true story of greed, hatred, betrayal, and an unimaginable murder—a tale of the dark decay that can be hidden behind a facade of saintliness when a marriage seemingly made in heaven descends into hell.
Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
Music filled the spacious home in the upscale suburb of Austin—a religious hymn, expertly played on a perfectly tuned piano.
The sun was setting when the slender blond woman began practicing the piece on the pale yellow, baby grand piano. Her deftness at the keyboard was almost professional; but she devoted her musical talent, as with many of her other well-rehearsed skills, to serving others. In the case of her music, it was a weekly recital, played for elderly residents of a nearby nursing home. She spoke of her volunteer work as "my ministry."
Playing for the old folks was the least of her ministrations. She was also a Sunday school teacher at an evangelical church and a mentor to young wives and soon-to-be married women who wanted to create godly marriages and perfect Christian homes. Though she was middle-aged, her eager young domestic disciples considered her one of them. She stayed youthful by keeping herself well groomed and physically fit. She was not beautiful in the classical sense, but radiated a bubbly personality and vitality that made her pertly attractive.
As she focused attention on her playing, there was no reason to be distracted by the occasional rattling of the windows from the gusting winds of a cold front moving into the area. These familiar noises, and the swelling chords of her own music,most likely muffled any sounds made carelessly by the stealthy figure approaching slowly from behind her. She was alone, she thought. After an early dinner, her husband had returned to the office to finish a project, due the next morning.
She was accustomed to his demanding work schedule, the long hours and frequent travel required by his steady climb up the corporate ladder to a chief executive position. After his years of diligent toil, supported by what their friends described as the "perfect marriage," the family seemed to have attained the American dream.
Their lives in the affluent, professional circles of Austin reflected that success. The wife had made their house the shining centerpiece of her life and marriage. On March 6, 1996, everyone who knew her would have sworn that no place on earth could be safer than this idyllic home.
Even the person stalking across the living area toward the woman raptly playing the piano would have noticed the neatness of the rooms. Everything was in order. There was no clutter here.
An observer would have thus found it almost preposterous to see that the intruder carried a foot-and-a-half length of two-inch industrial pipe. Such an odd piece of plumbing had no practical use anywhere on this property. Cap seals screwed on both ends made it look more like a component designed for bomb-making than for any household purpose.
The ugly gray pipe may have been out of place among the fine bric-a-brac decorating the room, but it had its purpose now.
The intruder came closer, towering above the woman seated low on the piano bench. The heavy pipe arched upward and then swung sharply into the right side of the woman's head. The powerful blow was delivered with such force that it fractured her jaw. It tore an earring loose, sending it flying, and severed the right earlobe holding the jewelry. As her right hand went up, she was slammed again.
She was a fairly petite woman, five feet six and a half inches tall, and weighed 120 pounds. But even had she been larger or more athletic, the well-placed blow would have rendered her helpless to fight back. She recoiled from the force of the attack, her wound splattering a thin spray of blood on the ivory keys. More blows rained down on the back of her head.
As she fell from the bench to the floor, the attacker repeatedly pounded her, some of the blows glancing off other parts of her body—her wrist, her thigh, her shoulder and foot. Though the woman lay motionless, the assailant continued to strike her. One blow smashed the base of her skull, causing a bit of bone to protrude through the scalp.
The body was lying in front of the piano, blood oozing into the carpet. The killer went to the kitchen. On the counter, a butcher block held a set of cutlery.
Armed with a carving knife, the assailant returned and poked the point of the knife twice into the flesh of her back, to see if any life could be stirred from the now still corpse. Then the killer rolled her over and began an even more frenzied attack, stabbing and slashing at her upper chest, neck, and throat. Her body took eight knife wounds, two so deep they went through her chest. Her throat was slashed.
After the assault, the killer walked back into the kitchen and washed off the pipe and the knife. Expensive jewelry—including a diamond necklace, a diamond tennis bracelet, and a two-karat diamond ring—was removed from the woman's body.
As she lay dead in the large living area, her belongings were ransacked. Jewelry boxes from the master bedroom were emptied into the sunken bathtub and strewn about the main bathroom. It was a hodgepodge of baubles. There was little of value, mostly costume jewelry and small souvenirs.
A black and green garbage bag was used to stow the few pieces of real jewelry, the pipe, the kitchen knife, and five surgical latex gloves.
The killer left under cover of darkness, as lights began to appear through the picture windows of the neighboring homes. A winter storm was now howling in full fury down the usually quiet, tree-lined street, with winds gusting to thirty miles an hour. No neighbor ventured out into the well-groomed yards in such a gathering chill. No one saw the intruder enter. No one saw the killer leave.The Good Wife
Posted August 29, 2007
Truly a shocking story! What makes it more shocking is knowing it actually occurred in our society. A woman so involved in her church activities who teaches a class to many other women from her church and from elsewhere, of how to connect with a husband by being sort of ¿subservient¿ to him. A wife should cater to her husband and try to accommodate him at all times, according to these classes. For the thought that a husband of a woman so much in love with her husband and daughter could be treated so terribly after many years of marriage. ¿The Good Wife¿ was Penny Scaggs who was brutally slain while playing her piano in her own home. The attack sent shockwaves through the community. No one believed that this loving and caring wife could possible be brutally killed in a terribly messy way. Very hard blows of a pipe bashed her head in repeatedly followed by the knifing on several areas of her body to complete the killing as if she wasn¿t dead by the pipe blows. Her bedroom had been ransacked also making the police think it could have been a robbery gone bad. The husband, Roger Skaggs, was very highly thought off by friends as well as his business in which he was an executive. Roger couldn¿t have done this to anyone, and certainly not Penny. They were both very active church members as well as liked by their friends in the community and nothing this brutal could have happened to them. As things went along with the investigation, the police connected Roger more and more with the brutal murder of his wife. Penny¿s friends started thinking about some things that were said and actions Roger had taken recently and started to wonder themselves what could have occurred and by whom? Rogers¿s friends, especially those at his work, denied any accusations against Roger. He was too good a husband and man to do such an atrocious thing. The Austin, Texas area was shocked and in tumult when authorities questioned many of them about their relationship with Roger and Penny. Many things came out that shined more light on the case. Roger had, over the past few years, purchased an airplane and a boat, both of which he tried to get Penny to enjoy. She would go with Roger sometimes just to be a perfect wife to him. She did not really want to do either activity but she felt obliged. The reader does not get bored. This story is greatly detailed but not in a way that puts one to sleep. Clint Richmond tells the story in a way that keeps the reader involved in the investigation from beginning to the end. Do not hesitate to purchase this book and read it. You will enjoy it.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 15, 2008
If you like true crime stories this is a good one. It is an interesting case and a disturbing one. All murders are disturbing but this one seemed even more so. Check it out and you decide.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2010
Hard to put down, well written but hard to believe so much evil
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 28, 2012
Posted December 9, 2011
Posted May 12, 2008
I just could not get into this book. Some many things bothered me about the story. Why wasn't anything ever said to the daughter? She KNEW her father was having an affair and actually gave her dad the use of her apartment so he could sleep with his mistress! Just a total lack of conscience with father and daughter.
1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2013
It was an interesting sad story. But some of the details were unnecessary so I skipped through some of it. I would have liked more information on the mistress and what became of her. Seems like there is more of a story there.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 16, 2011
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Posted July 29, 2011
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Posted November 29, 2012
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