Paul's forty years were a caricature of human delight and despair. Here was a man who lifted himself from poverty and chaos through completion of his education, the establishment of a family, and brilliant success in his job. And at the pinnacle, when he was flush with the sense of having "made it," he sabotaged it all, bringing it to naught by the straying of a finger. Paul embodied the ills of his day. He was an abused child, a runaway, a prostitute, an alcoholic, a drug abuser, a Vietnam veteran who had trouble "coming out of the closet," and, finally, a child molester. Curiously, he was also an open-handed, giving friend and supporter, a devoted parent, a candidate for political office, a passionate and effective advocate for his fellow veterans. He was a person whose intellectual curiosity was boundless, and whose wry smile could light up a room. As Paul meticulously planned his death and the world's interpretation of it, he was also studying the stars in the crystal night above his campsite high in the Santa Ynez Mountains. In the final analysis, his grisly death comes as both tragedy and triumph.
Just over 50,000 words in length, ANSWER TO HELL is a true account. Nothing is imagined or reconstructed. The primary section is an account of Paul's life containing first-hand material from his writings as well as court documents, transcripts of police interviews, and letters to Paul. A brief epilogue outlines the process by which the author learned Paul's story from his friends and colleagues, as well as from relatives and parents believed long-since dead. There follows an final section containing a psychological study of Paul and a qualified graphologist's view of Paul based on his handwriting.