Die, My Love: A True Story of Revenge, Murder, and Two Texas Sisters

Die, My Love: A True Story of Revenge, Murder, and Two Texas Sisters

by Kathryn Casey

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060846206
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2007
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 142,744
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Kathryn Casey is an award-winning journalist, who has written for Rolling Stone, TV Guide, Reader's Digest, Texas Monthly, and many other publications. She's the author of seven previous true crime books and the creator of the highly acclaimed Sarah Armstrong mystery series. Casey has appeared on Oprah, Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen network, Biography, Nancy Grace, E! network, truTV, Investigation Discovery, the Travel Channel, and A&E. She lives in Houston with her husband and their dog, Nelson.

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Die, My Love
A True Story of Revenge, Murder, and Two Texas Sisters

Chapter One

Violence can erupt at the quietest moments, in the most secure places, to the unlikeliest victims. So it was early on the morning of October 30, 2004, in the tranquil Richmond, Virginia, suburb of Kingsley. From that moment forward, lives would be changed and perceptions of the world forever altered. Family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues would understand with a new certainty how selfish and dangerous love can be.

Throughout Kingsley, massive oaks and maples surrounded impressive brick homes set back from streets that rolled with a gentle undulation. The entrance to the subdivision was marked with a prim green and white sign, and the day before Halloween, well-tended yards were replete with leaf-bag pumpkins and scarecrows fashioned of worn jeans and faded plaid shirts stuffed with brittle straw. Bedsheet ghosts wafted gently in the breeze as they dangled from the near barren limbs of trees still clutching the last remains of fall's red and gold. The following morning daylight savings time would begin, and the streets would be bright at just past six-thirty. But this morning Hearthglow Lane remained shrouded in night.

As the gunshots echoed through the quiet neighborhood, dogs barked in yards and frightened neighbors rousted from bed ran to windows, where they stared out into the quiet streets. Only a gray-haired salesman named Bob McArdle caught a fleeting glimpse of a mysterious figure sprinting through the neighborhood, directly in front of his house. A jogger? he wondered. Perhaps. Or could this person—he couldn't tell if it was a man orwoman—be responsible for the gunfire?

"Maybe it was only a car backfiring?" the 911 dispatcher asked, questioning him.

"No," McArdle, a former Marine, insisted. "It was gunfire."

Within minutes of the 911 call a Henrico County squad car snaked slowly down Hearthglow Lane, shining high-beam flashlights that threw shimmering funnels of light across lawns, onto front doors, and into the curtained windows of homes where some families lingered in bed as others gathered for breakfast, preparing for the errands and plans that awaited them that Saturday. In the darkness, three uniformed officers searched but found nothing out of the ordinary on Hearthglow, convincing them the gunshots must have originated elsewhere. They fanned out, combing the rest of the neighborhood. It had happened before, reports of gunshots that were never explained, the source never found. They must have wondered: Was there anything to look for in the early morning darkness? It seemed unlikely. Bloodshed was an uncommon visitor to Richmond's affluent bedroom communities called the West End.

At first glance the stately brick home at 1515 Hearthglow Lane appeared unremarkable. Inside the house, steaming coffee drained into a glass pot in the kitchen, while upstairs in their bedrooms, three children slept peacefully, unaware of the nightmare that awaited them. Once they awoke, nothing in their young lives would ever be the same. How could they ever forget the horror of this chill fall morning?

Outside on the long, narrow asphalt driveway, their father, Fred Jablin, lay dying, his life leaking out in a steady stream of dark crimson blood.

On his stomach with his head turned to the side, Fred's eyes were open and staring out toward the street. When he'd fallen, he landed on a thin bed of brown leaves, his head hitting a row of brick that lined the driveway, directly under his children's basketball hoop. Later observers would describe him as lying in a near fetal position, knees slightly bent, as if in death he'd tried to retreat into the tightness of his very beginnings, his mother's womb.

All around Fred the breeze whispered, a susurrus born of ruffling, withering leaves.

Of all the ways death can come, who would have predicted that Fred Jablin's life would end this way, gunned down in his own driveway? He was the most improbable of victims.

The world knew Fred as an esteemed University of Richmond professor, a man who lectured to thousands across the world, whose ideas helped define the field of organizational communication. His work and his life were based on logic and painstaking attention to detail, and his personal habits were regimented. A meticulous man, he kept to a precise routine. It was that predictable schedule that had made him so vulnerable: Those close to him knew that each morning at approximately six, he awoke, put on coffee to brew, then walked not out the front door, but the back one, near the kitchen, to claim his newspaper off the driveway.

Perhaps this morning he had smiled as he emerged from the house, anticipating the pleasure of the Saturday that lay ahead: the neighborhood's annual pumpkin festival, an afternoon with his children, a time to play and feel young again. Did he see the figure emerging from the shadows as he shuffled outside in slippers, navy blue sweatpants and sweatshirt? As he looked down the barrel of the gun, was he surprised? Or had he often feared this might happen?

Did he plead for his life or turn to run, desperate to escape? Did the intruder say anything as the trigger was pulled? Did Fred Jablin cry out in horror into the pitch-dark night?

It happened so quickly, life changing on a dime, as they say. One moment Fred was planning his day, anticipating all that lay ahead—then three gunshots, and suddenly he had no future. What went through his mind in those final, brief moments as he lay dying? Did postcards of his fifty-two years flash before him? Did he wonder how his world had gone so terribly wrong?

Or, as his consciousness faded, did Fred Jablin pray, entreating God to keep his children from finding his lifeless body? In his last moments of life, perhaps he simply replayed over and over again a question he'd asked so often, a question to which many doubted he'd ever found an answer: Why?

Die, My Love
A True Story of Revenge, Murder, and Two Texas Sisters
. Copyright © by Kathryn Casey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Gregg Olsen

Superbly researched and beautifully written... I devoured this book in one Texas-sized gulp.

Carlton Stowers

“[A] tale you won’t soon forget…one of the very best true crime writers in the business.”

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Die, My Love: A True Story of Revenge, Murder, and Two Texas Sisters 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Casey paints a haunting portrait of a family gone very, very wrong. It was fast paced and interesting throughout the whole book. Very informative and written with heart. I loved it!
JudeMc More than 1 year ago
I found this book right up there with the page turners written by Ann Rule! Kathryn Casey keeps the reader right on the edge until the story is over and the reader is wondering how anyone could be as evil as Piper. I will be sure to buy every book Kathryn Casey writes, as she is an author who has the uncanny ability to take the reader on a walk through the dark mind of the killer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This ranks right up there with Ann Rule. In fact, Ann Rule recommended it which is one of the reasons I decided to buy it. It was intriquing throughout and I loved the author's style of writing. Just enough detail. I'm sure Piper Rountree is sitting in prison reflecting on how stupid she was when she plotted the killing of her ex-husband. She uses the airlines which is full of security rather than driving from Houston to Richmond, she does a poor job of disguising herself and flashes her credit cards and cell phone usage all over town. What was she thinking? Didn't she know all that could be tracked? I feel bad for the kids. She was a selfish person who only thought of herself with no regard for anyone else. If you like non-fiction murder stories, you will definitely like this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kathryn hit a home run with this one. The detail and research for this case were excellent. True crime story at it's best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy Ann Rule, you can't go wrong reading this. Kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the mother would be found guilty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very well-researched story and was told in a fascinating manner. This author is someone to really watch. It's hard to imagine someone such as the murderer's husband loving so completely someone like her. Interesting story of human nature and human frailties.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amazing true story of the end of a marriage and a murder
BellaFoxx on LibraryThing 3 days ago
On October 30, 2004 Fred Jablin, respected well-liked college professor was found lying in his driveway, he had been shot and had died, while his children were sleeping just yards away. The usual suspect, his ex-wife, Piper, who had lost custody of the children and been ordered to pay child support was in Houston, Texas, one thousand miles away, or was she?With her usual attention to detail, Kathryn Casey takes us through Piper and Fred¿s childhoods, how they met, their marriage, their divorce, Fred¿s murder and finally the investigation. How the investigators followed the `bread crumbs¿ left by the murderer to not only get enough to arrest the murderer but also secure a conviction.It is no secret I am a fan of Kathryn Casey and this book is one of the reasons why, well researched and written to capture your attention and draw you into the lives of Fred and Piper, their children and extended families. One ends up feeling like they are there, watching the events as they occur. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading true crime.
MrsRJ on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Fans of psychology and true crime will thoroughly enjoy this book. Die My Love tells the story of how one woman¿s obsession would lead to murder and the destruction of an entire family.There¿s no time to catch your breath in this latest true-crime page turner from Kathryn Casey. With her unique voice style, the author paints a vivid portrait of Piper Rountree¿petite, beautiful, attorney and murderer? Although those closest to the family were painfully aware of Piper¿s irrational, eradicate behavior, only her sister Tina truly understood the darkness that had enveloped her every thought.Using her sister¿s identification for plane tickets and hotel reservations, Piper flew from Texas to Virginia, where she gunned down her estranged husband in the driveway of his home, as their three children slept in their beds mere yards away. Despite the sister¿s best efforts to concoct an air tight alibi and dispose of evidence, it was just a matter of time before justice came calling.Extensive research takes the reader behind the well manicured facade that had been painstakingly constructed to protect the all important image Piper cultivated. With lyrical prose, Casey skillfully traces the Jablin-Rountree story - from their early days to Piper¿s strange, irrational behavior, to the series of events that would lead to the destruction of an already flawed marriage. Weaving a complex narrative of a family who, lived in a beautiful home, surrounded by friends and family but lingered in the shadow of dysfunction, Casey reassembles their shattered lives in the years and months before Fred¿s death, intimately describing what led this petite, educated, Texas lawyer to murder her ex-husband and the father of her children.Filled with the most complete case facts available, Die My Love offers an unparalleled look at one of the most captivating murder cases in recent years told by one of the most prolific crime writers of our time! I recommend this book to all who enjoy true crime novels, as well as, thriller and mystery lovers! I anxiously await Kathryn Casey¿s next novel! Happy Reading! -RJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy to read hard to put down.
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Took me over a mnth to read kinda repeats itself alot. I feel sorry for the kidos.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kathryn Casey books are a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though a true story, I didnt know it. Too bad last reveiwer ruined it. Thanks for spoiling the plot.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a well written book, a definate page turner....Bn
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