Julia Miller spent her 20s taking care of her elderly parents. After they died, she decided she better do something about getting married so she put an ad in the local paper looking for Mr. Right. She indicated she was ``dying'' to get into a permanent relationship. Dennis Bulloch answered her ad and convinced Julia he was the man for her, especially since she needed help taking care of the insurance money she had received upon the death of her parents. He didn't mention that he continued to date 53 other women while he was courting Julia. Two and a half months after her wedding, she was found dead, bound and gagged in the charred remains of her garage. Dennis was tried for her murder but convicted only of involuntary manslaughter. Harris follows his trials and presents the case with a sense of outrage that Bulloch literally got away with murder. For all true-crime collections.-- Belinda J. Pugh, Kings Bay Base Lib., Ga.
Edge-of-your-seat account of the ten-week marriage and bizarre death of a young St. Louis executive, whose charred remains were discovered bound with adhesive tape in a burning garage in May 1986. Before her marriage, Julia Miller had suffered a series of mental breakdowns and was desperately lonely. She placed a personal ad in a local newspaper and was thrilled when one Dennis Neal Bulloch responded. Bulloch was apparently an ideal marriage prospect, a handsome, rising young executive with all the proper business and social connections. Julia was swept off her feet, and the couple soon married. Unfortunately, Bulloch's yuppie facade concealed several highly sinister quirks: He was a womanizer and a financial manipulator, and was into sexual bondage. Julia was soon disillusioned and may have been contemplating divorce when her naked body, strapped into a rocking chair with 76 feet of tape, was found in the burning garage. Her husband, immediately suspected of the crime, was apprehended in California and returned to St. Louis for trial. There, he claimed that Julia's death was the result of a sex ritual, initiated by Julia, that had gone out of control: Discovering her dead, he had panicked and set fire to the garage. Incredibly, the jury accepted this tale, and Bulloch was convicted merely of involuntary manslaughter. He was later convicted of arson and of destroying evidence; at present, he is out on appeal. Harris, a former reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, keeps the narrative moving briskly and is especially effective in delineating the manners and morals of various strata of St. Louis society. On a deeper level, she investigates the implications of Bulloch's"she-made-me-do-it" defense for the prosecution of sex crimes. A bang-up jobsuspenseful and harrowing. (Eight pages of b&w photographsnot seen.)