Wednesday, May 5, 2021

We Thought We Knew You by M. William Phelps


Mary Yoder along with her husband Bill ran a chiropractic clinic in upstate New York.  Bill was a bit older and about to retire.  Mary was sixty and did the majority of the patient work.  They had grown children and their youngest, Adam, was still in the area, going to college and trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.  He had a longtime girlfriend, Katie, who his parents had hired to work at the clinic as the receptionist and office person.

When Mary came home one day feeling ill, Bill didn't think much of it.  But she was so sick by the next morning that he took her to the hospital as a precaution.  The doctors admitted her but felt that it was a digestive virus that would quickly run its' course.  But Mary didn't get better.  She died the next day after coding multiple times.  

Her death was perplexing to the doctors and her family was in shock.  They quickly agreed to an autopsy to find out what had gone wrong.  What the autopsy showed left everyone reeling.  Mary Yoder had been poisoned by an obscure drug used to treat gout.  

The police immediately started an investigation.  Despite attempts to throw them off with anonymous letters, the truth emerged.  The poisoner was Katie.  She and Adam had broken things off, an occurrence that had happened many times over their relationship but this time Adam was serious about the breakup.  Katie had poisoned his mother to pay him back and to try to throw suspicion on him.  

The narrator for this book was not my favorite.  His voice was wheezy at times and as the book progressed became irritating.  However, he read well without stumbling and carried the narration through to its end. 

This case happened in 2015.  The author carries the case through Katie's trials and talks about the crime, the relationships and the heartache that an obsessed person can cause others as they single-mindedly pursue their goals.  There is an active group still convinced that Katie Conley was falsely accused and convicted.  The author offered to talk with them to get their side of events but they did not choose to participate in the book.  This book is recommended for true crime readers.

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