The True Story of Mothers, Daughters, and the Seattle Cyanide Murders
By Gregg Olsen
St. Martin's True Crime, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780312982003, 576pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Stella Nickell's small-time world was one of big-time dreams. In 1986, her biggest one came true when her husband died during a seizure, making her the beneficiary of a $175,000-plus insurance payoff until authorities discovered Bruce Nickell's headache capsules had been laced with cyanide. In an attempt to cover her tracks, Stella did the unconscionable. She saw to it that a stranger would also become a "random casualty" of cyanide-tainted painkillers. But Stella's cunning plan came undone when her daughter Cynthia notified federal agents. And troubling questions lingered like the secret of bitter almonds...
What would turn a gregarious barfly like Stella into a cold-hearted killer overnight? Why would Cynthia, a mirror image of her mother, turn on her own flesh and blood? Did Cynthia reveal everything she knew about the crimes? The stunning answers would unfold in a case that sparked a national uproar, dug deep into a troubled family history, and exposed an American mother for the pretty poison she was.
Gregg Olsen's "Bitter Almonds" is true crime writing at its best.
"Absolutely fascinating...one of the most devious female minds in crime history."--Ann Rule
""[A] truly remarkable book. The trailer park babes of Bitter Almonds leap off the page, fingernails sharpened and aimed for your eyes."--Jack Olsen, author of Son: A Psychopath and His Victims and "I": The Creation of a Serial Killer