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Death benefit : a lawyer uncovers a twenty-year pattern of seduction, arson, and murder

by Heilbroner, David.

Format: Print Book 1993
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
Carnegie Library of McKeesport Nonfiction 364.1523 H363
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  364.1523 H363
Hampton Community Library Non-Fiction 364.164 HEI
Location  Hampton Community Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  364.164 HEI
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 364.152 HEI 1993
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  364.152 HEI 1993
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction 364.1523 H
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  364.1523 H
"For Steve Keeney, it began with a simple favor. A woman from Keeney's Louisville church, Bobbie Roberts, confided that her twenty-year-old daughter Deana had recently died in a cliff fall at Big Sur, California. Bobbie was now having trouble collecting burial insurance. Keeney, a successful corporate lawyer, agreed to help her cut through the red tape." "The coroner's report stated that a couple named B.J. and Virginia McGinnis had driven Deana to a four-hundred-foot Big Sur cliff. The McGinnises said that when their backs had been turned, the girl had fallen "without a sound." Days after reading this report, Keeney was stunned to learn that Virginia had paid for a life insurance policy on Deana one day before the accident." "Keeney suspected foul play, but Big Sur authorities quietly dropped the case: There were no witnesses other than the McGinnises. Undeterred, Keeney promised his client that he would try to find out the truth. A chilling portrait emerged." "Virginia called herself a practical nurse, but people had dark memories of her "care." They recalled her three-year-old daughter, her husband, and her mother - all of whom died while alone with Virginia. A series of fires, thefts, poisonings, and insurance policies ran through her past. Keeney also discovered that both of Virginia's sons had been charged with murder." "As Keeney was piecing the facts together, he realized he had uncovered a remorseless killer, one who beat the system for twenty years, collecting insurance along the way." "Former prosecutor David Heilbroner, author of the highly acclaimed book Rough Justice, spent two-and-a-half years retracing Keeney's investigation, preserving accounts of many witnesses whose voices were never heard at Virginia's extraordinary two-month murder trial - a trial that literally took the jury to the edge of the Big Sur cliff. In Death Benefit, he crafts a meticulous account of both a killer's life and a Kentucky lawyer's dedication to decency and courage triumphant over evil. Death Benefit belongs to that rare breed of books - a powerful human drama and a true-life courtroom thriller."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "When 20-year-old Deana Hubbard Wild's body was found hundreds of feet beneath an overlook point at Big Sur, California, authorities were not particularly concerned with the "accidental" fall. But from the moment Wild's mother asked a member of her church congregation to look into a life insurance claim, Deana's death became an obsession for high-powered corporate attorney Steven Kenney. Because of his loyalty to a grieving mother and his unrelenting work on the pro bono case, the facts of Deana's death were revealed along with a frightful list of the crimes committed by her murderer, Virginia McGinnis. The arson, thefts, and multiple murders that make up the substance of Heilbroner's account also add up to a terrifying picture of childhood abuse and its outcome--in this case, a coldly calculating, psychotic personality who after a three-year investigation was finally found guilty of premeditated murder. A taut, compelling account that is impossible to put down! ~--Alice Joyce"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "At church in Louisville one day in 1987 a woman named Bobbie Roberts asked another parishioner, corporate lawyer Steven Keeney, for help: her daughter, Deanna, had fallen to her death along the Big Sur coast of California earlier that year, and now her insurance company was balking at paying benefits. What emerged was a scandal of far greater magnitude. Soon Keeney uncovered evidence suggesting that Deanna had been pushed off the cliff by her traveling companions, B. J. and Virginia McGinnis, a married couple who had secured a life insurance policy on her the previous day. After further investigation, Keeney came to suspect that over 20 years Virginia McGinnis had killed her three-year-old daughter, her mother and her ex-husband, as well as committing crimes of shoplifting, forgery, theft and arson. Heilbroner ( Rough Justice ) does a respectable job of reporting how Kenney learned of McGinnis's childhood of poverty and abuse. But in his courtroom coverage, surprisingly, this former New York City prosecutor cools down his potential potboiler through a pedestrian analysis of the 1992 trial. B. J. McGinnis, who was indicted, died in prison before being tried; Virginia McGinnis was sentenced to life imprisonment. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC alternate; movie rights have been optioned; condensation rights to Reader's Digest; author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects McGinnis, Virginia.
Keeney, Steven.
Criminals -- United States -- Biography.
Murderers -- United States -- Biography.
Women murderers -- United States -- Biography.
Serial murders -- United States -- Case studies.
Insurance fraud -- United States -- Case studies.
Publisher New York :Harmony Books,1993
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description x, 353 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN 0517582848 :
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