“Beautifully Cruel” by M. William Phelps


By M. William Phelps


If you want to meet one woman you would most definitely not want to have living next door, then you must read this book. Keep in mind that the author has a career of being a hard-hitting investigative journalist, and has the ability to tell a story of a psychopath that will make your blood run cold.

We are in Iowa, of all places. This tale is not about the violent, gritty neighborhoods of say, Chicago or Detroit. Here, a housewife lives by the name of Tracey Pittman Roberts. She is on her second marriage and, from the looks of it, is having a great time. Her dream life includes three amazing children, as well as owning a face and body that is all-natural and stunningly beautiful. What Tracey seems to be missing, however, is a soul.

It was on December 13, 2001, that police were called to Tracey’s home. There, they found a young neighbor of Tracey’s dead as a doornail. This housewife claimed to have been protecting her children. She feared for her life after a supposed break-in by this twenty-year-old man, now dead, and another man led to her being strangled with a pair of pantyhose. Her story was self-defense, case-closed. The one thing that worked against her was the fact that nine bullet wounds were found on the victim, which made the police more than wary when it came to believing her cut-and-dried story.

It also didn’t help that Tracey already had on her record a plea of no-contest in regards to the discharging of a firearm years before, when she lived in Virginia with her first husband, a plastic surgeon.

From the telling of the crime to the final showdown in the courtroom, this author has vividly described Tracey’s case and allows readers to look deeply into a criminal mind they will not soon forget.

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