EYES OF A MONSTER Debuts On Bestseller List
October 13, 2021
The True Story of a Cold Case Detective's Relentless Hunt for a Serial Killer in Hampton, Virginia -- by Author Ron Peterson, Jr.
NEW YORK, NY, USA, October 13, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- EYES OF A MONSTER is the incredible true story of a cold case detective’s relentless pursuit of a serial killer in Hampton, Virginia. The book by bestselling true crime author Ron Peterson, Jr., debuted today on the Amazon bestseller list.
The book opens with never-revealed details of the 1981 cold case murder of beloved Hampton, Virginia schoolteacher Olivia Dare Christian. Despite an intense investigation, her murder went unsolved. Thirty years later, in 2011, next-generation Detective Randy Mayer opened Olivia’s dusty cold case file and became obsessed with unraveling the murder mystery that had stumped police for a generation. Buried in the file was an account from a young witness, sixteen years old back in 1981, who provided a description of a suspicious man she observed lurking outside Olivia’s apartment the morning of her murder. She also described the unique car he drove. Original investigators did not believe the teen-ager, but when Mayer managed to locate her three decades later, he found her to be credible. By then in her 40s, she told Mayer that the man’s face still haunted her. She swore that if he was found, she could identify him, and said: “He had the eyes of a monster.”
Olivia Christian’s killer had left behind few other clues or forensic evidence – no identifiable DNA – so Mayer was forced to rely on an old school approach. For two years, he researched old cases, searching microfilm to find an unsub with a similarly unique modus operandi. Finally, he found the man he believed was responsible; a serial rapist previously convicted of several brutal attacks on women in the area. The suspect, a Smithfield Foods employee and registered sex offender, was now in his 60s. Digging deeper into the man’s past, Mayer discovered evidence that also linked him to a half-dozen rapes and two other unsolved homicides – the 1972 murder of Helen Elizabeth Sturges on Hampton’s Chesapeake Avenue and the 1981 murder of Christopher Newport University student Linda Diane Sykes. Was he a serial killer?
Mayer brought this prime suspect in for questioning and the man denied any involvement in the murders, yet inadvertently said several things to implicate himself. But when Hampton's commonwealth’s attorney Anton Bell refused to press charges, Detective Mayer was at an impasse. Determined to bring the killer to justice, Mayer then enlisted the help of FBI agent Liza Ludovico (currently the FBI case agent on the Colonial Parkway Murders) and a special prosecutor from the state attorney general’s office, Phil Figura. Could the team bring the suspected serial killer to justice? Could the witness from over thirty years ago positively identify him? Would a jury of twelve vote to convict in a cold case based entirely on circumstantial evidence?
Author Ron Peterson, Jr. spent over a year researching the fascinating events around this four decade saga and interviewed over eighty sources, working closely with Detective Mayer to tell the incredible story. Peterson is also the author of UNDER THE TRESTLE, (2018), selected as one of the top 100 true crime books of all time and currently optioned as a documentary film with Mactavish Pictures. Peterson’s book CHASING THE SQUIRREL (2020) was also a bestseller and is currently in development as a streaming television series with Los Angeles-based Urban Legends Film Company.
EYES OF A MONSTER is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold. Peterson, a sought-after speaker on the college lecture circuit, will be joined by Mayer at book tour events to promote EYES OF A MONSTER.
Ron Peterson, Jr.
Eyes of a Monster
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