As seen on Investigation Discovery’s Epic Mysteries series—from the New York Times bestselling author who “writes with muscle and heart” (Gregg Olsen, #1 New York Times bestselling author).
One morning in July 1974, Anita Andrews, the owner and bartender at Fagiani’s Cocktail Lounge in Napa, California, was found dead in her bar—raped, beaten, and stabbed to death in a bloody frenzy.
Meanwhile a month after Anita’s murder, young Michele Wallace, was driving down a road in the mountains near Crested Butte, Colorado, when she gave two stranded motorists, including a man named Roy, a ride. She was never seen alive again.
Fourteen years later, Charlotte Sauerwin, engaged to be married, met a smooth-talking man at a Laundromat in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The next evening, her body was found in the woods; she’d been raped, tortured, and her throat slashed.
The three murders would remain unsolved, eating at the hearts, minds and lives of the women’s families, friends and communities. Then in the early 1990s, a rookie Gunnison County sheriff’s investigator named Kathy Young began looking into the Wallace case and identified a suspect named Roy Melanson, a serial rapist from Texas. It would lead her and other investigators looking into murders and rapes in other states to a serial killer who struck again and again with seeming impunity. Smooth Talker is the story of Melanson, his depredations, and the intrepid police work that went into bringing him to justice not just in Colorado, but California and Louisiana.
“Steve Jackson is one of the greats in the true crime author world.”—C.L. Swinney, bestselling author of The Peninsula Serial Killer