Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors is Volume 16 of Ann Rule's Crime Files. Excellent true crime writer Ann Rule alternates these volumes with her books devoted to single cases. Two cases take up half of this book: the Josh and Susan Powell family tragedy and the case of the baffling deaths of billionaire Jonah Shacknai's young son Max and girlfriend Becky Zahau. Rule uncovers details in both cases that the reader will not have heard elsewhere.
The Powell tragedy received ample publicity, and Susan Powell's parents wanted Ann Rule to tell their daughter's and grandsons' story. Susan Powell vanished in 2009 in a Utah blizzard, leaving behind her two small sons with her husband Josh. The investigation focused on Josh Powell and also his mentally unhinged father. Almost three years after Susan's disappearance, Josh Powell brutally took his sons' lives as well as his own. If anyone had detected how depraved Josh Powell truly was, his trusting family might have been saved.
In July 2011, a billionaire's Coronado, California mansion was the setting for two deaths just a few days apart--his young son's fall from a balcony and his girlfriend's hanging. The case of Max Shacknai and Becky Zahau is still shrouded in mystery despite being closed as a respective accident and suicide, but Ann Rule probes the possibilities and cast of characters to bring this case closer to the truth of what happened. The book includes seven other cases that will keep you quickly turning the pages.