If You Tell
#1 New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen’s shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother’s house of horrors.After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom, it claws like an eagle’s talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now.For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders.Harrowing and heartrending, If You Tell is a survivor’s story of absolute evil—and the freedom and justice that Nikki, Sami, and Tori risked their lives to fight for. Sisters forever, victims no more, they found a light in the darkness that made them the resilient women they are today—loving, loved, and moving on.

If You Tell Details

TitleIf You Tell
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 1st, 2019
PublisherThomas & Mercer
ISBN-139781542005234
Rating
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Sociology, Abuse, Horror, Autobiography, Memoir, History, Adventure, Survival, Contemporary

If You Tell Review

  • Effie
    January 1, 1970
    Poorly written. Poorly interpreted. Yuck. Just yuck. The subject matter...the written word. I wanted to find out “what happened”. But it was a REAL struggle to read. So many ways this story could have been shortened. So much superfluous text. Just yuck.
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  • Kathy Barrows
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very hard book for me to read. Incredibly well written...Gregg Olsen gave these girls their voice back. Completely horrific account of the worst child abuse and elder abuse that Ive ever read about. Knowing it was all a true account made this even c worse. You will find yourself crying at certain points of the book. At night I'd lay awake and rethink the parts that I read. This book will draw you in to gre point you feel like you are right there. This is definitely one book a true cri This was a very hard book for me to read. Incredibly well written...Gregg Olsen gave these girls their voice back. Completely horrific account of the worst child abuse and elder abuse that Ive ever read about. Knowing it was all a true account made this even c worse. You will find yourself crying at certain points of the book. At night I'd lay awake and rethink the parts that I read. This book will draw you in to gre point you feel like you are right there. This is definitely one book a true crime lover needs to own!
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  • Nancy Hudson
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. Horrific story that went under the radar due to the nature of the crimes and the way Shelley Knotek and her husband were convicted and sentenced . The story is unbelievable at times but I think this is largely due to the way Olsen writes. He doesn’t have a solid timeline, gets bogged down in repetitive details that don’t add to the story and doesn’t really add the depth needed for a good TC book. I read one of his years ago and it was the same. He hasn’t written TC in some time so I t 2.5 stars. Horrific story that went under the radar due to the nature of the crimes and the way Shelley Knotek and her husband were convicted and sentenced . The story is unbelievable at times but I think this is largely due to the way Olsen writes. He doesn’t have a solid timeline, gets bogged down in repetitive details that don’t add to the story and doesn’t really add the depth needed for a good TC book. I read one of his years ago and it was the same. He hasn’t written TC in some time so I thought I would give him a try. The crimes were definitely worth writing about but would have preferred a better author. Glad the Knotek sisters are all ok though I still have trouble understanding how people can get away with such severe abuse for so long.
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  • Ileana Renfroe
    January 1, 1970
    Why? How? How could she have done all those things?From the moment I started reading this book I was hooked. I kept asking, why did the police not react sooner? They are to blame for Ron’s death, no question. But most importantly, How terrible these girls had to endure all those years of torture. However, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and in this story it tells of three sisters who found the courage to finally tell the truth. Three strong women who are survivors. Thank you Why? How? How could she have done all those things?From the moment I started reading this book I was hooked. I kept asking, why did the police not react sooner? They are to blame for Ron’s death, no question. But most importantly, How terrible these girls had to endure all those years of torture. However, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and in this story it tells of three sisters who found the courage to finally tell the truth. Three strong women who are survivors. Thank you to the author for telling this story. May no one ever forget the horrible atrocities committed by “Shelley”. Heart wrenching story!
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  • Lee Husemann
    January 1, 1970
    I had never heard this story of Michelle "Shelly" Knotek who seemed to love to torture people including her children resulting in the death of Nikki, Sam and Tori as well as two other victims who were boarders. This was a very sad and often difficult to read story and it makes you wonder how evil and wicked a person can be especially someone who is called "mother." This was a very well researched and well written book by Author Gregg Olsen who has been a favorite author of mine for years. I high I had never heard this story of Michelle "Shelly" Knotek who seemed to love to torture people including her children resulting in the death of Nikki, Sam and Tori as well as two other victims who were boarders. This was a very sad and often difficult to read story and it makes you wonder how evil and wicked a person can be especially someone who is called "mother." This was a very well researched and well written book by Author Gregg Olsen who has been a favorite author of mine for years. I highly recommend this book to all true crime fans.
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  • Dee Cherry
    January 1, 1970
    1st read by this author. Shelly's manipulation and control she had over the people in her life was inconceivable. Her abuse and heinous crimes committed had me taking breaks from reading as the disturbing acts were explained. I found the sheriff's reaction interesting when learning of the crimes, and thought it was good the sisters finally were on 1 accord. This was an eye-opening read
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  • Grace Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    I’m pretty horrified that Shelly was allowed to get away with so much. Horrified.
  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    I find most true crime books to be a little too dry and boring since they tend to get bogged down in irrelevant minutiae (like the entire history of the town where the crime took place). This one did not have that problem and was a quick and interesting (if horrifying) read. I liked the way the story was laid out and it's clear the author did a lot of research. However, I found the writing to be a bit juvenile. Which surprised me because this guy has written a ton of books. I was also left with I find most true crime books to be a little too dry and boring since they tend to get bogged down in irrelevant minutiae (like the entire history of the town where the crime took place). This one did not have that problem and was a quick and interesting (if horrifying) read. I liked the way the story was laid out and it's clear the author did a lot of research. However, I found the writing to be a bit juvenile. Which surprised me because this guy has written a ton of books. I was also left with a lot of unanswered questions at the end. Where were the fathers of the two older girls? Why wasn't Shelly charged with child abuse? Why didn't Dave get a longer sentence? (Don't get me started on Dave. I found him almost worse than Shelly because he STILL makes excuses for her and doesn't think she did anything wrong) Why didn't it ever occur to anyone that Lara could take custody of any or all of the girls? What really happened to Mac?I do have to give the author a big thank you though. Obviously all the abuse is terrible and difficult to read about. Mr. Olsen mentions a few times that Shelly "loves" animals and indicates they have many. I think it's safe to assume the animals were most likely abused too, but that is not covered in any way in this book. I was glad about that because I'd never have been able to read it if he did.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    A tragic story, but...I found it difficult to engage with the story. I understand that the author has had to cobble together, many different points of view and try to create a coherent timeline for the story, but if found it clunky and sadly lacking in depth.Don't get me wrong, this is a truly tragic and mind boggling account of terrible acts and my heart goes out to the victims. The strength and bond the sisters have retained is incredible. On the other hand, the terrible complic A tragic story, but...I found it difficult to engage with the story. I understand that the author has had to cobble together, many different points of view and try to create a coherent timeline for the story, but if found it clunky and sadly lacking in depth.Don't get me wrong, this is a truly tragic and mind boggling account of terrible acts and my heart goes out to the victims. The strength and bond the sisters have retained is incredible. On the other hand, the terrible complicity and acts of the father seem to be minimised in comparison to Shelly's crimes. This isn't an investigative account, more of a first draft that has the potential to fill in so many blanks. I for one would have liked more information to explain why the police didn't act on the information received the first time, Shelly was never even questioned? The conclusion was pretty disappointing in so far as it left even more blanks. Nothing really was explained in any detail, they were arrested. She pled guilty but not guilty really? They went to jail. He gets out. Kids take him back into the fold, whilst Shelly is still in denial saying it's all a mistake. Phew????? I stuck with this expecting more and sadly got less and less.
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  • Traci Wilmoth
    January 1, 1970
    I feel a need to put a disclaimer for this book. Though I could not put the book down, and found the writing to be most excellent, the reader should definitely be where. This is a true crime story about long-term physical and mental abuse of children and the victims of the perpetrator. If that is the type of book you enjoy, you will love this book. Though the actions of the main character are deplorable, I still found the story fascinating and devoured the book in an evening in the morning with I feel a need to put a disclaimer for this book. Though I could not put the book down, and found the writing to be most excellent, the reader should definitely be where. This is a true crime story about long-term physical and mental abuse of children and the victims of the perpetrator. If that is the type of book you enjoy, you will love this book. Though the actions of the main character are deplorable, I still found the story fascinating and devoured the book in an evening in the morning with only a fitful night's sleep in between.Not only does the book cover what happened to the children, but it also looks into the background of Shelly. We see some of the things that let her to be the monster she became, though I still had many unanswered questions about why.The book was written, according to the author's note at the end of the book, with the permission and help of the woman's three daughters. After so many years of Silence , I believe they wanted the story told. In addition, the friends and family of her other victims deserve to know what happened to their loved ones.This book was so riveting that is soon as I finished it I went to my local library and checked out some of Olsen's other books, which I have read since then. Then they are all gripping and well written, I think this one, If You Tell, is the best. I have a difficult time imagining a fictional story about a serial killer being much more gruesome than this real life telling
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  • Cindy Gelpi
    January 1, 1970
    A horrendous and shocking story of a master manipulator and sadist mother who drags her family through one of the most horrible ordeals imaginable. But no, that’s not quite accurate, it’s not really imaginable. Only a demented and psychotic mind could come up with the tortures this woman inflicts on her children, family and friends. It’s a difficult read, but hopeful at the same time as her daughters are able to survive the abuse and go on to become successful adults.
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  • julianne
    January 1, 1970
    This was my November Kindle Firsts read and boy am I glad I chose this one. It kept me absolutely enthralled despite not knowing about the case beforehand. I'm now going to hunt down more books by the author.
  • Christina Renfro
    January 1, 1970
    This heart wrenching tale of what one woman is capable will leave is in shock. For most girls, your mother is your friend, confidant, person you can depend on, but for these three girls, she is nothing but monstrous. This will have you wondering how this could happen, how they never got help until they got it for themselves. An absolute must read!
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  • KD Jones
    January 1, 1970
    Once you stayreading this book you won't be able to put it down!! Just an amazing story!!
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    This is not well writtenThis is a book about horrendous crimes but written in the most sophomoric basic way. I got it free and that was too much. Don’t bother.
  • Beverly Parker
    January 1, 1970
    If You TellI couldn’t finish it. Just the same old same old. I’ve read lots of Gregg Olsen, but shame on you for this one.
  • Lynda Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    The best book Gregg Olsen has ever written. It's the fifth I've read by him and I've usually been pretty disappointed as his proofreaders or editors have done an atrocious job, but this one is WAY better presented altogether. I see it's been a few years since he wrote a true crime book so the break's done him the world of good as this one is fascinating. I did dither a little over selecting it as my Kindle First choice for the month, but I'm pleased I gave him this "last chance" !! It's not a ca The best book Gregg Olsen has ever written. It's the fifth I've read by him and I've usually been pretty disappointed as his proofreaders or editors have done an atrocious job, but this one is WAY better presented altogether. I see it's been a few years since he wrote a true crime book so the break's done him the world of good as this one is fascinating. I did dither a little over selecting it as my Kindle First choice for the month, but I'm pleased I gave him this "last chance" !! It's not a case that ever reached us over here, and it is a pretty harrowing read. Shelly properly is a mother from hell. How on earth some people think up the things they do to other people leave me flabbergasted ! Especially as she's a mother. There is a happy ending, however.....her girls are all grown up and well away from her and I was happy to see it. I had a lot of time for Lara. She is probably the nicest person the girls have in their lives by a country mile. She took a lot on with her kids and Shelly seemed to be pretty damaged already by the time Lara encountered her. Her maternal family were a bunch of nutcases, so I guess she didn't stand a chance, really, though it'll never excuse her later behaviour. I also liked Shane a great deal. He was dealt a bloody awful hand himself....I liked Ron, too and his relationship with Tori was a sweet one.A couple of abuses Shelly committed actually made me wince.....none were pleasant, of course but she went beyond the pale. I had little time for her husband, either. Sadly, he lacked any backbone and always backed his wife up. He attempted to redeem himself later in life and was sort of accepted as a fellow victim by the author but I'm having none of it, I'm afraid.I suppose if you've never been in the position the sisters were in, you'll never "get" why they kept quiet or hung around once they were of age. Something Nikki said I highlighted, "I loved my mother because I didn't know I had a choice. I had to love her." I guess that speaks volumes in itself. Though one thing Nikki did I found unfathomable, I just couldn't figure out her reasoning for it. You'll know what I mean when you read it....An Alford plea was discussed in this book and I've read about this before, yet it still makes no sense to me in the least. It's a proper cop-out decision for any justice system and I'm always shocked when it's utilised to even think such a thing is in existence. I just Googled out of interest and thankfully we have nothing similar here in the UK. Good. I hope we never do.I did spot the odd apostrophe mistake and one massive spelling howler, using waived and not waved (!!) but this is really a huge, huge improvement in this author's presentation and now I can take him off my sh**list for future books.
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  • Jordan Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    Having never read Gregg Olsen before, If You Tell kind of came out of the blue for me. I had no desire to read a true crime non fiction book (I actually wanted to try and focus on cramming in the 3 new Star Wars novels that have been produced since September), but thanks to Amazon’s “First Reads” program, If You Tell somehow managed to find its way onto my iPad...and I’ll admit that I’m glad it did.The title makes this one seem like a new Kevin O’Brien novel, and it does read quickly like a mystery/ Having never read Gregg Olsen before, If You Tell kind of came out of the blue for me. I had no desire to read a true crime non fiction book (I actually wanted to try and focus on cramming in the 3 new Star Wars novels that have been produced since September), but thanks to Amazon’s “First Reads” program, If You Tell somehow managed to find its way onto my iPad...and I’ll admit that I’m glad it did.The title makes this one seem like a new Kevin O’Brien novel, and it does read quickly like a mystery/murder thriller, so it’s almost hard to remember that this is technically a nonfiction “true crime” book. If even half of what Olsen writes about the screwed up Knotek family, it’s pretty disturbing that anyone could be as twisted and crazy as Shelly.As a whole, it’s a decent read. It reads similar to anything Ryan Green has published, and that’s a good thing, but, like Green’s works, it can come off as far too brief and not nearly as researched or in depth as possible. There’s no works cited page or bibliography, and Olsen basically states that everything he wrote in If You Tell is really only from the survivors’ perspective. It’s a pretty common idea that there’s no such thing as a reliable narrator when it comes to violent crime and abuse. For that reason, it’s worth mentioning that readers shouldn’t take everything in this book at face value. I don’t disbelieve that the event occurred not do I think and of the players in this sick drama would flat out lie, however I just don’t know what’s 100% accurate. I also got a little tired of Olsen’s penchant to repeat many of the same facts over and over again. By the 1/4 mark, we already know who’s who and we don’t need Olsen to constantly reiterate who each person is and how they’re related to everyone else. Overall though, If You Tell was a fast paced and hard to put down book. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s entertaining (unless you’re a sadist who gets off on true stories of family abuse), but it’s an eye opening account of the potential evil that lives right next door to us.
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  • Susanna White
    January 1, 1970
    I had never heard of Michelle Knotek or the events detailed in this book, but I read it in two days and immediately googled to find any additional information. There are many parts that a hard to read without wondering how such horrendous actions were witnessed and by so many, but continued for decades. It's hard to say much without spoiling so I'll just say I had to try hard to not let my conscience go into "victim shaming" territory, and in the end, the witnesses were definitely victims (at le I had never heard of Michelle Knotek or the events detailed in this book, but I read it in two days and immediately googled to find any additional information. There are many parts that a hard to read without wondering how such horrendous actions were witnessed and by so many, but continued for decades. It's hard to say much without spoiling so I'll just say I had to try hard to not let my conscience go into "victim shaming" territory, and in the end, the witnesses were definitely victims (at least those that had enough information to make a conviction stick). The absolutely evil acts of abuse I read about here are hard to get my mind around. It really drives home that humans are capable of unimaginable atrocities, even those people who seem fairly normal with their public mask on. My heart aches for the victims, every one of them. I hope their memories live on and their stories are told for ages and their killer is never allowed to live a second in the free world. However, the justice system is so very flawed, it's very possible she will again be someone's neighbor by 2023.The book was well written with no bloated or superfluous information I often see in true crime memoirs. I was so fascinated I almost watched the Shelly Knotek "Snapped" episode before I even finished the book, but I'm glad I finished it before looking for anything more. I will continue to read anything Gregg Olson puts out, and think other authors of true crime events can look to his works for examples of how it's done well.
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  • The NotsoSuperMom
    January 1, 1970
    Although the subject matter is horrifying, I have always been drawn to the psychology of evil. By FAR the best (and most well-written) part of this book is the afterword by Dr. Katherine Ramsland. She explains the why and how lives like this are lived for so long, undetected and--even under suspicion--unchallenged. Gregg Olsen's telling of this saga, while thorough and unflinchingly brutal, was annoyingly repetitive and somewhat circuitous. It seemed like he had enough information to have strung Although the subject matter is horrifying, I have always been drawn to the psychology of evil. By FAR the best (and most well-written) part of this book is the afterword by Dr. Katherine Ramsland. She explains the why and how lives like this are lived for so long, undetected and--even under suspicion--unchallenged. Gregg Olsen's telling of this saga, while thorough and unflinchingly brutal, was annoyingly repetitive and somewhat circuitous. It seemed like he had enough information to have strung together a more linear timeline than the one he laid out. While doubling back on the story can be helpful and sometimes necessary for laying out concurrent events, he frequently repeated his own sentences or passages word for word, as if we wouldn't remember that we just read them 3 chapters ago. Perhaps this could be blamed on poor editing. Whatever the cause, I felt it distracted a bit from the tension. A story like this is frustrating to read, just from an emotional standpoint--you read the abuse these poor people suffered and you're practically screaming inside your head for them to save themselves--and that frustration was not helped by such lackluster writing.Despite the book's faults, it was a relief to read that these young women made it through these houses of horror to a place of relative normalcy. And I would commend Mr. Olsen for giving them--and others, through them--a voice in this story, as it is only theirs to tell.
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  • Lesa Tobiason beach
    January 1, 1970
    Oh boyGregg Olsen is one of the best true crime writers . I've been a fan since "Starvation Heights" came out years ago. This story, starring Michelle " Shelly" Knotek, and her clueless 3rd husband shows how they got away with torture and murder for years. Shelly's kids had no idea how evil she really was. She degraded them, broke them down, so they had no idea what was normal, or what she was truly capable of. With his mindless accept ance, compliance, and avoidance, David Knotek made her Oh boyGregg Olsen is one of the best true crime writers . I've been a fan since "Starvation Heights" came out years ago. This story, starring Michelle " Shelly" Knotek, and her clueless 3rd husband shows how they got away with torture and murder for years. Shelly's kids had no idea how evil she really was. She degraded them, broke them down, so they had no idea what was normal, or what she was truly capable of. With his mindless accept ance, compliance, and avoidance, David Knotek made her job much easier. He spent much of his life at work, only coming home weekends. He mindlessly carried out whatever she said. Unbelievable. Her other 2 husbands left their children as sacrifices to get away from her. Wow.I can see this happening. The rest of us travel the other side of the street to stay away from people like this. The horrendous things they do and get away with, because no one gets close enough, blind and deaf to dysfunction and plain bizarre,because "She's crazy. " I'm sure there's teachers, neighbors, mailmen -and the co workers -with stories that are just way out there. And likely if they had reported them, the police would've done exactly what they did when Nikki and Lara approached them. This story should make us all look a little closer. There's many more Kathys out there.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I briefly remember reading bits and pieces about this story when it was in the media. Tet, I did not know all of the details. My heart just broke for Nikki, Sami, and Tori as I read about their childhood growing up under their mother's reign. Shelley was an evil woman. She was mental, physically, and verbally abusive to all who were around her; not just her daughters but husband, nephew, and the others that she took in promising their a good life only to turn on them and treat them worse than an I briefly remember reading bits and pieces about this story when it was in the media. Tet, I did not know all of the details. My heart just broke for Nikki, Sami, and Tori as I read about their childhood growing up under their mother's reign. Shelley was an evil woman. She was mental, physically, and verbally abusive to all who were around her; not just her daughters but husband, nephew, and the others that she took in promising their a good life only to turn on them and treat them worse than an dog. As you read about all of the horrible abuse that the three sisters endured, you wonder why they stayed. As Dr. Katherine Ramsland talks about; children who grow up with cold, narcissistic or sadistic parents don't know any differently event when they see other families, at that time it is too late and the children just hunker down and adapt. I have read several true crime novels that Mr. Olsen has penned collaboratory. This is the first he has written solo. This like the other books are no different; Mr. Olsen is a strong writer. While, it is a bit strange to say how much I really like reading this book about a true crime it is true. Whenever I get the chance to read a book by Mr. Olsen I jump at it.
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    Evil existsI received this book free from Amazon Kindle, as part of the Prime First Reads program. This is my honest and voluntary review. This book is the true story of the horrors that 3 sisters survived & 3 others did not. It is full of evil and is difficult to read. From a sociological & psychological perspective, it is a book that many may read, simply because they want there to be a definitive point where the abuser & murderer becomes what they are. I've worked with children Evil existsI received this book free from Amazon Kindle, as part of the Prime First Reads program. This is my honest and voluntary review. This book is the true story of the horrors that 3 sisters survived & 3 others did not. It is full of evil and is difficult to read. From a sociological & psychological perspective, it is a book that many may read, simply because they want there to be a definitive point where the abuser & murderer becomes what they are. I've worked with children like S. K. (I refuse to use her name to bring more attention to her), they are absolutely convinced that they have never done anything wrong. It's always someone else at fault. They have not done anything to deserve where they are in life. Things would have continued, as they caused destruction of other's will to live, to be safe, to be loved. Abusers can twist every feeling & memory. They can convince others that the abuse they suffer is their own fault. My thoughts and prayers are with the young women & the families of those who died. I wish I had not read this book. I will have nightmares myself & I did not have to live through life with this horror.
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  • Angela Barnes
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book in a span of 24 hours. I could not put it down. But... it seems that the facts were stated in kind of a convoluted manner--the book answered what happened, but never said why it happened. Did Shelly suffer from a mental illness? Not that this an excuse AT. ALL. But, the background on Shelly's own mental state was missing. Oftentimes, I found it difficult to believe...how in the world does someone get in and out of a trunk without others noticing? I almost felt like the two older I read this book in a span of 24 hours. I could not put it down. But... it seems that the facts were stated in kind of a convoluted manner--the book answered what happened, but never said why it happened. Did Shelly suffer from a mental illness? Not that this an excuse AT. ALL. But, the background on Shelly's own mental state was missing. Oftentimes, I found it difficult to believe...how in the world does someone get in and out of a trunk without others noticing? I almost felt like the two older sisters just "washed their hands of it" even though their younger sister was still being abused. I understand they were terrified and suffered horribly at the hands of their mother...but, did they feel the need to protect their younger sister? It wasn't super clear in the book, although, I am sure they wanted to do everything in their power to ensure their sister's safety. I felt like a bit more of the 'why' would help others understand more about their state of mind...why didn't they do this or that? I guess, what I am asking/saying, is why not give a voice to the victims...let them say why they found it so difficult. I just didn't get that sense when reading the book.
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  • Susan Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    Unputdownable. For two days, it was the first thing I reached for in the morning and the last thing I touched before falling asleep. (I could have read it in one sitting if running my business hadn't gotten in the way.)To say the story is disturbing doesn't begin to describe the torture the Knoteks put their victims through. How the children who survived managed to go on to live normal lives, to trust other humans, one can only wonder.The end of the story comes simply wit Unputdownable. For two days, it was the first thing I reached for in the morning and the last thing I touched before falling asleep. (I could have read it in one sitting if running my business hadn't gotten in the way.)To say the story is disturbing doesn't begin to describe the torture the Knoteks put their victims through. How the children who survived managed to go on to live normal lives, to trust other humans, one can only wonder.The end of the story comes simply with a truly heartbreaking revelation about what likely precipitated one of the murders. You'll ask yourself "WHY WOULD SHE DO THAT KNOWING WHAT SHE KNOWS", but it's a testament to the total mindf*** that life with Shelly Knotek must've been. The one thing I wish we knew more about Shelly is how she came to be the sadist she is. Was she born with some neurological defect? What did she endure at the hands of her grandmother? There's more to this story that we'll likely never know. But what we know is enough to keep you awake at night.If you love true crime, you'll probably be haunted by this story for a long time to come.
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  • Marie-elena Mccann baker
    January 1, 1970
    Strangest story EVER told5 STARS to Gregg Olsen and his writing - true crime reporting on this TRUE CRIME case. It I s so hard to believe that this crazy sick woman exists, but she does. Her 3 daughter's are finally talking about the horrors and torture they endured growing up. The people that trusted her to care for them ended up dead, even her nephew. They say it takes a village to raise as family. Raymond failed in everyway. The sisters wanted to share this horrid story because the Strangest story EVER told5 STARS to Gregg Olsen and his writing - true crime reporting on this TRUE CRIME case. It I s so hard to believe that this crazy sick woman exists, but she does. Her 3 daughter's are finally talking about the horrors and torture they endured growing up. The people that trusted her to care for them ended up dead, even her nephew. They say it takes a village to raise as family. Raymond failed in everyway. The sisters wanted to share this horrid story because they believe it will happen again. The sick,sick " mom" is due to be released in a few years. To torture ,try to smother your own kids, have the mental power of such horrendous mind games over people ( and Raymond) just blows my mind. I hope the sisters can find peace and I hope the lying, manipulative,sick,sick Shelly Knoteck stays locked up with good therapy. The book made me appreciate my family, parents and loved ones in a deeper way . Be aware , evil does exists. Mental health care must take a step up, too.
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  • Marie-elena Mccann baker
    January 1, 1970
    5 STARS to Gregg Olsen and his writing - true crime reporting on this TRUE CRIME case. It I s so hard to believe that this crazy sick woman exists, but she does. Her 3 daughter's are finally talking about the horrors and torture they endured growing up. The people that trusted her to care for them ended up dead, even her nephew. They say it takes a village to raise as family. Raymond failed in everyway. The sisters wanted to share this horrid story because they believe it will happen again. The 5 STARS to Gregg Olsen and his writing - true crime reporting on this TRUE CRIME case. It I s so hard to believe that this crazy sick woman exists, but she does. Her 3 daughter's are finally talking about the horrors and torture they endured growing up. The people that trusted her to care for them ended up dead, even her nephew. They say it takes a village to raise as family. Raymond failed in everyway. The sisters wanted to share this horrid story because they believe it will happen again. The sick,sick " mom" is due to be released in a few years. To torture ,try to smother your own kids, have the mental power of such horrendous mind games over people ( and Raymond) just blows my mind. I hope the sisters can find peace and I hope the lying, manipulative,sick,sick Shelly Knoteck stays locked up with good therapy. The book made me appreciate my family, parents and loved ones in a deeper way . Be aware , evil does exists. Mental health care must take a step up, too.
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  • Dan McDonald
    January 1, 1970
    Dark, Disturbing, Drawn Out, and Ultimately DissatisfyingIf you're going to write a book about a mentally ill, sadistic serial killer you should probably spend more time talking about her mental illness or at least trying to explain the "why" instead of just the "what." I never felt like I understood the motivations or motivating force behind any of the people in this tragedy. Was Shelly suffering from borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, both? What would the experts s Dark, Disturbing, Drawn Out, and Ultimately DissatisfyingIf you're going to write a book about a mentally ill, sadistic serial killer you should probably spend more time talking about her mental illness or at least trying to explain the "why" instead of just the "what." I never felt like I understood the motivations or motivating force behind any of the people in this tragedy. Was Shelly suffering from borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, both? What would the experts say? Was she just evil? An epilogue at the end that only gives superficial treatment to these issues and, particularly, the psychology behind why victims stay and don't report is extremely dissatisfying. Sorry. I just don't like reading about human misery without at least some ability to understand why or how it occurred. Giving the reader more tools to do that would have been appreciated.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    This book made me so angry. I totally get that predators know who they can make their victims, and children pretty much never stand a chance. But I will never understand how adults can let themselves be taken advantage of so badly. People in abusive relationships, people who join cults, people who get swindled by con artist guru types, and people who commit heinous crimes for others. Spoiler alert. This bitch gets out in a couple years and I don’t get how that is acceptable. Except that it was e This book made me so angry. I totally get that predators know who they can make their victims, and children pretty much never stand a chance. But I will never understand how adults can let themselves be taken advantage of so badly. People in abusive relationships, people who join cults, people who get swindled by con artist guru types, and people who commit heinous crimes for others. Spoiler alert. This bitch gets out in a couple years and I don’t get how that is acceptable. Except that it was easier for prosecutors and less of an embarrassment for law-enforcement.. I sure hope she gets beaten to death before that happens. Because she most definitely will do this again. And of course she never has and never will have cancer or any other disease unfortunately. And if she’s able to make contact with that husband of hers, he’ll probably fall right back into doing her bidding. What pieces of shit
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    HOLY HANNAHS! There really aren't words to begin to express this story. The level of depravity of the mother, the notorious serial killer Michelle "Shelley" Knotek, is hard to fathom. When reading, one starts to forget this is in fact a true story and starts to believe it's a psychological thriller based on the sheer amount of evil bestowed on her daughters and "friends." It is only when dates are given that the reader is brought back to the reality that this did in fact happen. The imagery pres HOLY HANNAHS! There really aren't words to begin to express this story. The level of depravity of the mother, the notorious serial killer Michelle "Shelley" Knotek, is hard to fathom. When reading, one starts to forget this is in fact a true story and starts to believe it's a psychological thriller based on the sheer amount of evil bestowed on her daughters and "friends." It is only when dates are given that the reader is brought back to the reality that this did in fact happen. The imagery presented by Olsen transport the reader into the story and the narrative, as presented, allows the tale to come to life. The fact that the girls were able to survive the incredible amount of abuse -and escape from it!- is a testament to their will and strength. This is definitely a must-read; however, be warned. There may be triggers for certain survivors of abuse and, at time, the story becomes fairly graphic.
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