The story of a southern belle gone wrong presents the shocking tale of Patricia Vann Radcliffe Taylor Allanson, who tried to murder members of her own family to get what she wanted
Pat Taylor and Tom Allanson found in each other the kind of romantic love that others only dream about. She was a delicate and beautiful Southern belle and he was a tall handsome man who could circle her tiny waist with his massive hands. Both came from fine families, bound to the genteel traditions of the Old South. And both shared the same hope for their future: to recreate for themselves a plantation where they would raise and show horses, grow roses, and move with grace and style in the highest social circles of Atlanta. Pat often thought of herself as Scarlett O'Hara; and in Tom she'd finally found her Rhett, a man who adored her and vowed to give her everything she ever wanted. They were costumed as Scarlett and Rhett on their wedding day. But scarcely two months later, their perfect world erupted into gunfire, terror, bloodshed, and murder. Their beautiful plantation mysteriously burned to the ground, and Tom Allanson stood accused - and was convicted - of the brutal slaying of his mother and father.This is the bizarre true story of the horrifying tragedy that overtook Pat and Tom Allanson, from its roots in their tangled family histories to its shocking aftermath in the attempted murders of other innocent victims. It is also the suspenseful story of how Atlanta detectives found the single thread that tied together an alarming series of crimes. The cast of characters is complex and memorable: Walter and Carolyn Allanson, Tom's parents, who detested his new wife and paid with their lives; old Paw and Nona Allanson, Tom's grandparents, who narrowly escaped death from arsenic poisoning; the Siler clan, Pat's family, who fiercely protected their own and stared out at the rest of the world with a "crystal gaze"; Margureitte Siler Radcliffe and her husband the Colonel, Pat's mother and stepfather, who had never denied her anything - and never would. Finally there is the compelling Pat herself and her own children, Susan, Debbie, and Ronnie - all caught up in a whirlwind of emotions and desires. And when the story ends, both families lie in ruins, victims of the crimes and cruel machinations of a most improbable perpetrator.In this, Ann Rule's eighth true-crime book, she has chosen a subject who defies the imagination, a sociopath whose evil is cloaked in soft words and gentle manners, yet who is also capable of heartless manipulation, murder, and even self-mutilation. The author's meticulous recounting of heedless ambition and selfish passion alternately arouses and chills the senses. The story of the Silers, the Allansons, the Radcliffes and the Taylors will become a classic in its genre. Its truth is its horror. Its horror is its truth.