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Rule s books seem to be a hit or a meh with me I over all enjoy her books and her writing. It s been a long time since I read anything by Ann Rule I m so glad I was already married to a great guy before I ever started reading any of her books, otherwise, I would probably never trust a man enough to marry him This one was the story of Bradley Morris Cunningham, a total scumbag if ever there was one He treated all of his wives and children as though they were his property I can remember dating guys 40 years ago who tried to tell me how I was supposed to act and what I could and could not say Those guys didn t last long Brad Cunningham took total control of any woman he lived with Smart women, but women who loved him so much that they supported him and his children, even though he belittled them, beat them and even one he killed There s not a man on earth who could have made me do some of the things this man made his wives do Parts of this were hard for me to read as they brought back a lot of the emotional abuse my father heaped on my mother, my siblings and I, but I could not put this book down Ann Rule writes the best true crime novels I ve ever read I could not put it down I even Googled him to be sure he s still in prison He s 3,000 miles away, but that s not far enough. Brad Cunningham is a brilliant man Not only was he a natural athlete, and he had been a football player in high school, he was so brilliant the world of finance and banking continually offered him the kind of work which earned him high salaries despite the fact he was always moving around Handsome, charismatic, a high end shopper of cars and houses the man never had to ask a woman twice for a date or to marry him He was a real catch So when he pushed his way into women s lives, they wanted it No matter if they never met his mother and father before marriage No matter if he never introduced them to his hometown past Who cared if they only knew him a few months What did it signify if he was in another relationship, with children, and yet he was now making another baby with another woman, hopeful for his love and marriage This is a fantastic true crime story to read, and it is also one of Ann Rule s best researched However, as far as the story itself, there are circumstances here which make this a tainted victim story for me Cunningham was a deceiver who was difficult to arrest, partially because he never gave up struggling against his incarceration for murdering his wife He knew the law and used it to avoid justice The police had him high on their suspect list because no one else had motive, and his alibi was poor The murdered woman left a note indicating she believed he might try to harm her and she was meeting him alone to get her kids from a required visitation He was maybe the last person to be with her before she was killed This is not a who done it Everyone thought the husband killed her Instead, this is a how the system doesn t work, and how people help killers have their fun.He moved around a lot, he lied about and hid his past from people, he had a great job and money, a good college education and a well spoken demeanor which gave him power and authority Nice cars, a big house, expensive clothes and an important title at a bank wasthan enough to convince five beautiful women, some of whom won beauty contests, others who were doctors and professionals themselves, as well as some who were strippers and high school drop outs, to want to marry him Most of these women quickly became pregnant shortly after they began their relationship with him, even doing so when they knew he was married or supporting another family Even after his sadism surfaced, even when it became clear he wanted a wife only to demean her and take all of her assets, even when he was only nice in front of people until the papers for divorce were filed at that point, he did everything he could to get them fired from their jobs, including passing out nude pictures and revealing telling embarrassing stories about the women , the ladies protected him because of their children, and lingering hopes of love Maybe they had no idea he was capable of murder, but they each certainly knew they had made a mistake to become involved with him after awhile Yet, some of them had a baby or twowith him after they knew he was mean and narcissistic Each continued to listen to his self serving advice, sign over evenof their assets, and generally forgive him and excuse him his cruelties again and again.Ann Rule generally does a great job of explaining the circumstances around a murder She doesn t embellish or include gratuitous violence She uses court documents, police reports and interviews everyone connected to the people involved She travels to hometowns, and places of birth, talking to school teachers and neighbors She researches newspaper stories and city hall records She is a trained journalist and a great writer I think she writes the best true crime books I ve noticed several things about the stories of the people she selects to profile people continue to love and support the killers even after they know the killer is a bad person They might not believe that the killer killed, or that the thief stole anything, but they continue to support and help the suspects despite their awareness or knowledge of other bad behaviors.Some people are too stupid to live They may have fantastic skills and be fantastically lovable, but they are too dumb to live long without offering a predator openings to take advantage Predators sometimes attack even if you do everything right to protect yourself they are certain to take you for everything you got if you engage in idiotically naive or self sacrificing behaviors.The things people excuse and ignore suspects who, while married or in a relationship with babies, makesbabies with someone else suspects who keep getting in legal trouble again and again suspects who beat up or terrorize other people suspects who borrow money cars houses objects and destroy sell lose never return the borrowed items suspects who show patterns of irresponsibility self destruction sadism secret or odd acquisitions or losses financially and last but not least, peculiar rigidity strictness in morality, cleanliness, dress, and or punishment If you are lonely and are desperate for a love interest, read my opinion below first and PLEASE think People are naturally predators Really Love dampens down after about two years Kids each cost at minimum about 15,000 a year to support in food, diapers, doctors, clothes, beds, car seats, toys, medicines, etc., if you REALLY want to give your children a good life The daily stresses of jobs, kids, finances make even the most adoring couple temporarily hate each other, and sometimes those occasions of mutual hate stretch out longer and longer During those times, people will do things to spite or hurt each other, and maybe it will be something that can t be fixed Relationships are rarely fair over periods of time One might discover they always do the toilets and diapers, the other may feel most of their money is going to the house and kids with nothing left over for themselves Lack of justice and fairness is built into many relationships, and over time, may destroy the relationship, even if both of you mean well and are decent people Love isn t enough, and if one of you only may have money it doesn t mean that person will want to share year after year, going without what they want in order to support you for the rest of your lives together If one of you has or makes all of the money, the other one will eventually have less power and authority over decisions Sometimes that means a lot of hostility and regret builds up despite whatever affection between the two of you LOVE ISNT ENOUGH Beauty isn t enough, either Everyone becomes plainer or uglier, even in just the passing of ten years, from when they were at the height of their personal beauty And everyone changes over time, EVERYONE Before you quote a lot of truisms at me about love and beauty, not only have I been married almost 40 years, I ve seen a lot of relationships around me Marriage is a contracted legal state, with legal financial consequences It works best when there is mutual respect and mutual decision making It is, overall, at best, a working partnership between equals If the marriage is functioning in any other way, it is not a good marriage It almost never works if one is doing all of the work and the other one is doing all of decision making However, even though I think equal partnership is best, I have seen marriages work despite if one partner chooses to become a silly useless adult child, and if they think about things at all, hopes the other is taking care of everything important While the one partner functions as a giddy socialite, the other partner is doing all of the important business, and usually ends up using and or hiding most of the assets, taking advantage of the other s intentional stupidity and blindness, while both profess deep and abiding love for each other It definitely can work until the one partner who is doing everything and has all of the money wants another younger, child adult partner Rule number one finish high school learn how to read and write and do math really well.Rule number two work on yourself and prepare yourself to be a functioning stand alone adult If you couldn t finish high school, go to community college and get your GED, no matter what If you discover you like it, get an Associates or even a Bachelor s No matter what Some jobs will sponsor further education Grow your brain and your personal resources Keep a pot of money for emergencies that only YOU access Take care of yourself YOU are your own best friend and lover Men definitely know this instinctually Rule number three when socializing, buy your own drinks, get them yourself, and only drink one If someone gets you one, nurse it, go the bathroom and dump it Hint learn what the water colored drinks are and order that if someone is getting a drink for you until you have met the parents of who you are with If you want to get drunk, do it safely in your home, by yourself Being drunk with people only means you are too stupid to live.Rule number four if someone looks really nice and sexy, is very flattering and seems to adore you, and has a great car or clothes or house, and tells you everything about themselves CHECK OUT THEIR FAMiLY before you accept what you are hearing and seeing about this person Take the time to see them over many many months, if not years Always use condoms Always tell someone or make a note of it somewhere where you going and who you are with DO NOT ACCEPT WHAT PEOPLE TELL YOU AS PURE TRUTH, without visiting their family at some point The best thing is to date for a couple of YEARS, not a couple of months, before trusting someone with baby making and money You want to see how they act, and act out, in many different situations You can t trust your feelings, but you can trust facts.Rule number five Ask yourself if you can give a baby a good life with your available resources by yourself FIRST Forcing a baby into a relationship without a mutual decision is a predatory action, mostly done by females, but men do it, too Predatory behaviors may seem to be primarily a masculine trait, but remember predation is also part of many female strategies However, being predatory doesn t mean the trait puts you at the top of the food chain or make of you a person of wise choices Mostly, it causes you to think with body parts that have nothing to do with the ones for reasoning Many of Rule s books mention this seemingly attractive predatory strategy often making a baby without consulting the partner It s plain stupid It s not a ticket for love and a fun family life It s a weapon to enslave you by the partner who doesn t care as much as you do about the baby at worst, or a source of resentment, rage and distrust at best A baby conceived for the purposes of putting pressure on the partner for marriage or making the relationship stronger NEVER works in the long run Rule number six read Ann Rule true crime stories. Brad Cunningham is like a villain in a melodrama You can absolutely imagine him twirling his mustache and cackling as he made his wives and ex wives miserable He was married five times, missed successfully killing his first wife by a matter of inches and pure blind luck married his second wife solely to help him gain custody of his children and when that failed, divorced her basically on the spot abandoned his third wife when she was six months pregnant, after having persuaded her to quit her job and move with him into aexpensive condo he in fact abandoned her in the middle of the move beat his fourth wife to death so he wouldn t have to share custody of their three sons milked his fifth wife for everything she was worth and persuaded the woman he wanted for wife 6 who obstinately refused to marry him, andpower to her to become a topless dancer to support him And he cheated on all of them, while accusing them of cheating on him Not to mention the emotional abuse, the stalking, the gaslighting .This book became mesmerizing I kept turning pages just to see what horrible thing Cunningham would do next And the end of the book, the civil trial for wrongful death followed by prosecution for first degree murder, was as deeply satisfying a vindication as I ve ever seen.Except for the part where Cheryl Keeton is still dead, and the people Cunningham hurt his wives, his children, his kith and kin, everyone who loved Cherylare never not going to have a torn place in their souls where Cheryl was ripped away.Rule does an excellent job with her complicated story and cast of thousands She s so good at explaining legal complexities that I almost don t notice how good she is at it And I admire the way she practices compassion even as she digs for the truth Cunningham lost an appeal in 2004, and I found the court s decision well worth reading. Especially good since my husband was one of the Houston lawyers working on this guy s lawsuit and spoke with this killer daily for weeks Creepy. suspenseful sad and all too true this book should be required reading for Match dot com most people don t know much about personality disorders, but if they did, boy, would they date with caution this guy had a bad case of narcissism and destroyed so many people s lives once you experience this type of personality, you can spot it a mile away ladies, read this book bravo, ann rule I think I do not have my copy any Wait I know This was one of the books I read in Dutch I think Which was why I discovered true crime books. This is one of those true stories that is difficult to believe In fact, if this had been a mystery, rather than a true crime story, I would be writing that the plot requires the suspension of disbelief No, I am not referring to the crime, but the fact that so many women could have fallen for this man Call me cynical, but if I were approached by a man who by the age of 35 had already gone through three wives, I would NOT be thinking this man was a great catch The sheer number of wives would suggest to me that this person has serious issues and I should proceed with extreme caution, or better yet, run like hell After all, any person who describes every previous wife as a monster is probably sayingabout himself than he is about the women that he married Yet, after wife 3, there are twowives and multiplegirlfriends Sadly, for wife 4, her failure to see the writing on the wall and her desire to protect her children results in her murder.This was the first book that I have read by Ann Rule and overall the writing is very good There are few places where the author providesbackground information than is really needed, which at least for me diluted the suspense and tension Still, I would definitely read another true crime by this author. Dead By Sunset is an interesting true crime book yeah, I know that s a horrid thing to say about true crime books about a man being convicted for the death of ex wife number four.I ll never understand women who fall for men like this I really, truly don t This ll sound horrible, but number four had a perfect demonstration of the way he truly was before they married.You see, when they met, he was married to ex wife number three He d only been married to her for a short time Now, ex three and ex four knew each other They were roomies in college and were in the same sorority When he file for divorce of ex three, she was eight months pregnant and he talked ex number four into actually server her with the papers He s abandoning ex wife number three, after he convinced her to quit her job and while she s eight months pregnant And, since she was a teacher and this was before Christmas, there weren t a whole of opportunities open for jobs Hell, he even repossessed her car while she was in labor at the hospital He calls her up I hear you had a girl BTW, I took back my car All of this and ex number four still walked into the marriage I just don t understand it. ^Free Ebook ☠ Dead By Sunset ✐ The Author Of Eight New York Times Bestsellers, Ann Rule First Won Nationwide Acclaim With The Stranger Beside Me, About Serial Killer Ted Bundy Her Crime Files Volumes, Based On Fascinating Case Histories, Have Assured Her Reputation As Our Premier Chronicler Of Crime Now The Former Seattle Policewoman Brings Us The Horrific Account Of A Charismatic Man Adored By Beautiful And Brilliant Women Who Always Gave Him What He Wantedsex, Money, Their Very Lives When Attorney Cheryl Keeton S Brutally Bludgeoned Body Was Found In Her Van In The Fast Lane Of An Oregon Freeway, Her Husband, Brad Cunningham, Was The Likely Suspect But There Was No Solid Evidence Linking Him To The Crime He Married Again, For The Fifth Time, And His Stunning New Wife, A Physician Named Sara, Adopted His Three Sons They All Settled Down To Family Life On A Luxurious Estate But Gradually, Their Marriage Became A Nightmare In This Gripping Account Of Cheryl S Murder, Ann Rule Takes Us From Brad S Troubled Boyhood To One Of The Most Bizarre Trials In Legal History, Uncovering Multiple Marriages, Financial Manipulations, Infidelities, And Monstrous Acts Of Harassment And Revenge Along The Way Dead By Sunset Is Ann Rule At Her Riveting Best