Category: General Nonfiction
Regular price: $11.99
Deal price: $0.99
Deal starts: March 14, 2023
Deal ends: March 14, 2023
This memoir about a friend’s murder—and the mystery surrounding her daughter’s role in it—is “a true-crime work that digs deeper” (Foreword Reviews).
On October 20, 1999, thirty-eight-year-old Nell Crowley Davis was bludgeoned, strangled, and stabbed to death in her backyard in Bluffton, South Carolina, near Hilton Head Island. In this blend of true crime and memoir, Rosalyn Rossignol tells the story of how Davis’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Sarah Nickel, along with two teenage boys, came to be charged in the case. Since no physical evidence tied Nickel to the murder, she was convicted of armed robbery and given the same sentence as the boys—thirty years. In the months that followed, Nickel vehemently insisted she was innocent.
Torn by Nickel’s pleas, Rossignol, a childhood friend of the murder victim, committed herself to answering the question that perhaps the police detectives, press, and courts had not: whether Sarah Nickel was indeed guilty of this crime.
During five years of research, Rossignol read case files and transcripts, examined evidence from the crime scene, listened to the 911 call, and watched videotaped statements made by the accused in the hours following their arrests. She also interviewed family members, detectives, the lawyer who prosecuted the case and those who represented the defendants, and the judge who presided over the trial—as well as Nickel herself.
What Rossignol uncovers is a fascinating maze of twists and turns, replete with a memorable cast of characters including a shotgun-toting grandma, a self-avowed nihilist and Satan-worshipper, and a former Rice Queen of Savannah, Georgia. Unlike all previous investigators, Rossignol has uncovered the truth about what happened, and the reasons why, on that fateful October day.