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Too Pretty to Live Audiobook

Too Pretty to Live: The Catfishing Murders of East Tennessee

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Publisher's Summary

In this stunning true-crime thriller of Facebook, catfishing, and jealousy, a double murder begins with the click of a button.

When Bill Payne and Billie Jean Hayworth began their romance, they unknowingly set in motion a diabolical plot that would end with them murdered in their own home, Hayworth holding their mercifully unharmed infant.

Chris was a CIA agent who was concerned about Jenelle. Seeing the cyberbullying she had endured, and worried for her safety, Chris got in touch with Jenelle's protective parents and her devoted boyfriend, warning them that Payne and Hayworth were a danger to Jenelle. He got especially close with Jenelle's mother, Barbara, who thought of Chris like a son, though she had never met him. Chris claimed that surveillance of Payne and Hayworth revealed that the two of them were planning on harming Jenelle, that it was imminent, and that something needed to be done immediately. Chris promised that he would have their back if they were to act to protect Jenelle. And so they did. Jenelle's father, Buddy, and her boyfriend, Jamie, broke into the home of Payne and Hayworth and murdered them in their own home.

What the police investigation turned up, though, made this crime all the more terrifying. Jenelle had been Chris the entire time, catfishing her family and her boyfriend to act in vengeance on her behalf. Using forensic linguistics and diving through the brambles that Jenelle laid to cover her tracks, police were able to put together a chilling portrait of a sociopath made all the more ruthless by the anonymity of her online life.

Bizarre and unforgettable, Dennis Brooks examines the crime and trial from all angles, bringing his expertise as the lead prosecutor in this strange and disturbing case.

©2016 Dennis Brooks (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (6 )
5 star
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4.2 (5 )
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3.8 (5 )
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Performance
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  •  
    A.Connor 13/09/2017
    A.Connor 13/09/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "'icky narration alert.."

    re-telling of this prosecutorial case involves the narrator reading dozens of emails, social media posts, text messages & the the like sent by the defendants.
    At least one of these defendants is learning-disabled & narrator in his wisdom, elects to read these extracts in his best 'learning disabled' style.. painful & inappropriate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Melodie
    Greensboro, NC, United States
    12/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too tedious to read"

    I made it through the whole book. I'm a big fan of true crime, but the amount of reading of the incredibly insipid, tedious email detail that went in was unnecessary and just boring. There were many story gaps and the story just didn't hang together well. I cannot recommend this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Daryl Jarvinen
    Marquette, MI USA
    24/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Pretty To Live"

    I thought the story was overly dependent on the email, text and social media aspects of the case. The story line was hard to follow and confusing with the amount of false personas.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • justin
    09/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great true crime"

    I'm always looking for a good new true crime, especially when it's one I haven't heard before. this was a well written, well researched tale written by the prosecutor himself.

    I highly recommend this book to all true crime fans. the story is just too crazy not to be true!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • lWeave
    06/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not the fault of the author or reader..."

    It was difficult to listen to this audio book as it heavily relied upon poorly written text and Facebook message transcripts. Many of the ramblings of the main characters in written communication are filled with grammatical errors and terrible spelling / misused words. Heavy with cussing and negative language many excerpts were hard to listen to and left you annoyed with having to filter through the ignorant language to understand the story. Maybe it would be easier to read but it was not easy to listen to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kim
    12/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Throw this "Catfish" back!"

    The story is a fascinating one. I loved the new wave techno crime idea, and this could have been an awesome read. The problem is the story is hard to follow, it kinda jumps back and forth, repeating itself, slowing down the plot. The person performing the audio did a good job, but I became aggravated with the constant reading of the emails filled with horrible grammar. This is what you will hear for most of the book, and this is what takes away the interest for me. I know it is important to the case and the overdose of this killed the book. Less is more in this case.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mel Johansson
    Wilmington, NC, United States
    10/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating story that needed a good editor"

    I'm a huge true crime fan, and this book didn't disappoint. The story is morbidly fascinating, and it's well structured; my interest never flagged. The reader is excellent.

    I especially appreciated the unique point of view that the writer's position as prosecuting attorney in the case brought to the narrative. The thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars is that the author needed a good editor. He often misuses words ("tout," for instance) and makes rookie mistakes like telling us what the victim--now deceased--was thinking at some point.

    Overall I enjoyed this book very much, but the writing flaws got in the way what was otherwise a ripping good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle in New York City
    NYC
    02/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept my attention during a cross country drive"

    I thought this book was written exactly the way an episode of Investigation Discovery would play out. So if you like this type of show then you would like this book. I enjoyed the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lavinia
    30/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book I couldn't finish"
    What would have made Too Pretty to Live better?

    Not having to listen to the narrator read the text of so many long, boring, and poorly written emails, especially in the flat, monotone voice that he used to differentiate the email text from the author's text, would improve the story immensely.


    What was most disappointing about Dennis Brooks’s story?

    The characters in this story should have made for an interesting psychological study, but in the hands of this writer they were just flat-out boring.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    While a big part of this story centered around the email correspondence between the murderers, listening to those emails being read word-for-word, flaws and all, was boring and annoying


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Deana Davidson
    25/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Everything You Want It To Be."
    Would you listen to Too Pretty to Live again? Why?

    I did imagine myself listening to it again during the first time around because there are so many complex details that give you glimpses into the psyche of the characters. I am fascinated by hearing about the mental discrepancies of Janelle and Barbara and Buddy an the only thing that may stop me from it is that its just incredibly sad and frustrating, and most true crime murder stories are.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Examining the individual psyches of the Potter family was very interesting and the author and attorney really delved into some intriguing psychoanalyses. What an amazing job he did.


    Which character – as performed by John Pruden – was your favorite?

    The author the emails and texts in a very deadpan way, which was in order to convey the intelligence and ability of the authors because one of the main points of the entire story was how lack of intelligence, maturity and education contributed to the crime.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me cry not just for the murder victims and the baby but even for Jaime and Buddy to some extent for being fooled. Also it made me examine my own emotional reactions and paranoia, which happen on a much smaller scale, in order to understand the guilty parties. I related some of the characters to people I've known. Doing so was very unsettling. I was most revolted by any similarities I sensed with Janelle because she is quite evil!


    Any additional comments?

    This was so much more complex and compelling than I had imagined it could be. And expertly handled by the author both in handling the case and in describing everything for the book. He made me want to camp out with all of the files for a month and just pour over the details so as to keep looking for little clues into the minds of monsters.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Tsparous
    Helena, AL United States
    19/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meh... A little more boring than expected."

    It was okay. I am pretty picky about my true crime. This was endless emails and transcripts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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