Friday, 10 February 2017

Debut Spotlight: JoAnn Chaney

Today it's my pleasure to be shining the spotlight on debut author JoAnn Chaney and her novel as part of the What You Don't Know blog tour.

JoAnn Chaney is a graduate of UC Riverside's Palm Desert MFA program. She lives in Colorado with her family. 

What You Don't Know is her first novel.

Photo credit: ©Sandy Ujfalusy

So far on the blog tour we've had a profile of the main suspect over on Liz Loves Books and some fictitious newspaper articles about the case so here's my Breaking News article for today.


By Sammie Peterson

Detectives Paul Hoskins and Ralph Loren, who first arrested Jacky Seever on December 28, confirmed yesterday that they believe the police force have uncovered all the businessman’s victims, bringing the total to thirty-one.
This announcement marks the end of an exhaustive two-month investigation of the Denver property that Seever and his wife, Gloria, called home.
Initial reports indicated that Seever’s victims were contained within the crawl space of his property, which he had deliberately flooded to mask the smell of decomposition. But after extensive questioning by Detective Hoskins, the businessman confessed to the existence of further bodies.
“We had reason to believe that Seever was capable of a lot more than we had dug up so far,” Detective Hoskins told the Post at the time. “And what do you know, he finally let slip that we’d find another body buried under the concrete in his garage. Then we took him to the scene and he showed us another spot in his yard.”
As a result of these revelations, police have been working around the clock to dig up the property’s entire plot to ensure that no body was left undiscovered.
Today, this family neighborhood breathes a small sigh of relief after weeks of disturbance. But it will be some time before things return to normal.
Denver was rocked by the shock arrest of the respected businessman and philanthropist in December last year. Jacky Seever was well known in the community, both for his popular family diners, and for his charitable work.
Seever was particularly well regarded for his work with the children’s hospital, where he often visited dressed as a clown (pictured) to entertain young patients. But not everybody he came into contact with believed his intentions to be entirely benevolent.
The mother of one patient, who wishes to remain anonymous told me, “I always thought there was something off about him. All the kids loved it when they saw him coming down the ward, but you felt uneasy when he got up close. It makes me feel sick to think I ever let him near my child.”
Despite this, no evidence has surfaced that would indicate Seever’s mal-intent towards the young patients of the Children’s Hospital Colorado. Moreover, he was a well-liked figure in his community for the most part, and often entertained his friends and neighbors at his house.
Madison Ellis, a waitress at one of Seever’s diners recalls a barbecue she attended there in the summer of 2007. “I was surprised I got an invite, as I’d only been working at the diner a few weeks. But I guess that’s what he did – sucked people in. It was a really hot day; we were all out in the yard and everyone was drinking and laughing – right where he buried all those bodies.”
The Post reported earlier this year that Seever first became a suspect back in November when an anonymous caller tipped-off the police to his suspicious behavior. It is believed that the caller had witnessed a number of people enter the house with Seever but could not recall seeing anyone coming back out. It is not clear whether police have more information on the identity of the witness.
Whoever they are, after years of unexplained crimes, Denver has a lot to thank them for. There had been twenty-three disappearances in the last seven years on the Denver-metro alone. Without witnesses or bodies, the city was desperate for answers, with stories of cults and ever more extreme theories gaining traction all over the internet.
Now, it would seem, the perpetrator has been exposed. Jacky Seever will go to trial later this year, to face thirty-one charges of murder. If he is found guilty, which at this point seems a foregone conclusion, he will most likely receive a death sentence; a decision that can only be unanimously supported by the people of Denver.
A crime like this isn't only about the killer. There are others to consider...

Seven years ago, Detective Paul Hoskins and his larger-than-life partner solved one of the biggest serial killer cases of the decade. They dug up 31 bodies in a crawlspace belonging to the beloved Jacky Seever, a pillar of the community and a successful businessman. Sammie Peterson was the lead reporter on the case. Her byline was on the front page of the newspaper every day. Seever's wife, Gloria, claimed to be as surprised as everyone else.

But when you get that close to a killer, can you really just move on?

Today, Hoskins has been banished to the basement of the police station, Sammie is selling make-up at the shopping mall, and Gloria is trying to navigate a world where she can't escape condemnation.

Then a series of copycat killings take place, with the victims all connected to Seever. While Gloria is determined not to be forced into the spotlight again, Hoskins and Sammie see a chance to get their lives back. But it could mean forfeiting their humanity in the process . . .

It isn't over. It'll never be over.

If you've missed any of the previous stops, make sure you check them out.

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