A Twisted Faith: A Minister’s Obsession and the Murder That Destroyed a Church by Gregg Olsen
On December 26, 1997, near the affluent community of Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, a house went up in flames. In it was the shy, beloved minister’s wife Dawn Hacheney. When the fire was extinguished, investigators found only her charred remains. Her husband Nick was visibly devastated by the loss. Even though there was evidence that she was dead before the fire started, her death was ruled accidental; even though some speculated that Nick had killed her, there was minimal investigation into the fire and Dawn’s death.
As I discovered with the last Gregg Olsen True Crime account I read, he goes into considerable detail when he writes. His attention to the facts is meticulous and his research is extensive. Reading one of his books is like being lead through a path in the woods, a path with twists and turns, rocks and branches in the path, and holding your hand is a careful gentle guide that doesn’t want you to miss a step or stub your toe. Every so often, Gregg gives you a flash of what the future holds, but it just that, a brief glance and you are back to examining events in a chronological order.
Nick Hacheney was the youth minister, marriage counselor in the church and claimed to receive messages and direction from God. The truth is, he was a philanderer and a murderer and in this account the layers of his deception are pulled away. Many lives and families were damaged by his actions, a community left to pick up the many pieces broken away.
This book is different from most I’ve read in that Gregg doesn’t cover the investigation or trial. I didn’t miss it, since the trail was mainly the testimony of one woman, it would most likely have been a repetition of what was already covered in the book. Despite that it is a fascinating account that covers the lives of everyone involved without being boring or repetitious.
I got this as an e-book and there were no pictures in it. I have been told there are pictures in the print version.
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to true crime fans.