Too Pretty to Live

  • by Dennis Brooks
  • Narrated by John Pruden
  • 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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!
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- justin

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.

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- Deana Davidson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-29-2016
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio