Kathryn Casey
Mystery and True Crime Author

THE BOOKS! TAKE YOUR PICK!

Excerpts
Click here to read the prologue to Possessed
Click here to read the first chapter of Deliver Us!
Click here to read the first chapter of Deadly Little Secrets!
Click here to read the first chapter of my latest Sarah Armstrong mystery!
True Crime
The infamous Texas stiletto murder
True Tales of Jealousy, Betrayal, and Revenge
Three decades of murder and redemption in the infamous I-45/Texas Killing Fields
A minister, his mistress, and a heartless Texas murder
A mother's love, a husband's betrayal, and a cold-blooded Texas murder
An Altar Boy, a Cheerleader, and a Twisted Texas Murder.
Murder, Revenge and Two Texas Sisters.
Sex, Murder, and a Texas Millionaire
Obsession, Lies, and a Killer Cop
Seen on Oprah! A courageous woman married to a dangerous psychopath.
Fiction
The third Sarah Armstrong mystery, named a best book of the year by Library Journal!
The second Sarah Armstrong mystery "a strong sequel," says BOOKLIST, now available in stores and on the Web!
The first in the Sarah Armstrong mystery series, BOOKLIST MAGAZINE picked SINGULARITY as one of the Best Crime Novel Debuts of 2009!
Want discussion questions for your book club? Click the titles below:

Hard to Read, But You Should

January 7, 2010

Tags: Alzheimer's, Still Alice, Kathryn Casey, Dementia

My mom, LaVerne, died of Alzheimer's in June 2006. She'd been ill for nine years, and it was horrific.

My mother was hard-working, loving, articulate and funny. She enjoyed reading, dancing with my father, and she relished a good laugh. Mom was a secretary and one of the few women in our suburban neighborhood who worked outside the house. She never really liked cleaning or cooking, but for us she did both, never complaining. Nothing pleased her more than being with her family. Christmas was her favorite holiday, and for mom the only real roses were red.

Anyone who has lived through watching a loved one battle this devastating disease, one that slowly steals everything from its victims, understands what I'm talking about. Gradually, Alzheimer's robbed my mother of everything that made her my mom. In the end, Mom trembled constantly, her body never at rest. She recognized none of us. She had no peace and, unable to remember even her own name, no identity.

My mother, I'm convinced, was trapped inside her tortured mind and body. Part of her survived, caught inside, unable to find the words to come out. You see, there were those brief moments, when she resurfaced.

The last time this happened was the spring before her death. My father and I had spent the entire day at the nursing home with her. Over and over again, I said to her, "Mom, it's me, Kathy." And then I'd ask, "Who am I?" She'd look at me, troubled, unable to answer.

Late that evening, St. Patrick's Day, I said it one last time: "Mom, it's Kathy."

This time she looked at me, her eyes clear, and she said, "Kathy, it's you?"

For the first time in a very long time, we talked. Actually I talked. I asked her if she understood what was going on around her, and she said sometimes she did, but that it was hard to find the words to communicate.

We had a glorious half an hour together, before the light in her eyes again faded. It was enough time to tell her that we all missed her, and that I loved her. "I love you, too," she said, the words taking great effort. "Always."

Last week, I read a frightening yet beautiful book entitled STILL ALICE by Lisa Genova. It's fiction, but it reads like a true story, about a woman, a renowned professor and researcher, who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. The novel takes readers from diagnosis through the first year or so of the character's life, and paints a picture of how the disease progressively dismantles its victims, destroying their lives and breaking the hearts of all those who love them.

For me, STILL ALICE rang true. It reflected what I experienced loving my mother and watching her slowly die. The heartbreak of so much loss and the joy of those small moments of triumph, like that final St. Patrick's Day evening. What Genova illustrates is what I saw first hand: hidden away deep inside, the person we love lives on.

Comments

  1. January 7, 2010 9:21 PM EST
    I'm going to get this book! It sounds amazing. I cried when I read your post.
    - Cynthia
  2. January 8, 2010 9:42 AM EST
    Thank you for posting this. My father died of Alzheimers and your right. It was terrible. I miss him every day.
    - John W. Caller
  3. January 26, 2010 12:52 PM EST
    Everyone should be talking about this issue, since almost everyone I know has a victim in their family. I appreciate your being so public with your family's battle with the disease. Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman.
    - Clara, Ohio
  4. February 13, 2010 10:30 AM EST
    This made me cry.
    - Sadie
  5. March 14, 2010 3:38 PM EDT
    What a beautiful woman your mama. You have the same coloring.
    I am sorry for your loss, KC.
    - Jude

Laura Smither

Jessica Cain

Tiffany Dobry Johnston

Kelli Cox

Bill Reece in 2012, a prison photo.


A version of the I-45 Mysteries chart, this one courtesy of the Galveston County Daily News

The shattered door and Belinda Temple's image inside, from SHATTERED.

50 Shades innocent fun? I hope so, but be careful whom you trust.

Bananas Foster ala Brennan's. It's so good. Such a great restaurant. Try the recipe in the blog, and visit their restaurants. Wonderful food!

Bouchercon 2011: Here I am on the left with the wonderful Sara Paretsky and my friend author Diane Fanning. We had a blast!

Crawfish etouffee, a Louisiana classic. Love this recipe!

Kari fell in love with Matt Baker, but was he the man she believed?

They appeared the perfect family, but was Matt Baker hiding Deadly Little Secrets?

Was Matt Baker really a loving husband? Here at his wife's grave with their two daughters, Grace and Kensi.




My niece Beth, Dad, my sister-in-law Linda, and yours truly!

Dad's birthday cake, what a grand day!

Nice smile? I am the Cheshire Cat.

Jamie Ford, yours truly, Kathy L. Patrick, the Pulpwood Queen!

Here I am with Fannie Flagg and Karen Harrington

On the day of my panel with Robert Leleux

Alice's Kingdom: Marsha Toy Engstrom, our leader, as the Red Queen.

My main character, Sarah Armstrong, is a Texas Ranger/Profiler.

My special reindeer ornament, the one that's always front and center on my Christmas tree

Don't miss me on All Things Southern talking about the third Sarah Armstrong mystery!

The cover for the upcoming German edition of Singularity

Here I am with the Investigation Discover TV crew. Left to right: Scott, Eric, yours truly, Linda and Kaia!

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Here I am with the legendary Kinky Friedman.

Introducing the rest of our panel: Ben Rehder (left) author of Holy Moly and other mysteries; Frances Ray, who writes women's fiction; that's me in the background, and on the right, Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic's Daughter


It's up to us to mount a protest, to keep James Bergstrom locked up.

Meet our puppy, Ozzie Nelson. Don't let his sweet appearance fool you. Send help!

Here's proof that Ozzie Nelson is a handful!

This past January, 2010, the theme of the Pulpwood Queen's Girlfriend Weekend was Over the Rainbow. This is the head queen, Kathy Patrick, dressed as a tornado.

The southwest LA pulpwood queens as witches!

Years ago, before her diagnosis, here I am with my mom.

Here I am with Pulpwood Queen founder and author Kathy L. Patrick at the 2009 Girlfriend Weekend. I had a blast! (Notice the tiara? It's my first!)