My two biography true-crime books are "The Crime of the Century," which details the grisly double homicides of teenage sweethearts Annette and Todd from Logan, Ohio in 1982. It is being sent to publisher now.
"Twisted Love," is a collection of true-crime stories from around the world. It is with the editors now and I hope to find a publisher for it also.
SUMMARY OF THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY:
The residents of Logan, Ohio, a mined-out area of the Appalachian foothills, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of missing teenage sweethearts, Todd Shultz and Annette Johnston, were pulled from the murky and meandering Hocking River. Multiply suspects surfaced, including relatives, ex-lovers, Satanists, and the Devil's Disciple’s motorcycle gang, but only one was railroaded, Annette’s stepfather, Dale Nolan Johnston. A known nudist and hothead, the rumors of his and Annette’s incestuous relationship only electrified the townsfolk and local authorities’ hatred against him.
What really happened on that cool autumn evening of 1982? It began with a lover’s quarrel. 18 year old Annette, a beauty contestant, horsewoman, and aspiring computer programmer-fought and quickly made up with her 19 year old boyfriend Todd Shultz, a jealous, possessive, dope-smoking slacker. They were last seen walking toward the C&O Railroad tracks, crossing a trestle bridge over the river, near an infamous 52-acrea cornfield. Ten days later, a search party found their mutilated torsos. Two days later, their heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.
Dale Johnston was the main suspect from the beginning. It took nearly a year, but the investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators and prosecutors built a flimsy case against him. They alleged he had kidnapped the victims near downtown Logan and killed them in the presence of his wife and other stepdaughter at their mobile home 7 miles outside of town. He was accused of butchering the corpses and carting them back to Logan for burial and disposal. The state built its case on rumors of an incestuous relationship between Johnston and Annette, and Dale’s immense hatred for Todd Shultz. Dale’s multiply lies, his lust and jealousy for Annette, weapons availability, the hypnotized “eyewitness” and a disputed footprint expert bolstered the states misguided case against the now dubbed “evil stepfather.” Most of what was presented at the three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, melodramatic fiction, and forensic mishandling.
As a resident of southeastern Ohio, author JoAnne Myers contrived “The Crime of the Century,” through court documents, newspaper clippings, signed affidavits, witness testimony, interviews, police reports, theories and rumors.
This heinous crime not only shattered the sense of security for Logan, but destroyed two families, marriages, careers, friendships, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of not only mayhem, but of human injustice at the highest level, and of one man’s perseverance to prove his innocence, and gain his freedom.
After five years on death row, Dale Johnston was released on appeal. Prosecutors were forced to dismiss the charges, but Johnston and his family remained under a cloud of presumed guilt for 28-years. In 2008, two career criminals were indicted and convicted for the murders of Todd and Annette.
True crime buffs, historians, legal professionals, and readers who enjoy an extraordinary story filled with mystery, brutal truths, lust, lies, manipulation, misplaced loyalty, abandonment, and heartbreak, will find, “The Crime of the Century,” a compelling addition to true crime literature.