Friday, June 27, 2008
Does this guy look like a near-genius to you? Would you peg him for a former altar boy who grew up in a well-t0-do family with every advantage, including private schools? One who'd get a $150,000 college scholarship? Well, that's who Colton Pitonyak used to be. By the time this photo was taken, he was a drug-dealing thug charged with committing the most bizarre murder in the University of Texas history.
The victim, Jennifer Cave, a beautiful, bright young woman from Corpus Christi, had dabbled in drugs over the years, at times more than a little. But she'd never turned to the dark side, like Pitonyak. Her misfortune? She caught Pitonyak's eye.
In August 2005, the scene inside Pitonyak's near-campus apartment looked like the set of a grisly horror movie. Meanwhile, Pitonyak was nowhere to be found. He'd disappeared along with his would-be girlfriend, Laura Hall, in her green Cadillac. Why?
"That's just the way I roll," Hall told a friend.
I spent a year working on A DESCENT INTO HELL: THE TRUE STORY OF AN ALTAR BOY, A CHEERLEADER, AND A TWISTED TEXAS MURDER. It is, without a doubt, the most troubling case I've ever tackled. The book hit shelves last Tuesday, the same day of the release of my first novel, SINGULARITY.
Two-time Edgar winner and Texas true crime patriarch Carlton Stowers says: “Never has a book been more aptly titled. Masterfully, Casey weaves a dark and disturbing look into a world of advantaged youths who throw it all away in favor of drugs, booze and bad company, leaving a sordid trail of destruction – and death – in the wake. A troubling tale, indeed. . . .”Tweet