(the author of the book) he got re-married. His Ex-wife lived far away - they did keep contact since having two children together, a daughter, Becky, and a son, Sandy.
It's a dark day when Jeannie learns her ex-husband died in the hospital - and it got even darker when she was informed he had died from poison...
From that moment on Jeannie Walker begins to fight - fight for the rights of her passed away husband, fight for justice, fight for her children - and sometimes, fight for her life!
In many ways I do admire this passion for justice and truth! And it's not over yet.
Fighting the Devil is an emotional and strong report and I think nobody will be disappointed by reading this true story.
Raani York is an author & writer who studied at Hoffstra University, Page University and Vanderbilt University. She has published articles, letters, short stories, poems, continuation stories and descriptions of all kind. She also writes novels.
Raani has been educated in Switzerland and in the U.S. - She works as a High Level Executive Assistant and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She also obtained Diplomas in Graphic Design, Color Studies and won a price as a Logo Designer. She speaks four languages and several dialects.
Next to her work Raani likes reading, Martial Arts, skiing, Horseback riding, skydiving and sometimes plays the classical piano.
Raani welcomes you on her Website and will be happy to welcome your as her new reader.
Martha A. Cheves Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat,
Think With Your Taste Buds and A Book and A Dish
"Fighting the Devil" *****Five Stars
I had to put a gown and mask on. Lou Ann and Debbie helped me do that and I walked in and I saw Jerry had some tubes, one running up his nose and I believed he had a little…uh…a hospital gown on. His hands and feet were tied to each side of the bed with some sort of restraint. Jerry raised his head up and looked at me when I walked in. He said, “Gamble!” I said, “Yeah, Jerry! What in the world are you doing up here?” He said, “Oh, I’m sick. They’ve been doing all kinds of tests on me.” I said, “Well, you’re gonna have to get well so that you can get out. You gotta get a lot of things going, you know.” He said, “Gamble, you gotta help me get out of here! They’re trying to kill me. I’m gonna die! I’ve got $35,000 missing. They took it. Those two women took it. They’re trying to kill me. They fed me … Lou Ann and Debbie, they’re trying to kill me. You gotta help me get out of here! You gotta help me! Cut me loose! Gamble, cut me loose!”
This was just one of many pleas from Jerry Sternadel after he had been admitted to Bethania Hospital, not once but for a total of 3 times before dying of arsenic poisoning on June 12, 1990. Most people ignored his pleas after talking to his wife Lou Ann and his company bookkeeper Debbie Baker. They assured anyone who asked that Jerry was getting better and would be coming home soon.
Arsenic poisoning creates one of the most horrible deaths as it eats away at the bodily systems until the body shuts down. Symptoms are severe gastric distress, esophageal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea with blood. The skin becomes cold and clammy and the blood pressure falls. If death isn’t immediate, the skin becomes jaundice and is unable to void. There may be moments of paralysis and if death is delayed by several days, the arsenic will hit the liver and kidney. Convulsions and coma are final signs and death usually comes from circulatory failure. This is a horrible way to die! A bullet to the head would be more humane.
But, this is the death that Lou Ann and Debbie chose for Jerry Sternadel. Now came the task of proving they were the ones guilty of administering the poison and how. Jeannie Walker, who is not only the author of Fighting the Devil, but also Jerry’s first wife and mother of Jerry's only children, spent years working with the police and interviewing friends of Jerry. She even hired a private detectives, all to prove the two women were guilty of murder and have them stand trial. Will she succeed?
When I read Fighting the Devil, I was amazed at the court systems within Texas at that time. There was actually a law that would allow a jury to find a defendant guilty of murder but still be able to receive parole and a fine! Apparently the law was written for those who kill their abusers after years of abuse. But will it work for someone as cunning as Lou Ann and Debbie? This book made me aware of the trials the actual victims are put through. Yes…the victims are actually put on trial as their character is dissected and torn apart. Then there’s the jury. Spending time in a locked room with 11 other people trying to decide if someone is guilty or not and then deciding what sentencing they will receive can, I’m sure, get to you and make you actually rush through your decision just to get it over with.
The actual case of Jerry Sternadel’s death kept me reading even as my anger for the system grew. I have to admire Jeannie Walker for her determination to find closure for her children and their families. This case caught the attention of the producers of Oxygen channel’s Snapped series and was aired on February 17, 2005. The case is still open and justice is still being sought. I personally hope that for Jerry’s family and friends, closure will soon be found.
Keith Weaver rated "Fighting the Devil" ***** 5 Stars
Amazing True Crime - A Must READ! This was a horrifying true-life crime story, but also portrayed the strength and spirit of a family in crisis. This is a must read for crime fans, especially those that have a flare for reality. Passionately written in wonderful detail of all accounts, bravo!
This book, first and foremost, is a true story. The events in this book actually took place. Having said that, this is an amazingly written true-crime story. Jeannie uses the historical events and spins a masterpiece that will leave you breathless by the end. Her words are expressed in wonderful detail, painting a perfect portrait of the events that took place. Hats off for her telling this story, and doing it all the justice it deserves.
This is a must read for crime fans, especially those that have a flare for reality. Passionately written in wonderful detail of all accounts, bravo!
Keith Weaver is Author of The NEFARIOUS PRINCE OF SHADOW
Keith Weaver Bio: I was into fantasy as a young boy. The first book I have a real memory of is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, a favorite of mine still today. My mind has always had an affinity for the strange and make believe. I've been watching and reading horror, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi ever since. In college, I fell in love with literature courses and started dabbling in my own writing.
Rated "Fighting the Devil" ***** Five Stars
An Excellent Read!
"Fighting the Devil is and excellent read and a very well told true crime story.
The book makes you stop and wonder, what people are really capable of, and the motives that will make them do things you find hard to believe.
I had to stop a number of times, and make myself realize that this was not fiction.
You will be surprised at the way our justice system handles cases like this, at least I was.
I definitely recommend Jeannie Walker's book to all readers.
Author of Beneath the Dune)
Walter's book on Amazon http://amzn.to/qdY3S
Walter Ramsay Bio: As a long time teacher and coach at Central Regional High School in New Jersey, Walter praises public education and the dynamic students it produces. When not at the Jersey Shore, Walter is a part time resident of the Central Florida coast. He became enamored with the beauty, culture, and people of this pristine area over 30 years ago, and still can't get enough. He has vigilantly taken the time to delve into the history of this beautiful coast line and incorporated that background into his writings.
Walter spent much of his earlier years traveling the Florida coast from Saint Augustine to Key West from his father's home in Daytona Beach.
When not working on his next novel, Coastal Access, Walter enjoys reading as well as outdoor activities that include surfing and jogging.
Author of The Black Witch & Moonlight on the Nantahala
Rated "Fighting the Devil" ***** 5 Stars
Jeannie Walker takes the reader on a journey of a true life account that compels you to read it non-stop to the end. Emotions run deep and raw throughout the story line. Her unrelenting fight with the devil excoriates any idea of malevolence being triumphant. The battle to seek justice was strengthened by the qualities of remorse on Mr. Sternadels part and forgiveness from his ex-wife. A well-written true crime story that gives you an insight into the personal lives of those involved. Interlaced with facts, logs and follow up is what executes this story to precision.
Micheal Rivers was born in 1953, and is an American author. His writing genres include Fiction, Horror, Thriller and Paranormal. Micheal has been writing for several years.
He served his country as a United States Marine during Vietnam. He is a native North Carolinian. He lived in the Chicago area in the past and furthered his education there. Micheal currently resides in the mountains of North Carolina along with his wife and his Boxer he fondly calls Dee Dee.
Find Micheal Rivers on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/n62igX
"Fighting the Devil" ***** 5 Stars
An Unforgettable Story!
As an author, I've been fortunate to cross paths with some very generous, very kind people. When I first met Jeannie Walker, I knew only that she had written a book, entitled Fighting the Devil. I was struck by how gracious she was to everyone and how she always took time to offer a kind word. For that reason alone, I decided to purchase a copy of her work.
I swiftly learned that this was more than `just a book' for Jeannie. Effectively, Jeannie set out to solve the murder of her former husband, with whom she has two children. What I discovered was a gripping story told from the perspective of someone who had survived the abyss and was brave enough to venture back into it for the sake of justice and the safety of her children. Told in thorough detail, mixing photographic evidence and multiple eyewitness testimonies, Jeannie composed her account of the crime like a seasoned investigator.
The most shocking part of this tale is not the debauchery of the murderers, the intuitiveness of the narrator or the fight to see justice served. The murder of Jerry Sternadel was a crime that could be told on any and every procedural television series and penned by numerous crime fiction authors. Yet, the sobering reality is that this is not fiction. It is the moral dilemma of incredible events and the frustrating pursuit one family faced - and still lives with on a daily basis.
This is not a story for the weak of heart. It is not a story for the judgmental or the closed-minded. As resolutely as Jeannie clings to the facts, she also stands strong in her faith. Fighting the Devil is not simply a clever title and it most certainly is not a story anyone will soon forget!
Since 2009, Jason Garrett has led readers on a series of thrilling journeys that began upon the foray into the world of Eric Kade in the novel HOMECOMING. Following the lives of two distinct characters, Garrett's series immersed readers in a world of long lost love, faith and honor, betrayal and morality, and many other topics all beneath the clever guise of a horror tale. As seen through the eyes of demon-hunting preacher Eric Kade and the love of his life, Nickel Warren, HOMECOMING is an inspirational thriller sure to encourage and appeal to a vast audience of believers and non-believers alike.
Find Jason Garrett on Amazon: http://amzn.to/oNgLus
"Fighting the Devil" ***** 5 Stars
This is the best book I have read all year. I had a difficult time putting this book down, for every page seemed to move me. I have never read anything true crime related, but this book was my first. I believe it is a masterpiece. Mrs. Walker poured her heart and her soul into this must read for anyone who loves the ID channel, Forensic Files, etc, although the circumstances in this book were unfortunate as it focused on her ex husband's death, two evil women who used arsenic poisoning to do the deed, and the injustice in the criminal law system in Texas. People are evil! This book was simply outstanding. It is a MUST READ!!!
Derek Jordan is an author who also works as a mental health assistant at Connecticut Valley Hospital. He developed a knack for writing fourteen years ago in his second year at Western Connecticut State University where he earned a B.S. in Justice and Law Administration.
A Small World is his first novel. You can find Derek's novel on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/ogeY5F
Rated "Fighting the Devil" ***** 5 Stars
Erin Brockevich meets the Exorcist!
Jeannie Walker's "Fighting the Devil" grabs your attention in the first few pages. I was blown away, when I realized it was a true story!
I could not put the book down...
Jeannie's tenacity and courage are equally impressive. A true Murder Mystery with all the components of a thriller. Turn the TV off tonight and lose yourself in this book-you won't be disappointed. I can't wait till it's made into a movie! I'm not sure how you'll top this, but I'm looking forward to future books.
A true story-yet it reads like fiction! Five Stars!
Kathleen Hagburg is Contributor to: Getting Into The Zone: A COURSE and WORKBOOK For the Mental Game Kathleen's book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/nJ402U
Mark Young Author of "Revenge-A Travis Mays Novel"
rated "Fighting the Devil" **** 4 Stars
An Author's Act Of Courage
Fyodor Dostoevsky once wrote, "Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him." Author Jennie Walker's non-fiction book, Fighting the Devil: A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder, is about striving to understand a motive as old as Cain. Cold-blooded murder. This path of understanding came at a cost--Jeannie must reveal her pain and loss in order to tell the whole story in its unblemished truth. This took an act of courage. Jeannie had cause to walk away, distance herself from a man who brutally victimized her in the past. However, she decided to become involved for the good memories she still held for this man, and for the two children she shared with him who needed to know the truth.
On June 12, 1990, self-made millionaire Jerry Sternadel died a horrible and painful death while strapped to a hospital bed in Texas. Before he died, Jerry pleaded with friends, family and medical staff to save him from two women who allegedly were slowly poisoning him. No one stepped forward. An autopsy revealed the victim died of extreme arsenic poisoning.
Even before the man's death, suspicion fell on those believed to be responsible. It took a Herculean efforts by the author, a sheriff who fought to bring justice to this case right up until his own untimely death, and the cooperation of others in order to haul this investigation before the courts.
This story records human frailties. Each player on this stage displays the whole gambit of human motivations and passions--love and hate, greed and selflessness, good and evil. Jeanie tells the story in her own way, her own style, while sharing her religious journey from spiritual darkness into the light. Regardless whether you share her viewpoint about good and evil, about God and the devil, readers will readily join this author as this story unfolds, waiting until the very last page to see if justice prevails.
Mark Young (Author of REVENGE A Travis Mays Novel)
Mark's Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/oXnBWL
Mark Young is a former police officer with the Santa Rosa Police Department in California for twenty-six years; an award-winning journalist; and a Vietnam combat veteran. He served with several law enforcement task force operations, including the presidential Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force targeting major drug traffickers, and the federal Organized Crime Task Force charged with identifying and prosecuting prison gang leaders. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family. Find Mark at: http://amzn.to/nL3f9R
Rated "Fighting the Devil" ***** 5 Stars
A Page Turning Murder Mystery
I read this fascinating book in one sitting. Even though the author and reader know "who done it," the court system thwarted a just result and continues to do so.
Fact is stranger than fiction. Our author reminds me of Nancy Drew, my favorite detective, in my childhood books. Jeannie Walker, like Nancy Drew, is smart, tenacious, a good researcher, and finds clues when others would give up. For example, it looks as though one of the killers poisoned her own parents when they became older and a burden. Their symptoms like bloating were classic signs of arsenic poisoning. Yet the bodies were never exhumed and that alleged killer was never charged.
There are many unbelievable moments. I could not believe that the bookkeeper was convicted but only got probation. I was shaking my head as I was reading my Kindle. These moments keep the reader in suspense. What else could happen to impede or delay justice?
As an attorney myself, I was constantly asking myself "Why is this taking so long?", Why isn't the justice system working?", "Can't they see who did this?", "Can't they see the motive?" It is this outrage that keeps the author and the reader going.
As a writer, I was admiring Walker's ability to keep the reader turning the page. Since she is the ex- wife of the victim, she is vested in bringing the murderers to justice, not for herself, but for her children.
Walker is working on another true crime story and I for one am eagerly awaiting book number 2. I give this book my highest rating.
Mary Greenwood is an author, negotiator, attorney, human resources professional, and mediator. Her three books are How to Interview Like a Pro, How To Mediate Like A Pro and How to Negotiate Like A Pro which have won a total of 27 book awards. You can find Mary at: http://amzn.to/pMvl21
"Fighting the Devil" **** 4 Stars
Successful business owner Jerry Sternadel died of arsenic poisoning in 1990. The book makes a strong case that the poisoning was at the hands of Sternadel's wife and bookkeeper. Sternadel claims to have caught them stealing $35,000 from the business and was going to go public with it when they fed him some arsenic-laced taco salad from a fast food restaurant in Texas.
I was tipped off that I might like this true crime book from a personalized Goodreads message directly from the author, Jeannie Walker. Jeannie didn't spam me, she looked at what books I've been reading recently (JFK being one of them) and wrote me a personal note explaining why I might like her book. Smart marketing that worked. I went right over to Amazon, one-clicked and paid $4.95 for her Kindle book. Was so impressed by her personalized approach, in fact, that I jumped the book to 'current reading' instead of putting in my TBR stack. Kudos to the author for using Goodreads effectively.
And once I started reading the book, I was hooked. Tore through this in a few reading sessions.
Jeannie Walker and Jerry Sternadel had two children together but divorced while the kids were small. Walker tells a dark story of Sternadel being a mean, abusive husband with stalker tendencies. I didn't find myself having much compassion for the man until Walker details his slow, painful death by rat poison.
The rat poison was so nasty that the FDA banned it in the late 80s.
Several times during this book I found myself wondering what was wrong with the hospital? Why didn't the doctors suspect that Sternadel's increasing levels of toxicity were because those supposedly taking care of him were the ones poisoning him? I realize the Devil in the book title refers to the killers, not the hospital or the justice system which somehow, strangely decided to only prosecute one of the two alleged killers (huh?!). Or maybe the devil is the jury who came up with a bizarre sentence for the crime based on a Texas law loophole?
The author details the amount of time, effort--including her own spiritual beliefs--and hard work to bring the perpetrators in this disturbing crime to justice. Although the homicide occurred in 1990, the details surrounding the crime and investigation are brought to present day (as of this review date, 2011). There are a bunch of pictures included, although on the Kindle they were a bit rough. Probably easier to enjoy in the paperback version.
As for the writing? The author did an excellent job exposing the human horrors responsible for her ex-husband's murder, including various bits of detailed information with a power amplified by someone personally connected to the events. It's not often I've read true crime books by somebody this close to the actual crime that also tell a good story (not just relating interesting facts). Usually they have help from another writer or it's an attorney involved with the case (like Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi or the OJ book by Marcia Clark).
I took away a star from the rating because some parts of the story are a bit repetitive (like the part about the boy who accidentally drinks the arsenic-laced juice) and the Kindle formatting needs significant work in the first 40% of the book. The formatting gets better as the book continues. Several paragraphs are grouped together with no indenting and this threw me unnecessarily out of the narrative.
This is one of the better true crime books I've read by someone personally connected with a horrific crime. I feel for Jeannie's children and grandchildren who were denied a longer life with Jerry Sternadel because of avarice. Recommended reading for those who enjoy true crime.
Todd Russell loves reading and writing scary stories. Mental Shrillness, a collection of horror twist ending short stories, is his first book. He lives in the small city of Orting, Washington overlooking the beautiful, active and deadly, Mount Rainier.
http://toodwrite.com or http://www.goodreads.com/toddrussell
Rickey Bray - Author of "Rendezvous Rock"
"Fighting the Devil"
***** 5 Stars
After reading the first chapter of this book, you are drawn into this emotional story and come to understand that Jerry Sternadel was not a very nice person. He treated his ex-wife, his wife, his children, his stepchildren, employees, and business associates very badly. But did he deserve to be poisoned with arsenic like a rat? Definitely, not!
Fighting the Devil by Jeannie Walker is about the arsenic murder of her ex-husband Jerry Sternadel, a Texas millionaire. With meticulous detail, the author chronicles the events of a murder that happened about 20 years ago. Her recollection of the details are amazing, to the point that you are almost overwhelmed with information about this case.
I really don't like to give out spoilers in reviews, but several things in the book will surprise you. One was the actions of the hospital after it was determined that Mr. Sternadel was suffering from acute arsenic poisoning. Wouldn't they launch an immediate investigation to find the source of the poisoning? As you read the book, the results of the criminal investigation, and, especially, the sentencing phase of the trial will come as a shocker. Do you know what the range of punishment in Texas for first-degree murder is? Another surprise will be who was brought up on criminal charges and who wasn't, and who did not even attend the murder trial! Some of the interviews after the trial with some of the jurors was also very enlightening — the pressure they were put under to come up with a unanimous verdict, even one they disagreed with in their hearts, so the trial could be over and they could go home.
Although Fighting the Devil is a disturbing story of evil caused by greed, it is also a story of forgiveness.
Find Rickey Bray's book on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/pKxY05
British Columbia, Canada
Author: The World According to August - One Good Friend, Argus
"Fighting the Devil" ***** FIVE STARS
Few people would open themselves up to scrutiny such as Jeannie Walker has, for this alone, she deserves top marks.
It takes tremendous courage to expose your life to the world, but Jeannie accomplishes this with grace and dignity.
The abuse she suffered at the hands of a man, who didn't love himself, was heart-wrenching. Yet her faith and compassion led her to forgive him, and assisted in bringing his murderer to justice. Gripping, dramatic and chilling, made more so, considering it is based on actual events.
The author leaves no skeletons in her closet while becoming the voice of a man who was brutally silenced. A man she once loved. If you wish to discover a page-turning book about love, forgiveness, faith and gripping reality — this is a must read.
Author of: Evolution of Insanity
"Fighting the Devil" ***** 5 Stars
It is my first time to read a true crime book and I found this book exceptionally unique.
What I like about certain books are the true colors and culture of the writer. Jeannie's strong traditional Christian inclinations, finding paranormal signs, and depiction of local police and justice was very insightful of her town and her story. It is so real, it feels so real, that when reading the book, I was with her as she fought for justice.
This book was a fast read, but in the end it can get very technical, so be prepared. It is a very valuable book for insight to those who want to better understand the required motivation one needs to fight for justice, and how far one has to go, and keep on going, until justice is served.
What made the story enjoyable was a good illustration of the characters, humanizing and completing their profile to better understand who they were and who they became.
An enjoyable read.
Al Boudreau - Author of "In Memory of Greed"
"Fighting the Devil" **** 4 Stars
A chilling account of the depths to which some people will go due to greed. The fact that this is a true story makes it that much more remarkable. My mind reeled as I read Jeannie Walker's story, trying to imagine how on earth she found the strength to endure such a traumatic experience. It's a story that definitely needed to be told, and Ms. Walker does so with strength and dignity.
Find Al's book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/grfFEk
Al Boudreau has traveled the world exploring a multitude of countries. First hand knowledge of the locales his characters traverse lends a richness unattainable by simple research alone. The author also maintains a keen eye on geopolitical events, pushing the envelope to make his novels come alive. His fiction is based on the real world and the hidden truths buried beneath its surface.