Mothers & Murderers

Title: Mothers & Murderers: A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession ...And Second Chances
Published by: WildBlue Press
Release Date: September 24, 2019
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What is the single most humiliating mistake you’ve ever made?

Katherine Ellison has a good one: At 23 years old, barely one year into her first job as a newspaper reporter, she mis-paraphrased a prosecutor in a major murder trial, making it seem as if a woman who hadn’t been charged with any crime was guilty of plotting a murder.

The woman sued Ellison for libel, demanding $11 million, in a humiliating episode that Ellison initially feared would destroy her career. Instead, the mistake pushed her into taking new risks to restore her editors’ faith in her, while dealing with her own traumatic family history: a journey that led to insight, adventure, and love.

Mothers & Murderers is an intense psychological thriller that weaves together the story of an outrageous murder mystery with a mysterious woman at its center and Ellison’s roller-coaster love life and career. It takes readers from San Jose, California, before it was Silicon Valley, to Pakistan, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, and the Philippines.

As the book progresses, with each story offering insights into the other, the reader comes to understand both why Ellison made the mistake that almost ruined her life and how she was able to overcome it.

This story of resilience and empowerment is equally relevant for women who came of age after the second wave of feminism and women who today face strikingly similar challenges in taking responsibility for their behavior, whether conscious or unconscious.


"In her introduction to Mothers & Murderers, Katherine Ellison asks, what allows some people to hurt others without remorse? We might ask, what makes us want to read about it, because the most harrowing tale is nothing without a writer’s narrative skill. In what she’s authentically dubbed a “true-crime memoir,” Katherine Ellison brings to bear the demons of her own past, her considerable chops as a reporter, and her willingness to plunge into the psychological deeps as she tells the story of the murder-for-hire trial of Judi Singer. What she created is a dark jewel. The reader cannot look away."
Jacquelyn Mitchard, author, The Deep End of the Ocean

"Mothers & Murderers is like nothing else I’ve ever read, and I mean that in the best possible way. Weaving together her own story and a stranger-than-fiction true-crime tale, Katherine Ellison captivatingly describes a young woman's path from blind impulse to wisdom. In gripping prose that by turns is tragic and hilarious, she makes an ultra-strong case for the examined life, shedding light on the lies we tell ourselves and others--and the hard work involved in taking responsibility for yourself."
Stephen Hinshaw, author, Another Kind of Madness

"Gripping, surprising, and vividly told, Ellison’s true crime tale invites us on an intimate journey, not just to explore the soul of murderer, but to reckon with, and master, our own darker impulses."
Dr. Craig Malkin, Clinical psychologist and Harvard Medical School lecturer, best-selling author of Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad — and Surprising Good — About Feeling Special