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The True Crime Story of a Teenage Killer and the Mother Who Loved Him

A family tragedy propels this gripping true crime debut as a mother searches for answers in the shocking murder of her husband—and conviction of her son.

In the early morning of October 18, 1986, Cherie Wier’s life collapses when her teenage son takes the life of her beloved husband.  For years, Cherie grapples with events preceding and following the crime, struggling to overcome the consuming grief she suffers from her loss and the difficulty she faces as she attempts to forgive her son. The courtroom accounts of gruesome details and the shocking testimonies from experts only add to Cherie’s yearning to make sense of the crime. She is tormented, wanting to know how and why this tragedy happened, and if there was anything she could have done to prevent it. 

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Available in Kindle, paperback, hardcover and audio formats

978-1957288338 (paperback)

978-1957288345 (hardcover

Published by WildBlue Press

June 17, 2022

Leslie Ghiglieri
from Leslie Ghiglieri

wrote this book to fulfill a promise I made to my friend Cherie Wier whose story fills the pages.

In 2016, Cherie asked me to document the events surrounding the 1986 murder of her husband by their adopted teenage son. The writing of this story was particularly difficult, as I immersed myself in the emotional life of each character. The Decision to Kill is more than a crime story. It is a family saga about how the decision of one family member forever affected the lives of them all.

     This unique true crime book gives the reader an unusual look into the personal circumstances leading up to and after the crime. The reader learns of the teenager’s progression into the world of drug abuse and alcohol addiction while watching the parents try to change his behaviors--their mistakes, frustrations, and disappointments. Included in the latter chapters are excerpts from letters the convicted killer wrote to his mother while in prison revealing his battle with addiction, sexual identity, and his search for faith.

​     The Decision to Kill challenges readers to conclude for themselves whether positive change is possible for violent sociopaths, while also considering the difficulty and power of forgiveness. Cherie Wier’s story is about hope—the hope she kept and the hope she shares to encourage parents in the midst of the battle. She discloses her personal hardships and her path through them in an effort to show others that in the darkness of life’s hardest times there is hope, even if change is excruciatingly slow in coming.

        My twelve years in law enforcement aided me in compiling and deciphering the many documents used in the telling of this story.

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What Readers Say

When the Unthinkable


It goes without saying that Leslie Ghiglieri has tackled an important subject, the result of which has produced an excellent book that will pull you in from the beginning and not let go until you turn that last page. It’s an eye-opening look into the worst that can befall a home and how those left behind must find a way to not just survive, but to actually live again. — Kevin M. Sullivan

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