Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer? by Ann Rule


On September 21, 1986, in Portland, Oregon, Randall Kelly Blighton drove his children to their mother's home in Beaverton after the weekend visitation. He was in his twenties, a truck salesman who had just divorced and heading back toward Portland via the Sunset Highway.

Around 8.30 pm on that warm Sunday night, a Toyota van was turned crosswise on the freeway, blocking the fast lane. As Randall planned to swerve around the van, he spotted a silhouette of an infant car seat in the van. He instantly went to the vehicle to look for a baby, but luckily no infant was found. Randall treated the seriously injured woman, who seemed no longer breathing and quickly went to the nearest house to ask someone to call for an ambulance.

Based on Randall and physical evidence, the detectives concluded that the van was deliberately left crosswise on the highway. The woman was bludgeoned to death, and the killer left her in the van so that other vehicles would hit the van. They later found from the driver's licence that the woman's name is Cheryl Keeton.

The story then shifted to Sara, a successful doctor who divorced three times and fell in love with Brad. Brad has already divorced four times and still has disagreements with his ex-wife regarding their children. Sara didn't have a good impression of Brad's ex-wife even though they never talk before. One day, when Brad and his ex-wife argued about the different school arrangements for one of their sons, Sara heard him shout the name of his estranged wife - Cheryl. Her name was Cheryl Keeton.

The narration follows with a lengthy description of Brad and Cheryl's family background. Brad's upbringing and his previous four marriages were described in detail by the writer. Then, the narration follows with Cheryl's family background, how she met Brad, her affair with Brad after her marriage and how their relationship changed her into a different person.

Besides Cheryl, the book includes the story of Brad's other wives and a girlfriend. It also expanded to Brad's nomadic life with his sons, which he treated as possessions to threaten his ex-wives. At the same time, Brad was hiding his sons from giving their accounts regarding the night of Cheryl's death. He is avoiding the authorities and any court trials linking him to Cheryl's murder.

I felt the overly detailed information could be monotonous and repetitive. The reporting tone can diminish the interest to continue reading the lengthy story. Sometimes, it's diverted to irrelevant details or further from the main plot. I found some of the given information unimportant. It only increased the complexity of understanding the story.

ISBN Number of Pages Rating
9780743202770 (eBook) 432 ★★ (2/5)
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