Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Everything She Ever Wanted" by Ann Rule

Book Review:-"Everything She Ever Wanted" by Ann Rule. Pat Taylor Allanson liked to cook for folks but she had a heavy hand with the arsenic. Her story is shocking, a story of a woman who wanted so much that she'd kill with no compunction to get it. A riveting read.

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”Everything She Ever Wanted” by Ann Rule

I held the impressive tome in my hand at the local yokel library and marveled.

The cover looked brand new. Indeed the entire book looked brand new. I thought I’d read every book written by Ann Rule but here was a book copyrighted in 1992 and further, I felt pretty sure I’d watched a movie with the same title on Lifetime.

I put the big book in my bag and pondered that I’ll probably read a few chapters when I will realize that I’d already read the thing. This would be nothing new, especially with Ann Rule books.

The saga of Pat Taylor captured my imagination immediately. Indeed her crimes, those that she got officially charged with plus those the reader will rightly suspect, took place in the early 80’s on through the early 90’s.

Pat Taylor was a piece of work.

And no, I had not read this Rule book before and over the next couple of days I enjoyed that curious but satisfying joy that comes when I’m reading a book that I enjoy so much that I look at the thickness of the pages I have left to read and get excited the thicker it is and get a kind of sad as the “read” thickness begins to build up while the “unread” thickness gradually decreases.

Well, maybe you hadda be there.

Rule provides a background like no other True Crime author I’ve read, such as the following gem:

"The white marble Fulton county Courthouse took up the entire block and was constantly being refurbished and expanded, so that its bulk hunkered over sidewalks and seemed about to burst into lanes of traffic. There were six huge columns on the Pryor Street side and wide steps leading to three double doors. Bronze pedestals supported a profusion of round white lights, and sheriff's cars and vans nudged the curb in front.

Ann Rule told the story as only Ann Rule can. Pat Taylor was a beautiful woman who wanted things in life. And if she didn’t get those things, she had no compunction about killing to get them.

Yet to all the world she would seem a most ordinary genteel southern bell.

Indeed Pat’s parents, and likely the sources of the reason Pat Taylor was so spoiled and with no concept of deeds and prices to be paid, were law-abiding, well-respected folks of Georgia. Margureitte and Colonel Radcliffe of Georgia only broke the law when it came to daughter Pat.

Most of the book dwells on the strange marriage of Pat Taylor and Tom Allanson. Tom Allanson was a man so smitten with his manipulative wife that before he knew it, this normally big galut of a genuinely nice guy done shot and killed his father AND his mother.

How the hand of Pat Taylor played into this horrific event (and trust that via a complicated series of actions she likely brought the tragedy about) is never resolved. Tom Allanson went to jail for the crimes and while he was in jail Pat went on a mission to kill Tom’s grandparents!

Only this time Pat got caught and went to jail. She was not successful in her quest. They found arsenic in both Walter and Carolyn Allanson’s hair and fingernails.

Both Pat and Tom eventually get out of jail but they divorce. It was never an intent for Tom to survive that shootout in the basement of his parents at any rate and Pat moved on to other elderly prey.

In due course, and in the strange ways of a bureaucracy, after Pat was released from jail she was assigned a job taking care of elderly patients. And Pat found some elderly patients with some money. She was charged again with attempted murder and was again sent to jail.

This is a convoluted story of strange events, possible murder attempts-some on Pat’s own daughters!

I do remember watching a movie on Lifetime. The Lifetime movie concentrated more on the attempted arsenic murder of Pat’s husband’s grandparents as he was in jail for the murder of his parents.

Pat Allanson wanted, you understand, to inherit all of the Allanson wealth. But first she had to get rid of the grandparents, the parents and, of course, her husband Tom.

And she did try to kill them all.

The Lifetime movie didn’t move on to Pat’s second attempted murder or did it deal with the many other strange events that seemed to happen to all involved with Pat Taylor Allanson.

This is one of those cases where only a book will do.

And a great book it is. An Ann Rule masterpiece and I’ll never know how this book came out of nowhere to sit brand new on my library’s shelf but it was a great read.

Pat Taylor is still alive, might even be out of jail by now.

Should you come across her in your travels, do not eat any food she may prepare for you.

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