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Deadly Little Secrets: The Minister, His Mistress, and a Heartless Texas Murder

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  736 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Ann Rule says, "Kathryn Casey is one of the best true crime writers today"—high praise indeed from the author of a host of nonfiction New York Times bestsellers including Green River and The Stranger Beside Me, the story of serial killer Ted Bundy. With Deadly Little Secrets, Casey once again explores the dark side of the Lone Star State, offering a riveting true story of ...more
Paperback, 456 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Harper
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Jul 29, 2016 Shaun rated it it was amazing
My family doesn't quite get my affinity for the true crime genre. "Why do you like reading about murder?" my kids have asked on more than one occasion. Of course, what I explain, but what they don't quite understand, is my interest has nothing to do with the murder itself. I'm fascinated by why people do the things they do. I'm also intrigued by the ability of different parties to create completely different narratives about the same event.

Fooling others is often a conscious act that requires a
Harry MacLean
Aug 13, 2012 Harry MacLean rated it it was amazing
Another weekend spent totally absorbed in one of Kathryn Casey’s true crime books, this one “Deadly Little Secrets.” Within two or three pages, I was totally absorbed. The pacing is compelling, and relentless. While we know from the beginning who is going to die, we don’t know how or why, and Casey expertly leads the reader into the flow of events. The killer is someone we know, his motive is a familiar one, and yet we are shaken by his cold-bloodedness. And just when we think the story is over, ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
This book can be tedious at times, but all the details are important to understand all the people involved. This story is a true story which happened a few years ago and what the deceased's family had to go through to show that she was murdered by her husband instead of committing suicide. While reading this, you can see red flags all over the place. As a Pastor's wife myself, I understand that you will defend your husband/pastor publicly. Though I would hope that many of us would start seeing a ...more
Apr 06, 2013 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Matt Baker. Husband. Father. Rapist. Murderer. Sinister Minister. Yuck! I hate giving him the title of minister as he is so not worthy. I thought I knew everything there was to know about this narcissistic psycho from all of the news coverage. Turns out I was so wrong. Kathryn Casey delivers another extremely well-researched and written account of the man we thought we knew. What makes someone turn out the way Matt Baker did? Was it innate or learned behavior. Go inside this dark story and see ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Jun 01, 2013 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it liked it
OMG. I know this book has raving reviews but after reading a few chapters, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read anymore.

I thought it would be another book where the victim is portrayed as an angel with no faults at all. Ann Rule has a tendency to write like that and it seems more and more true crime authors are copying this annoying habit.

Right now I am at page 138 and if I am honest I can't stand anyone. Not the victim, not the husband, not the people from all those churches who now what is going
Traci Cook
Apr 30, 2013 Traci Cook rated it it was amazing
I knew Matt and Kari the summer they met, when we all worked at the FBC Waco Day Camp. Kari's mom is good friends with my mother-in-law, both residing in Waco, and my heart breaks all over again reading this book and the misery Kari's family has been through. The book is thoroughly researched and presented in an easy-to-read, page-turner fashion. I haven't slept much the past 24 hours as I couldn't put it down! Huge thanks to Kathryn Casey for her honest and straightforward treatment of all ...more
Amy Craft
Dec 31, 2012 Amy Craft rated it really liked it
This story is close to my heart as Kari was a childhood friend of mine. I followed every detail of the story and there were still a few details in the book that I did not know. It made me loathe Matt Baker even more. I am so happy their daughters are with the Dulins now do they can have as normal a life as possible. The book does read like a 48hrs episode, but I like that. There are so many details that can't be left out. This is one of those stories that will make you think about people and ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
A Baptist minister who isn't what he seems kills his wife by making it look like a suicide. He almost got away with it except for her family and friends who never gave up in the search for justice.
Heather Fineisen
Sep 18, 2013 Heather Fineisen rated it really liked it
My husband gets a little worried when I go on my Snapped and ID Channel marathons, and every once in awhile I need a true crime book fix. This one is one of those stories that you know how it ends but the author manages to keep you interested throughout. Casey does presents the facts without too many winks and the victim and family members are relatable. You will read this, and think you just may know these people.
Rebeca Flores
Nov 19, 2016 Rebeca Flores rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never judge a book by its cover

The story had so many twists and turns, it captivated me. This is a sad, sad story of man's abuse of power, while representing God.
Patricia R.Tholl
Oct 19, 2016 Patricia R.Tholl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. a little long

Lots of facts and good investigating I felt the frustrations of the parents looking for answers. I would recommend for people who love true crime stories.
april lewis
Oct 11, 2016 april lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very unsettling

I remember seeing this drama unfold on 48 Hours. Even then you could see how diabolical and manipulative Matt Baker was and I couldn't help but wonder how it was that he'd come to be that way. Delving into Kathryn's book gave a glimpse into the Baker household and its many dysfunctions. If you're a fan of true crime, you'll want to add this to your collection.
Lori Burton
Sep 28, 2016 Lori Burton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down

This was so well written that it made you want to keep reading. The story was laid out in perfect order, it was easy to follow. I'll be looking for more of her books.
Oct 22, 2012 Valerie rated it it was amazing
This author has written both fiction and non-fiction. This is the first book by her that I have read. As she lives in Texas, her true crime books are about famous crimes that have taken place in various parts of the state. This particular story is very well-written, horrifying, and heartbreaking all at the same time. It concerns a Baptist pastor, Matt Baker, who is sociopathic, narcissistic, and who was, after quite a few years, convicted of murdering his wife due to the fact that he wanted to ...more
Jul 22, 2016 Alex rated it liked it
Gripping read, but not the best of Kathryn Casey's books I have read. It is very thoroughly researched and she does not tend to write with any bias which I enjoy. What I also enjoy is that she captures all the facets of the people's personalities, the good and the bad.

As someone states in the book though (paraphrasing here) but that these events (the murder) will make people avoid the church and God. I read it and am an agnostic myself. I do not believe in organised religion but I respect those
Jun 07, 2014 Sae-chan rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very disturbing story. The church really needs to repent. One, from just trying to wash their hands and shuffle the filth to whoever too stupid to get their hands dirty. Second, which is more important, is to change their view of marriage. Too many Christian women, trying to be "good" Christians and end up suffering all their life our even tragically losing their life. We should not interpret "what has been united by God should not be separated by men" as no divorce allowed. Who can honestly ...more
Eve Nolon
Aug 05, 2014 Eve Nolon rated it liked it
I'd forgotten that I read this last summer when I had my surgery but I decided to read it again because I loathe Matt Baker and it was interesting to read this back-to-back with Casey's book on David Temple. I am not quite sure which one I find more loathsome, perhaps there is a tie? Beyond the horror of their calculated murders, how do these men (and all of the wife-killers out there) continue to be so damned stupid after their wives' deaths? I mean, even awful cops (ugh the Baker case is so ...more
Apr 11, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it really liked it
On April 8, 2006 Kari Dulin committed suicide, or did she? Matt, her minister husband,claims his wife was still depressed over the loss of their daughter who died in November 1998 and the reason she committed suicide. Kari's family comes forward and start to ask questions and are very sure she did not commit suicide. Kari's Mother, two Aunt's and Cousin fight hard to have this suicide fully investigated and what is exposed has everyone shocked and appalled.
Well researched True crime book. Heart
Mar 01, 2015 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this book down. I watched the corresponding episodes on 48 hours after reading the book. Kathryn Casey told the story and depicted the characters so accurately. Based on her description in the book, I was able to imagine the people involved (looks and personality) just as they are in real life, on 48 Hours. Kathryn tried to tell both sides of the story, which had to be hard to do. I think lying came easy for Matt Baker, and he believed himself. He also believed he was forgiven. ...more
Rebecca Harrison
May 22, 2012 Rebecca Harrison rated it it was amazing
DEADLY LITTLE SECRETS is an excellent book. It is very comprehensive and tells both sides of the story as far as I can tell. It is a true story of a minister who thought he couldn't be touched no matter what he did. He believed God had forgiven him for all he did. Minister Matt Baker was a womanizer who wanted to be with another woman but he was married. A minister couldn't get a divorce ; it wouldn't look good. Matt decided to kill his wife and make it look like suicide. He almost got away with ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
I picked up this book in the airport on my way to conference. I had forgotten to bring a book for takeoffs and landings (when my kindle has to be powered down), so I was quickly scanning the bookstore for something to read. I haven't every read anything from the true crime genre before. The story was interesting and I found myself invested in finding out how the case would progress. Casey does a nice job of looking at the whole investigation and details of the case. My only complaint about the ...more
Aug 13, 2012 Judi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
Casey does an outstanding job chronicling the murder of 31 year old Kari Baker. Unlike some true crime books, Casey starts her readers out right at the beginning of the story, without giving away the details of the crime itself. She leads her readers through the background of each of the individual characters involved, including childhood, marriage, and the subsequent murder and trial. She also gives a detailed update on the conclusion of the case, including the resulting custody trial between ...more
Jeanine Spencer
May 17, 2015 Jeanine Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written. Read this

What a sad story for three little girls. Losing mom and a devil incarnate as a father. Wanted to slap his face. His parents are no better. What a bunch of losers that baker family is. I truly believe he killed that helpless baby too...he will answer to a higher power someday soon...I wish the girls well. Linda and Jim are to be commended for their love for their daughter and grand children. Keep them away from the bakers. Someday they will both understand. Miss Vaness
Hard to believe people can be so evil

Wow! The book is well-written and well researched. It's weird reading about people and places I know. It's sad to read how so many hide behind religion and are given the benefit of the doubt because of it. It's infuriating to read that in the interest of preserving the reputation of various institutions, this evil predator was just dismissed with no one ever holding him accountable for his behavior.

The story is fascinating and I couldn't put the book down.
Gillian Vance
Oct 30, 2013 Gillian Vance rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of narrating this audiobook.

'Pleasure' is the wrong word, because for Kari Baker and her family, the story is absolutely tragic. However, I am honored to be able to share this story with a wider audience. I give Kari's family & friends a staring ovation for all they did to make sure that justice was finally served in this case.

I encourage you to listen to the audiobook version:
Deadly Little Secrets on
Sep 02, 2012 Stephanie rated it liked it
classic. hypocritical repressed (mama's?) boy marries a cute blond, who has no clue he is a serial abuser/harrasser/creep of the highest order. They marry, he goes from parish to parish (oh did I forget to mention this asshat is a MINISTER?) and gets booted along to new spots after complaints arise...and it just goes on and on until the wife gets fat and inconvenient and he kills her. Leaving beautiful daughters blah blah blah. Again, classic. Texas. Bible Thumper. Ugh. GUILTY PLEASURE for sure. ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Faith rated it really liked it
This author did a terrific job of research, checking sources, interviewing witnesses, etc., to pull together a page turner. This true story depicts a vivacious, extroverted, joyful young woman, a mother of three, who was murdered by her adulterous, sociopathic, narcisstic, vain husband who was supposedly a minister (although he gives the men of the cloth a REALLY bad reputation, if the Catholic priests and bishops haven't completed that already). There are big questions as to whether this ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Pamela rated it really liked it
A riveting story about a minister who kills his wife and is suspected of possibly killing one of his children. This is a well researched story that delves into the lives and feelings of the victim, her family and others involved in bringing the case to trial. It also captures the activities and mindset of the minister as he bounces from church to church leaving behind a trail of scandal and impropriety that would catch up to him in the end.
Janelle Kelley
Jan 10, 2016 Janelle Kelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read but repetitious. Got to the point that I skipped over it all the time. Matt Baker was in love with himself and thought he could do anything. He was an evil liar and murderer. He finally got what he deserved

Matt Baker was a despicable murderer and pathological liar. He lied about things and he believed his own lies. Matt Baker IS NOT a man of God but of Satan. Glad his wife's parents got the kids to raise. God Bless Kari and Kassidy. Matt is evil.
Joleen Devens
Feb 01, 2016 Joleen Devens rated it really liked it
Another GREAT true crime book. Interesting how Matt could fool so many people for so long. This book really shows how careful we need to be in todays world. I love the very end where the auther told about when she talked to Matt in prision to make sure that all the facts she collected were true. It gave me an opportunity to see how the author researched the crime as well as listening to both sides. I also saw what a true snake Matt was.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Love Her To Death
  • Never Enough
  • A Twisted Faith: A Minister's Obsession and the Murder That Destroyed a Church
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Open Secrets
  • Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #16)
  • Playing With Fire: The True Story of a Nurse, Her Husband, and a Marriage Turned Fatal
  • A Need to Kill: Confessions of a Teen Murderer
  • Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives
A novelist and an award-winning journalist, Kathryn Casey is the creator of the Sarah Armstrong mystery series and the author of eight highly acclaimed true crime books. Her first novel, SINGULARITY, was one of Booklist’s best crime novel debuts of 2009, and Library Journal chose the third, THE KILLING STORM, as one of the best books of 2010. In both books Casey’s protagonist is a Texas ...more
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