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Death Trap

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  489 ratings  ·  53 reviews
This title tells the horrifying true crime story of Jeff McCord, a police officer who used his expertise as a law enforcement officer to plot with his wife, Jessica, to carry out the murder of her ex-husband in order to secure permanent custody of their two children.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Pinnacle (first published 2010)
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♥ Marlene♥
This book reminds me of Ann Rule's writing and that is not a compliment!

It seems I am the only one who got really annoyed reading this book. I mean yes there are people who got annoyed because the way it was written but I do not see anyone who was annoyed for the same reason i was.

Okay Let's have it out. Why does Mr Phelps feels the need to constantly tell us how bad Jessica mcCord is and what an angel Alan Bates was.
It felt like Ann Rule because she has the same annoying habit.

Come on. We all k
I read this book because of a second degree of separation from the victims, who were valued friends of a valued friend. The low rating is because the writing is weak, but the story is incredible enough that it can still come through the bad writing. Having said that, please read the book. Maybe if enough people is the world are completely disgusted with Jessica she will spontaneously combust in her jail cell in Alabama.
On February 16, 2002 authorities responded to the report of a fire, they arrived to find a burned out car with two bodies in the trunk. It was Alan and Terra Bates, they had been murdered by Alan’s ex-wife, Jessica McCord and her husband, Jeff McCord, a police officer in Pelham, Alabama. Jessica wanted full and permanent custody of their children, without having to comply with the court ordered visitation allowed to Alan, she had already spent time in jail for disobeying the judge, and Jessica w ...more
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This was undoubtedly the worst written book I have ever read except for Taken by Debra Lee. It was awful. I feel like this author has never entered an English classroom, let alone have a sufficient enough command of grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc. to think that he could ever be an author. The writing was so poor that after getting through a little more than half of the book, I looked up the story on Google, found that it had been profiled on the TV show Snapped, and watched it on my ...more
Alisi ☆ needs to stop starting new books ☆
This wasn't terrible. It's one of his better books and it was an interesting case. The book was knocked down two stars for the following:

Slut Shaming: I think Jessica was a terrible person and I think her guilt was rather plain for all to behold. However, I found the numerous times the author referred to the number of her lovers and/or 'tons' of abortions as going off topic. I don't thinking having lots of lovers or lots of abortions as making anyone particularly evil and it just got tiresome to
Jim Nolt
Perhaps you've known someone who knows just the right words to make you do things her way. Or maybe she doesn't even need to use words. Perhaps a look or a certain move can cause you to forget all you were thinking and change course. "Death Trap" is a true crime tale of such a woman. You see, Jessica could make people do almost anything. Only Jessica wasn't quite so subtle about it. She didn't simply suggest or wheedle or seduce. Oh no.. Jessica did MADE things go her way by lying, shouting, and ...more
Good story but the author could make it much better

While the story of the murders of Alan and Terra Bates by Alan's first wife and her police officer husband is chilling, Mr. Phelps does himself no flavors in the manner in which he portrays the suspects. His decided prejudice against the prime suspect, Jessica McCord, while justified, is not helpful. Readers want to come to their own conclusions based on the facts presented. Asides and put-downs tend to weaken his case instead of bolstering it i
A great case, but poorly written

This is the second, and probably last, book I've read by Mr. Phelps. It's a truly fascinating case, which is saying something, because there's really no mystery about who the killers are. But the subject is really interesting. However, the writing is like reading someone's sarcastic oral dictation. It's an attempt, I think, at having voice. But it comes across as an author overly impressed with himself. He constantly makes asides to the reader, which I found distr
Christi Budd
Quite horrific...and to think, I went to school with this girl and my mother worked with the police office for quite some time. Hard to believe...
This was a good book; one of Phelp's better ones. Very disturbing story. This story has been featured on Oxygen's Snapped.
Lynda Kelly
Wow, the main "baddie" in this true murder case was a true piece of work. A psychotic, crazy bitch. I was staggered at her absolute disregard for the law when it came to the custody/visitation court cases she had with her ex-husband. She'd just not turn up and get away with it. Well, in the end she served a whole 10 days in prison one Christmas (which greatly cheered me) but only after thumbing her nose at the law for years !!! The thing with her is she always thought she was the smartest person ...more
I have read quite a few true crime books over the years, but I have to say that this particular book was quite memorable as far as the perpetrators of the crimes go. A young man married his pregnant high school girlfriend (a woman who regularly used abortion as birth control I might add even though she ended up giving birth to six children) but as young marriages often do, this one failed, primarily due to the personality problems of the girl, Jessica. She then carried out a many year crusade to ...more
We teach our children, from a young age, to do the right thing. Make the right decisions. Stand up to your responsibilities. Accept the consequences of your actions. What we fail to teach them is that in doing so the heartache that can arise from "Doing the right thing" can have tragic endings. This story brings to the forefront how love can turn to hatred. Such a fine line. Other's saw the psychology of the woman in this story. But because the young man was raised in such a good home he overloo ...more
Very well written description of a planned true crime murder. After Jessica and Alan get divorced. Jessica makes it her sole mission in life to prevent Alan from ever seeing their two children. His pursuit of his visitation rights led to his and his new wife's murders.
Daniel Rippey
Great writing!

this is the first m. william phelps book that I've read. I'm a big true crime fan and this is definitely in my top ten. I've already downloaded several other books of his. can't wait to read them. big fan of Mr. phelps.
Decent true crime

This is a well told story of a vicious crime, a child custody battle taken to extremes. Not as interesting as some I have read, but still a compelling tale.
Michael McGeehan
Chilling portrayal

Chilling portrayal

sinister story of murder that goes deep in the mind of a scorned, vindictive, manipulative and psychotic wife and mother.
Stephanie Chu
Jessica McCord is such a narcissistic and evil woman. She rob the children of a good father. Poor Terra and Alan. :( I hate that woman. She is psychopathic to the core.
Tiffany Barbour-Bramlett
It was ok..I got kind of bored with it. That's not too say the author is boring in any way, me personally got bored with it.
An Alabama woman, scorned, vindictive, manipulative and psychotic wife and mother, murders her ex-husband and his new wife.
Abbi Wilder
I was curious about this case after seeing a profile on TV. A well written account of an unsettling crime.
Interesting account of a double murder, but I found that the author painted the victims as complete angels and the perpetrators as completely evil.
love true crime novels, however, wished we could have heard form Jessica's perspective to get a holistic view of the story
The author writes about lots of interesting cases, but he's a lousy writer.
Although interesting, it got laborious with having. the repetition
of course another excellent book by Mr. Phelps...
Annie Booker
Heartbreaking and horrific true crime story. The author is able to hook the reader from the first line by delving into the lives of the victims and the lives and motives of the killers.
Wendi Manning
Interesting story, but the writing makes it almost impossible to enjoy.
Bonny Macisaac
I love true crime stories and this is my first time reading a M. William Phelps book. It had me intrigued right off the start. You can tell reading it that the author has done his research! I didn't know this story bevfore picking up the book. I felt emotionally invested as the story was being told. Fast paced, leaves you wanting more. I could hardly sleep each night as I didn't want to put this book down. Will certainly be buying other books by Mr.Phelps. Absolutely loved it! A great crime writ ...more
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M. William Phelps lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.

He is the author of 14 true crime books.
More about M. William Phelps...

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