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A Warrant to Kill: A True Story of Obsession, Lies and a Killer Cop

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  389 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
She tried to tell her friends. She even went to the police. No one would believe her--and now she was dead.

Problems had always followed Susan White, but when she remarried and moved to Houston's posh suburbs, she thought the past was behind her--until she met a deputy sheriff named Kent McGowen who would soon become her worst nightmare.

McGowen was an aggressive cop with a
ebook, 384 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published October 1st 2000)
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Thomas C Wilson Jr I totally agree that there was possibly some sort of one-night stand that, with his ego especially, thought that there was more to it. She probably…moreI totally agree that there was possibly some sort of one-night stand that, with his ego especially, thought that there was more to it. She probably refused any further advances on his part and saw a chance for revenge through his actions against her son. When he didn't like that outcome, he went even further.

He'll keep singing his little song and going through his routine for any who will listen. And he'll keep asking for money to fight what he no doubt sees as this horrible justice. His ego demands it. Unfortunately, there will be many to listen to him and send him money.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 29, 2012 Angela~twistedmind~ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nada
What to say? A Warrant To Kill is a story of true crime, a subject I enjoy reading every once in awhile. This was not one of those enjoyable reads, where you are pulled in, invested in the story and anxious to discover what happens next. To begin with, there were several places where it seemed as if a word were simply missing. Everyone knows how these little boo boos annoy me. The author used too many examples of the same 'theme', if you will, of basically the same trait or occurance. Also, it w ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Floy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is only the 2nd book by Casey I have read...but, she has fast become my fav true crime author. Some time in life, we get dealt a bad hand, and Susan Harrison White was one of those ppl, as well as her son Jason. They were both wonderful ppl, but trouble seemed to always come knocking at their door...enter, Joseph Kent McGowan. If you like arrogance, narcissist, bold, rude, thinks the world revolves around him, and doesn't know the truth from a lie, then Kent is the man for you...he took his ...more
Danielle Woods
Jun 15, 2013 Danielle Woods rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on It's always amazing to me that people truly think they can get away with murder. Like they live above the law, even a cop! While I didn't really care for Suzanne and her choices in life, she didn't deserve to die. I was also unaware of the sentencing process in Texas (15years 1 day vs 15 years or less). I can't believe that he was allowed to walk free for so long even after being convicted of murder. I can't imagine what it was like for Kathryn Casey to si ...more
Dec 04, 2008 Catten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine not being able to trust those people you were always told were safe. Kathryn Casey’s book takes a long, hard look at an aggressive, mean cop named Kent McGowen.

The author is a journalist, and the writing is quick and clean. Her research took her from a sultry Houston night in August 1992 through a 1994 court trial and beyond. The story focuses on the life and untimely death of Susan White, a single mom, who was stalked and finally gunned down in her home by one of those entrusted to serv
Jul 06, 2008 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Clearly, I need to go back to work. But another walk to the beach, another true crime book down the tubes.

This one tells the story of a really needy woman who grew up with little, wanted more, got hooked on pills and men, and had a REALLY troubled child who might as well have worn a big sign that said "BOUND FOR JAIL" - but she only saw him as her baby, and the kid had no accountability or rules, and it all just go creepy, especially when the woman slept with the kid's best friend. So the best f
Jun 21, 2013 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievable things can happen..."You just never know", as the old saying goes. Anyone can make mistakes during their lifetime but you're supposed to be able to trust an officer of the law. All I know is, he should have never been rehired by the last agency he worked for. This man was a chronic liar and has no conscience (no remorse or guilt) for what he did to Susan. This is a good true crime book. I gave it four stars. All I can say is, unbelievable...
Eva Leger
Apr 17, 2009 Eva Leger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going to start this..... until I realized I'd already read it years ago. Which kind of ticks me off since I only ordered and received it this week but oh well....
very good book - Casey did a wonderful job and this will petrify any reader. The fact that this man was a police officer sends shivers down my spine to this day. I feel for this woman and her parents. Not one to miss!
Apr 02, 2014 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bad cop

Bad cop

This story is so sad that a bad cop wasn't stopped years before he killed someone. This should have never happened and I am glad he was finally convicted and jailed.
Justice takes too long sometimes.
Oct 25, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, cops can be the bad guy.
B.R. Keegstra
Jul 15, 2015 B.R. Keegstra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced & rings true

We want to believe a badge makes you "the good" guy. Reading this book confirms that even a badge can't change a psychopath in a "good guy."
Not my favorite case at all. I'll just leave it at that out of respect for the victim.
Sherry Haning
May 25, 2017 Sherry Haning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written book! But then, all Kathryn Casey's books are well written!
May 04, 2017 Jeanine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book? Scary story.
Oct 01, 2014 Carie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only part I enjoyed about this book is the way the author, Kathryn Casey told the storyline in simple terms. No legal jargon that I couldn't understand. However, I didn't like how vague the relationship between Susan White & officer Kent McGowen was left... Did they ever have an intimate relationship? One would have to believe so; in order to wrap your head around the idea that the relationship resulted in murder. I also thought some of the information became repetitive throughout the re ...more
Taylor Tyler
Not a bad read but definitely lacking in the details department.

This was my first Casey true crime book. I'm not a fan of a lot of the popular true crime novelists out there because I feel they are just very boring to read and I don't like their style of writing. This one interested me because I've seen a documentary on the case, so I was curious.

All in all, the book kept me interested but after reading it I was really annoyed at how little I actually learned. I feel I would have a better unde
Thomas C Wilson Jr
A great true crime novel about abuse of power

Casey brings this story to life by accurately recounting the events leading up to the crime, from the point of view of the victim and from point of view of her assailant. She shows the victim as real; the reader feels sympathy for the victim, who is presented as a normal woman with flaws. Examined also is the perpetrator and the little events that kept in law enforcement long past the time that he should have been detected and summarily dismissed for
Apr 04, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again Kathryn Casey does not disappoint

This is the second book in a row that I've read of Kathryn Casey. She's got a knack for telling a story. Here we look at a supposedly rogue cop. Is he a murderer or was he just doing his job? I got a little confused with the names of some of the minor characters here, but it was fine. The real ballyhoo for me was the verdict. No spoiler alerts here but hang in for the final verdict. Did you call it? What about testimony that was was disallowed earlier
Nov 03, 2012 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written true crime book!! It is about a deputy who becomes fixated on a woman who rejects him. He takes his vengeance by causing her and her son as much mischief as possible resulting in her death. The book is fast-paced and the author is good about not tying down the book with excessive trial jargon and testimony. He does a good job of outlining the biography and personality traits of the main characters. I highly recommend this one!
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
Wow! It's terrifying how bad some cops are but what continually surprises me is how a prep's family can be so disgusting to the victim's family. Even if you believe he killed in self-defense, he still DID kill her and there was enough lies pointed out to prove he wasn't a choir boy. Yelling that you think the victim and the victim's family is going to Hell doesn't help your bother's case. I'm just saying...

Jesus! Save us from your followers!
Kathryn Casey put a lot of hard work into this book and it paid off. Nice balance of background information and court case. Does not go into a lot of the unnecessary gory details of the crime but gives you a clear picture of how ugly it was. This story made me so frustrated. Not a quick read and not one to read before bed.
This is the story of a lady who was murdered by a Houston sheriff in 1992. The story is well written, but it comes to an abrupt end which I didn't care for too much. Most true crime gives a summary at the end of the story of what has happened to the main characters in the book, but this author did not, thus the three stars instead of four.
Jul 08, 2007 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a great book, but the story took place in our neck of the woods (Spring, Texas), so that made it pretty compelling. We also had the asst DA involved in the case as a guest speaker at our book club. Downright scarey when you hear of who some of our uniformed officers really are!
Sep 12, 2009 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scary! Disturbing to know that this man wasn't stopped sooner from being in a position to exert any type of authority. Makes you wonder who you can trust if those who we expect to protect us are this type of person.
Not my favorite true crime novel, but it wasn't terrible either. Kathryn Casey gives a detailed, well-written account of the events leading up to the death of Susan White, while the coverage of the subsequent trial seemed rushed, bringing the book to an abrupt end.
Ruth Turner
Feb 08, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This was a great read.

With most of Kathryn Casey's books I find them hard to put down. With this one I had to take a break every few chapters. My tummy had knots of anxiety.

Kent McGowen's web site. Interesting reading.
Mar 12, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abuse-of-power
A story of vengeance, fear and justice. A killer cop...troubling.
Feb 06, 2015 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

This is the second K. Casey book I have read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Some annoying typos towards the end though...
Apr 13, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, well written, read it in one sitting.
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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 Ranger/pro ...more
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