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A Target on my Back: A Prosecutor's Terrifying Tale of Life on a Hit List

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Murders don't happen in Kaufman County, Texas, a sleepy community where people raise their kids quietly and drive into Dallas for work and entertainment. In 2013, murder came to town when two professional prosecutors were slain in cold blood, simply for doing their jobs: one in broad daylight in plain view of the courthouse, and one in his home, along with his wife. Eric W
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing
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Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
“I was the beginning of Eric Williams’ end.”

Erleigh Wiley was used to seeing her name in print. Whether it was on the ballot that eventually championed her as the first African American countywide officeholder in Kaufman County, or on the daily dockets for the cases she presided over as the Judge of County Court at Law.

One place she never expected to see her name, however, was on a hit list. A hit list that already had two names scratched off. Told in four parts with an epilogue, this true-cr
Mckinley Johnson
The book A target on my back was written by a family friend of mine named Erleigh Wiley. She is the District Attorney of Kaufman county Texas and one of the strongest women I know. This book details the effects that the murders of Mark Hasse and Mike and Cynthia Mclelland had on her life both personal and professional and how she dealt with being on a serial killer's hit list for holding him accountable for doing his job the right way and he partially blamed her for him losing his job. I remembe ...more
Desi Kennedy
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Wiley is one of the speakers for our Book and Author luncheon later this month. She is also the DA of our county. I had just moved to the area in the month before Mr. Hasse was killed outside the courthouse. We were concerned that we had made a mistake about moving to Kaufman, but we live outside the city limits. It was a scary time. Ms. Wiley captures some of that fear and concern. The love story between her and Aaron is sweet. It was also fun to read about people I know; I also work for th ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 2013, prosecutors in Kaufman County, Texas started getting murdered and nobody knew by who or why. The fear sent a chill through the entire DFW area and was the main news story for months. Meanwhile, Wiley was just trying to do her job as a judge in the county when she was forced to have 24/7 surveillance and bodyguards to ensure her safety. Not soon after the murder of the Kaufman District Attorney, the Governor appointed Wiley to take over as the new DA as the police desperately tried to fi ...more
Lorilei Gonzales
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Lately, I have had the good fortune to review books at the perfect moment in my life. As I have finally caught up on all the old episodes of my favorite true crime podcast, this first person account of a would-be victim was next on my review list. That designation alone makes this book special, but the fact that Wiley is a judge makes the proceedings all the more technical and her recollection feel more trustworthy than other true crime tell-alls.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like most t
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I believe this book has several purposes - to educate us on an event that happened in 2013 in a nearby community (nearby to me anyway), to enlighten us on what it would be like to be pursued by a crazed killer, and to encourage us to follow our dreams and desires and to be the best that we can be in this world.

Before reading this book, I did not know about the murders that happened in Kaufman County.  I am always dumbfounded by those that commit crimes and their reasoning, which rarely makes sen
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I think I would have preferred a book that folded in Erleigh Wiley's experiences, but was more generally about the murders committed against Mark Hesse, Mike McLelland and Cynthia McLelland, the resulting investigation, and the trial of the murderer.

While a fascinating look at what a protective detail looks like from the protected's side and her moving descriptions of the terrifying realization of how close she came to tragedy, the author's perspective was understandably narrow. As she was part
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Erleigh Wiley's book, A Target on my Black, is an interesting first-person story about a series of incidents that took place in Kaufman County, Texas in early 2013. Three people were brutally killed--2 prosecutors and one of the men's wife. Thinking that Wiley might be the next person on the killer's hit list, agents were assigned to protect her and her family 24/7. Wiley had to deal with unimaginable fear so she could do her job until the killer was brought to justice. This is an entertaining b ...more
Fianna Whitman
Nov 04, 2022 rated it did not like it
This might have been really interesting but it has two laud and screaming issues.
First, this is not an unbiased account. This is a book by a prosecutor who thinks very very highly of herself, such that the account is not really about the events that lead to her being on a hit list, but about her and how much of hero she thinks she is. Second, it is REALLY badly written. Unforgivable for a published book by a lawyer.
Sue-Lynn Voigt
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Interesting personal account of Judge (later District Attorney) in Kaufman County, Texas that lived through the horrible crime spree of a former fellow attorney. She tells her personal thoughts after first a ADA and then the DA and his wife are killed. Also interesting is her life and work as the first African American Judge and DA. It might not be a polished book, but it is heart felt and real.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting book about a true story! I enjoyed learning all the details of how this prosecutor went through this ordeal to get the killer convicted. It was a true account of the events and what happened in the mind of this twisted sociopath. It described people who were in the government and how they solved the murders!
Jane Thompson
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
True Crime

Having read the book by Kathryn Casey that detailed the crimes, I already knew than e facts of the case. However, it is interesting to hear how it affected another person. The author shares her story of being a potential victim of this murderer. The book is good and adds to our knowledge
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A decent book telling a great story.
I remember a time when no black person (especially a woman) could get elected in Kaufman county. Judge Wiley broke barriers and had courage when it mattered most.
Inspiring woman!
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Fascinating read about Erleigh Wiley and her account of what was happening at the time of the murders as well as her journey from judge to criminal district attorney. It would get a higher star rating but the amount of grammatical errors was distracting.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This book really opened my eyes. One does not have to live in a big city for horrible crimes to occur. I was disappointed in the final outcome. That is partly what is wrong with our country now.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 of 5 stars

A Target on My Back: A Prosecutor's Terrifying Tale of Life on a Hit List is the true account of the murders of two district attorneys (D.A.) and the wife of one of those attorneys that occurred in Kaufman County, Texas. The story specifically focuses on how those murders affected the personal and professional life of the author, Erleigh N. Wiley, who was ... Read more at
Edward Gray
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I interviewed Judge Wiley on my radio show on KHVN. She was personally engaging as her book"A Target on my Back". The personal reflections of raising a family, administering justice, and maintaining her personal safety are the themes of this book.
The book is overall a refreshing , breezy account of terror visited upon a small Texas town. This terror is overcome by the tenacity of the people to endure , and prevail against the unknown.
Thanks Judge Erleigh Wiley a great read !
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Aug 11, 2018
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