The Secrets They Kept: The True Story of a Mercy Killing that Shocked a Town and Shamed a Family

Written by Suzanne Handler

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Every family has its secrets. In 1937, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, an anguished father made the momentous decision to end his mentally ill daughter’s life rather than commit her to an insane asylum. After signing a joint murder-suicide pact to die together, the father first killed the girl and then attempted to take his own life. Forever known as Cheyenne’s “mercy slayer,” the man survived to face the consequences of his unimaginable crime. Yet the question remains: What power on earth would compel a father to murder his own child? Now, after more than seven decades of silence, events surrounding this long-ago tragedy are at last being told. Author Suzanne Handler shares with readers the secrets of her family’s dark past. You will be moved by this extraordinary story of murder, mental illness, and the impact of secrets on families.

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