All the ingredients of a first-rate thriller stand out in this investigative report by Robin Yocum and Catherine Candisky, who reveal a sinister and deadly con game that was three years in the making: a murder, an insurance scam with a multi-million dollar payoff, a playboy businessman, a sinister stun-gun-toting neurologist, false identities, and an international manhunt. On the morning of April 16, 1988, the emergency squad was called to the office of Dr Richard P Boggs, a respected neurologist in Glendale, California. On the floor of the examining room was the body of Melvin E. Hanson, the vice president of the Just Sweats athletic clothing store chain, based in Columbus, Ohio.Apparently, he had collapsed and died of heart failure during a routine examination. Early next morning, Hanson's business partner and the company president, John B. Hawkins, arrived from Columbus and had the body unceremoniously cremated. The coroner ruled that Hanson died of natural causes, so there was nothing to be investigated, and the Glendale police did not pursue the case further. But this wasn't just another unfortunate death. There was something very, very wrong here.
The body lying on the floor was not Hanson's. The corpse was an anonymous double who had been murdered in a scheme to fraudulently collect on Hanson's life insurance policy.
Robin Yocum is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Favorite Sons and The Essay. Favorite Sons was named the 2011 USA Book News' Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense. It was selected for the Choose to Read Ohio program for 2013-14 and was a featured book of the 2012 Ohioana Book Festival. Yocum is also the author of Dead Before Deadline . . . and Other Tales from the Police Beat and Insured for Murder (with Catherine Candisky). He is the president of Yocum Communications, a public relations and marketing firm in Westerville, Ohio. He is well known for his work as a crime and investigative reporter with the Columbus Dispatch from 1980-1991. He was the recipient of more than thirty local, state, and national journalism awards in categories ranging from investigative reporting to feature writing. Catherine Candinsky is the senior public affairs reporter and the statehouse reporter for the Columbus Dispatch. She has received dozens of regional and state reporting awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Cleveland Press Club, and others.