These two paragraphs complete page one of the first chapter of Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns.

Stacey Burns could not have anticipated how the details of this last weekend of her life would be scrutinized through so many avenues, from police interrogations to reporters’ probing, from reliable newspaper sources to wildly speculative internet blogs, from remembered conversations to embellished rumor. That weekend acts as a microcosm into Stacey’s life as a soon-to-be divorcee, even though events in her private life leading up to her brutal murder during the early morning hours of Mothers’ Day began long before,

As absurd as it may be, uncovering the truth of Stacey Burns’ final thirty-six hours proves to be daunting. What actually occurred during that time blurs into an elusive, nebulous, and ultimately frustrating search. Sonya Lapar, a good friend of Stacey Burns and a reliable, honest-to-a-fault interviewee, captured the ongoing dilemma of trying to sort out the truth.

“I only know my truth,” she says, while admitting that others no doubt have their own version and would see it as equally valid.”

Just a personal note to any of my “sources” who may be nervous about my publishing these snippets of the unfinished and unpublished book- If I promised I would not use your information without your permission, I meant it. You’ll see no surprises in these pages.