Cruel Death - M. William Phelps

Cruel Death

By M. William Phelps

  • Release Date: 2014-02-04
  • Genre: True Crime
Score: 4.5
From 52 Ratings


The true-crime story of a homicidal husband and wife and a double murder in a Maryland resort town, by the bestselling author of Deadly Secrets.

It was Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer season. Thousands headed to Ocean City, Maryland, to enjoy its scenic beaches, lively boardwalk, and trendy nightclubs. Among the bright-spirited vacationers was a couple with a much darker idea of fun. Erica Sifrit, a former honor student, was packing a gun in her Coach bag. Her husband, B.J., an ex-Navy SEAL, was trained in violence. What started as a chance encounter with another couple ended with two dismembered victims buried in a Delaware landfill. M. William Phelps updates this modern-day “Bonnie and Clyde” saga to create a haunting account of money, madness, sex, and murder . . .

Praise for New York Times bestselling author M. William Phelps

“One of America's finest true-crime writers.” —Vincent Bugliosi, New York Times bestselling author of Helter Skelter

“Phelps is the Harlan Coben of real-life thrillers.” —Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of Tell No Lies

Includes sixteen pages of dramatic photos


  • Disappointed with Superficial Reporting and False Claim of Photos Being Included in the Book

    By AriTort
    If you’re someone like me who likes to see photos pertinent to the crime that can’t easily be found online, don’t be fooled by the publisher’s claim (in bold font!) that the book includes 16 dramatic photos. That aside, I found that this book lacked the depth and factual substance that are hallmarks of Mr. Phelps’ outstanding collection of true crime books. Other than the completely delusional and self-serving statements made by Mitch Grace (father of defendant Erika Sifrit), and the excerpts of statements made at the sentencing hearing by a few family members of the victims, there was no insightful information or background provided by people who knew the defendants or victims. Frankly there was absolutely nothing in the book that drew me in emotionally and made me care on a personal level about how the trials turned out. Of course I wanted justice but I never really connected to any of the people involved in the case because I knew nothing substantive about them. I’m not sure if there was a lack of cooperation across the board or if Mr. Phelps needed to maintain a certain degree of detachment in order to deal with the extraordinarily gruesome and disturbing crime involved (completely understandable). Regardless, the book left me feeling empty, as if the entire story wasn’t told. For example, there was a brief reference to a detective who left the police department for reasons solely related to this case. This was never explored or explained, depriving the reader from learning more about the case and how/why it impacted at least one prominent person who was personally involved in and invested in obtaining justice for the victims of this horrendous crime.
  • Cruel Death

    By Kitty Cat Cate
    I grew up and graduated in the same town as the perpetrator in this book. Her father was my basketball coach and my grandparents went to the same church so this hit very close to home for me. It was a well written and very informative book def recommend for true crime readers