Convenient Suspect

Convenient Suspect
Convenient Suspect

Convenient Suspect

A Double Murder, a Flawed Investigation, and the Railroading of an Innocent Woman
By Tammy Mal


288 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $16.99 (CA $22.99) (US $16.99)

ISBN 9781613739792

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Nov 2017)


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On Thursday, December 15, 1994, Joann Katrinak and her three-month-old son, Alex, went missing from their Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, home. Four months later, when their bodies were found in a lonely patch of woods, the police would launch a three-year investigation leading to the arrest of Patricia Lynne Rorrer—a young mother who had never met either victim—as the monster responsible. In Pennsylvania's first use of mitochondrial DNA in a criminal case, Patricia Rorrer was quickly tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. But did the jury make the right decision? Is Patricia Rorrer truly guilty? As new evidence continues to surface, including allegations of evidence tampering, that question requires an answer even more.With a subject matter and storytelling style reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial, Convenient Suspect will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The book reveals information never before made public—information gathered directly from more than 10,000 official documents, including Pennsylvania State Police reports, FBI files, forensic lab results, and the 6,500-page trial transcript. After four years of intensive research, countless interviews with those involved, and hundreds of letters, phone calls, and personal visits with Patricia Rorrer, the truth about the evidence used to convict her can finally be revealed.


"In this riveting story of shoddy police work and prosecutorial overreach, Tammy Mal takes an already rickety double-murder case and blows it to pieces, building a compelling case that an innocent woman was put behind bars." —Michael Fleeman, author of The Black Widower, Crazy for You, and Laci

"A methodical, clear-sighted, and deeply moving book. . . . Convenient Suspect seeks to right a terrible injustice that flies in the face of common sense and to show us how easily any of us might be ensnared in the same trap." —Ken Klonsky, coauthor of Eye of the Hurricane and author of Freeing David McCallum

"Deserving of shelf space alongside such similar true-crime works as those by Ann Rule."—Booklist

"...a heartbreaking and searing piece of investigative journalism."—BUST magazine 

Author Biography

Tammy Mal is the only journalist to whom Patricia Rorrer has granted interviews. She has written countless articles for local newspapers and has appeared on the television show You Be the Judge to discuss the cases she has covered.