snow on the mountains across the Sound

I finally got clear of my medical dramas for the most part (still coughing so staying sequestered for the most part–I hate being disruptive in places like restaurants or movie theatres with a cough).

I’ve been digging in to writing, ordering takeout and reading everything I’ve written thus far. I like it.

my favorite, shredded, writing sweater

I’ll share a snippet this morning that I’ve been editing about my police interview. I flew back from IL to AZ for one day–not even an overnight–to be interviewed before the brothers were arrested. I was too scared to stay even one night knowing they were out there on the loose.

Here is one snippet from that chapter:

I carried my purse and paper bag lunch up to the homicide department floor at the Mesa police station and Debbie met me there. She waited in the open waiting area as Davis escorted me to a small interview room. I ate my tasteless, crumbly sandwich in there alone, waiting a long time for the detectives to join me. I wondered why Debbie couldn’t just hang out with me while I ate and waited. The whole thing was oddly strained and awkward. Later, I wondered if they’d been viewing me through some kind of one-way mirror or hidden camera. I got about half-way through the disappointing sandwich, which was all I could stomach, then stuffed the remainder back in the white paper bag and waited.

Ron Davis finally returned with Homicide Detective George Felger who I met for the first time, although had spoken with numerous times on the phone in those five days. They sat at the bare table with me, turned on a small cassette tape recorder and started asking me questions. They started with the basics then the questioning directed fairly quickly toward Mark Maurer. I referred to the pages of notes I’d made on the plane.

KM: So back to the conversation with Mark, I, I just wrote down things that I, I put ‘em in quotes as they, as I remembered the conversation, that’s what I wrote down.

RD:  That’s fine. Go ahead.

KM: “I told him I was still married but that I still loved him” That was something that she told me several times in the conversation, that she felt good about that, like she was, because she was, it was like in a way that he was upset and she wanted to console him, so she told him, it’s not that I don’t love you anymore, but it’s that I’m married to somebody else and we can’t be together’. And that, she said, ‘I felt good about that because then he wasn’t so upset.’ You know, it was like comforting him was the way she was feeling really good about the fact that she said it, ‘well, at least I was honest and I admitted the truth that I still care for him and I’m, I still love him’.

I could not impress enough on these investigators that Cindy believed Rudi and Anke had been back in Germany for weeks, and the fact that they were in Mesa holed up in the Village Motel together the whole time, was the biggest clue that they were all involved in this.


After spending a few hours with this this morning, I’m headed to this cool spot downtown Seattle for a fun break–a flower mask making class. I’ll post pics later of how mine turned out. I’m going to box it up and send it to Lillian as a surprise–it will keep as we are working with dried flowers.

As always, thanks for being out there and caring,


back in Edmonds

took this the day after the smoke cleared–I couldn’t even see the Sound for two days prior


I’ve returned to my happy place, Edmonds, WA to finally finish this book.

I had a bit of a rocky re-entry though. I was quite sick the week before leaving, got a positive Covid test, got better quickly and made the cut for traveling post-Covid symptoms, so I was able to travel on this long awaited and planned trip. Also, my brother went off his meds again, and was admitted to the hospital the week before I left, so I had a lot of involvement with that and setting up a likely discharge plan for while I’m gone. Never a dull moment.

I landed in Seattle during an air quality issue, rendering it “the worst air quality in the world” (!). This kicked up my lungs again, landing me in an Urgent Care center for more albuterol for my nebulizer my husband wisely forced encouraged me to pack.

I started to hunker down and start my reading/writing process, only to come down with my first, aggressive, full-body case of the hives three days after arriving. Concerned this might be a reaction to my three-times-a-day albuterol treatments, I landed back in the Urgent care who also couldn’t figure out this new twist. It was kind of scary honestly, as it came on quickly in the evening, and Dr. Google kept talking about anaphylaxis, which just the mere mention of it caused my throat to constrict (ugh–I’m so suggestible). After a dose of Benadryl, I succeeded in knocking it back and knocking myself out and having a day-long hangover the next day, rendering it impossible for me to think clearly, much less read or write.

So I caught up with my obsession curiosity with the NXIVM case, watching and rewatching some episodes about it. As coercive control is an element of my book, this kind of thing is something I study. It’s fascinating and terrifying to realize how vulnerable very smart people can be to this kind of manipulation. Just as Cindy was. It’s not about intellect, usually. It’s about vulnerability. It’s still mind boggling, to me, how long these strings of influence can have over a person, and how damaging they are.

It’s a beautiful cloudy and cool day here in Edmonds, and I have a dinner date tonight with my cousin, so I’m making good use of my brain and this time to read everything I’ve written so far on this book and taking notes.

During my first days, I read Ruth Markel’s true crime memoir about her son Dan’s murder which was very good/heartbreaking/sad/inspiring. It was a perfect way to set my trajectory to getting back in to my writing. I realized I was missing some tonal aspects, and frankly, was just good to feel the solidarity with someone who is ensconced in the same web of murder survivorship and the legal process. I’ve been following that case closely, watching the dominos fall toward justice.

I’ll likely start writing some more tomorrow and share some snippets.

Oh, also they are doing another show on Cindy’s case, which will be airing on Investigation Discovery sometime this Fall or early Winter. I’ve been very involved in that, being interviewed for it, providing lots of video and photos and other material, so that’s been a project. I’ll definitely post when I have more information about when it’s being aired.

Here is one photo I found that I shared with them–not sure it will make the cut for the show, but it was taken on our last family trip to Maine the year she was killed.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned. And, as always, thanks for being there all this time and caring.

I’m still here.

Just a quick update about the book. I have not abandoned it. Life just got very complicated with Covid, moving my father and brother to a retirement community near us in PA (which was not an easy task) and then our father shortly thereafter having a stroke and passing away on October 10, 2021.

In addition to assuming full caretaking of my brother, I’ve been consumed with a complicated estate settling and of course the grieving process of losing my father. While at the same time selling our family condo in Sedona, my Dad’s place in AZ, buying a large lake house in PA and moving all of that. As I said, it’s been a time. Good, hard, sad, glorious, all of the above.

Also, did I mention here that Rudi Apelt died in prison this Spring of natural causes? That has changed my life dramatically as I will never, ever have to attend a parole hearing again. Major. Thank God he’s dead.

But a couple of updates.

A production company out of the UK contacted me a few months back and they are doing an hour long TV show on Cindy’s case. I was interviewed for seven hours a few weeks ago, which was a bit of everything. Part of the reason I say yes to these projects, is I can’t tell you the healing that occurs for me because of participating in the process.

For this one, they needed as much video and audio footage that I have of her, so that pushed me to convert VHS and cassette tapes in to CD’s and a flash drive to preserve them. Also the hunting down of those things–plus photos–kind of forces me to open doors that are ultimately good for me to do. I think many survivors of homicide kind of box things away, and the grief gets lost in the violence. At least that’s happened for me.

This project appealed to me because there is a huge emphasis on telling Cindy’s story, which is really the point of the book as well. There is little focus on her killers and more on knowing and understanding her as a person. They asked me so many questions about our childhood/upbringing, how she was all throughout her life, our relationship, on and on.

In many ways, it’s been easier for me to focus on the crime, than on the loss. This pushed me to the latter and it was so good for me. Of course it’s not easy, lots of tears and pain comes to the surface, yet as I say, it’s better out than in. As any of you out there who relate, it’s always there. No closure ever comes. It’s just how much we are feeling it any given day.

So there’s that. I’ll know more soon about the air date but they said late Fall or early Winter.

Now to the book.

I’m headed back to Edmonds this Fall for three weeks to complete it, tweak some things and make a serious push for an agent/publisher. I’ve had a couple interested and frankly just blew it off as I just couldn’t put my energy there. So I’ve got a nice long expanse in my writing paradise to get this wrapped up.

I love my life in PA so much that it doesn’t make as much sense to leave it now, but Edmonds is where I’m doing this book and where I will finish it. Plus, it’s one of my major happy places on the planet and I can’t wait to get back in to that ferry riding, Puget sound, Pike Market, Olympus spa life and see my friend Pat again.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer. We are doing well. Well, I should say I’m crawling back out of exhaustion of the last couple of years. I actually cancelled all my summer travel and postponed my Dad’s rather large memorial service I was planning in Maine because I was just flattened. Rest has been my friend this summer (but still continual work settling my Dad’s affairs–sometimes it feels like it will never end).

My brother is doing especially well after a rough patch a few months ago. We got him some additional support and he’s living alone in the duplex we moved him and Dad in to with lots of activities and he’s really taken to it. He also comes up to the lake house with us and we will spend all our holidays as a family up here. It took some work and learning to get him to his highest functioning but I think we’ve landed there. He’s doing lots of cooking and baking from scratch lately–lasagna, blueberry buckle, strawberry pie. It’s great to see.

Of course, we all enjoy our family life with our darling ten year old Lillian who is just the sweetest kid and such a blessing in my life.

I’ve been gardening as usual–flowers and veggies–the tomatoes are coming in hot now. So I made and froze some homemade marinara sauce and told my brother it’s for him to make us a lasagna for Christmas Eve.

I’ll keep you posted on that show–and expect updates in October as I dive back in to the book.

It’s time.

Cheers–and thanks for continuing to care,



This is innocence

Rudi Apelt died of natural causes in prison this morning. Those are all the details I know. My attorney was informed and called to tell me. Over thirty years of having to deal with this evil; it’s over.

I cannot tell you the instant feeling of relief I had that has only deepened over the last three hours since I found out. My shoulders are dropping back to a place they have not visited in a very long time. I feel so free. I didn’t know how deeply I was carrying this trauma that just kept resurfacing, now that it’s gone.

This means no more parole hearings, ever. No more intrusions from his team of champions (although once they got him off death row they did exactly as I predicted in my impact statement–dropped him like a hot potato–not one, literally not ONE of them ever showed up at a parole hearing after spending about a decade fighting for him and his “intellectual disability”).

Michael, although having just launched a huge long appeal, while being on a list of 20 inmates who “have exhausted all appeals” (yeah try and figure that one out) will never be up for parole. So I’ll only have to deal with him sporadically as his appeals present themselves, but not every year like I did with Rudi.

Anyway, he’s dead. Thank God. I just wish my Dad had been here to experience this relief. He missed it by six months. Dad, he’s gone.

No press release yet, but here’s an article about one of his parole denials.

day 9

My last day here and I pushed it! I scoured through all my records and finally found an entire testimony that I needed. A strange lover of Michael Apelt who stayed in contact with him after he went to jail, and gave this weird testimony that was for the State, but clearly trying to help him at the same time. Mind blowing.

I never left the pod all day. I worked and worked on that chapter and finished it. I cleaned up a bizarre assortment of leftover food I had- lettuce, cheese, apple, tortilla chips, ice cream sandwich and wine. Classy!

I feel good about all I got accomplished on this retreat. I have 39 chapters, mostly completed. I think I may actually do some more work on it at home. I think it’s pretty good.

I’ve been following that NXIUM case and today the leader of that creepy cult Keith Raniere was sentenced. He got life, basically. It was interesting doing this deep dive in to con men and sociopathy and following that at the same time. It’s a terrifyingly curious subject. May we all keep our hearts open and hold wisdom to avoid that insanity simultaneously.

Packing up

I hope my book ends up as a cautionary tale, as well.

I’m beat. I’ll keep you all posted going forward. For now, I’ll take a little break.

days 7 and 8

Had a beautiful day yesterday taking a gorgeous Fall country drive to a charming wedding venue and assisted my florist mentor creating this fantastic arch.

It was such a nice respite from all this dark material- and a perfect day to enjoy it. It started raining today and got quite cold.

I hunkered down all day today and was quite productive. Wrote most of another chapter and split one in two as it got too long. So many details I had forgotten about. The extent of these brothers’ cons to so many people in such a short time is astonishing. Then to know that people decided they have intellectual disability is insane. From all the luxury car dealers, jewelers, realtors and so many other women. They even faked one of their own deaths successfully at one point- for money of course. How much conning they packed in to three months is mind blowing.

Those are the chapters I worked on today.

Sleep continues to evade me. It was a rough night last night. I’m hoping this cold rainy day and this warm fireplace, help me crash tonight.

Wish me luck.

Some photos I found in a bin of our childhood, when everything was so innocent.

day 6

I figured out today that I’m closer to finishing than I thought I was. I have 30 chapters almost completed. There is just so much, that I constantly struggle with what is imperative to include. I think I’ll err on putting too much in, then see what gets edited out. I think I’m a good storyteller and am writing this in a style of a book I would like to read, but I am a complete novice. I have to be open to this being molded and edited. 😬

Cleaned up some chapters and did some adding of quotes today, then had to get outside in the crisp Fall air.

Got my Jessica Fletcher on and took an almost sunset bike ride. Such a great riverside drive to ride on.

Also spent much of the afternoon reading this book, which is really informative called The Confidence Game. I’ll be referencing it in the book.

Tucked away and cozy tonight and hoping for a solid night’s sleep. 🙏

Sweet dreams to you all out there. 🛏

day 5

Glad to report I am starting to sleep again. I enjoy waking up and taking my river walks.

Completed a long chapter today on what we’ve gone through with the death penalty appeals process. It was exhausting to write and also realized how exhausting it’s been to live through at times. Working on this book has given me a clear roadmap to how my adrenals have gotten so shot over the years. Still working on that one (the reason for my sleeping issues lately).

39 chapters in that tiny thing

Found some materials I was looking for and ran in to a document online related to an important hearing in one of the appeals involving the Supreme Court and our case. It’s good to find good quotes to punctuate my writing with. I think that part is going to set this book apart from most true crime books.

My husband took me out on a date this evening. I was so tired I almost asked him to just come to my Airbnb and get take out- but I’m so glad I showered and did my hair and makeup and went out. We had a great time. I miss him! But am so grateful to have a marriage allowing so much space. I was single for 20 years before marrying him, so I got very used to being alone. I need it and he allows it easily. He needs it too.

He brought me over my bike! I’m so excited to be able to ride tomorrow morning! And after that delicious meal, I do believe I will easily sleep tonight. 😴

Can’t stop laughing at this photo- I wasn’t expecting that flash! 😳

day 4

That’s my lucky writing sweater, a gazillion years old and shredded

Well, I finally got about 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night and felt so much better this morning. Fingers crossed that trend continues.

I had a very productive writing day. I’m jumping all around and I’m ok with that. Filling in missing details on chapters written, re-reading material, sifting through records. It’s so hard to edit stuff out, as it seems every single element of this story is important to understand the whole.

I wrote about circumstantial evidence today and painting a picture for a jury, which is also exactly what I’m trying to do with this book.

Got up, took a nice long walk by the river just a stones throw from the house here, and realized I need a little more time—so added two more days. Just hitting my stride today and want to ride that momentum.

I also have some nice respites this weekend helping my friend do some wedding flowers. I really love that and will enjoy the drives and the immersion in love to counterbalance the dark stuff I’m immersed in. But it will take time away from this project, so having a couple more days on the back end helps.

It’s harder this time than its ever been. I don’t know why. I don’t have my Edmonds paradise and of course there is Covid putting a pall on everything. I think finding a really good meal will help. I’m almost finished with my soups and leftovers I bought from home. All I have left are snacks- bad bad. 😉

Well stopping the writing and sitting outside watching these nutty squirrels do a cirque de soleil deal on the railing to the trees and watching this sliver of a moon come up.

One last thing from today. No matter how a person resurrects their life in to something wonderful after a tragedy, there is a hole left by that person that will never be filled. I felt that today reading an old letter Cindy wrote me from college. She was one of a kind, never to be replaced, always remembered, not appreciated enough in life.

day 3

Today was a rough one. Another sleepless night, which is really getting to me.

(as you can see)

The records I read today didn’t help- Anke Dorn’s coddled, teeth pulling testimony. Knowing she’s out there living her life and she was every bit as involved in Cindy’s death as the ones in prison. At the very least, she could have saved her. She disgusts me.

Then i read the testimony of the medical examiner who did the autopsy. I’ve read it before, but it has never hit me as hard as it did today. The level of violence perpetrated on my sister, for what was a completely unprovoked financial motive. I don’t have words for how I’m feeling.

Read some more of this fascinating book called The Confidence Game and going to use that somehow in the book. It was hard to concentrate on it though for all of the above reasons.

Just hoping I can get some sleep tonight. I miss Edmonds so much. That place provided such a healing balm for me while facing all of this. I’ll get back there again one day.

Goodnight out there.