Even the most avid true crime fans will be shocked by the story of Marcus Wesson of Fresno, California, the worst mass-murderer in the city’s history. But the horrors he inflicted upon his family are nothing compared to the strength of the survivors, and one brave reporter who risked everything to help them.
Originally published as Where Hope Begins
For decades, the family of Marcus Wesson—his wife, Elizabeth, and seventeen children—lived sequestered in a social and emotional prison, enduring his tyrannical reign of physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Then came the terrible day when a family confrontation erupted into a harrowing standoff: with police and SWAT teams descending on a small blue house in central Fresno, Marcus Wesson murdered nine of his children.
Television reporter Alysia Sofios got the first tip about Wesson’s arrest and was witness to every twist and turn of the horrific case through to Wesson’s trial. Risking her job and her life to offer friendship and support to the traumatized family members—scarred by memories and guilt, reviled for having the Wesson name—Sofios chronicles the case that shocked the nation, and gives voice to their astounding stories of survival. This is a stunning account of healing from one man’s unimaginable acts, and how each, in time, learned to break free from a deadly devotion.
Alysia Sofios is an award-winning journalist who is known in the Fresno area for her exclusive stories about the Marcus Wesson murders. She was the first reporter to hear about the story from police and the only reporter to obtain interviews with most of Wesson's family.
Sofios majored in journalism at Michigan State University. In 2000, she became a reporter and anchor at Fox affiliate WSYM in Lansing, Michigan. She was recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for her work covering the local impact of the Iraq War. She later accepted a reporting position at Fox affiliate KMPH in Fresno, California, where she remains as a reporter. She has covered the Scott Peterson and Marcus Wesson trials. Several of her stories have appeared on Fox News and CNN.
Before turning to books full-time, Caitlin Rother worked at the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Daily News in L.A. She is the author of true-crime books TWISTED TRIANGLE (Wiley, 5/08) and POISONED LOVE (Kensington, 7/05), and the novel NAKED ADDICTION (Kensington, 11/07).