Murderer Tracey Richter’s ex-husband, Michael Roberts, responds to factual errors in what is otherwise the true-crime masterpiece Beautifully Cruel by M. William Phelps
In the interest of brevity, I will simply publish in open letter form, a slightly redacted version of my initial request for contact with M. William Phelps which is pasted below.
I’ve been off-grid for a few days over the new year, I discovered your book 2 days before I left, and read it while away.
I can vaguely recall Ben Smith mentioning you a few years ago, I think I gave permission for him to share my contact details but did not hear from you. As such, I thought the project was a non-starter. The fact that I did not know the project was progressing highlighted my healing process over the last seven years. During the tumultuous years where no one believed me; or thought I was crazy, my hyper-vigilance which would’ve been described by some as
paranoia,would have had me monitoring every aspect of Tracey’s activities. Your project would have indeed appeared on my radar; as would the book’s publication a full year ago, which I completely missed.
I commend you on your work. Your ability to filter out the noise and reduce the innumerable events that constitute the complex trail of carnage that Tracey left, to the most important and compelling aspects, was very artful. Now that my children have come of age they have begun asking questions that their earlier denial did not permit. I have been hesitant to go into too much detail about their mother. After reading your book, I realize how many details there are, for which even I was still unaware. I have been slowly introducing new facts to the kids as they broach the topic. However, now that I have discovered your book, I think that is the perfect medium to open their eyes. This is due to your objectivity in telling the story. I am impressed far beyond expectations. I must say, having been in the firing line of so much “spin”, defamation, and checkbook journalism, for me to defer to your book for this important duty to my children, speaks volumes.
I appreciate your stated reasons for not interviewing me. In retrospect, I am happy that you did not. Notwithstanding, there are a few minor corrections I would very respectfully request for your Kindle version and any reprints in the future. Would you be amenable to discussing the same?
With my kindest regards,
Licensed Private Investigator # 3589109
Journalist # A 10450 LAPC
Digital Forensic & Internet Litigation Support
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