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Guilty Creatures

COMING IN JUNE 2024

From the critically acclaimed author dubbed “one of today’s finest practitioners of nonfiction” (The New York Times Book Review), a breathless true crime tale of sex, religion, and murder in the deep South.

Mike and Denise Williams had a tight knit, seemingly unbreakable bond with childhood friends, Brian and Kathy Winchester. The two couples were devout, hardworking Baptists who lived perfect, quintessentially Southern lives. Their friendship seemed ironclad. That is, until December 16, 2000, when Denise’s husband Mike disappeared while duck hunting on Lake Seminole.

After no body was found, everyone assumed that Mike had drowned in a tragic accident, his body eaten by alligators. But things took an unexpected turn when, within five years of Mike’s disappearance, Brian Winchester divorced his wife and married Denise. Their surprising romance set tongues talking. People began wondering how long they had been a couple, and whether they had anything to do with Mike’s death. It took another twelve years for the truth to come out—and when it did, it was unimaginable.

Now, the full, shocking story is revealed by Mikita Brottman, acclaimed true crime writer of the “enthralling” (San Francisco Book Review) An Unexplained Death. Through tenacious research and clear-eyed prose, she probes the psychology of a couple who killed and explores how it feels to live for eighteen years with murder on the soul.

A fascinating page-turner of modern noir, Guilty Creatures is destined to become an instant true crime classic.

“Propulsive, harrowing, and ironic, Mikita Brottman’s Guilty Creatures is an intricate exploration of some of today’s biggest head-scratchers: crime, marriage, religion, and Florida. In this impeccably-researched story, Brottman investigates how, under pressure, morals twist to justify even cold-blooded murder. Guilty Creatures is a fascinating look into marital pain, denial, the social power of Christianity, and the tragic things humans do to each other while chasing that ever-elusive feeling: relief.”

—Erika Krouse, author of Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation

“Mikita Brottman’s Guilty Creatures could have slinked out of fiction by Flannery O’Connor or Donna Tartt—not to mention James M. Cain—and they come alive in this richly atmospheric, deeply researched, and terrifying true crime book.”

Betsy Bonner, author of The Book of Atlantis Black: The Search for a Sister Gone Missing