Fred Rosen researches the shocking true story behind the murder of Lobster Boy—and finds his own life at risk
In his account of the sensational life and murder of Grady Stiles Jr., also known as the legendary carnival “freak” Lobster Boy, author Fred Rosen explains how Stiles’s death was engineered by his wife, Mary Teresa, the carny known as the Electrified Girl. Rosen describes how Mary Teresa arranged for her husband’s murder after years of physical and emotional abuse. The narrative is full of appearances from the couple’s colorful acquaintances, including the World’s Only Living Half Girl, Midget Man, and the Human Blockhead.
During Mary Teresa’s dramatic trial, Rosen becomes a character in his own book. When both he and the prosecution are threatened by Mary Teresa’s daughter, who Rosen believes was a co-conspirator although she was never indicted, the writer risks his life in pursuit of the truth and the evidence that leads to Mary Teresa’s conviction.
“The one true crime masterpiece I have read . . . Rosen fully succeeds in opening up two realities, ignored by most writers, that are known to outsiders only through caricature, depicting them with an unflinchingly clear eye.” —The Guardian
Fred Rosen, a former columnist for the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times, is an award-winning author of true crime and history books, including Gold!, Did They Really Do It?, and Lobster Boy. He can frequently be seen on the Investigation Discovery network’s Evil Kin and Evil Twins TV series, where he is a regular on-air commentator.