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True Crime General

The Charming Predator

The True Story of How I Fell in Love with and Married a Sociopathic Fraud

by (author) Lee Mackenzie

Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
General, Criminals & Outlaws, Hoaxes & Deceptions
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price

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She fell in love with him, they married and then she found out who he was: a conman who was determined to destroy her. 
     The instant bestselling story of Lee Mackenzie, who was a capable and confident young woman, studying broadcast journalism and honing her skills of observation and objectivity. She was also a little unworldly, the product of a small, rural Western Canadian community where doors were never locked and life was simple and direct. On a backpacking trip in the UK, she met the man who would become her husband. A man who everyone agreed was one of the most intelligent, charming people they had ever met. Easy to like, easy to believe. Easy to love. A man without mercy who shattered her emotionally, psychologically and financially.
     Decades later, Kenner Jones is at large today, having committed crimes around the world under a series of fake names and personas. He has been described—by a seasoned US immigration officer—as "the best conman I have ever encountered."
     No one got closer to Kenner Jones than Lee Mackenzie. In The Charming Predator, he is unmasked for the first time.

About the author

Contributor Notes

LEE MACKENZIE was born in Ladysmith, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She spent 21 years as a broadcast journalist and news anchor: with CBC Television in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Windsor, Ontario; and Edmonton, Alberta; with CBC Radio in London, UK; and with CHEK television in Victoria, British Columbia. When she left journalism she and her husband Harv moved to Powell River, on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. Lee is a member of the administrative staff at her local detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and is a professional artist.

Excerpt: The Charming Predator: The True Story of How I Fell in Love with and Married a Sociopathic Fraud (by (author) Lee Mackenzie)

A Solitary Traveller
Conwy Castle, tucked into a corner of North Wales, was the first real castle I had ever seen. As I gazed at it, I let the weight of my backpack slide off my shoul­ders and drop to the ground. I was twenty-six years old and had travelled from my home in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. Conwy, with its rustic, rounded storybook towers and turrets, was a sight right out of my childhood imaginings.
     The bus had stopped at Llandudno Junction across the bridge from Conwy. The road sign pointed to the village of Deganwy and the town of Llandudno in one direction, Colwyn Bay in the other and Conwy straight ahead. How to decide?
     On impulse I turned toward Llandudno.
     I walked right through the main part of the town, drawn by the open space and the sounds of the ocean.
     Llandudno’s graceful crescent beach was soon before me, winding gently from the Great Orme to the Little Orme at the far end of the waterfront. Orme is the Welsh word for “headland.” The Great Orme is a huge, stratified mound of granite that was a favourite haunt of the Druids. Many a windswept ceremonial group has trudged and chanted on the shoulders of the Great Orme.
     Tall, pastel-coloured hotels crowded side by side, fac­ing the stormy sea. In front of the hotels a wide, paved promenade followed the curve of the bay.
     I stood there, soaking up the sight and smell of the sea, then looked right and left on the promenade. I could see a green hut bearing the sign of the Welsh Tourist Board. I headed over.
     There was barely enough room for my pack and me both to get through the doorway. Two travellers were already there, making inquiries. When they left, I went up to the counter.
     “Hello!” said the tourist officer. “Can I be of assistance?”
     He had a pleasant voice and spoke with the musically urgent accent of the North Welsh. He was short—only about five feet five inches tall—and had dark hair that wound itself into large curls, softening his face and warm­ing his blue-grey eyes. He had a scruffy three-week-old beard. He smiled warmly, and made me feel as though I had his full attention and plenty of time.
     “Yes, please. I am looking for a place to stay.” I heard my voice as clipped and colourless by comparison with his.
     “Ah! You are an American!”
     “No, I’m Canadian,” I said, sounding slightly defensive.
     “Well, that’s even better! Would you care to sign our overseas visitors’ book?”
     I hated signing those books. Who ever looked at them, anyway? Always the same polite, unimaginative scrawls wherever you went: “Beautiful scenery”; “We loved it”; “Very nice.”
     Kenner Elias Jones reached inside his blazer jacket, took out a gold fountain pen, uncapped it and handed it to me. It was elegant and nicely balanced. I paused for a brief moment to appreciate it then finished writing and pushed the book back across the counter. My script was easy to see on the page because the pen had a wide nib and was charged with turquoise ink.
     Kenner inspected the page. “Oh, I see you’re from British Columbia! You’re an awfully long way from home, aren’t you? And what’s this? K-l-a-how-ya Till-tillicum? What the devil is that?”
     “It’s a west coast Native phrase that means ‘Greetings, friend.’ So there you go. Learn that and you’ll be able to speak a Canadian language.”
     He practised it a few times. We both laughed.
     I handed the pen back to him. “It’s marvellous,” I said. “The ink flows so easily it almost makes you want to sit and write.”
     “Thank you.” Kenner smiled, carefully recapped the pen and tucked it back into his jacket. “It’s very precious to me.”
     He recaptured my gaze and held my eyes a moment.
     Then came the questions: Where was I going? Was I travelling by myself? How long would I be there? The conversation carried on while he made arrangements for my stay.
     I asked him to book my room for a few nights. It would be nice to stay put for a while and explore. And I had found someone to talk to. Travelling alone had many rewards, but for me loneliness was something I hadn’t expected.
     I left Kenner to his other travellers after promising to come back and visit during the next few days. My budget was tight and my room was in the lowest price range. That meant getting the room key in the hotel lobby and lugging my pack up five floors by myself to a tiny room in the attic.
     I opened the door and my aching arms gladly dumped my pack in a corner. It was always this way. When I would finally stop somewhere after a day of travelling, putting that pack down knowing I wouldn’t have to pick it up again until the next day was like being let out of jail. Then I’d fall on my back on the bed and stare at the ceiling while I let the tiredness seep out of my shoulders and neck.
     It was a good pack. I had shopped carefully for it before leaving Canada. It was made of orange waterproof canvas and had a strong but light internal aluminum frame. The shoulder straps and hip belt were wide and well padded. When properly adjusted, the hip belt bore most of the pack’s weight. I had filled the pack completely and strapped a sleeping bag on the outside. When I wasn’t wearing my straw sun hat, I would tie it to the top of the pack and it would swing gently behind.
     My pack seemed to take on a personality of its own. It went everywhere with me; sat on my knee on buses and trains and beside me in restaurants. It endured being shoved, tugged and struggled with; it tolerated accusa­tions of overweight and unmanageability with a stoic calm. It knew I wouldn’t leave it behind. I laughed quietly to myself thinking about my silent companion. Earlier in the day I had stopped at a café for lunch. After being shown to a table for two, I put my pack on the chair oppo­site me, since it would be easier to pick up from there than from the floor. Feeling particularly lonely, I took off my straw hat and put it on the top of the pack. So my shape­less, orange, chapeau-adorned lunch guest stared quietly across the table at me as I ate my meal.
     Once I had settled into my poky room in Llandudno and rested a bit, I went back downstairs and outside to look around. For three days I roamed the town, strolling the promenade, breathing in the sea air and hiking up and around the Great Orme.
     Every afternoon I would visit Kenner in the tourist hut on the promenade. At three he’d get a coffee break, and we would walk over to a tea shop around the corner, drink cups of strong tea, eat toasted tea buns and talk. He was a wonderful conversationalist on a wide range of topics, and was funny, intelligent and had a wealth of information about Wales. It didn’t take long for me to find I was look­ing forward to our visits. True, finding a friend relieved the loneliness of solitary travel, but there was something else. Although I had only just met him, Kenner felt like someone I already knew.
     The days vanished quickly, and in keeping with the itin­erary I had set for myself, it was soon time to head north to Scotland. Kenner tried to persuade me to stay longer, but I wanted to get going. However, I did promise to stop by the tourist hut upon my return to North Wales in a few weeks’ time. The Welsh National Eisteddfod was coming up and would be held in Caernarfon, Kenner’s hometown, about twenty miles away. The Eisteddfod is the national festival of literature, music, dance and other cultural performances. It seemed an event not to be missed. Kenner tried to find me a place to stay in Caernarfon for that week, but all hotels and bed-and-breakfasts were booked.
     “You can’t come all this way and miss the Eisteddfod,” Kenner said. “Come and stay for the week with me and Mother. She loves to have guests.”
     “Are you sure there is room?”
     Kenner assured me there was then added, “It’s only a small house. Nothing posh like you Canadians are used to.”
     We both laughed and I expressed my thanks. It appeared a generous, kind offer. I agreed to stop in Llandudno on my way back from Scotland. Off I went in the best of spirits.
     After several weeks enjoying the highlands, lowlands and islands of Scotland, I returned to North Wales and once again found my way to the tourist hut in Llandudno. Kenner seemed genuinely happy to see me and rang up his mother to say their guest was on the way. He took out his gold pen and wrote some directions on a scrap of paper then handed the paper to me, smiling. “Don’t get lost,” he said, “or Mother will be frantic.”
     I left and found the bus heading south. The ancient vehi­cle wound its way through the byways and back roads to Bangor, Port Dinorwic and finally Caernarfon’s town square.
     The square was the terminus for all the local and regional buses. They came and went from long concrete islands under the watchful eye of a statue of David Lloyd George. Rows of shops ringed the open space. At one end was the imposing fortress of Caernarfon Castle. I wanted to stop and explore, but thinking someone would be expecting me, I took out the scrap of paper with Kenner’s handwritten directions:
     “Take the street that leaves the square and goes past the Castle Pharmacy. When you get to the department store, turn right and continue on until you come to Lon Ysgol— then Victoria Road, Pendalar to Cil Coed. Go left on Cil Coed, right on Caer Garreg. Watch for five concrete steps.”
     I had to ask for help along the way, but I soon found myself at the gate to the small garden of 11 Glan Peris, in a row of undistinguished houses. I didn’t know what to expect when I reached the front door. What would this lady be like? Would she approve of me? Would I feel com­fortable or want to get away? With my pack strapped on my back and my sun hat in my hand, I took a deep breath and knocked. There was no reply. I knocked again.
     This time a voice called, “Come in—it’s open.”
     I entered. “Hello?”
     No answer, so I walked through the minuscule kitchen and into the not-much-larger sitting room. There on the sofa sat Kenner’s mother, Primrose Elias Jones. She was a short, plump woman with large glasses, grey dishevelled hair, stubby brown shoes and a worn polyester dress. Tears were rolling down her face.
     “I’ve been waiting for you to come. I just knew you’d come.”
     My pack still on my back, I sat down beside her and put my arms around her. Whatever was the matter?
     “Mrs. Jones, what is it? Are you all right? Shall I call for someone?”
     Confused, I sat there and held her. She cried for a few minutes like a heartbroken, tired child. Then she recovered.
     “I’m sorry. That was no way to welcome a guest. I just had the feeling that you would be someone I could talk to, and I’ve been waiting for you all day. I’m so glad you’re here. Let me make you a cup of tea and you can put your things over here . . .”
     Primrose bustled about. She seemed to have collected herself for the moment, so I decided to let her explain her­self in her own time. While she made tea, I looked around the room. It had a tiny coal fireplace, with an exceed­ingly sooty rug in front of it. A grimy yellow plastic bucket half filled with coal sat on the hearth. An alarm clock ticked loudly on the top of the television set. On the wall was a black-and-white photograph of Caernarfon’s town square on a busy market day. Nearby was a picture of a school choir.
     Orangey-brown curtains covered the window that overlooked the garden. Two birds were sitting on a clothes­line strung between the house and the garden wall. An unruly fuchsia bush threatened to overwhelm every other plant nearby, but a few flowers and one rosebush appeared to be holding their own.
     Primrose came back carrying a tray with a teapot, cups and saucers, milk, sugar and a plate of biscuits. As we sipped our tea, she asked me about my journey from Llandudno and whether I had been able to follow Kenner’s directions.
     “They were a bit confusing,” I said. “I asked a few people along the way to make sure I was going in the right direction. The streets and signs are all in Welsh, so it was a challenge.”
     “Well, you’re here,” said Primrose. “And we’re happy to have you.”
     At the front door, a dog whined and scratched. Primrose went through the house and opened the door to admit a small Sheltie. Timmy barked severely at me for a few min­utes in spite of repeated admonishments. Eventually quiet returned, and Primrose began to explain why she had been in tears when I arrived.
     Her life had been a hard one, she said. She had been left a widow when Kenner was only a few months old and had to raise him alone. “No one wanted to help me. And then he made a few mistakes, and people want to talk about him and tell stories, and it’s hard to live in the town and put up with the things people say. Why don’t they just leave us alone and let us live our own lives?”
     I wasn’t entirely sure what all this was about. But in keeping with my role as a listener, I decided she would explain in due time if she wanted to. I wasn’t to know at that point that she was going to unburden her heart and tell me stories of her life, her marriage and her struggles to raise Kenner. For now, she settled on telling me about her sister, Arial.
     She and Arial had left their family home in Devon for North Wales as young women. Primrose worked as a nurse and Arial as a secretary. Arial was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was looked after by her adoring sister until she died.
     Primrose, weeping again, stopped to gather herself.
     “The worst thing of all was Arial didn’t even recog­nize me that last while before her death. And you know what? She never said thank-you for all the care I took of her for years and years. And when the undertaker came with the coffin, they put my sister in it and brought it down the stairs, but it was too big to go through the front door. Can you imagine that? Oh, it was different bringing it in. They didn’t have the lid on and they could turn it sideways to get around the corners. But then when my poor sister was inside, they couldn’t get it back out. They had to take the glass out of the window in the front room and then took the coffin through the window. I was horrified! That night I went to the meeting where the town council was, and I marched right in and I said to them that they had better smarten up when they build houses in this town. Because people not only have to live in them they have to die in them. I really told them, I did!”
     Primrose dried her tears and took me upstairs to show me where I would be sleeping. There were three bedrooms and a bathroom. One bedroom was used for storage, the second was Kenner’s and the third Primrose’s. There were two single beds in Primrose’s room. I was to sleep in one of them.
     “I got these beds so that I could have Arial nearby me all the time.” Primrose spoke in a quiet voice. “Before she got poorly, we would talk at night like schoolgirls. But when her condition got worse and worse, she used to get scared. In the night she would call out and reach across for me. I’d find her hand in the dark and hold on tight. And we’d lie there, holding hands between the beds until she fell asleep. I’d have to pry her fingers open to get my hand away.”
     I didn’t know what to say. Primrose stood for a few seconds, lost in memories, and then stood up straighter and looked at me.
     “I miss her dreadfully.”
     After stowing my pack in a corner, I followed her back downstairs. This was my first real look at the kitchen because I had come through it quickly when I entered the house. It seemed to me more like a hallway. It was dark and narrow, with a window at one end and a curtained doorway into the sitting room at the other end. A gas range took up a good deal of space against one wall. There was no refrigerator. The countertops were worn, scratched blue laminate and the cupboard fronts painted off-white. The ceiling and the walls were somewhat grimy. The floor was finished with blue tiles that had rarely, if ever, seen a good wash. It made me wonder what sort of upbringing Kenner had had. Had his childhood home been cozy, nurturing, happy?
     I helped prepare a simple supper of grilled lamb chops, cauliflower with cheese sauce, and boiled potatoes. Everything was cooking nicely by the time Kenner arrived home around seven. Timmy heard him and was barking furiously before Kenner even unlatched the garden gate. As he came in the back door, Timmy went wild, yelping and frisking about. Kenner’s cheery “Hello!” went almost unheard amid the racket. After giving Timmy a good roughing in the kitchen, he came through the curtain into the living room.
     “Well, I see you made your way here safe and sound. Right, then, Mother, what do you think of our Canadian guest? I certainly can pick them, can’t I?”
     Primrose had cheered up considerably when Kenner appeared. He stood there smiling, rubbing his hands in a sort of washing motion, peering through his glasses.
     “I see you have supper well and truly started, Mother. I’ll look after it from here. You two ladies just sit there and enjoy yourselves.”
     A few minutes later he came back into the room with cutlery and napkins, which he distributed to us, then went back into the kitchen. He reappeared with two plates heaped with steaming food.
     Once we were settled, he brought in his own plate and we ate. He asked about my journey to the house that day and then described the tourists who had visited the hut on the promenade in Llandudno. Nothing was said by me or by Primrose about the sad discussions of the afternoon. Instead she described our day as filled with pleasant con­versation—a lovely opportunity to get to know each other. I followed her lead, since she was clearly making an effort to put the best face on things and not let on that she had been unhappy and telling me family stories.
     After more chatting and some television, we all retired. I was tucked away in the bed that had belonged to Arial. Primrose made small talk after the lights were out, but I was exhausted and fell into a deep sleep as she spoke.
The first thing I heard the next morning was a knock on the bedroom door. Kenner came barging in while Primrose and I struggled into wakefulness. He was carrying two trays.
     “ ’Morning, ladies! Breakfast!”
     I barely had time to boost myself into a sitting posi­tion before I found in front of me poached eggs on toast, bacon, a grilled tomato, orange juice, a cup of tea and a vase of flowers.
     “I hope you like eggs. I took the chance that you would.” He smiled at me, rubbing his hands as he had the previous night, head tilted to one side.
     I assured him I did. He stayed with us for a few minutes as we chatted about the weather then left to catch the bus for Llandudno. While Primrose and I ate, I realized I felt as though I was in some kind of book where I was suddenly the centre of attention. I had never had someone get up early to make me breakfast in bed and then serve it with politeness and flourish. I felt special—but uncomfortable, too.
I spent a week in Caernarfon. A routine soon took shape. In the morning Primrose and I would bustle about, doing a bit of laundry, tidying up the place and deciding by eleven that it was certainly time for a cup of tea. Neighbours would come and go during the day. They would always be served tea and biscuits while they talked about whichever neighbour didn’t happen to be there at the time. I was continually flooded with details and gos­sip about the townsfolk, debate about what to cook for supper and who was at the shops today and what they were buying.
     One thing I found strange was that in all the endless conversations, Primrose’s visitors asked very few questions of me. Here I was, having travelled almost halfway around the world, yet they seemed to have no curiosity about me at all. They magnified the drama and importance of the small­est details of their own lives. I wondered at one point if they were just following some code of politeness in not explor­ing my experiences and impressions. But they really didn’t seem to care. I wasn’t offended, just surprised.
     I, on the other hand, enjoyed listening to them chatter in their wonderful lilting accent. In fact, instead of paying attention to what they were saying, I was fascinated with how they said it.
Another routine quickly emerged. Every day as soon as the chores were done, the neighbours had gone and quiet had settled in, Primrose would begin her stories. She had meant what she said. She did indeed see me as someone she could talk to. And when I thought about it, I could see why. I came from far, far away and had no connections with her and her history or any of the people involved. When I left, who would I possibly tell?
     I felt badly for Primrose, who seemed so lonely and heartsore. No matter how frustrating it was at times I never interrupted or minimized what she was saying. I was a polite listener—the perfect audience. Never once did she reveal our conversations to Kenner. Instead she seemed to go to great lengths to pretend to him that everything was wonderful and she was perfectly happy. He would appear to believe her but perhaps was simply choosing to ignore the truth. I felt that by giving my time and attention as she told her stories, I was repaying her kindness in having me in her home. I found myself often just taking a deep breath and encouraging myself to be patient.
     The very first morning after my arrival Primrose began.
“I was a nurse. And I loved being a nurse. My job was at the local sanatorium. That’s where the tuberculosis patients were.”
     It was easy to imagine her as a young woman, dressed in her perfectly pressed and starched uniform, making her way through the streets of Caernarfon with a quick and confident step.
     “Medicine then wasn’t what medicine is now,” she continued. “Tuberculosis was common, and I was needed. I loved being needed. But I didn’t want to marry.” Primrose’s voice shifted a few notes higher. “Arial and I just wanted to live together and neither of us wanted a husband. That was our plan.”
     But it didn’t work out that way.
     John Elias Jones was a tuberculosis patient at the san­atorium. When Primrose came to the door of the men’s ward, she could see John’s face light up.
     “He’d say, ‘Hello, Nurse Hawkins.’ And when I said, ‘Hello, John, how are you doing?’ he would smile like a happy child and say, ‘Much better, now that you are here, Nurse.’ Ooooh, I told myself. Watch out.”
     Primrose tried to brush him off. “I hoped he wasn’t entertaining any ideas about me,” she said. “I couldn’t pos­sibly get involved with him. I didn’t want a husband. I was much older than he was, anyway. And besides that, well, he just wasn’t my type. He was tall and skinny and had huge ears and a mop of untameable hair. No, no, not for me.”
     Primrose sighed. “Eventually he got better and the doctor said he could go. I felt relieved. I thought that was the end of it.”
     The first day Primrose went to work after John Elias Jones had been discharged from the hospital, she got a surprise.
     “I had finished my shift and was going home. When I came out the front door of the sanatorium, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, standing at the gate, was John, and I thought: Oh no.” The expression on Primrose’s face mir­rored her feelings at the time—a combination of frustration and annoyance. “I took a deep breath and headed for the gate,” she said. “I had no choice.”
     For a fleeting moment she thought, hoped, that John was there to see someone else. Not so. “‘Hello, Nurse Hawkins,’ he says to me. What cheek! I had done nothing to encourage this man. But no, no, he wasn’t going to accept that.” John said he would like to walk Primrose home. She tried to decline his offer, but he insisted. “What could I do? It’s a free country. I couldn’t stop him from walking where he wanted to.” John saw Primrose to her door and then went to his own home, on Snowdon Street, where he lived with his mother and his brother William.
Life at the house on Snowdon Street turned out to be a story in itself. Primrose explained that the house was like so many of the old, original houses in Caernarfon, built of stone and cold masonry, the heating limited to coal fires. The darkened rooms with small windows could be chilly and airless.
     According to Primrose, it was well known in town that it wasn’t a happy home and commonly accepted that the source of the unhappiness was John and William’s mother.
     “Oh no,” she said bitterly. “Who could possibly be happy living with the Old Dutch?”
     I didn’t interrupt to ask why Primrose called her that. Presumably it was derived from Duchess. Certainly it was uttered with pure dislike.
     “She,” Primrose said, “was a nasty, hard old woman. She had five children. Five! But she didn’t believe in doc­tors. Oh no. And when her children were sick, do you think she’d call for the doctor? Not a chance.” Primrose paused, remembering; she was almost vibrating with outrage. “She always knew best. And for all that what happened? She let three—three—children die because she wouldn’t let the doctor see them. She buried them and still believed she was right. She was stupid. Mad.”
     “So how was it that John was allowed into the sanato­rium?”
     “Well, by the time he was sick with tuberculosis, he was not a child anymore. She couldn’t tell him what to do. So he came to the hospital. It saved his life. Don’t think for a minute that the Old Dutch approved. But she had to bite her tongue. Stupid woman.”
The Eisteddfod was being held in a vast tent in a farmer’s field just outside the town. Kenner guided me around the grounds one day, taking me into some of the exhibition booths and translating for me, as only Welsh was spoken. I was overwhelmed by what I was seeing and hearing. What an adventure to wander about and see things that looked different, try new foods and listen to incomprehen­sible chatter. I loved it. Kenner was a perfect host and gentleman. He patiently explained the customs, recipes and some of the magic of the Welsh language. Being in his company was easy. I let myself imagine what it would be like if this was my home, my life.
     When the day was over and supper finished back at Primrose’s house, Kenner suggested we go for a walk. It was a rainy night, so we put on our waterproof jackets and went down through the town, past the castle and over the estuary to a park on the other side. We walked quietly in the rain for about an hour. I remember looking at him walking in front of me and wondering, as I had earlier that day, if I could see myself here, with this person. He wasn’t physically attractive to me, but he was charming, intelligent, entertaining. So what was it that made me feel unsettled? I didn’t know.
Kenner walked ahead of me in the dim light. His jacket was dark and slick, with water streaming in the folds of fabric. The pathway was soggy underfoot. Leaves on the trees dripped and shook with the weight of the raindrops. I sud­denly realized I was damp and uncomfortable, and swamped with a feeling that I really did not want to be there. Right at that moment Kenner half turned to look back at me, not breaking his stride. His face was framed by the hood of his jacket. I could see his eyes and a half grin, a frightening, sly, conniving-looking smile. His eyes were empty. I felt as if he was checking to see if I was still there, within reach; as if he couldn’t believe his luck, like a spider with a fly caught in its web. I didn’t feel safe.
     We kept walking. He glanced back several times again and looked at me with those unreadable eyes.
     Relief washed through me when we left the wild area and got back into the town. Under the lights and in the street I wondered if my imagination had been running away with me. Perhaps I was being too dramatic, too harsh. Back home, with a hot cup of tea in hand and my feet warming by the coal fire, I tried to forget that face. But it surfaced in my thoughts throughout the evening, and each time it did, I cringed inside.

Editorial Reviews

National Bestseller
"Lee Mackenzie had brains, looks and talent. . . . So how could she fall for a con man who very nearly destroyed her and who managed to spread lies and misery across three continents? For every time you've read a tale of the criminal's wife (Ruth Madoff, are you listening?) and wondered 'How did she not know?', this is your answer. . . . How he does it, how she got out of the trap and how he managed to slip out of Canada and spread his cons elsewhere make this true-crime book solid reading." —The Globe and Mail
"This is the surprisingly well-documented story of [Mackenzie's] courtship and marriage, a brief union that cleaned out her bank account and brought the cops to her door. Jones comes across as a troubled man with a pathological need to deceive and betray, perhaps no one more than himself." —Toronto Star
"This is no ordinary true-crime book. . . . It's a riveting memoir." —The Chronicle Herald 

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