A Checklist for Murder by Anthony Flacco (August 1995)

Strong Emotion Evoker Warning!
Review by Kim Cantrell

As true crime readers, we’ve all read more than our fair share of books that made us angry;  made us want to lash out at the criminals who cause undue harm to others.

But I don’t think I’ve ever felt it as strongly as I did when reading Anthony Flacco’s 1995 true crime book A Checklist for Murder.

Robert Peernock had (has) obvious anger issues, evident even in the early years of his marriage and fatherhood.

The anger was fueled, however, when he became a whistleblower against the California Department of Water Recources.  Whether he was absolute in his allegations will never be known, but, as to be expected, the harrassment lodged against him for such is very real.

And when that anger spilled into his home life, being directed at his wife, Claire, and oldest daugter, Natasha, something had to give.

Claire filed for divorce.

It was only the first step that would lead down a path of brutal murder, attempted murder, and wild accusations of conpiracy including everyone from Natasha to Judges.

Many of you are parents and in reading our genre of choice, we often think how we would give our lives to protect our children from the monsters in these books.  And when the monsters become the violators of their own children, it ignites a raging hate within us.

When you read A Checklist for Murder, prepare for a consuming desire to lash out at a man who calmly and coldly held his 18-year-old daughter captive, forced her to consume alcohol and opiates, then attempted to kill her while making it look like a horrendous car accident at the hands of drunk-driving mother.

What kind of evil, narcissistic bastard do you have to be to do such a thing?  Robert Peernock, apparently.

Flacco’s gift for research and writing a page-turning book is evident with his debut to true crime.  I highly recommend adding it to your reading list.

Updates from this book:

Robert Peernock is still proclaiming his innocence and focused on his indignities (his daughter’s is never mentioned), with his own website.