Beauty Killers by Kathy Braidhill (April 2010)

Many Questions Left Unanswered
Review by Kim Cantrell

Micheal “Mike” Thornton was a successful businessman. He had multiple homes, fancy cars, a healthy, six-figure bank account.

And a dark side. Fueled by an addiction to meth.

He met Janeen Snyder when she became a friend of his daughter, Angela, and moved in with the family.

Despite still being married to and living with his third wife, Mike openly began an affair with the then fourteen-year-old Janeen.

Their relationship would prove to be deadly.

Kathy Braidhill recounts the story of how Mike used powerful mind control tactics to train Janeen to be a killer and his partner in twisted, sick sex crimes motivated my pedophilia tendencies, revenge, and outright evil.

Beauty Killers is a fast-paced, 229 page true crime read that captivates readers from beginning to end.

Using a present-to-past alternating style, Braidhill creates a vivid recall of Thornton and Snyder’s crimes.

While a book well worth reading, unfortunately Braidhill doesn’t provide what most true crime readers are looking for: background.

How did a successful businessman become a killer? Did something happen in childhood or was he born this way? How did a 14-year-old girl fall prey to a sadistic bastard? Was she neglected or did the dark side already exist and Thornton just nutured it?

While there are hints to the answers, no real in-depth information is provided.

And that’s a MAJOR disappointment!

Oh, and lest I forget, don’t let the title fool you. A byline states, “He lived for her beauty. She killed for her pleasure.” No where in this book did I get that Thornton was living for her beauty, or that she was killing for his pleasure. Looks had nothing, so it seemed, to do with this couple. The appropriate wording would have read: He lived to control her, she killed because she was controlled.

On the upside, the epilogue is a super-condensed version of the trial; which, personally, I applaud. I am not at all a fan of books that get weighted down in minute Court details just to fill pages.

Since it appears that Beauty Killers is the only book to date written about this case, then I’m going to recommend it. However, just be prepared to walk away with many, many questions.

Buy new and used copies of this book at:
Amazon    Barnes and Noble    eBay    Half.com    Abebooks    Indie Bound

Updates from this book:

Janeen Snyder is still seeking the company of men, even from behind bars, via online personals ads.

Friends of Michelle Curran have created a memorial page for her at MySpace.