I am a true-crime junkie. Since I was a teenager, I’ve binged on Discovery ID and true-crime documentaries. Watching the new episodes of Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery, and 20/20 is a weekly ritual. And I devour true-crime books by some of my favorite authors including Ann Rule, Gregg Olsen, John Glatt, Kathryn Casey, and Michael Fleeman.
But that was my secret life for more than a decade. In my day job, I was a magazine writer and editor, working for an Arizona-based family of publications. I specialized mostly in feature stories about interesting people in the community, writing lengthy stories on Bigfoot hunters, teenage exorcists, mail-order brides, cryogenics, and cults.
Still, I was always on the lookout for interesting murder mysteries in my own backyard. In 2008, I found one just about to go to trial. A former Las Vegas showgirl named Marjorie Ann Orbin had been arrested for killing and dismembering her seventh husband, Jay Orbin. In October 2004, Jay’s dismembered torso had been discovered in an oversized Rubbermaid container on the outskirts of the Phoenix desert. The story had everything—sex, lies, money, greed, and a gruesome death.