Badge of Betrayal

Joe Cantlupe, Author, Lisa Petrillo, With
Joe Cantlupe, Author, Lisa Petrillo, With Avon Books $4.99 (280p) ISBN 978-0-380-76009-1
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Cara Knott was the archetypal All-American girl: at the age of 20, she was blonde, beautiful and in love. Craig Peyer was a by-the-book California Highway Patrol cop. After pulling Cara off a highway on the day after Christmas, 1986, Peyer murdered her. The resulting investigation, arrest and two trials (the first ended in a hung jury, the second in a conviction)p. 198 made headlines throughout the country. In their first book, the authors, reporters for the San Diego Union, portray Cara as almost too nice to be true, detail the criminal investigation and the trial machinations extensively, and reveal the innermost thoughts of the victim's family. But Peyer remains a mystery man; the authors fail to present any motive for the murder. Peyer had many times previously pulled young women off the road to a secluded spot, but why he killed Cara is never learned. Marjorie Huntington, a probation officer who interviewed Peyer, claimed he was bored and offers simply that ``their fates became intermeshed,'' but that is far from the closure most readers would like. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
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