A Deadly Silence: The Ordeal of Cheryl Pierson, a Case of Incest and Murder

Dena Kleiman, Author
Dena Kleiman, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87113-244-4
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
One of the most striking events in recent Long Island history was the case of Cheryl Pierson, whose electrician father was fatally shot in his driveway in 1986. The community of Selden was shocked because James Pierson had seemed such a regular guybluff, hearty, extrovertedand his family close-knit and happy. But it developed that his daughter and her boyfriend, Rob Cuccio, had hired a high school classmate, Sean Pica, to commit the murder because her father had been abusing her sexually since she was 12 and now, she feared, was about to repeat the pattern with her younger sister, JoAnn. This account of the case by New York Times reporter Kleiman is investigative journalism at its bestfair and even-handed, written with compassion for human suffering. Cheryl Pierson was sentenced to five years probation; she and Cuccio are now married. Sixteen-year-old gunman Pica is serving a 24-year sentence for manslaughter. Photos not seen by PW. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate; author tour. (October)
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