Jana Carpenter Koklich and Bruce Koklich seemed like the ideal couple. She was an attractive 41-year-old blonde, the doted-on only child of a once-powerful California state senator. He was the dedicated and loving husband. Together they owned a lucrative Norwalk, California, real estate business, and a computer business, owned a pair of luxurious houses, and drove high-end cars.
Then in August 2001, Jana Carpenter Koklich went to an Eric Clapton concert with friends.
She was never heard from again.
Bruce Koklich painted himself as the grieving husband. He turned up on news broadcasts, tearfully pleading for his wife's safe return. But something wasn't right.
First of all, there were inexplicable money problems that police traced back to some of Bruce Koklich's shadier business dealings. Then there was the shadowy business partner who came out of the woodwork and the million dollar insurance policy on Jana Carpenter Koklich's life. Topping it all off were the supposedly grieving husband's sleazy secret attempts to bed his 18-year-old niece while his wife was secretly missing!
Eventually, those who had been close to Jana grew suspicious of the man she had married. And no one was more suspicious than her father, former State Senator Paul Carpenter. He was dying of cancer in Texas, but still found in his decaying body the strength for one last fight. It would be the fight of his life: Justice for Jana Carpenter Koklich.
Finally, in late 2003, after Jana's blood-stained car had been found, a California jury convicted Bruce Koklich for her murder and sentenced him to fifteen years to life in prison. Paul Carpenter did not live to see justice done.
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BRUCE AND JANA KOKLICH SEEMED TO HAVE IT ALL-
On a summer night in August, 2001, Jana Carpenter Koklich, daughter of former California State Senator Paul Carpenter, came home from an Eric Clapton concert, went inside her house, and was never seen again. But even before her blood-laden SUV was found abandoned in a high-crime area's ramshackle garage, suspicion had already fallen on her husband Bruce.
A LUCRATIVE CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE BUSINESS, A LUXURIOUS HOME, A SOLID MARRIAGE, AND A FUTURE THAT SEEMED UNLIMITED...
Bruce's yearning for a big financial score, his shady business deals, and evidence that he was later trying to coerce his own teenage niece into a sordid affair, all signaled a dire warning. So, too, did his million-dollar insurance policy on Jana's life.
UNTIL IT ALL...
From the start Bruce maintained his innocence. But the circumstances of Jana's disappearance would result in two stunning trials that would eventually reveal deadly secrets of greed, sex, and murder. And even after the verdict, the secrets would continue...
VANISHEDAbout the Author:
Carlton Smith wrote the New York Times bestselling The Search for the Green River Killer. An award-winning journalist for The Los Angeles Times and The Seattle Times during the 1970s and 1980s, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting in 1988. His books include Mind Games, Cold Blooded, The Prom Night Murders, Cold as Ice and In the Arms of Evil. There are more than two million copies of his books in print.
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