Linda L. Case is the author of the new book The Fugitive's Sister. It recounts her experiences after her sister, one of America's Most Wanted fugitives, asks for her help. Case is the former president/owner of Case Accounting and Tax Services and is a member of the Atlanta Writers Club.
Q: Why did you decide to write a book about your experiences?
A: Because my side of this unbelievable true story was never told…documents were sealed, hearings were closed and bail was denied from the very beginning.
The Fugitive’s Sister is so unusual and intertwined. It has everything…a fugitive from justice (my baby sister, one of America’s Most Wanted fugitives), betrayal, false justice, family values, sibling rivalry and survival.
Q: How did you remember all the details you include in your book? Did you need to go back and do research on the years you write about?
A: Beginning with the death of my brother, I became the only family member left to take care of everything! It was not hard to remember all the traumas and daily problems that had to be resolved. Every day was a struggle for survival.
As for remembering details, I had not erased any of my emails (received or sent) for many years. So, yes, I did go back to my emails for details like dates.
Q: You recount some very difficult experiences, for you and your family. How difficult was it to write about these events, and what do your family members think of the book?
A: Emotionally, it was very difficult to think or write about what happened. Even today, six years later, I cry when thinking of how so many lives changed forever. I put my grief into words by writing about it. My tears are on every page of my manuscript.
During my three years of probation, I saw a therapist once a week. She suggested that I write at least one chapter per week for us to discuss. She said it would be “good for me and would help me to heal.” Each week, we talked and I cried the entire hour. By the end of our sessions, the counselor was crying too.
I was on the phone with the doctor about my mom—she has Alzheimer’s and will be 92 in May. What hit me the hardest was that my sister wasn’t planning ahead for our mother’s future. But that’s Becky, it’s all about Becky.
I’ve always been very positive and happy. I talk to my daughter Sheri every day. I want to be with her. It’s very hard. But I’m optimistic.
My family is extremely proud of me and my book.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
A: There are many lessons in my book…mainly, actions have consequences! Even though my intentions were good, my actions were not.
I never thought this would happen to me. They knew they were bringing in a SWAT team, putting me in jail, denying me bail. Murderers get bail, and I had not even a traffic ticket.
Also, I’m hopeful that my story will encourage others to put their grief into words by writing about it.
Q: Are you planning to write another book?
A: Yes, a prequel titled “My Twisted Sister.” And “Linda’s Jailhouse Recipes.” (Recipes from watching the Rachael Ray show almost every day during my six months of incarceration).
Q: So your prequel would be about your relationship with your sister?
A: It would be. I would probably have to make it fiction, though. It would be based on growing up with her. My mom was always making us forgive her--that was how she grew up, thinking she could get away with it….
There are no four-letter words in there. If I can get to a point where I can talk about it with people who are going through suffering, any kind of grief—grief is real, and I believe in putting my grief into words.
Q: What about the recipe book?
A: The other inmates…they laughed about it. They would say that I was going to do "Linda’s Jailhouse Recipes"….I did watch the Rachael Ray show and Dr. Oz every morning while everybody else went back to bed. I do have all these recipes, and I am going to do a book on them, for the heck of it!...
Q: What’s your sister’s status now?
A: She’s serving at 25-year sentence in federal prison in California….it gave me a little satisfaction when the judge sentenced her…
Q: Is there any contact between her and other family members?
A: We have very few left. As far as contacting Becky, no. My daughters said they will put me away if I contact her again. I feel bad for her…but she can manipulate me…
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: There is much more to tell that is not in my book. I would like readers to know what happened to my mother because of my sister’s greed…what happened to my daughter, Sheri, and her husband, Albert...how our dream turned into a nightmare…how I lost my house to foreclosure… lost all of my retirement funds and savings to attorney fees and much, much more.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb