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ADA Brooks says book ‘just started flowing out’

Assistant District Attorney General, Dennis Brooks has written a true-crime book, “Too Pretty to Live, the Catfishing Murders of East Tennessee,” based on murders committed in Johnson County. The book, released February 9, follows the case of what has become known as the Facebook murders where local residents, Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne, were found murdered in their home, their infant son unharmed in his mother’s arms approximately three years ago.
According to Brooks, the idea to write the book on these murder trials came after the verdict was rendered.
“It’s a very tragic crime, very shocking,” he said. He sat down to write once the ruling was handed down. According to Brooks, the story started to unfold.
“It just started flowing out,” he said.
Brooks weaves the events and facts of the case together as the reader follows the horrific crimes from the murder scene to the home of the defendants, Marvin, Barbara and Jenelle Potter to the courtroom. According to Brooks, writing the 350-page book didn’t take that long.
“I was letting my thoughts out, “ he said. “I’ve tried to share with the world what we did.”
In his book, told from his perspective, Brooks gives detailed information gathered from the analysis of the computer emails that were a key part of the prosecution’s case against the Potter women, two of the four individuals charged with the crime. An expert was brought onboard to perform a lengthy analysis of these writings. Through the many emails back and forth from Barbara and Jenelle Potter to various recipients, it was discovered that Potter family members were being cat fished. By definition, to catfish is to lure someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. In this case, someone was writing emails pretending to be several individuals who did not exist. The parties involved in this case claimed they believed that this person sending emails, known as Chris, was indeed real and worked for the CIA, despite never having met him or talked with him face to face. He was a fictitious character created in the mind of someone else.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.