If You Tell
A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood
by Gregg Olsen
Pub Date 01 Dec 2019
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen’s shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother’s house of horrors.
After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom, it claws like an eagle’s talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now.
For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders.
Harrowing and heartrending, If You Tell is a survivor’s story of absolute evil—and the freedom and justice that Nikki, Sami, and Tori risked their lives to fight for. Sisters forever, victims no more, they found a light in the darkness that made them the resilient women they are today—loving, loved, and moving on.
A Note From the Publisher
“A true-crime tour de force.” —Steve Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of No Stone Unturned
“Even the most devoted true-crime reader will be shocked by the maddening and mind-boggling acts of horror that Gregg Olsen chronicles in this book. Olsen has done it again, giving readers a glimpse into a murderous duo that’s so chilling, it will have your head spinning. I could not put this book down!” —Aphrodite Jones, New York Times bestselling author
“A suspenseful, horrific, and yet fascinating character study of an incredibly dysfunctional and dangerous family by Gregg Olsen, one of today’s true-crime masters.” —Caitlin Rother, New York Times bestselling author
“There’s only one writer who can tell such an intensely horrifying, psychotic tale of unspeakable abuse, grotesque torture, and horrendous serial murder with grace, sensitivity and class…A riveting, taut, real-life psychological suspense thrill ride…All at once compelling and original, Gregg Olsen’s If You Tell is an instant true-crime classic.” —M. William Phelps, New York Times bestselling author
“We all start life with immense promise, but in our first minute, we cannot know who’ll ultimately have the greatest impact on our lives, for better or worse. Here, Gregg Olsen—the heir apparent to legendary crime writers Jack Olsen and Ann Rule—explores the dark side of that question in his usual chilling, heartbreaking prose. Superb and creepy storytelling from a true-crime master.” —Ron Franscell, author of Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story
“A master of true crime returns with a vengeance. After a decade detour into novels, Gregg Olsen is back with a dark tale of nonfiction from the Pacific Northwest that will keep you awake long after the lights have gone out. The monster at the heart of If You Tell is not your typical boogeyman, not some wandering drifter or man in a van. No. In fact, they called her…mother. And yet this story is about hope and renewal in the face of evil and how three sisters can find the goodness in the world after surviving the worst it has to offer. Classic true crime in the tradition of In Cold Blood and The Stranger Beside Me.” —James Renner, author of True Crime Addict
“This nightmare walked on two legs and some of her victims called her mom. In If You Tell, Gregg Olsen documents the horrific mental and physical torture Shelly Knotek inflicted on everyone in her household. A powerful story of cruelty that will haunt you for a long time.” —Diane Fanning, author of Treason in the Secret City
“Bristling with tension, gripping from the first pages, Gregg Olsen’s masterful portrait of children caught in the web of a coldly calculating killer fascinates. A read so compelling it kept me up late into the night, If You Tell exposes incredible evil that lived quietly in small-town America. That the book is fact, not fiction, terrifies.” —Kathryn Casey, bestselling author of In Plain Sight