Simple, Safe & Secret: The 1981 Murder of Joan L. Webster by Eve Carson


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It's worse than you think...


It was a brisk April morning in 1990 when a woman walking her dog stopped cold in her tracks. She reeled back from something strange and disturbing blocking the drainage tile: a human skull. Forensic examination showed that it was the remains of Joan Webster, the 25-year-old Harvard graduate student whose disappearance had rattled the community and stumped investigators for the past eight and a half years. The prosecutors had a suspect, Leonard Paradiso, who was tried and convicted for the murder of another local woman. The only similarity between the entangled crimes was that both victims had long dark hair. Assistant District Attorney Tim Burke was obsessed with proving Paradiso guilty of both murders. However, between the lack of evidence and ever-changing stories, the circumstances of Joan Webster’s death remains a mystery to this day.


Hope is not lost as Joan’s sister-in-law, Eve Carson, continues to fight for justice. Simple, Safe & Secret divulges the diabolical details and dysfunctional system that has denied and obstructed justice in solving Joan Webster’s murder case. The messy truth of the botched investigation and a wrongful conviction may be darker than the story of Joan’s murder itself.

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4 out of 5 (very good)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


This book is about the disappearance and murder of Joan Webster - the investigation took years and still, to this day, nobody is sure what took place.


This book is so well written that I forgot I was reading about an actual murder. The trauma and turmoil that the people Joan left behind go through is heart-breaking, to never know what happened must play on their minds everyday. I know it would mine.


I found that everything flowed through so smoothly and calmly considering the chaos that is being described. A lot of research has gone in to find as many facts as possible and to keep to the truth without too much of a dramatic flair and fabrication.

I would definitely recommend this book for any body who likes to read true crime.


** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Eve Carson was born and raised in Danville, Illinois. She is the middle child with an older sister and younger brother. The close-knit family faced life’s hurdles together, a source of strength through the many obstacles families face in life.


Eve graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Industrial Management and Economics. She worked for General Motors and IBM in her early career. Eve married Joan’s brother Steve on January 5, 1980 and was the only non-blood relative in the immediate family when Joan disappeared. She has two daughters, who sadly never knew their Aunt Joan.


Ms. Carson has published multiple articles and given numerous interviews. Articles about the Joan Webster murder have appeared in Crime Magazine, The Journal of Forensic Research, The Precious Hearts Foundation Magazine, The Journal of Forensic and Crime Investigation, Medium, and Unsolved Magazine. In addition, Eve presented aspects of Joan’s case to the International Forensic Research Conference twice, the Stu Taylor program, and on The Whistleblower television series.


Today, she resides in the Midwest and perseveres for justice. Eve continues her writing and works as a consultant in an unrelated field.


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