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About the author

Penny was 17 when her 25-year-old brother, Chris, and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Peta, were brutally and inexplicably murdered in 1978. No parents could have done more to seek justice for their son but eventually, and reluctantly, they had to accept that this international case was too complex for anyone to solve, and no country was prepared to pick up jurisdiction. Why such a ghastly fate should befall two ordinary kids from Manchester haunted them.

“Losing Chris was the wreckage that we, as a family, had to come to live with.”

Penny read English Literature at Lancaster University before moving to London to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Journalism at City University. A year as a reporter on a North London local newspaper was followed by the Health & Beauty Editorship of a national women’s magazine in 1986. After meeting her husband, she moved out of London to the dreaming spires of Oxford to raise a family and became a freelance journalist and public relations consultant.

Penny Farmer

“Time takes away the intense pain of grief, but it is never far from the surface. Every Christmas, every birthday, every anniversary, we raise a glass to Chris’s memory. His absence is still keenly felt.”

Long acknowledged that Boston’s sons could hold the key to solving the crime, it was in October 2015 that Penny used the internet to trace them.

“I am not a fanciful person, but it was as if the ghosts of Chris and Peta were directing me.”

She took her shocking findings to the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Cold Case Review Unit. GMP having handled the case in 1978.

The investigation was to lead to several horrifying revelations, the nature of which were beyond anyone’s worst nightmares. Boston was a monster. Until ruled out by DNA in 2016, Boston was, at one time, the prime suspect for the California Golden State Killer series of crimes. He stands as one of America’s most prolific and elusive serial killers having spent 50 years on the run.

Penny was incredulous to learn that Russell and Vince had, over the decades, tried to trace Chris and Peta’s families and made repeated attempts to get their father arrested. They were ignored and or disbelieved by multiple law enforcement agencies, including here in England and the FBI and Interpol.

“Being a journalist, it felt natural to write a book about the catastrophic event that has devastated my family. My primary aim was to create a lasting testament to Chris and Peta, and their all too brief lives. As a mother of three, and with gap years and foreign adventures now commonplace, I felt the story also held relevance for today’s generation. If it makes just one person think before they place themselves in a potentially vulnerable situation, then it will have been a story worthwhile recounting. Certainly, there can be few more isolated places than a lone boat out at sea. Literally, no one can hear you scream.”

When Boston threw Chris and Peta, tortured, but still conscious, into the deep waters of the Caribbean, he made a massive miscalculation. He thought they wouldn’t be missed and that no one would, or could, track down their killer. In judging others by his own grotesque character traits, he was wrong: love never dies…even after four decades.

One man’s breath-taking act of evil can snuff out life, and cause an unimaginable, wanton trail of destruction, but it cannot extinguish love.

Making UK headlines

BBC World Service Outlook
BBC World Service Outlook >
14th September 2018

Dream Holiday that Ended in Tragedy

This Morning
ITV This Morning >
9th August 2018

The Mail on Sunday
The Mail on Sunday >
2.6K shares / over 1000 comments
29th July 2018 Download PDF

Woman Magazine
Woman >
Woman Magazine - Real Life
December 2019

BBC1 - North West Tonight
26th April 2019

Making international headlines

Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly >

19th November 2018

See pages 22-23, 26 and 28.

Stern >

4th September 2018

German news magazine (one of the ten biggest news websites in Germany).

Ihr Bruder wird ermordet, Jahrzehnte vergehen - bis sie auf Facebook den Killer findet

Amazon Prime Video in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Nordics and Netherlands.