The True Story of a Minister's Bodyguard - and a Brutal Triple Homicide

By Michael W. Cuneo

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katherine e
It is hard to believe such a religious man could do so much evil. Very exciting book. No dull Moments.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arathi
One Last Kiss: The True Story of a Minister's Bodyguard, was well written and brought forward the need for abused women to quit blaming themselves and go for help before to late for themselves and maybe their family too.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
erin b k
I enjoyed this book because I live in the area and know about the Coleman's. I found it interesting to read what an "outsider" thought of our area of the country. However, I'm giving it only three stars because the end of the book was very repetitious. The author told us throughout the book why Chris Coleman was guilty, and in the final chapters, he continued to tell us over and over and over again why Chris committed the murders. I got it the first time around. I found myself skimming the last chapters because I'd read it all before.
And One Last Thing ... :: The Last Operation (The Remnants of War Series - Book 1) :: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) - Every Last One :: The Last One: A Novel :: What to Expect When No One's Expecting - America's Coming Demographic Disaster
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
steve wiebe
I loved this book. It was very well written and an interesting story. It did seem like the facts were repeated several times.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lewis
I found it factual and informative. It gave me a better prospective on how something like this could happen to this family.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zach milan
I was hoping someone was going to write this story when I heard about it. It was worth the wait! I read it and read it again!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
john lucky witter
well written and researched..sounds like a very self centered and evil family.
this book will keep you reading till the end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fabrizio
I feel so sorry for the families torn apart by this tragedy 
Excellent writing, very engaging  _
I highly recommend
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sheelah
Very well written, I didn't want to put it down! This book stayed on topic, and was very interesting. One of the best true crime books I have read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bismarck
Michael Cuneo is a new true crime author to me. I was very pleasantly surprised at the depth of information and flow of this excellent book. He answered all of the questions I have had concerning this case. I will be adding him to my list of favorite true crime writers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carly chernick
Michael W. Cuneo does a great job telling the Story of Chris Coleman.
The story kept my interest throughout the book.
It was a fast read but that may have been because once I started I
couldn't put the book down. As far as true crime stories go, this is a
gem. It tells the story by keeping the pace quick, yet never leaving us
the need to wonder why something happened. Michael W. Cuneo
describes the the whole book as if you are living in the story.
Graet Read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shayda salarvand
This book was great. Once I picked it up, I could hardly put it down. You will not be disappointed in reading this book. One of the best I've ever read!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
john wylie
loved this book, could not put the book down. The author is awesome! Would love to buy any book by him!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
becky beasley
This is an interesting book about my hometown. I think he did his research before he wrote it. It was very controversial here.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
schmoyle
I know all the Colemans. I seen the change in Ron 10 years ago.I knew Gavin, Garrett and Sheri. My heart goes out to them. I went to the calling hours, Chris just stood there. No emotion, Same with Ron. If it was my family I would of been a basket case. Made me not want to go to another church. Ron stood up there preaching but not practicing what he preached. It was all about money. I was tired of drinking the kool-aid.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
solstice
Loved it! It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. I could not put it down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rhys clarke
this guy killed h is wife and kids he shouldn't beallowed 2 live he did a horrible thing and knew better his parents aren't any better but i did receive tjis bk on time r early
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
desir e
A good book with info that was not known. Very sad ending to 3 beautiful lives. May there souls rest in peace.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nancy flachsbart
Cuneo proved himself to be a very good true crime author, his book is obviously
well researched and through. it was hard to put down it has everything you for
in true crime.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lon dailey
I enjoyed this book, but I couldn't really figure out how the title fit with the story. Felt like someone who hadn't read the book came up with it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
paresh
must read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris humphrey
Who knew? This book blew my mind! I love true crime and this one did not disappoint! Okay, Cuneo, I like how you write. Let's see some more!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
richard lawry
Horrifying to read but, a good true crime book. Well researched, and informative. Sheri and her boys were beautiful, May they RIP.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rita amado
This story could have been summed up in 100 less pages. The last several chapters are a summary of what you've just read
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
miguel silva
How she fell in love with this guy I have no idea. Narcissistic is too nice for Chris Coleman. It's hard to believe people like him exist but unfortunately for us, they do.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
monique
I live in FL and knew Sheri, I wasn't sure if I should read the book or not. The events that took place are heartbreaking. The book was factual and did give some added details that I had not picked up on reading the news stories online. I had hoped that this book would possibly give me a bit of closure. I doubt that will ever be possible. I think about this tragedy a lot. I would really like to see some of the proceeds from this book go to the memorial fund for Sheri and her boys. I know others have voiced the same. So how do we go about doing something like this? Or is it too late? I would like to learn more about domestic violence prevention, and what I can do to help others so that things like this stop happening. I am Still not sure I should have read the book. It has opened up so many feelings again. I dont necessarily think that is a bad thing. We cannot let these 3 angels ever be forgotten and I do believe by reading this book it has started my wheels turning again as to what I can do.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lucille
Suspensful and intriguing. It was a great read, full of incredible scenes - just a great murder mystery in true crime form!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
micheline
I live in the area and was devastated by the murders. This book was well researched and put together and gathered all of the details in one spot. It is very well written and the conclusion is spot on.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
richard greenberg
Very, Very good book. Not only because it was close to home, but very interesting and detailed. Gives a lot of insight to events leading up to the end. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kriste stevenson
Hard to believe that a supposed Christian could be so evil. Is love really that strong? Or is he such a coward?
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
shayna paden
This book covered a story I found to be incredibly sad, chilling and a testament to true evil. However, a couple things irked me while reading this book. First, entire paragraphs were copied and pasted throughout the book a few times, making me think I was having Deja vu. Second, I thought the author went way overboard describing Chris Coleman's disgusting mistress as "gorgeous" and "beautiful" while describing Sheri as just "pretty" and talkative, when in fact the mistress was an average looking woman and Chris' wide was absolutely stunning, fun, loyal, a wonderful mother and full of life. The author didn't highlight any of those points, which I found to be a little disrespectful. He almost made her sound like an annoying little girl who cried everytime Chris hurt her feelings, and I don't think that's who she was at all. Sheri was a great mom and full of energy that she filtered into worthwhile projects, while loving her evil husband. Chris Coleman is a horrific piece of garbage and by far one of the most evil, selfish and disgusting living things I've ever seen or heard about. I can't believe howittleremorse he has, and shows NO sadness when speaking of his family who was slaughtered. In fact, on 48 hours mystery, he LAUGHED when the reporter asked who he thought could be the murderer and said "I've racked my brain, but I'll just have to forgive that person and move on". FORGIVE the person who not only slaughtered your family but is also supposedly letting you rot in jail to this day for a horrible crime HE committed?! Yeah right. One thing I liked about the book, on the other hand, was the accounts of Coleman's parents' absolutely disrespectful, selfish, heartless behavior throughout the case and trial. They deserve to be exposed as the disgusting, soulless human beings they are. Ron Coleman is the meanest and cruelest "reverend" I've heard of. What a worthless, trashy family. And they could care less that their beautiful grandbabies and granddaughter are dead, as long as their evil first born son has a good life. Well, he's rotting in jail, where he belongs, and I hope he gets beat up and tortured often. This story is just a shocking testimony to how selfish and heartless some normal looking people are.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cynthia vanaria
The only reason I purchased this book was because I personally knew of the family involved and was interested in the story. The book was not that well-written and contained several minor factual errors. I did learn some things that were not mentioned in the local newspaper accounts of this horrible and shocking crime.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brittain noel
This was recommended to me by a friend of a friend. It always amazes me how really stupid and self consumed people can be. But more than that is that they seem to always find a person just as dumb. A fun read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ozlem ozkal
Would by again from the store. They product is always as advertised, packaged and mailed on time. I have bought many products from the store with no problems.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dale rosenberg
Scary what organized religion can bring to th table. As they say, "Power corrupts, Absolute Power, corrupts avsolutely". Interesting book, nonetheless.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kimby
This book was well written and held my interest. Interesting how some people ca go off in left field and no one suspect.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alison hale
Tells a very sad story of a guy who kills over infidelity. If you want to read a true crime book, it is an okay read.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
libby dobbins
too much about the town and the backgrounds of all the people
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amy t
The story is basically not that interesting. It might have been more interesting had they delved more into his involvement with the ministry,
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dalene van zyl
i am stil waiting for my book,but i know the auther.i hope to get it soon,it is delayed 2 to 3 weeks after due time.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sean mahan
I WILL NOT BUY FROM THIS AUTHOR AGAIN BECAUSE HE WON'T ALLOW ME TO LOAN THIS TITLE TO MY WIFE TO READ ON HER KINDLE. I THINK $7.59 FOR A VIRTUAL BOOK IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. SHOULD BE ALLOWED A LOAN TO SPOUSE. Very sad story but a great book. Well written.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
daniel kaufman
Michael Cuneo's ONE LAST KISS is the story of Chris Coleman, a man who strangled his wife, Sheri, and his two young sons, Garett and Gavin, in the early morning hours in the family home on May 5, 2009, in Columbia, IL, a suburb across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Coleman, head of security for Joyce Meyer Ministries and among the most soulless and heartless atrocities you will ever hear about was involved in a heated love affair with Tara Lintz a high school friend of Sheri's, and the two had exchanged rings and a vow to be married as soon as Coleman was divorced. But Coleman feared that based on company policy, a divorce would mean he would be fired, and Lintz had given him a deadline of May 4 to file for the divorce. He lied to Lintz that he had filed on May 4, and proceeded to kill his family the very next day, clumsily attempting to make it appear that the killings were done by a maniac who despised him for his position with the Ministry, an attempt he had been setting up for six months by sending anonymous letters and e-mails to both the ministry and to himself threatening harm to his family. And to enhance the plot, after he killed his wife and sons, he spray painted obscenities around his house. His attempts to cover up his crime were so inept that no one in the region - the public or the cops - had any doubt after the first couple of days that Coleman was responsible.

The story is an unimaginable and profoundly interesting one and the writer, Cuneo, has commendably done a lot of research and presents considerable background on the principals, which is unfortunately one of the few positives about the book. Cuneo had the chance here to produce an intelligent and reportorial study of the case. He did not. Rather he has written a chatty, breezy mediocrity replete with filler, repetition, fabrication, and a nauseating and never-ending lionization of police, lawyers, and judges.

Some selected of many possible examples:
For just plain sloppiness, consider that Cuneo states that at the time of Coleman's trial, Illinois was "experiencing its worst hurricane season in recent memory." I live in St. Louis, and can state without fear of contradiction that there has never ever been a hurricane in this region.
And on more than one occasion, he presents incorrect time frames. As noted, the murders were committed on May 5th, 2009, the reason being Coleman's narcissistic desire to be with Tara Lintz while losing nothing more than a family which was now a hindrance. On page 311, Cuneo writes that Coleman became infatuated with Lintz in the fall of 2009 and began implementing his plan and cover up in November 2009. If this were the case, Coleman would have murdered his family 5 months before falling for Lintz.
The same thing happens when we learn that Sheri was born in 1977 and her brother Mario in 1975. According to Cuneo, the family moved to Largo, FL, in 1978, at which time Sheri and Mario were 12 and 10 respectively. Unless the siblings suffered from progeria, a condition conspicuously absent from the narrative, this seems unlikely, and all I can say is, "Nice editing."

Repetition is rampant. Cuneo in the first chapter reports the findings, emotions, and preliminary observations of the cops and EMTs who are the first responders to the crime scene. Later, in a particularly cynical example of increasing his page count at the expense of quality, Cuneo has two officers repeating this information to a later arrival at the scene. He could have simply written that "they made the later arrival aware of their findings." But no, he repeats the information.
There is a discrepancy in time frames that is important to solving the case. Cuneo reports and explains this discrepancy at least three times.

Cuneo is also omniscient. On pg. 134, he reports that Sheri applied steroid cream to Gavin's poison ivy. Besides being a prime example of irrelevant filler, my question is, with Sheri and the boys being dead when the book was written, how would he possibly know this and why would we care in any case?
Cuneo reports on numerous instances of interaction - thoughts and conversations - between Coleman and his family. It is obvious that they didn't cooperate with the author in writing the book. He simply makes things up as he goes along.
Reporting on Coleman's being interviewed by police, Cuneo reports him as "sounding like a petulant nine-year-old accused by his parents of stealing from the cookie jar."
A child, "Austin saw the look in his mom's eyes. He knew that she was telling him the truth." Give me a break! Fabricated, not to mention bad, similes and true crime don't go together. He should be writing soap opera.

As for Cuneo's fawning idolization of almost everyone in the book other then Coleman's family and a few others:
"Hadn't (Chief Edwards) always encouraged the people working under him to go that extra step in solving crimes?"
"At State's Attorney Kris Reitz's skillful prompting, the chief described the reams of evidence that the police had uncovered..." How skillful does a prosecutor have to be to introduce prosecution evidence from a cop? But then Cuneo is incapable of not lavishing praise on that which is actually mundane.
"Judge Wharton proved a master of reasonable compromise."
Sheriff Kelly is "delightfully frank and witty."
Kris "Reitz was sharp, confident and single minded." He also "wanted a conviction in the case..." Maybe I'm jaded, but Reitz's desired outcome would seem to go without saying, him being a prosecutor and all. Keep that word count rolling!
John O'Gara, "positively oozed compassion and humanity." And while this would make me personally not want to sit too close to him, we are also advised that, "He had a slightly shambling look about him that nicely understated his sharpness of intellect."
"Baden was lucid and congenial."
Even a local TV anchor and cameraman are described as being "talented" and an "ace" respectively.

And finally, even the title, ONE LAST KISS, is nothing but soap opera, there being no way of knowing whether or not Coleman gave his family members a "last kiss" before killing them.
I read another book by Cuneo called ALMOST MIDNIGHT. It was very good, professional and reportorial, so he is certainly capable of better, but here he has taken an interesting story that could provide a writer intent on doing an intelligent job with maybe 200 pages of material and turned it into a fictional/semi-true crime/soap opera crapfest. It has long been my contention that in the best of true crime, the reader is unaware of the author's personality until he's through with the book and then marvels at what a fine job he's done. In ALMOST MIDNIGHT, Cuneo is omnipresent on every page.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ccrib
The true story told in this book is unfathomable. Normal people cannot comprehend such evil acts. My gripe is with the author's style of writing. First, the book title "One Last Kiss" makes absolutely no sense and does not tie into the story at all.The husband who murdered his wife hadn't been intimate with her for a long time. Secondly, the author repeats the same information over and over. Uh, we understood it the first time. Also, the author didn't tell the story impartially, which I would have preferred. Instead, it's told from his point of view, a clear case of good versus evil. Sort of like a Lifetime movie screenplay. Lastly, some of the details the author includes are so inane. Of a neighbor who purchased cupcakes at a store for her son to take to school, he writes, "She made sure to buy enough so no one in the class was left out." It's the most ridiculous, unnecessary sentence I've ever read. So the author took a riveting story, by all accounts, and sort of dumbed it down. Other than that, it is a griping tale of a murder so senseless and bizarre you almost think it couldn't really happen and leaves you wondering why and how things went so wrong.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
crystal thomas
Michael Cuneo's true crime account of the Coleman murders in suburban Illinois. The husband, Chris Coleman, is a bodyguard for television evangelist Joyce Meyers. The victims are his wife Sheri and sons, Garret and Gavin.

The case was seen on television like 48 Hours and Dateline. The book does offer insight and details about the case. As horrific the case, the book does an adequate job in reporting it.

I have read plenty of true crime books before so I didn't find the book to be memorable otherwise. Perhaps it is because so many of these crimes happen because they prefer murder to divorce.

Joyce Meyers fans might be infuriated to learn that getting divorced can cost you your job. Chris had a six figure job but he didn't want the wife anymore. He wanted a divorce but the ministries frowns upon it and you can lose your job. If only they got divorced, perhaps Sheri and her sons would still be alive today.

Of course, the husband and father did the crime. There is no question of Chris' guilt. Perhaps that's the why the book is so straightforward about the crimes. The book does a decent report about the crimes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marysue
Like other true-crime buff commenters here, I found this book to be one of the best I've ever read...and I have read hundreds in the past 20 years. Just a couple of criticisms: 1- Cuneo, like many authors, used the word 'ostensibly' in the wrong context a few times. 2- Like Ann Rule, Cuneo fawns over the law and order side of the equation. All the members of the investigative team are, in turn, "...handsome, tireless, conscientious, selfless, dogged and determined." There never seems to be any flaws among the men in blue. Ann Rule, on the other hand, was a cop herself so her bias gets a pass from me. Rule, however, takes literary license beyond the pale. She transcends hyperbole and embellishment to reach flat out mendacity. I've seen this in a number of her books and investigated my suspicions so as not to point an accusatory digit unfairly. My research confirmed that Rule is a master twister of the truth. One Last Word on One Last Kiss: Don't start reading it unless you have a block of free time ahead of you because you just may not put it down once you lift it up....it was THAT good.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amandajane
I used to read only fiction books primarily, until one day I got tired of the genre, and I delved into non fiction, and in no time I was reading True Crime books by the dozens. I became basically addicted to the true crime, and I guess the fascination besides the horrendous crimes I read about, was the study in human nature that these type of books provide. In no time I found myself being a lot more cautious and giving people a second look, for I had seen that the most harmless in appearance sometimes were the real monsters. After spending countless dollars in buying these books, I resorted to the library for the cash flow was getting a little tight, since an addiction that requires spending of one kind, or another, to keep it up. The library books were so heavily abused, and containing all manners of blemishes, some absolutely disgusting, that I started buying used ones in the store, just as long as the description said that their condition was very good, and the numbers of books read kept increasing. One day I burned out. Too much ugly crimes, innocent victims, evil running rampant, it was time to hit Biographies for a much well deserved break.
Enter One Last Kiss: The True Story of a Minister's Bodyguard, His Beautiful Mistress, and a Brutal Triple Homicide: needless to say I am back reading the genre, but now I try really hard to pick the best of the best based of media reviews, and the well appreciated the store reviewers.
First, this writer can and know how to write a good book. I couldn't it put it down! Once again the nature of the crime left me speechless, for it is hard to grasp an evil person like the ugly Chris Coleman, committing the kind of a crime that he did. In no time I could not help but dislike his entire family. From his so called reputable parents, of which the father was a pastor, to his brothers, and everything about them and this monstrous creature known as Chris. The reaction of his family after the crime was committed, the lack of concern and support for the victim's other side of the family, was enough to light up this anger (Yes, I do get carried away sometimes, who am I kidding? Most of the times!). The senior Coleman from the pulpit preaching to his congregation and admonishing any, and all, who did not agree with him in the innocence of his monster son, letting them know that if they did not stand with his views regarding the brutal crime that his favorite child had committed, that they could get the hell out of his church! All I could think as I was reading this was: oh, what a lovely spiritual retreat Pastor's Coleman offered the community, and also the way people let others manipulate their lives, under the excuse of righteousness.
Mr. Michael W. Cuneo, delivers a blockbuster of a book, a scorcher If I may, that cost very little and delivered one heck of a True Crime book. Appreciation for the police investigators that helped unraveled the brutal crime that pointed all along to this cold, devious, evil man, with such a religious upbringing. In times like this one realizes how important is that justice prevails.His brothers a copy, and of the same grain, including the entire family, attacking everyone while pretending their crap did not stink. A very good book, better than most, that is for sure. The kind of book that gives the reader one more glimpse into the eternal world of victims, and their victimizers. The author delivers the good, and I better take a chill pill, and look for a friendly biography like the one about Paul Schaffer for a little change of pace. 4.5 Stars!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
manju
WOW. I was vaguely familiar with this story having seen the 48 hours (I think) episode on the case. This book has the space to go obviously much deeper than 40 minutes of TV and has a powerful emotional impact. I felt empty and angry after having finished it. This book grabs you and sucks you into the pure evil that is Chris Coleman. This book will leave you feeling pain for the victims and their family and absolutely disgusted by Chris Coleman and to some extent his family. I want to feel sorry for his parents but their treatment of their dead grandsons and daughter in-law made me sick to my stomach. Chris' family's behavior does not make one very sympathetic to their plight.

Cuneo does an excellent job of presenting the evidence collected by the police and prosecution that paints Chris Coleman as very obviously guilty. What an outstanding job law enforcement and the prosecutors did on this one! This is about a damning a case for guilt as can be made. If you even get briefly familiar with the evidence you have to be convinced way beyond any reasonable doubt.

How anyone can murder such a beautiful person as Sherri and those darling little boys with his bare hands is simply beyond understanding. It's dark evil. I hope he rots in prison for another 50 years.

Read this book. It is one of the best true-crime books ever.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
iurii okhmat
In Columbia, Illinois, the bodyguard and security chief for a TV evangelist is tried and convicted of the strangulation murders of his beautiful 31-year-old wife, and two sons, ages 8 and 11. Ex-Marine Christopher Coleman is now doing life without parole in an out-of-state prison.

As a newsman at a radio station an hour's drive from Columbia, my newscasts were filled with stories about the Coleman family murder case. In fact, the fallout from the high-profile case continues to make the news.

I've read a number of true crime books over the years and the one element that stands out about this heinous crime, above all, is a surprisingly incompetent attempt by a professional security specialist in disguising his crime.

Coleman did establish an alibi with a record of threats against his family by some crazy who demanded he disavow the ministry.

On the other hand, he left left a mind-boggling trail of evidence.

For openers, he supposedly drove just minutes away to a St Louis gym at 5:45am on May 5, 2009, for a work-out. On the way back, he called a police officer living across from his house to make a quick welfare check; he couldn't get his wife on his cellphone. Police found the bodies were in full rigor, dead since 3am or so. When was the last time the villain in a Columbo movie ignored rigor mortis?

Coleman also left a paper trail to his mistress, he even flaunted his relationship with her during one out-of-town business trip, and on the date the girlfriend set for serving his wife divorce papers, his family wound up conveniently dead.

Cuneo reasonably theorizes that Coleman's arrogance prevented him from believing his alibi would be rejected and police attention would drill in on him. He believes Coleman felt his family held him back from fulfilling his divine destiny. Stew on that one for awhile.

This just touches on the facts of Cuneo's detailed account. The story is a much richer, terribly tragic, and compelling account of a diabolical act of slaughter.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bobrericha
If this portrays Christianity, let me off here. Chris Coleman, in love with another woman, planned to murder his wife and young sons for about six months before doing just that. He strangled Sheri, Gavin and Garret until they were dead, each strangulation taking approximately four minutes. Thanks to impeccable and driven police work, he got convicted.

At the end of the book, the author puts forth his own ideas about how this self-professed "man of God" could have justified these heinous crimes to himself; it's chilling reading and I agree with the author.

I kept waiting for the murderer, his pastor/father or the minister who employed the murderer to do one right thing in the investigation -- it never happened. These "leaders of men" we're only concerned about their own little worlds and protecting themselves (and their cash flows) to do anything other than to attempt to subvert justice.

A page-turner that will make your hair stand on end with fury.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kasturi dadhe
I liked this account of an interesting case, but can't quite go five stars.

Although most true crime books take place after a crime, investigation and trial have all taken place, many authors attempt to create some sort of suspense to keep the reader engaged. This is the story of an arrogant, unfeeling husband who, although a security professional, committed one of the clumsiest, most obvious crimes imaginable. There is never a moment when the reader thinks he might get away with it, or when clever police work is required to uncover the killer. The entire book is: doltish brute gets involved with cocktail waitress from dog track, wants to dump family and plans murder. Every step he takes is stupid and incriminating. He's immediately charged, subsequently tried and easily convicted. The end. The portrayal of Evangelical Christianity is interesting, as is the portrait of the shopaholic, spike-heel wearing, gun-toting victim/mom, and the look at the killer's seriously weird parents, but it only adds up to a good book, not a great one.

Not five stars, but certainly worth reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lenny
This book is well written and gives additional details about the case that were previously unknown to the public. I wanted to know more about Sheri and Chris and their early relationship, how they met, her military service, etc. The book covers all of that. I would have given this book 5 stars if it weren't for several inconsistencies and typos, which I found distracting.

Most notably:

On page 311, first paragraph it says "Chris Coleman became infatuated with Tara Lintz in fall 2009". The murders happened in May 2009. I think the author meant to say fall 2008. In the second paragraph of that same page, the author asserts that Chris "began to implement the plan in November 2009". Again he got the year wrong. It was 2008.

On page 15, at the bottom, Cuneo writes of Sheri's family, "they moved to Largo on New Year's Day 1978. Mario was twelve years old and Sheri ten" but on the previous page it says that Sheri was born on July 3, 1977. Again, the author got the date wrong. I believe he meant to say that they moved on New Year's Day of 1988.

Additionally, the back cover promises 8 pages of "chilling photos". That is a bit of an exaggeration. All of the photos were available to the public before the release of the book so there was nothing new and they certainly weren't chilling.

Overall though I'd say this book is definitely worth the money if you are at all interested in this case.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rosie nowlin
Incredible. Gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and incredible. I've rarely been impacted by a book as much as I was by this one. I pretty much had to pick myself up off the floor just to post this review. It's that good. It really is that good.

First, the crime itself.

There's not many things as abhorrent or incomprehensible as the central crime of One Last Kiss. After six months of plotting and preparation, a husband and father steals into the bedrooms of his wife and children and pitilessly kills them, one by one, as they waken and thrash for their lives. He murders his family, spray-paints obscenities onto their lifeless bodies, and then casually heads to the gym for an early-morning workout. Why does he do it? He isn't battling insanity or depression. He isn't a drug addict, an alcoholic, or a career criminal. In fact, he's the privileged son of pastor parents and the head of security for Joyce Meyer Ministries, one of the largest televangelizing operations in the country. He has a big house in the St. Louis suburbs, a beautiful wife, and two healthy young sons. He seems to have it made. Instead, however, of thrilling to his own success, he transforms into the most loathsome kind of monster. Why does he do it? A simple reason. He's become tired of his current wife and wants a new one. He's been having an affair with a dog track waitress from St. Petersburg, Florida, and wants to be married to her instead. He wants the prospect of limitless happiness and so kills his entire family to seek it out.

This, on its own, in abbreviated form, is heartbreaking enough. After becoming acquainted with the central characters of Michael W. Cuneo's engrossing narrative, however, it's nothing less than devastating. Sheri Coleman, especially -- the doomed spouse of Chris Coleman and the mother of Garett and Gavin -- comes to life in these pages. She's charming, ebullient, and kind. The reader prays for things to pan out for Sheri Coleman even while fully aware that she's in for the absolute worst. This, of course, is a testament to the storytelling, which ranks amongst the best I've read in the true crime genre.

It's the last section of One Last Kiss, however, that puts it over the top. The killings at the core of this book appear, at first, to be incomprehensible, and yet Cuneo manages to make some sense of them. Examining the peculiar elements of Chris Coleman's life, from his Golden Boy upbringing to his immersion in the prosperity Gospel, he manages to make some sense of them. I found this section compelling and, ultimately, convincing.

I'm not sure that you're going to find many true crime books better than this. In fact, I'm almost positive that you won't. It has the feel of a classic.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hester rathbone
This true crime account haunted my thoughts for a long time after I finished reading it. I totally agree that Chris Coleman was a narcissist, sociopath, and cold-blooded murderer, but what deeply saddened me is the extent many women (myself included) will go to in order to preserve a dysfunctional marriage. I think that Sheri felt spiritually compelled to remain in the marriage even though her husband was cruelly unloving to her and wanted out so emphatically. I say this with many years of experience under my belt: divorce the guy and take the kids with you. I know it isn’t easy, but to her credit, Sheri was portrayed as quite spunky, not someone with low self-esteem.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily ellis
The Chris Coleman case was featured on a 48 Hours episode that aired a few months ago. One Last kiss is much, much better than the TV show -- more dramatic, more detailed, and infinitely more compassionate. The book bristles with humanity. It succeeds in bringing Sheri and her sons fully to life, and it takes readers inside the twisted mind of Chris Coleman. The book is also wonderfully written -- almost impossible to put down. I couldn't bring myself to go to bed until I'd read the very last word. This is the third book I've read by author Michael Cuneo. It might be my favorite.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bev lane
This was well written very interesting story. I'm also from the same hometown as the victim was so that made it more intriguing for me as well, although I did not know her. Sad story but well done!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tina bykowicz
This book is superb. Cuneo struck gold with this story! This book combines marital infidelity, triple homicide, and fascinating police work; all delivered through Cuneo's splendid, artful prose.

Chris Coleman, Head of Security for Joyce Meyer Ministries, becomes fed up with his marriage to his wife Sheri and begins a torrid affair with a cocktail waitress in Tampa, and Sheri's best friend from high school. He falls madly in love with her and assures her he will divorce his wife to marry her. One problem, Joyce Meyer disapproves of her employees getting divorced. Coleman's solution is inhumanely evil and staggeringly selfish. He murders his wife and kids in their sleep with his bare hands, strangling them to death as they futilely struggle for survival. He then heads off to the gym as per his routine, as if the horrific crime he just committed was simply an extra errand he had to run in the morning.

Cuneo details the lives and personalities of the central characters involved, lifting each of them off the page in vivid reality, and therefore giving the already disturbing crime an even more powerful effect. All I can say is this book delivered on all the promise of the back cover and then some, as few true crime books do. It's one of the best books I've ever read, and easily the best true crime book I've read. I highly recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
blake heller
This story is almost unbearable to read because of the true evilness of Chris Coleman. But the writing and storytelling are fantastic by the author. Could hardly put it down. Thank goodness this man will literally rot in prison.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
audra
I read a lot of true crime, and I liked this book. Looks like he put in a lot of time on the research, and the writing's not bad either. I would buy more from this author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lareesa
A great deal of thought and research went into the writing of this book. The author captured the personality of the man who took the lives of his young wife and two small sons. Only pure evil could have done such a thing. It was not a crime of passion but premeditated evil! All praise to the author!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
fatih cetken
Kindle fire didn't deliver book after 8 hours of dealing with the store Customer Service. Terrible. I want to cancel this now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alin
This book could not have been written any better. From beginning to end a great read. To bad all true crime books couldn't be written this great. A definate must read for all true crime lovers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
damiano
very good book. gripping. hard to believe this can happen in our little small town. Sheri and her boys will never be forgot.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jon tavernier
Except the description of Tara Lintz as "the beautiful mistress". Really? That woman is FAR from beautiful and completely pales in comparison to Sheri. Other than that, I enjoyed the book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mauro alonso
The author did an amazing job to present all the facts in this case. Thank you for highlighting the excellent police work that was completed to help put Chris Coleman in prison for life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sheena
The repeatedly got one fact wrong. The house had blue trim, not black. I found this to be annoying. While it's not an important fact in the case it makes me wonder if others are accurate.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
karenwellman
I have not read this book, and I'm not sure that I will be able to. When you live in Columbia, IL and knew the family, things like this hit a little too close to home. It is sickening that he will be making money off of something so horribly wrong.
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