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If You Tell

If You Tell Summary

If You Tell: from 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.

About the Author

Gregg Olsen has written more than thirty books, including Lying Next to Me, The Last Thing She Ever Did, and two novels in the Nicole Foster series, The Sound of Rain and The Weight of Silence.

Known for his ability to create vivid and fascinating narratives, he’s appeared on multiple television and radio shows and news networks, such as Good Morning America, Dateline, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and MSNBC.

In addition, Olsen has been featured in Redbook, People, and Salon magazine, as well as in the Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times, and New York Post.

Both his fiction and nonfiction works have received critical acclaim and numerous awards, including prominence on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Washington State officially selected his young adult novel Envy for the National Book Festival, and The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year.

If You Tell Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Some small towns are built on bloody earth and betrayal. Battle Ground, Washington, twelve miles northeast of Vancouver, near the Oregon state line, is one such place.

The town is named for an incident involving a standoff between the Klickitat nation and the US Army. The native people freed themselves from imprisonment in the barracks, but while a surrender was being negotiated, a single shot rang out, killing the Klickitat’s Chief Umtuch.

It’s fitting for Michelle “Shelly” Lynn Watson Ricardo Long Knotek’s hometown to be known for a major conflict and a false promise.

As it turned out, it was pretty much the way Shelly lived her life.

For those who lived there in the 1950s, Battle Ground was quintessential small-town America with good schools, neighbors who looked out for each other, and a bowling league that kept the pins falling every Friday and Saturday night.

Dads worked hard to afford the new car and nice house. Most moms stayed home taking care of the children, maybe later returning to the workforce or taking classes at Clark College to continue dreams thwarted by conventions of the day and marriage.

If Battle Ground had a Mr. Big Shot of sorts, it was Shelly’s father.

At six feet, two inches tall, with broad shoulders, Les Watson, former Battle Ground High School track and football star, was a big deal around town.

Everyone knew him. He was quick-witted and could pour on the charm, a smooth talker, and a master of BS. Handsome too. All the girls in town thought he was a catch. Not only did he and his mother own and operate a pair of nursing homes, Les also owned the Tiger Bowl, a ten-lane bowling alley complete with a twelve-seat snack counter.

That was where Lara Stallings worked in 1958. She’d just graduated from Fort Vancouver High School and was selling hamburgers to save money for college.

Lara’s curly hair was blonde, with a ponytail that swung back and forth as she took orders. With sparkling blue eyes, she was undeniably beautiful. She was also smart. Later, she’d lament that her brain wasn’t in full gear when she agreed to date, and then eventually marry, Les Watson.

Les was also ten years older, though he’d lied and told his teenage bride that he was only four years her senior.

“I got caught up in all he had going for him,” Lara said years later, bemoaning the choice she made. “I fell hook, line, and sinker. He just wasn’t a great guy.”

Lara’s jolt into reality came the day after she put her hair up in a French twist—like Tippi Hedren in the Hitchcock classic, The Birds—and married Les in a civil ceremony in 1960 in Vancouver, her hometown. Only Lara’s family was present, though her parents had been against the marriage. Les had had good reason not to invite his.

They knew what was coming.

When the phone rang early the next morning, Lara answered. It was Les’s first wife on the line, calling from California.

“When are you coming to get these damn kids?” Sharon Todd Watson spat into the phone.

Lara didn’t know what she was talking about. “What?”

Les had never mentioned to Lara that he’d promised to raise his children by Sharon: Shelly, Chuck, and Paul Watson. The omission of that little detail was typical of Les, though Lara knew that she’d never been able to fix that—and that her parents’ concerns had been justified.

After the early-morning call, Les told Lara that his ex-wife, Sharon, couldn’t raise the kids; she was a depressive and an alcoholic. Lara took a deep breath and agreed. And really, what could she do about it anyway? They were her husband’s children, and she knew she would need to buck up.

It turned out to be a very big request. Shelly was six and Chuck was just three when they moved in. Lara took on the role of stepmother—Sharon had kept the youngest son, Paul, still then an infant, with her.

Shelly was a beautiful little girl, with wide eyes and thick, curly auburn hair. Lara noticed a strange dynamic, however, between Shelly and her brother. Chuck didn’t speak a word. It was Shelly who did all the talking. She seemed to control the boy.

And as Shelly grew more comfortable with her new environment, she often voiced complaints or unkind words.

“She told me every single day that she hated me,” Lara recalled. “I’m not joking. It was honestly every day.”

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Product details:

EditionKindle Edition
Posted onDecember 1, 2019
Page Count431 pages
AuthorGregg Olsen

If You Tell By Gregg Olsen PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

If You Tell: from bestselling author Gregg Olsen’s shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother’s house of horrors.

URL: https://amzn.to/3sP5x1D

Author: Gregg Olsen

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