Author to write true crime novel based on Word of Life case

The story of a local teenager who was killed in a beating death inside a church will become a true crime novel.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 4:27 PM

CHADWICKS – The story of a local teenager who was killed in a beating death inside a church will become a true crime novel.

Rochester-area author Susan Ashline says her book “Without a Prayer: The Death of Lucas Leonard and How One Church Became a Cult” has been acquired by published Pegasus Books. The novel, scheduled to be released next summer, will chronicle the story of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard, who was beaten to death inside the Word of Life Church in Chadwicks by his parents, sister, and other parishioners.

“It sounded exactly like a book I - and other true crime aficionados -would devour. I really admire Susan’s deep dive into the story beyond the headlines, how she was able to connect with the people around Lucas and those directly involved with the case to present both the public and the personal faces of this senseless tragedy,” said Pegasus Books editor Katie McGuire.

According to a press release, Ashline is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist who spent time as a court correspondent. The book is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2019.

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