Upstate NY author writes book on Word of Life Church case

The story of a local teenager who was beaten to death inside a church has become a non-fiction crime novel.

Posted: Aug 6, 2019 2:44 PM

UTICA - The story of a local teenager who was beaten to death inside a church has become a non-fiction 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” is 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.

You can pick up a copy Tuesday night and get it signed from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in New Hartford.

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