Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story

Ron Franscell

Book Cover

GENRE

CRIME DETECTIVE DRAMA

    Core Theme

    DEALING WITH OLD SECRETS

    TIME PERIOD

    1960s & '70s,2000s,1980s & '90s,Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    MAKING A MURDERER, TRUE DETECTIVE.

    CHARACTER LIST

    • GERALD: 20S-70S. TACITURN, SECRETIVE, UNAPOLOGETIC.

    • ALICE, 30S-70S. A FAITHFUL WIFE TO GERALD.

    • VIRGINIA, 30S. GERALD'S EX-WIFE WHO HE MURDERS IN COLD BLOOD ALONG WITH THEIR TWO SMALL SONS.

    • LONNIE TEEBEST, 30S-60S. THE COP WHO HAS BEEN WORKING ON THE CASE FOR MOST OF HIS CAREER.

    Logline

    Would you kill for love? Alice & Gerald Uden, a loving couple, murder five people and live happily ever after—while cops try for decades to piece together a petrifying tale of murder and secrets. Then, 40 years later, somebody finds a skeleton in a place where the killers never thought they'd look.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Female Leaning,Universal

    Setting

    Wyoming, Missouri

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Prometheus Books (New York)

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    In the early '70s, Gerald is a socially awkward janitor and three-time loser in love living in a boomtown trailer park when he meets Alice — who has a murderous secret that she reveals on the first night they make love. Desperate to keep Alice—a modern-day Lady Macbeth—he'll do anything. Anything.

    Ending Description

    Forty years after Alice's first murder, cops find a dead man's skeleton in a remote abandoned mine—shot once in the skull. It's Alice's 3rd husband. After Alice's arrest, the chivalrous Gerald—thinking they busted her for a different killing—confesses to three other murders in a surprise twist.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    ISBN-10: 1633885127

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Other

    Plot - Premise

    Other,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Alice Uden

    Age: 30-80

    Gender: Female

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Narcisstic,Aggressive,Badass,Greedy,Villainous,Power Hungry,Secretive,Seductive,Unapologetic,Manipulative

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Gerald Uden

    Age: 30-80

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Clumsy,Criminal,Insecure,Naive,Masculine,Obedient,Uneducated,Secretive,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Claire Martin

    Age: 50-90

    Gender: Female

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Decisive,Empathetic,Desperate,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Honorable,Blunt,Selfless,Outspoken,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Special Agent Lonnie TeBeest

    Age: 30-60

    Gender: Male

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Complex,Decisive,Empathetic,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Masculine,Blunt,Selfless,Skillful,Outspoken,Sarcastic,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf

    Development Pitch

    In a setting as gritty and complex as the characters, "Alice & Gerald" is a true crime that doesn't follow the genre's ordinary formula. We see two cold-blooded killers for whom love and murder are inextricably entangled. We also see the committed mother of a murdered woman and her two young boys who single-handedly keeps the investigation alive for 40 years, even as it goes dead-cold several times. And we see a succession of obsessed detectives who pursue the killers for four decades, never quite able to connect the dots that would get justice for the five victims (one of whom is discovered only when his corpse is exhumed during the final stages). And all along, the two killers—Alice & Gerald—live contentedly on their Missouri farm, beyond the reach of flummoxed cops. Will the detectives ever catch up? Will the innocents' bodies ever be found? Will that crusading grandmother—the moral center of this sordid tale—ever find peace? This is truly a Shakespearean tragedy, Macbeth in a trailer park, starring a manipulative, controlling sociopath who wields great power over her malleable, desperate husband. And for 40 frustrating years, they are pursued by a succession of dogged detectives whose luckiest break comes—for many of these cops and for the grandmother—decades too late.

    Brief

    Based on a true story. Alice and Gerald are a loving couple who share terrible secrets - they're both murderers, having each killed an ex spouse. Gerald also shot his two sons for good measure. They go about their lives for years until a dogged detective keeps the case alive long enough to bring them to justice.

    What We Liked

    - True crime;
    - Smart and determined cops;
    - Human nature at its worst;
    - A good murder mystery is always compelling, and this one has all the right notes;
    - The vast wasteland of mid-century Wyoming is almost a character in itself, and although you wouldn't expect these crimes from hard working middle Americans, evil is everywhere;
    - If transformed into a whodunnit, it could be very appealing to good actors, and would make a enticing story for the many fans of true crime;
    - As a limited run series, it would be a strong entry into the crowded true crime genre. People would be interested in whether or not these killers will be brought to justice, or it can be teased out with a reveal of who the murderers are at the end. Either way, it's a compelling tale of characters whose lives are filled with hubris, evil, and quiet desperation.

    Synopsis

    Wyoming, 1964. GERALD UDEN, 20s, leads a calm life with his first wife. In 1973, VIRGINIA comes to his door, asking him to appraise a rifle. Gerald ends up helping her out with her house, and she has two wild little boys she’s dealing with and no husband. She needs him, and the boys need a dad, so Gerald steps in. Virginia changed though, and asks for a divorce. Gerald falls into a depression and considered suicide. In 1976, he meets ALICE, a single mom with three ex husbands and five kids. She needs help with electrical work. They go fishing, and she’s candid and in control. Gerald is in love, and she confesses that she killed her third husband RON in self-defense and threw his body down a mineshaft - but no one came looking. Gerald keeps her secret.

    He and Alice invite Gerald’s two young sons to stay with them, but Alice wants nothing to do with Virginia. Under the guise of a hunting trip, Gerald lures Virginia and the two boys into the woods and shoots them all in the head, then dumps their bodies in a lake.

    Years go by. The detective who has these unsolved cases on his desk longer than any other is LONNIE TEBEEST. He questions everyone and starts excavation on an abandoned mineshaft where he believes bodies lie. He knows Gerald and Alice are murderers but can’t prove it. His bosses are getting tired of the very cold case. CLAIRE, Virginia’s elderly mother, keeps TeBeest searching for answers. He gets help from nationally renowned law enforcement officials and a new sheriff who starts a cold case department. Finally, a second excavation of the mineshaft produces Ron’s skull with a bullet wound, so they call in Alice and she confesses to the murder. Gerald thinks Alice ratted him out so he confesses to his murders.

    Alice and Gerald, now in their 70s, go to prison for murders that occurred 40 years ago. The lake Gerald dumped the bodies of Virginia and the two boys was combed over with high-tech equipment but nothing was ever found. Gerald and Alice end up in the same prison but never see each other.

    About The Author

    The author, a Wyoming native, faithfully recounts the story via interviews, interrogations, police recordings, Gerald's autobiography, and municipal records.