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The Passions, Torments, and Murder of Atheist Mada


Obscene, belligerent, obsessive, and brilliant, the infamous and outrageous Madalyn Murray O'Hair succeeded in becoming "America's Most Hated Woman." Now award-winning journalist Ted Dracos reveals the incredible true story of the life and murder of the woman who changed the religious habits of an entire nation.

As the woman who won a longshot, landmark Supreme Court case to ban prayer in public schools -- and also the millionaire murdered for her ill-gained money -- Madalyn Murray O'Hair was one of the most powerful personalities of the twentieth century. Investigative reporter Ted Dracos presents an amazing account of O'Hair's life -- a story that is rare in the annals of crime and is truly stranger than fiction.

With impeccable research based on thousands of pages of court records, nearly one hundred interviews in fourteen states, and never-before-released documents UnGodly traces the self-anointed atheist high priestess from her public skirmishes with the law through her remarkable legal maneuverings and her schemes to siphon off enormous sums of money from the foundations she created. O'Hair's private life proves as bizarre as her public life. UnGodly also explains for the first time the full story of the kidnapping and murder of O'Hair, her son, and granddaughter -- a grisly multiple murder masterminded by a genius ex-con who hoped to pocket nearly a million dollars worth of loot in a pitiless and cunning plot.

Fearless, combative, and domineering, O'Hair led one of the most unforgettable -- and almost unbelievable -- lives in American history. UnGodly -- a seamless blend of biography and murder mystery -- is a chilling portrait of a fascinating, complex woman whose life finally became a living hell.

Ann Rule author of Heart Full of Lies and Every Breath You Take Ungodly is a searingly hypnotic portrait of malevolence -- the life and grisly death of the "Most Hated Woman in America": Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Brilliant, the ultimate sociopath, unsympathetic and yet fascinating, O'Hair's fate seemed preordained -- and how she would hate that word. Her killer was as bright, vicious, and devious as she was, two snakes in a death grapple that only one could survive or, perhaps, neither. Ted Dracos's portrait of the woman who turned atheism into a million-dollar con game is totally compelling, wonderfully researched, and affords unflinching readers a voyeur's view into the very heart of self-aggrandizing evil. The woman who continually projected her own faults onto others is unveiled in intimate detail to a degree I would never have thought possible. Disturbing, yes. Intriguing? Absolutely.

Edna Buchanan Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author of The Corpse Had a Familiar Face and The Ice Maiden Madeline Murray O'Hair won. She had it all, until forces as dark as her own took it away -- permanently. Ted Dracos's intimate portrait of one of the most extraordinarily evil women of our time is a brilliant and historic tale of horror, greed -- and poetic justice. The dark lady triumphed over institutions, tradition, and religion. She thumbed her nose at the law and public sentiment. The pudgy devil in a housedress raised unholy hell on earth. Feted by notorious celebrities, infamous and rich, she brought only chaos, disaster, and death to those around her. She denied the existance of both heaven and hell until the end, when the latter overtook her here on earth. UnGodly ushers the reader on an odyssey deep into the dark heart of evil.