Wilder Intentions: Love, Lies and Murder in North Dakota by C.J. Wynn

Trigger warning: this book contains details involving a murder case, investigation and trial. There may be graphic description that sensitive audiences shouldn’t read.

Richie and Cynthia will someday be long forgotten, but the memory of Anglia’s beaming smile, her pride in being a mother, her fierce love and devotion to her family and friends, and her deep desire to help others, will shine brightly every day in the lives she touched most.“- C.J. Wynn

You would never know that this is the first book C.J. Wynn has written based on the quality of the writing and the extensive research that rests within these pages. Like many of us, C.J. Wynn found herself drawn to true crime, yet she would never have expected to be a true-crime writer herself. Especially writing about a murder case that took place in her hometown of Minot, North Dakota.
I read this book because I was living in Grand Forks, North Dakota, when this murder took place, and while I didn’t follow the case closely, I was very aware it happened and that the Minot police department was working diligently to solve it. North Dakota is like a second home state for me, and many of my very best friends live there to this day. Seeing a true crime novel with the words “murder in North Dakota” immediately grabbed my attention because North Dakota isn’t where this type of crime occurs. And yet it did.
Angila’s story is so well told in this book. The C.J. Wynn did absolute justice for Anglia and her family with how thorough this book was written. The detail that went into every paragraph, and the care and concern to deliver the facts without inserting fluff or opinion was diligently executed. The facts of this case are devastating, and it is genuinely terrifying to think that someone you once loved and had a child with could honestly do you grave harm. Relationships are complicated, and the dynamic is well explained throughout this book. C.J. Wynn was very fair in her regard to every person who was a part of this case. Wynn more than did her due diligence, and I found her delivery of the facts eloquent.
This case is such an excellent example of who the people of North Dakota are. Not Richie and Cynthia. But the men and women of the Minot police department who worked tirelessly to pursue every single avenue to gather the facts of the case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Angila was murdered in cold blood but someone she knew. There is so much resilience and passion within Minot’s community, and while it is devastating that such a crime happened (in general) there, Minot’s best took care of their own, and justice was served.
While it is always difficult to recommend a true crime novel, this is one of the best I have ever read. I recommend reading this book if you enjoy true crime and seeing justice be served. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Find Wilder Intentions: Love, Lies and Murder in North Dakota by C.J. Wynn on Amazon.

Find out more about C.J. Wynn from her Goodreads bio.

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