Biography

 

Crime, murder and serial killer expert, creator/producer/writer and former host of the Investigation Discovery series DARK MINDS, acclaimed, award-winning investigative journalist M. William Phelps is the New York Times best-selling author of 30 books and winner of the 2013 Excellence in (Investigative) Journalism Award and the 2008 New England Book Festival Award. A highly sought-after pundit, Phelps has made over 100 media-related television appearances: Early Show, The Today Show, The View, Fox & Friends, truTV, Discovery Channel, Fox News Channel, Good Morning America, TLC, BIO, History, Oxygen, OWN, on top of over 100 additional media appearances: USA Radio Network, Catholic Radio, Mancow, Wall Street Journal Radio, Zac Daniel, Ave Maria Radio, Catholic Channel, EWTN Radio, ABC News Radio, and many more.

Phelps is also a member of the Multidisciplinary Collaborative on Sexual Crime and Violence (MCSCV), also known as the Atypical Homicide Research Group (AHRG) at Northeastern University, maintained by NU alumni Enzo Yaksic.

Phelps is one of the regular and recurring experts frequently appearing on two long-running series, Deadly Women and Snapped. Radio America calls Phelps “the nation’s leading authority on the mind of the female murderer,” and TV Rage says, “M. William Phelps dares to tread where few others will: into the mind of a killer.” A respected journalist, beyond his book writing Phelps has written for numerous publications—including the Providence Journal, Connecticut Magazine and Hartford Courant—and consulted on the first season of the hit Showtime cable television series Dexter.

Phelps grew up in East Hartford, CT, moved to Vernon, CT, at age 12, where he lived for 25 years. He now lives in a reclusive Connecticut farming community north of Hartford.

Beyond crime, Phelps has also written several history books, including the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling NATHAN HALE: The Life and Death of America’s First Spy, THE DEVIL’S ROOMING HOUSE, THE DEVIL’S RIGHT HAND, MURDER, NEW ENGLAND, and more.

To write to Phelps the old-fashioned way:

M. William Phelps
PO BOX 3215
Vernon, CT 06066


Highest Praise for M. William Phelps

“M. William Phelps dares to tread where few others will: into the mind of a killer.”TV Rage

THE KILLING KIND
“In this true crime book, Phelps focuses on unrepentant killer Danny Hembree…[who] seizes the chance to take center stage with lurid confessions of a decades-long career of violent robbery, assault, rape, and murder…Fans of the author’s Discovery TV series, Dark Minds, will be rewarded.”
Publishers Weekly

OBSESSED
“True-crime junkies will be sated by the latest thriller from Phelps, which focuses on a fatal love triangle that definitely proved to be stranger than fiction. The police work undertaken to solve the case is recounted with the right amount of detail, and readers will be rewarded with shocking television-worthy twists in a story with inherent drama.”
Publishers Weekly

BAD GIRLS
“Fascinating, gripping . . . Phelps’s sharp investigative skills and questioning mind resonate. Whether or not you agree with the author’s suspicions that an innocent is behind bars, you won’t regret going along for the ride with such an accomplished reporter.”
Sue Russell

NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN
“This riveting book examines one of the most horrific murders in recent American history.”
New York Post

“Phelps clearly shows how the ugliest crimes can take place in the quietest of suburbs.”
Library Journal

“Thoroughly reported . . . The book is primarily a police procedural, but it is also a tribute to the four murder victims.”
–Kirkus Reviews

TOO YOUNG TO KILL
“Phelps is the Harlan Coben of real-life thrillers.”
Allison Brennan

LOVE HER TO DEATH
“Reading anything by Phelps is always an eye opening experience. The characters are well researched and well written. We have murder, adultery, obsession, lies and so much more.”
Suspense Magazine

“You don’t want to miss Love Her To Death by M. William Phelps, a book destined to be one of 2011’s top true crimes!”
True Crime Book Reviews

“A chilling crime . . . award-winning author Phelps goes into lustrous and painstaking detail, bringing all the players vividly to life.”
Crime Magazine

KILL FOR ME
“Phelps gets into the blood and guts of the story.”
Gregg Olsen, New York Times best-selling author of Fear Collector

“Phelps infuses his investigative journalism with plenty of energized descriptions.”

Publishers Weekly

DEATH TRAP
“A chilling tale of a sociopathic wife and mother . . . a compelling journey from the inside of this woman’s mind to final justice in a court of law. For three days I did little else but read this book.”
Harry N. MacLean, New York Times best-selling author of In Broad Daylight

I’LL BE WATCHING YOU
“Phelps has an unrelenting sense for detail that affirms his place, book by book, as one of our most engaging crime journalists.”
Katherine Ramsland

IF LOOKS COULD KILL
“M. William Phelps, one of America’s finest true-crime writers, has written a compelling and gripping book about an intriguing murder mystery. Readers of this genre will thoroughly enjoy this book.”
Vincent Bugliosi

“Starts quickly and doesn’t slow down . . . Phelps consistently ratchets up the dramatic tension, hooking readers. His thorough research and interviews give the book complexity, richness of character, and urgency.”
Stephen Singular

MURDER IN THE HEARTLAND
“Drawing on interviews with law officers and relatives, the author has done significant research. His facile writing pulls the reader along.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Phelps expertly reminds us that when the darkest form of evil invades the quiet and safe outposts of rural America, the tragedy is greatly magnified. Get ready for some sleepless nights.”
Carlton Stowers

“This is the most disturbing and moving look at murder in rural America since Capote’s In Cold Blood.”
Gregg Olsen

SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE
“An exceptional book by an exceptional true crime writer. Phelps exposes long-hidden secrets and reveals disquieting truths.”
Kathryn Casey

EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE
“An insightful and fast-paced examination of the inner workings of a good cop and his bad informant, culminating in an unforgettable truth-is-stranger-than-fiction climax.”
Michael M. Baden, M.D.

“M. William Phelps is the rising star of the nonfiction crime genre, and his true tales of murder are scary-as-hell thrill rides into the dark heart of the inhuman condition.”
Douglas Clegg

LETHAL GUARDIAN
“An intense roller-coaster of a crime story . . . complex, with twists and turns worthy of any great detective mystery . . . reads more like a novel than your standard non-fiction crime book.”
Steve Jackson

PERFECT POISON
“True crime at its best—compelling, gripping, an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Phelps packs wallops of delight with his skillful ability to narrate a suspenseful story.”
Harvey Rachlin

“A compelling account of terror . . . the author dedicates himself to unmasking the psychopath with facts, insight and the other proven methods of journalistic leg work.”
Lowell Cauffiel

 

Photo courtesy of Dr. Beryl Bailey
Photo courtesy of Dr. Beryl Bailey

In June 2015, Phelps visited Bloomfield High School, in Bloomfield, CT. The school assigned Phelps’s book NATHAN HALE to a group of over 120 sophomores. Phelps was on hand to sign the books, give a short talk, and wish everyone a great summer.

“It is such an honor for me that BHS chose this important book. Nathan Hale is CT’s state hero and his story is entirely misunderstood and even fabricated by much of what has been written about Hale in past history,” Phelps says. “It is so humbling to have BHS choose the book.”

Phelps will be back in the fall at BHS to give a lecture on the book and answer questions from the students.

 

phelps-6

Good friend and sometimes spiritual adviser, Sister Theresa, keeps Phelps in check, so the darkness does not ever overshadow and take the place of the light.

“Sister and I go way back. She’s one of the best people I know. It’s an honor to be her friend. She has taught me so much about life, love, spirituality, and how to be a better human being.”

Phelps, in his youth, posing as rock star extraordinaire (circa 1986)
Phelps, in his youth, posing as rock star extraordinaire (circa 1986)

“That Telecaster was the best guitar I ever owned. I call these my ‘Wedding Singer’ days. We were a terrible band, but it was fun. That time, the mid-eighties, seems like a blurry dream, actually. It’s funny, when you’re living within the boundaries lines of major historical moments in time, they seem mundane and commonplace—and yet, looking back, taking note of that period in American history, what was going on around us then, wow … just an incredible period.”

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This photo was taken about midway to the summit of Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers, British Columbia, Canada, by “Dark Minds” cameraman, Phelps’s good friend, Peter Heap.

Just in back of where Phelps is standing is a clearing where much of the film “The Grey” was shot. The carcass of the airliner used in the film was at the base of the mountain. Phelps was there tracking the “Highway of Tears” serial killer for “Dark Minds.”

“Smithers is one of the most remarkable places I have ever visited. It was as if the entire town had not been subjected to most of the frivolities of society. The people there were kinder and happier than most. We so much appreciated that. Granted, we had just spent a few days in Vancouver, so perhaps we were a little jaded, but our time in Smithers was more memorable than we could ever say. It’s funny, because Smithers was the one place on the entire trip that we were not looking all that forward to going because it is so far from the states and any major city.”