It might have been a Cinderella story. On a hopeful New Year's morning in 1960 the daughter of a working-class Illinois family married a handsome heir -- and ten years later with (in retrospect) almost breathtaking inevitability, Louise Thoresen killed William in the bedroom of their Fresno, California, home, was tried and acquitted. It was an extraordinary meshing of madness, husband and wife reinforcing each other in shoplifting capers on a grand scale, gun buying sprees (a 1967 raid on their San Francisco mansion netted an estimated 500,000 dollars in munitions), the dynamiting of an Arizona radio station. There were hangers-on picked up and discarded, arrests (and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees), sadistic wife-beatings, the Haight-Ashbury scene and debilitating doses of drugs, commitments to mental institutions and escapes. This is Mrs. Thoresen's very personal view of how it ali went bad, and it raises more questions than it answers: did her husband attempt to murder his parents; arrange his brother's death, then in turn kill the hired killer; plot to murder his wife? Did he actually manipulate her into killing him? Horror overlays grotesqueness in a distasteful, involving and deeply disturbing -- the more so for lacking poignancy -- story of a very au courant American tragedy.