I began researching Joan's case in 2006 after Tim Burke, the former prosecutor involved in the investigation, announced a book about Joan's case and entangled matters. No one was ever charged or tried for Joan's murder, but Burke promoted a theory that made no sense with known facts. His book and my personal experiences with the Webster family were the catalysts to dig into the case. Joan was my sister-in-law.

My book is the result of more than 15 years of recovering documents and interviewing witnesses. The book is written to engage a broad audience of readers, but details the facts in source documents. The case was sensational and highly publicized, but source documents told a much different story. The state claimed Joan was murdered on a boat that did not exist when she disappeared. 

Joan's case is important; she deserves true justice. My book exposes abuse in the system by authorities with a different agenda. I have written the book to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounded Joan's case, set the record straight, and help the vulnerable and silent victims still left in the wake.

Book blurb:

Description: PictureIt’s worse than you think…

It was a brisk April morning in 1990 when a woman walking her dog stopped cold in her tracks. She reeled back from something strange and disturbing blocking the drainage tile: a human skull. Forensic examination showed that it was the remains of Joan Webster, the 25-year-old Harvard graduate student whose disappearance had rattled the community and stumped investigators for the past eight and a half years. The prosecutors had a suspect, Leonard Paradiso, who was tried and convicted for the murder of another local woman. The only similarity between the entangled crimes was that both victims had long dark hair. Assistant District Attorney Tim Burke was obsessed with proving Paradiso guilty of both murders. However, between the lack of evidence and ever-changing stories, the circumstances of Joan Webster’s death remains a mystery to this day.

Hope is not lost as Joan’s sister-in-law, Eve Carson, continues to fight for justice. Simple, Safe & Secret divulges the diabolical details and dysfunctional system that has denied and obstructed justice in solving Joan Webster’s murder case. The messy truth of the botched investigation and a wrongful conviction may be darker than the story of Joan’s murder itself.

To buy:

 Simple, Safe & Secret: The 1981 Murder of Joan L. Webster: Carson, Eve: 9781947521858: Books

Eve Carson, Author

Eve Carson Bio:

Eve Carson was born and raised in Danville, Illinois. She is the middle child with an older sister and younger brother. The close-knit family faced life’s hurdles together, a source of strength through the many obstacles families face in life.

Eve graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Industrial Management and Economics. She worked for General Motors and IBM in her early career. Eve married Joan’s brother Steve on January 5, 1980 and was the only non-blood relative in the immediate family when Joan disappeared. She has two daughters, who sadly never knew their Aunt Joan.

Ms. Carson has published multiple articles and given numerous interviews. Articles about the Joan Webster murder have appeared in Crime Magazine, The Journal of Forensic Research, The Precious Hearts Foundation Magazine, The Journal of Forensic and Crime Investigation, Medium, and Unsolved Magazine. In addition, Eve presented aspects of Joan’s case to the International Forensic Research Conference twice, the Stu Taylor program, and on The Whistleblower television series.

Today, she resides in the Midwest and perseveres for justice. Eve continues her writing and works as a consultant in an unrelated field.

I have created a website to add supplemental documents and information.



Michael A. Black said…
Sounds like a very tragic incident. It's good that you've taken the time to make sure that Joan is not forgotten.
Haggerty said…
I have fought many battles with prosecutors, won some, lost more. I fully intend to purchase a copy of the book. I received a plaque from the FBI's Washington Field Office when I retired. It read, "For your steadfast commitment to the lost souls of the world." I went after child predators/pimps which, surprisingly, wasn't big on the U.S. Attorney's prosecutable list. There were many victims, but very little justice.

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