Review

Too Late to Say Goodbye: A True Story of Murder and Betrayal

by Ann Rule

As
one of America’s most respected authors of true-crime sagas,
Ann Rule has the luxury of picking the cases she will transform
into bestselling epics. Her reputation has placed her in the
enviable position of having people contact her to suggest real-life
murders that warrant the Ann Rule treatment. Such was the case with
Jenn Corbin, who appeared to take her own life in her suburban
Atlanta home late in 2004. To make her death even more tragic, her
lifeless body was discovered by her seven-year old son Dalton, who
ran to a neighbor’s house announcing, “My daddy shot my
mommy --- I need you to call 911.” The police investigation
pointed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound as the cause of
death.

To their community of Buford, Georgia, Jenn Corbin and her dentist
husband, Bart, seemed to be the idyllic couple --- the parents of
two boys, Bart was building his dental practice and Jenn was a
preschool teacher --- but appearances can often be deceiving. Bart
Corbin was a man who was far different in private than in public.
In addition to his controlling personality, he was also a
womanizer. This combination was too much for Jenn to bear, and
shortly before her death, they separated. Divorce was
imminent.

Experienced law enforcement officers acknowledge that homicides
must be solved quickly, within hours or days. They also will admit
that spouses are generally prime suspects when their partner is
murdered. The Corbin death had all the markings of a suicide, and
the case appeared to be headed to the cold case files of the
Gwinnett County Police Department. But hard work and luck are often
far superior law enforcement tools than DNA or fingerprints.

Authorities learned about another woman, Dolly Hearn, who had been
involved with Bart Corbin years before and had met her death in
circumstances remarkably similar to Jenn. One suicide can perhaps
be explained, but the odds of two women, romantically linked to the
same man, taking their own lives were as remote as one person being
struck by lightning on two separate occasions. However, knowing
that crimes have occurred and proving them beyond a reasonable
doubt are far different animals. TOO LATE TO SAY
GOODBYE is the mesmerizing tale of how law enforcement
coordinated information from two deaths separated by nearly a
decade to convict Bart Corbin of murder.

Americans love their crime. From “Law & Order” to
countless courtroom shows and  our near-obsession with the
real-life crimes of O. J. Simpson, Scott Peterson and others, we
are fascinated with the workings of the legal system. Ann Rule is
one of the elite true-crime writers, producing books that cause
people to wonder if they are reading fact or fiction. From Ted
Bundy to the Green River Killer who stalked and murdered for
decades to Dr. Bart Corbin, Rule paints a picture of crime that
readers will be unable to put down. Page after page yields the
story of an incredible absorbing crime that almost went
unsolved.

TOO LATE TO SAY GOODBYE is the quintessential true-crime
story. Prepare yourself for a few late nights of reading.

Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman on January 23, 2011

Too Late to Say Goodbye: A True Story of Murder and Betrayal
by Ann Rule

  • Publication Date: June 5, 2007
  • Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • ISBN-10: 0743238524
  • ISBN-13: 9780743238526