People

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Exclusive

Behind the ‘Eerily Similar’ Connections Between Florida Woman’s Murder and a Crime Novel

Posted on

The 1991 murder of Jackie Galloway in Sarasota, Florida, has several mysteries: Why was the killer drawn to her, specifically? How much pain did she endure? What exactly happened to her after she vanished from her apartment one June afternoon — the day before her body was found, traumatized and bound by cords?

One mystery, perhaps, ties the others together: How much inspiration for the crime was drawn from a Patricia Cornwell crime novel? The man who ultimately pleaded no contest in Galloway’s murder, John Waterman, admitted to owning a copy of Cornwell’s book Postmortem and reading parts of it.

The Galloway case will be featured on Monday night’s episode of People Magazine Investigates, on Investigation Discovery.

Ahead of that airing, PEOPLE Senior Editor Alicia Dennis sat down on Friday’s People Now to preview the episode and discuss the case’s connection to Postmortem.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

John Waterman
Florida Department of Law Enforcement

“It was really shocking to investigators,” Dennis said, “because they were looking in this fictional thriller and found so many things that were similar: For example, the knots that were tied around Jackie and the way that her fingernails had been torn off — as if she’d either fought off her attacker or been tortured.”

“Some of those things were just eerily similar to what was written in the book,” Dennis continued.

People Magazine Investigates airs Mondays (10 p.m.) ET on Investigation Discovery.