Amy Bosley was the archetypal American dream wife...attractive, kind and funny, a devoted mother, a valued business partner to her husband, an untiring charity worker and community stalwart in the small town of Campbell, Kentucky.
But that dream became a nightmare at dawn on a May morning in 2005 when 38-year-old Amy rang police in floods of tears to report that an intruder had broken into their holiday cabin, fatally shot her husband, terrified their two young children and was still lurking somewhere in the house Patrol cars rushed to the remote luxury cabin deep in woodland in Campbell County — and found a scene of appalling violence.
Bob Bosley, a 41-year-old businessman, was lying dead on the bed in the master bedroom, his body torn by at least seven revolver bullets. The room and the rest of the cabin, had been ransacked - possessions and clothes strewn around the doors and windows broken.
Indeed, surveying the wreckage, one hardened detective muttered to a colleague:"This is overkill...No intruder would kill the guy like this and then destroy the place."
The Bosleys' two sons, Trevor, nine, and Morgan, six, asleep in a first-floor loft bedroom had not been harmed although they had been woken by the commotion and told to stay in their room by their mother.
Police searched the house and grounds, but no intruder was found. Amy Bosley in a state of shock, was taken to the house of friends.
"It was a very bloody scene," Detective Dave Fickensecher said later. "You could see bullet-holes everywhere. The once immaculate cabin was a shambles. Whatever had gone on was extremely violent."
Sniffer dogs were brought in but failed to find anything and helicopters searched the heavily-wooded area look anyone resembling Amy Bosley's description of "a white guy in his thirties, very tall and with a pointed very mean face." But no one was found.
Not surprisingly the case was headline news for in the town of Campbell, Bob and Amy Bosley were the nearest they had to royalty. They owned a million-dollar roofing business, had sports cars, horses, their own plane and a 50-ft motor-yacht. They also planned to build a castle-like mansion on their 35-acre estate.
It was on this land, mainly remote woods, that the Bosleys had built their weekend retreat, a luxury cabin, which was now the scene of the first murder in Campbell County for more than 15 years.
About the only piece of evidence detectives had was a transcript of the initial emergency call, made at 5am in which Amy Bosley said:"Someone is breaking into my house. What can I do? Help me, help me."
Then, before the dispatcher could reply, Amy cried: "Oh my God, he's shot my husband. He's shot Bob. I think he's still in the house." He wasn't. But that didn't mean he was not still in the Campbell area and mounting panic gripped the community. Locals fearing that a crazed killer was on the loose kept their children at home from school the following days.
Said a neighbour, Bobby Wahoff: "I can't believe what's happened. Bob was the nicest guy you could find. He would give you the shirt off his back if he had to."
The day after the murder, police chief Keith Hill told the media:" We believe that a white male suspect entered the Bosley cabin through the back door which was broken.
"The strange thing is that nothing appears to be missing and no gun or shell casings have been found. We have no motive at this time and no explanation as to why Bob Bosley was killed.
At the same press conference, Amy Bosley made a tearful statement in which she said:"We have every faith in the police department and the investigation to find this killer. We are helping the authorities in every way we can. "Unfortunately as of now all I can remember is that I woke up and was on the floor. I heard shots and I saw a man leave the house."
Soon afterwards police investigations began to reveal that the Bosley marriage had not been as idyllic as Amy claimed it to be. Bob spent most weekends on his boat on nearby Lake Cumberland holding parties at which most of the guests were women.
Friends said that Bob would be on the lake for days at a time and refuse to tell Amy who he was with and when he would be back. But not all the Bosley's secrets concerned Bob's extramarital affairs. A close study of the finances of the roofing company of which Amy was financial director, showed that the apparently booming enterprise was going bust.
Amy it seemed, was destroying the business by embezzling nearly $2 million which should have been paid to the IRS tax authorities. "Our case is that she was destroying his business to get even with him for being unfaithful," prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass was later to tell a court.
And Bob's sister Debbie Webb was to recall: "Amy once told me that if Bob was ever unfaithful to her or left her she would shoot him.I didn't take this seriously but it lingered in the back of my mind."
Suddenly suspicion fell on tragic wife Amy Bosley but she vehemently denied having anything to do with the crime."I loved Bob, despite any problems we had," she told detectives.
"We didn't have a perfect marriage -who does? - but he was the father of my children and I had no reason to shoot him." But the police didn't believe her and three days later Amy was arrested and charged with murder. When she appeared before Judge John Stine and a jury at Campbell County courthouse,prosecutor Snodgrass claimed that a police search of the cabin had found Amy's handbag hidden in the back a cupboard. It contained a Glock handgun from her husband's collection.
But defence attorney Jim Morgan said that as no ammunition had been found there was no evidence that the weapon was the one used to kill Bob Bosley.
He told the jury: "There were no witnesses, no DNA evidence and the possibility of another killer can't be ruled out because Bob Bosley had made many enemies through his business dealings." It was then that prosecutor Snodgrass produced her trump cards: the two Bosley children. Interviewed by child experts they had made statements saying that the glass in the back door had been shattered AFTER the murder — to make it look like a break-in.
"The first thing that woke the kids were the gunshots," Michelle Snodgrass told the jury."They heard the glass breaking after the gunshots. This testimony was crucial but as no one wanted the children, now living with their grandparents, to be forced to give evidence against their mother, the prosecution offered a plea-bargain involving a lighter sentence to save the youngsters from testifying.
Amy Bosley changed her plea to guilty and was gaoled for a minimum of 17 years. But the Bosley family were not happy and let her know their feelings. Bob's brother James told her:"You can walk out of gaol, dig up the loot we believe you stole from my brother's business and live the rest of your life in luxury.
"All we hope is that every night you see the face of my brother and the tear-stained faces of your children who have been turned into orphans and who saw horrors that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.