Down the Hill

My Descent into the Double Murder in Delphi

New Release


By Susan Hendricks

Formats and Prices




$20.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 19, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Former CNN/HLN anchor and veteran broadcast journalist Susan Hendricks takes an investigative deep-dive into the still-unsolved double homicide of two teens in Delphi, Indiana—and its lasting impact on the community

On February 13, 2017, two teenage girls—13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German—decided to enjoy a day off from school by exploring the popular hiking trails near the Monon High Bridge just a few minutes’ drive from Libby’s home in Delphi, Indiana. Libby’s sister, Kelsi, dropped the two girls off at the head of the trail and waved to them as they walked down the path, which was the last time they’d ever be seen alive. Less than 24 hours later, their bodies were found on the north bank of Deer Creek, about a mile from where they were last seen. There were few clues and little to go on in terms of physical evidence, except for the visual and audio remnants of a strange encounter the girls had with a stranger just hours before their disappearance, an encounter unsettling enough that Libby had thought to record it on her cellphone as it unfolded. In the years since the murders were first made public, Libby’s audio and video recordings have been released and two very different composite sketches of the suspect have been shown, but local law enforcement remained vague about developments for years—until finally, in October 2022, the long-awaited suspect was arrested and a trial date was set.

Longtime anchor and journalist Susan Hendricks was one of the first reporters to cover the case. A broadcast veteran with decades’ worth of experience under her belt, she was no stranger when it came to sharing the tragedies of the day with viewers. But there was something about this case that rattled her to her core. A year after the murders, Susan went to Delphi to interview the victims’ families for an in-depth special report where Kelsi drove Susan down the same path that she drove her sister down on the last day of her life. Over the years, Susan has built close relationships with family members, and law enforcement officials and armchair detectives alike who are determined to get justice for Abby and Libby.

In Down the Hill, Hendricks digs deeper in into the mystery that has captivated our nation for years, exploring the family's enduring resilience and advocacy, as well as the rippling impact the case has had on not just Delphi, but the very heart of the American heartland. As a result, this book is more than just a book about a double homicide; it’s about a small town in middle America that’s been haunted by an unfathomable act of violence; it’s about the ways families and communities cope with grief and move forward after tragedy; it’s about the limitations of local law enforcement and the rise of technology in helping to solve cases in new ways. But it’s also about compassion, connection, empathy, and resilience—on a very real, very human level.



by Kelsi German Siebert

Growing up, it was Libby and me against the world. During and after our parents’ divorce, we never knew whose house we would be at when, and eventually moved in with our grandparents. Throughout all of this, Libby was my constant. We went through every high and every low together. I always thought that it was inevitable that she would be with me through everything life brought our way. That was until February 13, 2017, when life as I knew it came crashing down and turned into the kind of nightmare that, until that moment, the people in small-town Delphi had only heard about on television.

Up to that point in our lives, Libby was the one I would go to when I needed someone to talk to and confide in. I would share everything with her, as she did with me. I spent the first year after her death trying to learn how to move forward in life without her. What was I going to do now that my whole world felt and looked so different? At seventeen, I had no idea how to cope with a traumatic loss, or even loss in general for that matter. The one thing I did know was that Libby would want me to move forward by living my life and not letting her murderer take mine also. I knew I had to do this to honor her life and memory.

Even though I was well aware that this was what my sister would want for me, I couldn’t stop the continual roller-coaster ride of emotions. During the year that followed, I was scared to sleep in my own room alone, I quit my job because I was so uncomfortable walking to my car by myself at night, and I stopped parking in the student parking lot at school because I knew that after swim practice there would be more people walking to the front lot than the back. The knowledge that the person who had cold-heartedly murdered two teenagers in broad daylight was still out there somewhere, living their life as if nothing had happened, took hold of me and led me to a dark place, a place I prayed I was strong enough to stay away from. It was as though I had lost myself, and the person I had normally turned to for comfort and support in these times was now gone.

I felt incredibly alone. At that point, it seemed like no one in the world understood what I was feeling. My family constantly assured me that I could talk to them, but I worried that anything I said would only add to their grief. I couldn’t find a counselor who knew how to help me work through the trauma I had experienced. My friends wanted to help, but the advice they gave me felt empty; even though they meant well, I knew they couldn’t possibly understand the emotions I was going through. I hit rock bottom with seemingly no way out. All I could do was hold on to my faith and pray that Christ would lead me through these fires and help me to find peace.

After over a year of fighting what seemed like a never-ending battle, my family and I were invited to CrimeCon to speak about Abby and Libby’s case. Up until that point, I had stayed silent and had never given any thought to putting myself out there to help in the public efforts to solve the girls’ case. Before going into the event I had only planned on sitting back at the booth and handing out fliers—which is what I ended up doing. Even so, this event ended up being a turning point for me.

At CrimeCon 2018, I met Michelle Cruz—her sister, Janelle Cruz, was murdered by the Golden State Killer—along with several of the other sister survivors. These women inspired me; they still do. I watched in awe as they shared their stories without fear and celebrated the capture of their sister’s killer. On the last day of the event, I found the courage to go up to Michelle and ask for her help. She told me to put myself out there and to never stop fighting for answers. She gave me the push I needed to break out of my shell and fight for my sister through social media.

Within days of starting a Twitter account for the case, I gained thousands of followers who wanted to join my family and me in our fight for justice. Making the decision to put myself out there, I became an advocate and, in the process of doing interviews and podcasts, I made many new friends. Several of the people I met through my account had also been affected in some way by violent crimes. Some of them had also lost siblings to homicide, and we were able to talk about our experiences and understand each other’s feelings. For the very first time, I felt like I had a community that understood what I was going through. My prayers had finally been answered.

In the years that followed this conference, I have witnessed the best and the worst of humanity.

Social media, I have learned, is a double-edged sword. It can be a wonderful tool, sharing necessary information quickly and efficiently with the public. But it can also be filled with some users spouting hatred and untruths, ruining innocent people’s lives. It was heartbreaking to read the constant speculation of what might have happened to the girls.

Luckily, there have been so many people who have supported our cause and wanted to help. I have always been a believer that good outweighs bad, and the world has shown that to be true. The people of Carroll County poured their love over us and the investigative team like no one could have ever expected. Strangers from around the world, like Michelle Cruz, Sarah Turney, Sheryl McCollum, and Susan Hendricks—to name a few, it would take dozens of pages to name them all—have stood by our side through all the ups and downs of the investigation to see justice through to the end.

My relationship with Susan has been particularly special. One of the first times my family met Susan, I accompanied her and the HLN crew to Monon High Bridge. I had met her previously and it was obvious to us how much she cared. But on this particular visit, it was even more evident. As we walked out to the bridge, we made casual conversation. I joked that they were overdressed in their winter coats; it wasn’t that cold but, because they were used to the weather back in Atlanta, they had to buy warmer clothes upon their arrival in Indiana. Susan was emotional, even more so the closer we got to the beginning of the bridge. She kept reminding me that she wanted to make sure she covered Abby and Libby’s story well, making sure the world knew that they were real girls, and that I was comfortable throughout the process. Over the years of knowing her, she has never failed at this. She is constantly reminding us of how much Abby and Libby—as well as our families—have impacted her life, how this has become so much more than just another story. I don’t know that she realizes that she has done the same for us. Susan is one of several people who have shown us compassion and empathy in her reporting. She truly is one of the good ones and I am forever grateful for her and the friendship we have gained with her.

I have learned so much in the years that I have spent advocating for Libby, for Abby, and for others. One day I hope I am able to share some of these experiences with the world in more depth, but, for now, here are just a few of the lessons that had the biggest impact on me: I have learned how to have faith and to always remain hopeful, even when life feels hopeless. I have learned to stand up for the voiceless because I have a voice to use. I have learned to never stop fighting for what matters. And, most of all, I have learned that I am not defined by the trauma I have lived through. And neither are you.

Moving forward looks different as we reach this next chapter in the case. I have taken time to process the arrest, awaiting answers that will eventually come, and it has been a much-needed break. I am finding new ways to be a part of this community that has had my back for so long while I’ve worked to find myself again. Now, as a wife and mother, I will finally be living the life Libby would want me to live. I am no longer stuck in 2017 as I had been for so long.

I may not have all the answers or know what the next step is, but what I do know is this: Life has a funny way of making sure you have exactly what you need when you need it most, especially in your darkest and most lonely days. You are not defined by what has happened to you.


The Day Everything Changed

When Kelsi woke up on the morning of Monday, February 13, 2017, it seemed to be a day just like any other—well, almost. The unusually warm winter in Delphi, Indiana, had brought in fewer snowstorms than administrators had predicted earlier in the academic year, leaving unclaimed snow days in its wake, to the joy of teachers and students alike. On this snow-free “snow day” Monday, the morning rippled with glimmering promise and endless possibilities—a free day with no classes, volleyball practice, or softball.

And yet the day would forever be etched in young Kelsi’s mind for a very different reason, with every choice, every step, every hint from her senses playing repeatedly in a torturous, menacing loop. It was the last day she would ever see her sister alive.

Thinking back on that morning now, years later, Kelsi is haunted most by the sounds that she once took for granted: the merry noises of her younger sister, fourteen-year-old Libby, running down the stairs with her best friend, thirteen-year-old Abby, while her grandmother Becky was in the kitchen working; the slight whispering and girlish giggling as the two young teens gossiped at the kitchen table as Kelsi and Libby’s father, Derrick, made the girls breakfast.

It seems almost cruel now, the simplicity of this former morning routine, carried out by a loving family unaware that their lives would never be the same. Her grandfather Mike had already left for work by the time the rest of the house woke up, but he didn’t give it a second thought; he was comforted by the parental confidence and sense of ease that he’d get to see Libby and hear all about her day with Abby later on at dinnertime, as he had every evening before.

With the afternoon quickly approaching, Libby and Abby debated how they should spend the rest of their long weekend. There were plenty of options; they had friends they could call, to laugh the rest of the day away; they could hang out with Kelsi, if she wasn’t too busy; and, of course, they knew all the local hangout spots and trails they could wander.

In the end, Libby and Abby arrived at a solution that many other teens just like them have turned to countless times: they would create an adventure for themselves.

Their lips curling with mischief and unadulterated delight, the girls built up the courage to ask Becky to drive them to the local trails. Becky responded that she couldn’t take the girls right away—she was too busy working through her daily to-do list—but added that they could help her by completing some quick chores before they headed out for the afternoon. After cleaning up a bit, Libby and Abby asked Kelsi whether she wanted to go with them as they explored a popular local hiking trail nearby.

Although she was seventeen and already had a social life and responsibilities of her own, Kelsi took her role as a big sister seriously and enjoyed spending time with Libby and her friends. Feeling slightly guilty, since she had been saying “no” or “I’m busy, sorry” too often lately, Kelsi readily agreed to give the girls a ride to the trailhead, but she unfortunately couldn’t join them this time—she had to work.

The girls jumped up and down gleefully. Libby grabbed her sister for a big hug, and she’d thank her from the kitchen, through the front door, and all the way to Kelsi’s car. In the background of this exchange, Becky, like generations of doting grandparents before her, reminded Libby, “Take a sweatshirt!”

Libby shrugged it off, and Becky repeated, “Libby, it might get chilly. Take a sweatshirt!”

“Grandma.” Libby smiled back at her lovingly. “It’s OK.”

“OK. Be safe,” Becky replied with an exasperated sigh. “I love you.”

“Love you too! See you later!” Libby cried with a toothy smile streaking across her rosy cheeks.

Becky shut the door behind them, chuckling to herself, already thinking about what the girls might like for dinner that night when they got back. Their family always said I love you in place of goodbye. Every single time. Just in case something happened. Of course, they never expected anything actually would happen; it was almost as if this precaution could shield them from misfortune.

Overjoyed by the sea of possibilities in front of them, Libby and Abby jumped into Kelsi’s car—Libby in the front, Abby in the back. They rolled down the windows and turned on the radio as Kelsi drove down Delphi’s main road, toward High Bridge.

“Turn it up!” Libby yelled. “This is my favorite song!”

“Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots blasted through the speakers as Libby sang along with the melody:

All my friends are heathens, take it slow

Wait for them to ask you who you know

Please don’t make any sudden moves

You don’t know half of the abuse

The car ride was a quick one, with barely enough time to even finish the song; after all, the start of the Monon High Bridge Trail was only about five minutes away from their home. Kelsi slowed the car down to a halt as Libby and Abby clamored to undo their seat belts and bolted out of the car.

As the two girls headed toward the trail, Kelsi reminded them to stay warm, yelled out a quick goodbye, and told her sister she loved her. Watching as they scampered down the path, she couldn’t help but smile, wishing she could be as young and carefree as her younger sister when she was already bogged down with work and assignments for school. As Kelsi plays the day over in her mind, this memory cuts off abruptly somewhere around a quarter to two, when she pulled her car back out and drove away—1:49 p.m., to be exact.

Now, whenever she thinks of her sister, she’ll remember watching Libby and Abby grow smaller and fainter in the rearview mirror, perfectly preserved for just a moment in time.

AFTER LIBBY AND ABBY SET OFF ON THE TRAIL, MUCH OF THEIR FINAL HOURS REMAINS A MYSTERY. For those who are unfamiliar with the rough terrain of Delphi’s woods, the trail might appear to be a labyrinth with a monster or some other untold danger lurking in the shadows, nestled within a thick cover of ancient trees and malevolent, mangled branches. But all Libby and Abby saw before them was the start of an exciting day. They knew the twists and turns of those trails like the freckles and scars on the backs of their hands; the forest had never posed a threat to a local before, and it seemed unlikely today would be any different. Their final conversations with each other are deeply embedded in those same woods, secret murmurings that echo wordlessly within the hollows of tall sycamore and cottonwood trees.

When the girls reached the Monon High Bridge, they stopped to take a snapshot of the massive structure, much like dozens of other locals had done before. The bridge was a common feature in pictures taken by teens who’d grown up in the area; it had even gained a reputation as a popular backdrop for high schoolers posing before senior prom. Though the slats were old and the beams weathered with age, local kids knew that crossing the bridge was easy, really: just follow a few simple steps, walk slowly, and keep your eyes on the old rail bridge below your feet so you don’t fall through one of the many sizable gaps.

For a visitor approaching it for the first time, however, High Bridge would appear terrifying. Looming 63 feet above the ground and spanning 1,300 feet in length, with a creek running beneath it, the course of split boards feels weary, old, uninviting. It seems near impossible that the rusted train tracks atop the bridge could carry the load of a full train if it were commanded to do so today; the old iron beams that hold the structure true seem to tremble beneath your feet, daring you to misstep.

But again, Libby and Abby—buoyed by the boldness of youth—felt no fear, and so, at 2:07 p.m., Libby took a quick picture of her best friend boldly walking across the bridge on her Snapchat app and posted it, as if unknowingly declaring to their whole social network that they were young and invincible.

In the moments after that image was uploaded, the girls were approached by a strange man. From the start, his demeanor was troubling, his stature stocky and almost hunched. His face was covered by an old hat, and he walked with his hands stuffed into the pockets of his worn blue jacket. Alarmed, Libby began to secretly record the man using her phone, hidden within her clothing. This layer of static shrouds the recording to this day, taunting us and whispering in the cracks of the last conversation between the soon-to-be murderer and the girls.

A little after 3:00 p.m., Libby’s father, Derrick, pulled into one of the parking areas and waited for the girls to emerge from the trail. After waiting for a bit, he called Libby’s cell phone at 3:11 p.m. No answer, no response. By 3:30 p.m., knowing it wasn’t like Libby to ignore his texts and calls, Derrick exited his car and began searching along the trails for her and Abby, worried one or both of them might be injured. Reaching the point where the trails intersected, Derrick spotted a man in a flannel shirt and stopped him to ask whether he’d happened to see two young girls. He said he hadn’t, but he mentioned that he’d seen a couple on the bridge not long ago.

Derrick continued down the trail to the creek and called his mom, Becky. He was growing increasingly concerned after not being able to find or even reach the girls via phone. On his way back up the trail, Derrick tried not to run through all the nightmare scenarios in his mind, but he still wondered aloud where the girls were and what could have happened to them. Reluctantly, Derrick started his car and backed away from the pickup spot, checking his rearview mirror in hopes that Libby and Abby would run up, waving for him to turn back—that he was making a big deal out of nothing.

Meanwhile, Tara, Libby’s aunt, was with her mother, Becky, around the time Derrick had called. Both Tara and Becky started repeatedly calling and texting Libby. As four o’clock approached, Becky and Tara grew more and more anxious and decided to head over to the trail to help look for them. As Tara later recalled, there were two different paths that Abby and Libby could have taken if they’d attempted to get home on their own. “So we drove both routes that they could have taken… and no girls. By this time, we were really quite concerned because we had [covered] the whole trail area where they should have been.”

Becky called her husband, Mike, who was at work in Lafayette, to let him know what was going on. Immediately, Mike clocked out of work early and drove to the trail to help Becky, calling Kelsi along the way. Kelsi called out of work as well and headed straight to the trail.

Now sick with worry, the family members volleyed theories back and forth: Had the girls decided to go somewhere else? Were they at some other friend’s house? Had something happened to them while on the trail? Could one of them have possibly fallen off the bridge? Delphi was a simple, uneventful town; nothing happened there. It was unfathomable that something—or someone—more sinister was to blame.

A little after five o’clock that evening, Mike contacted the police. As he remembered it, within ten to fifteen minutes of his call, the entire town of Delphi was lit up with flashlights. Abby and Libby were now officially reported missing, and their loved ones’ worries continued to escalate. Desperate for answers, Becky called AT&T and begged them to get someone to ping Libby’s phone so that they could find the girls more easily—to no avail.

Becky had also been trying to get ahold of Anna, Abby’s mom, and was just about to drive over to her work when Anna finally answered and learned that her baby girl was missing. By six o’clock, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the Delphi Fire Department, and the Delphi police were all involved in the investigation. Eager to add more eyes and ears to the search effort, family members reached out for aid across social media, and what seemed like the entire town of Delphi showed up to pitch in.

The trails and surrounding streets lit up with flashlights, scouring each and every corner, behind every rock and tree. The group continued looking for hours, until the sheriff finally called off the official search at ten o’clock, saying that he did not want to expose his men to the difficult terrain in the dark. The temperature had also dropped considerably, and he was worried about exposure to the elements. Even so, many stayed behind to continue to look for the girls—in vain.

By the next morning, Indiana State Police made an official statement that they were on the lookout for two young girls in Delphi, a small town north of Lafayette, Indiana. Word spread fast. The fire station became a gathering point for volunteers. Between the families’ first call to police and the first local search, Abby and Libby’s disappearance had caught the attention of several news outlets. Their disappearance was beginning to capture much more attention than Kelsi and her family could have possibly anticipated.

That morning, helicopters, state troopers, the FBI, and even a K-9 unit ranged across the area in which Libby and Abby had last been seen. Exhausted after a sleepless night, the girls’ families still held out hope that the teens would be found alive—maybe battered and injured, but at least alive. By now, hundreds of people—perhaps more—were on the hunt for the girls.

As one hour bled into the next, the search efforts bubbled with more energy than ever before: they were one step closer to the girls. Kelsi was so confident that Abby and Libby would be found that she even packed a backpack with granola bars, water, and blankets, thinking the girls would be hungry when she saw them again.

That cautious optimism was quickly shattered when one of the members of the search crew first discovered a shoe. Kelsi had just crossed the bridge with a small group after spending more than thirty minutes looking underneath it. The man who made that discovery used his phone to look across the creek and cried out that he’d spotted two bodies.

Kelsi’s heart sank deep into the depths of her stomach, but she tried to stay hopeful. She mulled over the man’s use of the word bodies, convinced that “he would have called out that he found ‘the girls’ if he had come across them.” But as the minutes dragged on, she felt a pang in her gut: a part of her knew, even if Abby and Libby had been found, they weren’t coming home that night.

Kelsi started to feel weak, with concerns for both the girls and their other family members, like her grandpa, who was looking nearby and had suffered heart problems in the past. She then quickly caught the eye of another volunteer, a woman who worked at the middle school and had lost her own brother in high school. Kelsi fell into her arms. The woman tried to comfort her, but she also convinced Kelsi that they didn’t know what they would find and it was best to turn back.

But as more and more firefighters arrived at the tragic scene, followed by a member of the coroner’s office, it became quite apparent that their search was coming to a tragic end.

At two o’clock on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 14, officials announced that the bodies of two young girls had been discovered along the trails where Libby and Abby had been reported missing. Twenty-four hours later, the bodies were identified as fourteen-year-old Liberty German and thirteen-year-old Abigail Williams. They said the matter was now being investigated as a crime and they suspected foul play.

For the public, the news was shocking and disturbing, but for the girls’ families, the crushing weight of the announcement felt suffocating, utterly inconceivable. Expressing heartfelt regret, the local police force reassured their fellow citizens, confident they’d solve the heinous crime within forty-eight hours.

I WAS ON SET AT THE CNN CENTER IN ATLANTA WHEN DETAILS FROM THIS DOUBLE HOMICIDE STARTED to emerge. I’ll never forget the day of February 14, 2017: the first time I saw images of the girls. Not knowing the ties that I would form with the families. How close I would get. How much I would come to care for them and for their community.

I’ve spent more than twenty-five years covering heartbreaking and harrowing stories from the field and in a studio as a journalist—from smaller stations and local affiliates of ABC and NBC to the very headquarters of CNN and HLN. There was even a five-year span in my career, when my daughter was very young, that I spent about fifteen hours a day inside the CNN Center in Atlanta—by design. I wanted to be there. I anchored an afternoon show on HLN until 4:00 p.m., then I’d go home at 5:00 for forty-five minutes, and then I’d drive back to CNN for Anderson Cooper’s 8:00 show, AC 360. I was on the B block of the 8:00 hour, then again at 11:00 p.m., usually in the D block, which meant I was there until midnight. Looking back on that time now, I’m so grateful for my parents, who came to help me during that period. But I also realize that the intensity of those five years was a real crash course in compartmentalization.

I’m often asked whether it ever gets easier, reporting on the darkest depths of humanity, and I wish I could tell you it does, but I’d be lying. No matter how many crimes you cover, no matter how many people you interview, no matter how many gruesome details you hear about, it never gets easier. You just get better at pretending that it does.

Here’s what makes it possible:

Moving fast: You are forced to move on. Once your mic turns off, once you hear that “all clear” from a producer, or a director, or a photographer, you’re already on to the next story or assignment.

Story count: There is no shortage of horror to cover—and it’s your job as a journalist to get the story out there, so you gather up the facts, interview those involved, and move on. Never linger.


  • “With compassion, integrity, and accuracy, journalist Susan Hendricks takes a closer look inside the tragic homicides of two young girls, Abby and Libby, in Delphi.  Having formed a close relationship with the victims’ loved ones over several years, Hendricks provides unprecedented insight into their families’ resilience, challenges, and relief once an arrest was made. Her sharp eye for detail shines through as she explores various facets of the case using her unique connections, including my thoughts about the investigation and assessment of the suspect. DOWN THE HILL is an incredibly compelling read that is hard to put down; you’ll never look at this case the same way again.”—PAUL HOLES, retired cold case investigator and New York Times bestselling author of Unmasked
  • “In DOWN THE HILL, Susan Hendricks deftly navigates the complexities of the Delphi case, presenting a narrative of tragedy, resilience, and hope. The book offers a deep dive into the investigation, laying bare its successes, setbacks, and detours. It stands as a model for what every book in this genre should strive to be: compelling in its truth, courageous in its narrative, and compassionate in its approach.” —KEVIN BALFE, founder & executive producer, CrimeCon
  • “The Delphi Murders were tragic. The Delphi Murder investigation was complicated and nuanced.  To tell this story, you have to be smart, relentless, and extremely compassionate.  That’s why Susan Hendricks is the right person for this job.  I have worked with Susan for years; I know how she uses all her investigative journalism tools to get to the truth, but more importantly, she has the heart to tell the victims’ story.  DOWN THE HILL will make you understand what it really means when two wonderful girls are taken from their families, who then have to wait years for justice.”—VINNIE POLITAN, lead anchor, Court TV
  • “Susan Hendricks, my friend the journalist, has a heart of gold and you feel it when she tells stories of those impacted by trauma. She has told my story numerous times, so I speak from experience.  Susan is raw, honest, and professional, and leads with honor and integrity in her storytelling; it is no wonder that Abby and Libby’s families let her into their homes to share in their ongoing journey of grief and healing. DOWN THE HILL is a compelling read from beginning to end, from a trusted source who writes with kindness, compassion, and sensitivity.  Thank you, Susan, for continuing to elevate the voices of victims and survivors.”—KIM GOLDMAN, victim advocate, author, and podcast host of Media Circus and Confronting: OJ Simpson
  • “Prepare to be deeply moved and inspired by DOWN THE HILL as Susan Hendricks fearlessly steps into the heart-wrenching world of a shattered community. With unparalleled dedication and unwavering compassion, Hendricks becomes a beacon of hope for the victims and their families. In this gripping account of one of the nation's most tragic murders, she goes beyond mere reporting, immersing herself in the fight for justice and unmasking the truth behind a heinous act of evil. Hendricks' unwavering commitment and tireless pursuit of the truth make her a true champion for justice. DOWN THE HILL is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a reminder to never relent in the search for truth and healing.”—DEANNA (BAUDI MOOVAN) THOMPSON, TV host and podcaster, Dont F**k with Cats and (Re)Solved
  • “Susan Hendricks is one of the most personable, talented, humble, and selfless journalists that I have ever worked with. Those qualities are what allowed her to cover this tragic double murder involving children in a way that few others could. Whether evaluating law enforcement’s investigation, the outpouring of concern within and outside of the community, or the heartbreak endured by these brave and courageous families, DOWN THE HILL delivers. Compelling, gripping, and emotional—this is a story you just can’t miss, told in a way that will both enthrall and consume you.”—JOEY JACKSON, defense attorney & CNN legal analyst
  • “Susan Hendricks is a storyteller with a heart, which is why the families of Abby and Libby opened up to her. Susan’s attention to detail is coupled with her humanity as she tells the story of two girls, their families, and the town that would never be the same.”
     —ANA GARCIA, host of True Crime Daily: The Podcast
  • “I’ve watched my friend report, advocate, and support Abby and Libby’s families with respect and dignity. You see, the double murder in Delphi stopped being a ‘story’ for Susan Hendricks from the first visit with Libby‘s family at their home. In the South, we know something incredible happens once you sit with someone at their kitchen table. From that tiny table to this book, Susan brings the families center stage in this victim-centered, family-oriented, loving story of ohana. Susan is no longer a reporter; she is family.”—SHERYL “MAC” MCCOLLUM, crime scene investigator and host of Zone 7 podcast
  • “Susan Hendricks’ commitment and compassion for victims and their families is unparalleled. Being immersed in one of this country’s most tragic murders, Hendricks takes readers deep into the heart of a community torn and broken by the deaths of Abby and Libby. Rather than just reporting on two young lives senselessly stolen, Hendricks joins the fight for justice for Abby and Libby, and she is a true champion for finding the truth at the heart of evil.”—KELLY MCLEAR, co-host of Killing Dad: The Crystal Howell Story Podcast
  • “Susan Hendricks is a veteran journalist who has always captivated audiences with her soothing delivery and compassionate relatability for every interview and story told. Hendricks garnered a trusting relationship with the families of Abby and Libby and the respect of law enforcement with her long track record of telling stories with grace and empathy. Her deep dive into the Delphi case captures not only the twists and turns of the investigation, but at the human level, shows how this tragedy rippled through the victims’ loved ones and ignited the strength of the community in their shared pursuit for justice. Hendricks takes us on a truly compelling journey.”—MELISSA MCCARTY, true crime correspondent
  • “Hendricks takes you behind the scenes of reporting on camera, in her car as she races to the next location, and in her heart where her doubts and fears live.”

    Defrosting Cold Cases
  • “Pensive… [Hendricks] gets to the heart of the story: Terrible crime seldom meets speedy retribution, and survivors often must live with trauma long after the event.” 


On Sale
Sep 19, 2023
Page Count
272 pages
Hachette Books

Susan Hendricks

About the Author

Veteran CNN and HLN journalist Susan Hendricks anchored the network's live news program Weekend Express from 2016 to December 2022. Among her many assignments at HLN, Hendricks anchored extensive coverage on the Delphi double murder investigation including the special report, "Delphi Murders: Teen Girls’ Killer in Custody?" along with retired veteran cold case investigator Paul Holes. 
Hendricks also anchored the “Gabby Petito Investigation: Where is the Fugitive Fiance?” Susan recently sat down for a one on one exclusive interview with Gabby Petito's father Joe Petito, who shared the struggles he and his family have gone through and the action they are taking to change laws and make it easier for the families of missing loved ones. Additionally, Hendricks delivered news updates for 5 years on Anderson Coopers CNN primetime show, AC360. Prior to joining CNN/HLN, she served as a morning news anchor at NBC affiliate station WMIR-TV, and a reporter at ABC affiliate KESQ-TV, both in Palm Springs, CA. Raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Hendricks attended the Hun School of Princeton and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Arizona State University. She resides in Atlanta with her husband, Joe, and two children, Emery and Jack.

Learn more about this author