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Sounds very good. Did you get it from the li-barry?


I did indeed get it from the li-barry. I also discovered that I've read other true crime by Lowell Cauffiel that were also very good. This was his first.


I'll have to remember to look for that one. Sounds like a good book.


Well, that was sick and twisted, and very sad b/c it was a true story. How awful.


I am going to read this one, too. Your reccomendation about the NYC Cold Case unit was right on!


I love your recommendations! I put this on my library hold list, and I am currently reading "The Restless Sleep." It's very good!


Hello! I just read your blog after doing a search on Yahoo. Anyway, I've read Masquerade approx. 4 times...I am just ending the book again right now. I grew up in metro Detroit but I was only 10-11 whent his happened so I don't remember all the news...but I would love to hear a more detailed epilogue of what happened to those involved. I've gotten some info, but I want more. ANYWAY...I think my point is, if you really liked Lowell Cauffiel's "Masquerade", then I highly recommend his "House Of Secrets". I've read that one a couple times as well. It's severely twisted. "Forever and Five Days" as alright too, but "House Of Secrets" takes the cake on family disfunction. Absolutely horrible. PS - I am pretty sure Lowell Cauffiel IS still alive, lol. Take care!


I've read all of Cauffiel's books. I think he is really a great crime writer and chooses his stories with care. I particularly enjoyed Eye Of The Beholder.

John Fry died in prison in (I think) 95 and I've not been able to find one thing on what became of Dawn Spens other than seeing her name on a couple geneology websites. I did read somewhere that Dr. Canty's widow Jan remarried.


I read Masquerade several times also. (I love re-reading books) I grew up in Detroit, and had some experience with that lifestyle, and was familiiar with all the streets he mentions in the book. So it's doubly fascinating... Tried to look up Fry with no luck. I think Dawn Spens is married in Canton with two children. Can't wait to find other books by Cauffiel. Thanks.

jeff thomas

does anyone know about a movie that was to be made of this book? james woods as alan canty?


I just finished reading masquerade and it blew me away. I am only a couple of years younger than Dawn Spens and I couldn't even begin to think of having lived my life the way the she did. I also like re-reading books and I can see that this one will be thumbed through again and again. I would also like to know what happened to some the people in the book but I guess I'll just have to keep looking. Thanks for the tips on Cauffiel's other books, I'll have to hunt them down.

Lowell Cauffiel

Of course I'm still alive, Lisa, and living in LA.

I've adapted Masquerade to film and am hoping it will see the screen in the next couple of years.

Don't bury me just yet.


Lowell may not remember me. It's been about 10 years. I knew Dawn in AA for a number of years and she was very tormented about the murder and getting on with her life. I hope she is doing just that. John Fry was a liar, among other things and he deserved to go to prison and die there.
I used to take a woman by the name of Teresa Schultz to meetings, including one at Chelsea Hospital. I would think she is gone now, since she was in her late 80's, or early 90's at that time. Teresa was the mother of 2 of Dutch Schultz's children. Dutch was a member of the Bootlegging Purple Gang. I don't think they were ever really married. Anyway, Lowell was very interested in her and wanted to write about her. That would have made an interesting book, but Teresa was not willing at that time. Lowell, I'd like to see that book.

I have a signed copy of Masquerade that shows you lived in Grosse Ile, Michigan a while back. The weather is much better in LA. Hope you are enjoying.


Was Fry black? Im lookin for my grandfather.

jennifer mcclellan

I have read masquerade 5 times i loved it. After reading it I found out that my birth mom was a cass corridor prostitute who was murdered in the cass corridor in 1985 just 2 weeks after alan canty.To say the least I was shocked and devestated.I collected all the info on my mom as Ipossibly could and even learned that she was arrasted by mark bando and crew.In seeking info regaurding my mother I contacted dawn spens she is doing good and is clean and has been sence getting out of jail.I also contacted mark Bando because I knew about his collection of photos of the women he arrested I had at that time no photos of my mom unfortunatly he was unable to help me.the book aloud me to understand my mothers life style threw john and dawns journey. So thank you Lowell


I worked with Dawn in AA until 1998. I can tell you I would never have believed that she was the young girl in that book. Dawn is the best example of how a trouble child can be turned around. I didn't know anything about the case until I was stuck in an airport on a 4 hour layover and in the gift shop, I found the book with with her picture on the front cover. Shocked beyond all belief I didn't want to believe what I was reading. This is truly when a second chance is great and I wish her and her family nothing but the best. The past is past and is not what Dawn is today.


Trying to blog but don't know what url is


A lot of info. on Dawn Spens. I'm glad that she is doing better. I live in Woodhaven Michigan 15 miles south of Detroit. I read the book Masquerade and was well written. I'm an old classmate of Dawn. Any way I can get a hold of her?


Hmmm, just a side note here. AA is BASED on ANONYMITY. "What you hear here, who you see here, when you leave here, let it stay here."
You oughta know better.



I have no respect for AA. Check out my story. I am Teresa.


I grew up in Grosse Pointe Park... I remember the murder well. I read Masquerade - think I'm ready to reread it as it's been many years. The Canty home was just down the street from where our family home was. I don't know if this is true or not (it was urban legend amongs my 20-something friends at the time), but after Dr. Canty's dismembered remains were found, someone very cruely dismembered a department store mannequin as a gag and threw the various limbs across the lawn of the Canty home, freaking out Dr. Canty's widow. I must check out Cauffiel's other books; I wonder if he ever wrote of the Robison family murders in Northern Michigan, the state's largest, still unsolved serial murder.

Lowell Cauffiel

Thank you all for your praise of my first book, but it's time to set the record straight.

First of all, I'm very much alive in living in LA, creating dramatic series for television.

Second, I never was interested in writing a book on Theresa Schultz. In fact, after talking to her, I doubt the authenticity of her story. Many of her names, historical points of reference, locations and dates just do not match up with historical data. When I pointed this out to her, she began screaming at me, which made me even more suspicious.

For fans, I've adopted Masquerade to film, but the script languished at Pheonix Pictures for a couple of years, even after James Woods (perfect) was cast in the part of Al Canty.

But, who knows, one day it might see the screen. Hollywood is a very unpredictable town. Having a great story doesn't assure a film gets made.

Anwyay, thanks to all of you again.


I've read and reread this book many times, and it never gets old to me.
I emailed Mark Bando, who was a Detroit police officer at the time this incident happened. He has a WWII site online.(Just type in Mark Bando in your search engine, and you'll find his site).
He said that Dawn Spens was in Canada supposedly working as a financial consultant. Her salary was according to him, $200,000 a year.
I wondered how she got over there, as convicted felons can't cross the border.She admitted carrying the body parts of Al from the freezer.
I never was lured by that lifestyle,(it freaked me out) although at that time I lived in that area.
The house where the murder took place and the apartment building behind it were torn down many yrs ago.
I too wonder what happened to Dawn Spens.
John Fry died in prison 9/15/1995 of hepatitis.
His prison number was 129784. His birth date was 8/31/1946.
If anyone emails Mark Bando to ask him to provide more information, don't be surprised if he tell you that you're a 'sick puppy' or some other such disparaging remark. I was interested in the case, and I wanted to know more.
I emailed him perhaps 3 times with questions about the case.


Last I heard Dawn Spens was married with children and working, living a normal life, go figure. I read a comment up above about her living in Canada, I don't believe that's true. I grew up a few streets over from her in Harper Woods.


I just found my old copy of "Masquerade" and started re-reading it. I always wondered what happened to all those people. I'm glad to hear that Dawn Spens turned her life around and that Jan Canty remarried. I hope Cheryl Krizanovic is doing well-- her story really grabbed me emotionally and still does.

The Cass Corridor itself has changed a lot since the 1980s. Many of the old brownstones have been rebuilt into luxury lofts and condominiums, especially in the far north end of the neighborhood. However, the gentrification process hasn't yet reached the area where Alan Canty met Dawn and John. There are still a lot of drug addicts, prostitutes, and homeless people, but many of the hotels and flop houses where these people stayed have been abandoned or torn down. I don't know if the Homewood Manor, the White Grove diner, and other sites mentioned in the book are still there. The only one I know about is Chung's restaurant, which closed a couple of years ago.

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What I'm Reading

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