They Must be Monsters is a poignant and invaluable rendition of the famous McMartin Preschool Trials. Told in a creative non-fiction narrative, this novel was fascinating, informative, and thought-provoking. Having had no insight of the Trials before, the horror of the allegations, the intrigue of who was guilty, and the conspiracy theories drew me in until the last page. The portrayal of character relationships, 80’s pop culture, and the authors’ own insight created an intuitive interpretation of the famous trials. Told through the eyes and notes of the schizophrenic mother who started this madness, They Must be Monsters shouldn’t be missed.

Danielle Mathison


If you grew up as a kid in Southern California in the 1980’s, just the mention of McMartin Preschool these three decades later makes your skin crawl and conjures up memories of predatory fear and the loss of innocence. But They Must Be Monsters will change everything you thought you remembered and subconsciously chose to forget as the years passed. The book reads like a dark crime novel and twists and turns through a bizarre true story that only unique access to the facts and thorough research could accurately and forcefully tell. The authors clearly poured their hearts into a book I was afraid to pick up and couldn’t put down.

Jeff McLaren


In this era of “fake news” allegations, They Must Be Monsters is a refreshing addition to the realm of real news in that it reveals the untold story of the hysteria that engulfed the McMartin Preschool sexual abuse investigation.

Authors Matthew LeRoy and Deric Haddad, by disclosing previously unpublished evidence in the case, offer an important and timeless lesson—that this should never happen again.

Where the law-enforcement and criminal-justice professionals got caught up in the emotion, paranoia, and ego-driven need to be at the forefront of a highly publicized case, LeRoy and Haddad follow an objective, rational path in laying out and exposing the outrageous allegations for what they were.

Larry M. Edwards

Award-winning investigative journalist and the author of the acclaimed true-crime memoir, Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss.

THIRTY years after they left college to walk the streets of Manhattan Beach and achieve what many thought was impossible LeRoy and Haddad have written THEY MUST BE MONSTERS – the Untold Story behind a Modern Day Witch Hunt.

A “1980s psychological thriller” bringing to light information never before made public: including the personal archives of Judy Johnson, the mother who made the initial allegation against Raymond Buckey. The woman’s paranoid note-taking and detailed calendars provide essential and riveting clues that help unravel the mystery behind the McMartin Preschool Case the longest and most expensive case in United States history.

THEY MUST BE MONSTERS is more than a good read; it’s a story of great social and historical significance; changing forever how our children are cared for and a phenomenon that can only be compared to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  This is a true story about a place in time, a small community overwhelmed by forces beyond its control, a fateful encounter with history that was never reconciled—until now.