The Infamous McMartin Case Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

THEY MUST BE MONSTERS is the first full account—the untold story—of an event that ultimately changed the way Americans care for their children. Authors MATTHEW LEROY and DERIC HADDAD lay out the facts of the McMartin Preschool case and explore the phenomenon that occurred within Manhattan Beach, California, during the mid-1980s in the wake of widespread accusations of sexual abuse.

“McMartin,” the case of a renowned preschool where hundreds of children were said to have been ritualistically abused, was one of the most horrific news reports ever broadcast. The case spanned nearly seven years and became the longest, most expensive criminal proceeding in American history.

Yet, when it ended, a mystery remained—the enigma of Judy Johnson, the mother whose initial accusation was believed to have sparked a mass hysteria similar to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

THEY MUST BE MONSTERS offers the classic elements of a “great injustice” interwoven with the human interest of many personal tragedies as it ultimately delivers a deeper understanding of the inequities of the American justice system.

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

RECENT REVIEWS

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 – Editor

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 – Editor

MEET THE AUTHORS

DERIC HADDAD

Deric became interested in the McMartin Preschool case through his mother and stepfather, who were experts in child abuse and hired as McMartin defense consultants.

Following the authors’ investigation, Haddad relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting and film production. In 1996, heco-wrote the independent feature film “Cannes Man,” shot on location at the Cannes Film Festival. He currently works as the Vice President of National Accounts for Cleanetics, a consulting and engineering firm for the life sciences.

Haddad resides in southwestern Pennsylvania with his wife, Heather, and their three children, Wylie, Abraham, and Scarlett.

MATTHEW LEROY

Thirty years ago while attending San Diego State University Matthew decided to leave college and move back with co-author Deric Haddad to his parents’ house in Downey, California. That was the beginning of an incredible journey that continues to this day.

LeRoy is now owner of Five Star NDT, an export management company (www.soldinmexico.com) that specializes in selling US made products into Mexico. An entrepreneur, who holds several patents and manufactures a line of proprietary products sold and used worldwide in the Aerospace Industry (www.fivestarndt.com).

The author resides in San Diego, California with his wife, Brenda, and their two daughters, Gabriella and Jackie

LATEST ARTICLES & NEWS

Danielle Mathieson, Editor

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...

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D. Donovan, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

"They Must Be Monsters documents the McMartin Preschool phenomenon. It weaves a narrative nonfiction prose with authentic records through the eyes of a schizophrenic mother whose visions of “monsters” running her son’s preschool instigated a process that...

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