Episode 080 -- True Crime Author and Stroke Survivor Paul Sanders Shares his Story

When most stroke survivors think about death, it's about how we came close. I like to say my own blood tried to kill me -- and failed. For today's guest, it mean something else. Death, and specifically homicide fueled his career as a writer before he had his stroke.

I met Paul Sanders through the Seattle Young Adult Stroke Survivors group.

A week after he finished his most recent book, Paul suffered a severe stroke while under anesthesia for a different surgical procedure. The hospital blamed the medication and sent him home. It wasn't until a wellness check by the police several days later that Paul finally got treatment.

Paul's books tell the true stories of some of the deadliest murders in recent years. Now, the combination of aphasia, apraxia of speech, and short term memory loss means Paul has put his career on hold until he is once again able to write books.


Paul Sanders signs copies of his books while kneeling on the floorPaul Sanders writes True Crime from a juror’s perspective. His story began in 2014, when he was called to serve as a death penalty juror in the Hammer Killing Trial of Marissa DeVault. At the completion of the trial, he wrote his first True Crime book, Brain Damage: A Juror’s Tale.

Since then, Paul has gone on to write a further two True Crime books on some of the most spectacular trials in US history, Why Not Kill Her: A Juror’s Perspective – The Jodi Arias Death Penalty Retrial and Banquet of Consequences: A Juror’s Plight – The Carnation Murders Trial of Michele Anderson.

Why Not Kill Her, along with Shanna Hogan’s book, Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story, has become one of the most recommended books on the subject and was publicly endorsed by the jury foreperson.

Paul’s first two books were published on Amazon and this helped to build a platform of thousands of followers who are now eagerly awaiting the release of his latest work.

Paul has been a guest on True Crime Radio, Trial Talk Live, Court Chatter, HLN and Fox. He has also been featured on NBC Oxygen’s, “Snapped,” as well as I.D. Discovery’s, “Scorned,” where he represented himself as a former juror. He has recently completed two episodes on Investigation Discovery's "Deadly Sins".

Authors of August

This month (August, 2019) I am featuring authors connected to the stroke community. Paul kicks it off as an author from before his stroke. Next week, we'll hear from Dr. Karen Sullivan who will talk about her stroke recovery workbook and the field of neuropsychology. And there's more to come after that.

I've talked with other authors on the show. Christine Lee, Pete Smith, Dr. Kimberly Brown, Dr. Kate Lorig, and Ted Baxter have all shared their thoughts with us. You can find those episodes at http://Strokecast.com/Authors.

I have a weakness and fondness for books. I always have. My personal library has more than 1,000 entries lining the walls of my apartment. I can lose hours wandering around a book store.

My reading has slowed down since the stroke. It turns out reading a book quickly is generally a 2-handed activity. Managing books 1-handed adds a level of complication to turning pages. It's definitely do-able, but like many things after a stroke, it takes more energy and planning. A Kindle that gets books for free from the library does help.

Other survivors have no trouble holding a book or turning the pages. But post stroke cognitive and memory challenges can make reading and retaining information more difficult.

Still, I'm not about to let that stop me from celebrating the authors who are part of our community.

And the lesson from Paul's story is that if you have a book in you, start writing today. You may not have the chance tomorrow.


Paul Sanders on Facebook


Paul's Books on Amazon


Paul on Twitter


Murder of Dale Harrell on Wikipedia


Murder of Travis Alexander on Wikipedia


2007 Carnation Murders on Wikipedia


Paul on the True Murder Podcast


Seattle Young Adult Stroke Survivors Group


Paul's Organizational System


Third Place Books


Authors on Strokecast


Other YASS Strokecast Episodes


Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

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