A Memoir
Cheryl Pierson Cuccio and Rob Cuccio

Written with Morgan St. James

In 1986, sixteen-year-old Cheryl Pierson hired a classmate to kill her father.

James Pierson began abusing Cheryl from the time she was only eleven. Her invalid mother died when Cheryl was fifteen, and even though she was a child herself, she assumed responsibility for keeping house for the family, including cooking, cleaning and laundry. She also took over raising her younger sister,  was made to satisfy her father’s enormous sexual appetite, and expected to do well in school. He kept her on a short leash as she got older because he wanted her for himself. Then her father threatened to transfer his sexual desires to her eight-year-old sister Joann. During a discussion with a classmate about a woman who hired someone to kill her husband, he offered to kill her father for $1,000. From 1986 through 1989 and later, the case and trial were all over the media in newspapers like the New York Times, Orlando Sentinel and LA Times, as well as on TV and more. To this day Cheryl and her husband of twenty-seven years, Rob Cuccio, are still contacted by the media.

In 1988 an unauthorized biography presented as factual and true was written by the New York Times reporter who covered the trial. It was also made into a TV movie.  Cheryl gave the reporter one interview while she was still in shock, but the majority of the book was created from transcripts and interviews with others. After the book was published and became a best-seller, she was too young and traumatized to challenge the way she was portrayed and fabrications presented as facts. Now after 30 years, Cheryl and Rob Cuccio, have come forward now to tell their story in a compelling memoir —her story intertwined with a true miracle involving the power of love.

In the dark days leading up to and after her father’s murder Rob had saved her. Now Cheryl had saved him twenty-seven years later.

Throughout the years Rob had been there to help her though the horror of her life before and after her father was murdered, during her time in jail and all the trauma she suffered afterwards. He was always her rock until in 2012, when at age forty-four he suffered a massive heart attack on her forty-third birthday. At the hospital, the doctor pronounced him dead after thirty-five minutes of trying to get a pulse or brain activity. Cheryl begged the doctor to keep trying to save him and prayed to her dead mother and everyone she could think of. With no hope at all, the doctor finally gave in and said, “We’ll try for ten minutes more, then you have to let him go.”

They say love and prayer are powerful. With only two minutes left of the ten, a miracle occurred. Rob came back to life. Scary days, weeks and months followed as he hovered between life and death. Recovery was touch and go and it was miraculous he came back at all. After years of extensive therapy, today he is back working at his beloved profession as an oncology nurse.