Death by Cyanide

The Murder of Dr. Autumn Klein

Paula Reed Ward

At just forty-one years old, Dr. Autumn Klein, a neurologist specializing in seizure disorders in pregnant women, had already been named chief of women’s neurology at Pittsburgh’s largest health system. More than just successful in her field, Dr. Klein was beloved—by her patients, colleagues, family, and friends. She collapsed suddenly on April 17, 2013, writhing in agony on her kitchen floor, and died three days later. The police said her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, twenty-three years Klein’s senior, killed her through cyanide poisoning. Though Ferrante left a clear trail of circumstantial evidence, Klein’s death from cyanide might have been overlooked if not for the investigators who were able to use Ferrante’s computer, statements from the staff at his lab, and his own seemingly odd actions at the hospital during his wife’s treatment to piece together what appeared to be a long-term plan to end his wife’s life. In Death by Cyanide, Paula Reed Ward, reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, describes the murder investigation and the trial in this sensational case, taking us from the poisoning and the medical staff’s heroic measures to save Klein’s life to the investigation of Ferrante and the emotion and drama inside the courtroom.

Cloth: $19.95 | E-book: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9781611689037
Pages: 250 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: October 4, 2016


  • Death By Cyanide shows Ward at the top of her form. She has tracked down every single aspect of the lurid case-and illuminated the human beings behind it. . . . A master class in coverage of courtroom procedure, the preponderance of evidence will leave you with no doubt that the guilty verdict was correct.

    Pittsburgh Quarterly
  • [Ward] presents the ins and outs of a homicide investigation and trial as if they were a puzzle, one that investigators put together piece by piece to its satisfying end.

    Boston Globe
  • Meticulously reported, Death by Cyanide is a gripping page-turner-a sensational and shocking story that will satisfy any true crime fan. But Paula Reed Ward, a wonderful storyteller, raises the bar: this is a respectful, contemplative book that fully transports. I won’t soon forget Dr. Autumn Klein.

    Jeanne Marie Laskas
    bestselling author of Concussion
  • In Death by Cyanide, journalist Paula Ward tells an Agatha Christie worthy true story of poison, murder, and the relentless detective work needed to catch a very devious-and very well educated-killer.

    Deborah Blum
    author of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz-Age New York
  • Paula Ward delivers a gripping story of love, family, deception and death, keeping the reader on edge to the very end.

    Michael Fleeman
    New York Times bestselling author of Crazy for You

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