Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guest Blogger: Lynda Drews, Author of Run at Destruction

Deeply immersed in the close-knit culture of long-distance running, Pam and Bob Bulik were avid competitors. To all appearances, they were also a happily married couple, devoted to each other and their two young children. Then, Bob made a fateful decision. He began an extramarital affair that led to his wife’s tragic death and to one of the most sensationalized and heavily attended trials in Green Bay’s history.

Candidly written by Pam’s best friend, Run at Destruction exposes the irresistible human passions that make us so vulnerable, and the ultimate price we pay for choosing to act on them. You’ll relive every detail of the crime and the exhaustive police investigation, and watch the courtroom drama from a front-row seat as a major homicide case unfolds in a small town where everyone knows all the players. Then, when you’ve heard all the evidence, you can decide for yourself – was Pam Bulik’s death a terrible accident, intentional suicide, negligent homicide or premeditated murder?

I Knew I Had a Story to Tell by Lynda Drews

Ever since my best friend and running companion mysteriously drowned in her bathtub, I knew I had a story to tell. One of my reviewers said, “I cannot help but think that Run at Destruction: A True Fatal Love Triangle is a rarity in the true crime genre simply by virtue of the fact that Lynda Drews was one of the closest confidants of the murder victim. This gives the book a level of personal insight and authenticity seldom reached by investigative journalists and big-time writers who later try to elbow their way onto a crime scene.” So… I didn’t just hear about the death of Pamela Bulik, I lived it. Publishers Weekly said: “passages about [the author and victim’s] shared moments, and Drews's feelings of emptiness in the decades since, are remarkable.”

Normally, football is Green Bay’s only obsession… but that changed when Pam died. Our city prided itself on its extraordinary low crime rate, fifty percent below the national average. There’d never been anything like Pam’s tragedy - “somebody up on the hill with a fancy bathroom.” Because Pam was one corner of a three-teacher love-triangle, the bizarre details surrounding her death ignited community suspicion and speculation, leading to an extensive police investigation and a first-degree murder arrest. A sensationalized trial followed, deemed to be the most heavily attended in Green Bay’s history, where I took the stand. Its outcome remains controversial.

My book takes place during a historical U.S. time period – the running boom of the 80s. Pam and her husband, Bob, were members of our close-knit running group and two corners of a three-teacher love-triangle, while Linda, a charismatic teacher/runner, completed the third. To write Run at Destruction my goal was to make a non-fiction account read like a suspenseful novel. I alternated between first person and third, layering portrayals of our running community’s friendship, detective work, and courtroom drama, within Pam’s baffling murder mystery. I had to wear two hats. First, I played a major character in the story immersing myself in the turmoil I’d felt at that time, but second, I had to become an unbiased narrator, removing my emotions, from the equation, while analyzing the evidence and taking a reporter’s approach. What I shockingly discovered was that the story I had planned to write had changed.

Ann Rule, the best-selling true crime author of The Stranger Beside Me, Small Sacrifices, and Mortal Danger, has endorsed my book saying: “Readers will find themselves walking along with Drews as she describes an enviable friendship, her grief when it ended suddenly, and the layers she peeled away to find the truth. Wonderfully written. A must for true-crime readers.”

I hope you agree!

Lynda Drews, a Wisconsin native and dedicated runner, recently gave the commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, her college Alma mater. One lesson she shared with the graduates was: “to journal your life.” When Lynda, an IBM marketing executive, made the decision to retire after her thirty-year career, she returned to an earlier passion. Run at Destruction is the outcome.

Even though this is Lynda’s first book, she has inside knowledge about the victim and the accused. One of the book’s themes is the impact her best friend’s mysterious death has on Green Bay’s close-knit running community. Lynda and her husband, Jim, a retired teacher and guidance counselor, helped launch the local running movement. Green Bay now hosts the nation’s fifth largest 10K, attracting more than 15,000 participants.

Along with a golden retriever named Bailey, Lynda and her husband have two sons, Collin and Chris. After they reached sixth grade, the author let them pick a yearly one-on-one trip with just their mom. One son chose exotic places like Cancun, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and skiing in Oregon, while the other went to the bathroom sized PEZ Museum in San Francisco, and to eight different locales where the Dave Mathews Band played. Lynda may be the oldest person in the world that’s been to fifteen DMB concerts!

Visit Lynda online at and

This guest post first appeared at The Book Connection.

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