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Nonfiction Book Award Status: GOLD


During the late evening of May 18, 2002, Ashley Elliott’s father, Carter Elliott, a prominent local businessman, and a young protege, became the first double homicide victims in the history of Conway, Arkansas. The Conway PD, Arkansas State Police, and FBI combined to launch a painstaking investigation into what seemed a meticulously planned mob-style executive. There were no eyewitnesses, heard disturbances, fingerprints, or DNA.

After several weeks of investigation, with numerous theories emerging, law enforcement had made no progress. They had no motive. They had no suspects. Then, one month after the murders, Lark Elliott, the estranged wife of Carter Elliott, went missing.

Was there a connection?

The Demon in Disguise: Murder, Kidnapping, and the Banty Rooster chronicles the more than a decade rollercoaster journey of Ashley Elliott with the criminal justice system in pursuit of answers and justice. When would it end and what would it ultimately produce?

Buy the book.

Author Bio

Ashley Elliott was born and raised in the town of Conway, Arkansas and was by any measure proceeding on a traditional career path. After she turned twenty-five, and her wedding months away, her life got turned inside out when her father was murdered and, a month later, her mother drugged and kidnapped, entanglin her for a decade with the criminal justice system and a relentless quest for justice. The resulting trauma led to a diagnosis of PTSD and general anxiety, which she managed and overcame through therapy, family support, and the medium of writing. The Demon in Disguies represents the culmination of a deep plunge into the center of her pain and painstaking exploration of her truth.

Ashley is an avid hiker, athlete, and bodybuilding, and has completed and won medals in various national and international athlethic competitions, including the Spartan Worlds Championships and IPE Masters World Championships. Ashley earned a B.S. from the University of Utah in Organizational Communication. She lives in Utah with her husband and children.


Learn more about the Nonfiction Book Awards.

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