Murder of Bethany Deaton Has Similarities to Novel ‘House of Lies’

GRANDVIEW, Mo. — The Grandview murder of 27-year-old Bethany Deaton is a tangled web of sex, drugs and religion — and some believe it parallels the novel, “House of Lies.” FOX 4’s Gia Vang talked to the author, Susan Claridge, who agrees — the murder of Bethany Deaton has similarities to her book.

“From my regular readers who knew more about me and from personal friends — they were saying, ‘Have you seen this? Like, this is your book playing out in real life’ and that was kind of scary,” Claridge said.

Claridge’s “House of Lies” was released in early October. It’s about a woman who tries to save her estranged sister from a religious cult, only to find murder and a political agenda. The novel is based out of Kansas City, and one of the murders is eerily similar to Deaton’s.

As for Deaton’s murder, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Deaton’s husband, Tyler Deaton, ordered the death of his wife. Tyler Deaton is reportedly the leader of a close-knit religious group known to engage in group sex. Bethany’s admitted killer, Micah Moore, told authorities he and other men, including her husband, drugged Bethany and sexually assaulted her for months. Moore said the men feared Bethany would tell her therapist about the abuse so the decision was made to kill her and to stage her death as a suicide.

In Claridge’s novel, a woman was murdered in an attempt to keep her quiet — not to mention, drugs.

The similarities have some readers — and some FOX 4 viewers — wondering if Claridge knows more than she says.

“For example, the drugs, I didn’t have the same drugs that were used, but the fact that a drug was used and how it was used and why it was used, is all the same,” Claridge said.

Deaton’s body was found at Longview Lake. In the book, the body of a victim was discovered in another lake near by.

And there’s the connection with the International House of Prayer. Claridge said her sister is the director at St. Louis’ Gateway House of Prayer, an off-shoot of IHOP. Bethany was a former intern for the IHOP University in Grandview. Her admitted killer, Micah Moore, was a current student at the time of her death.

Claridge said her novel is a piece of fiction with a sequel expected to be released next year. That book takes an international twist.

IHOP representatives did not return our call for comment and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said it is still investigating Deaton’s death.

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