Susan Goreck is a deputy sheriff with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office
(Florida). Her book, Poisoned Mind, tells the story of her year undercover investigating a murder suspect. According to the book description, “Many of us have had neighbors whose loud music, objectionable
habits, or destruction of property get on our nerves. This is the story of a man who got so annoyed, he poisoned his neighbors
with an extremely painful nerve toxin. The personalities are what make the book: the cartoon-character nerd who was a disgruntled
househusband to a female orthopedist, the quietly charming policewoman who went undercover to get the goods on him, the loving
Southern family who suffered so much. And there's a revelation at the end of the story that will appall you. As the New York
Times wrote, "Florida, the cradle of creepiness in detective fiction, offers up some weird criminals in real life, too....
The authors are good at portraying the oddly disconnected society of small-town Florida, as well as the man who almost committed
the perfect crime there."
According to one reader of Poison
Mind, “This book is well written and fast paced. It describes the death of Peggy Carr, and the subsequent
conviction of George Trepal for that murder. The book is co-authored by the Polk County, Florida Deputy Sheriff who conducted
the major investigation of the case. Her undercover work provided clues. While the book presents fully and fairly the evidence
in the case, it can be seen that the court system failed to carry out justice fairly. There is sufficient evidence and doubt
raised by the evidence presented to legally acquit Mr. Trepal. Finally, the book hints that Dr. Diana Carr, Trepal's wife
may have had a part in the crime, but presents no evidence to that end. This innuendo seems to be merely the officer/author's
About the Polk County Sheriff’s Office:
The Polk County Sheriff's Office is a full service law enforcement agency serving
Polk County Florida. Polk County is the fourth largest county in the state with 2,010.2 total square miles, 1,874.9 square
miles of which is land area. The Sheriff is an independent constitutional officer and by function is statutorily charged with
the responsibility of providing all primary law enforcement services within Polk County. The agency also provides related
law enforcement services to the entire county, including: civil and criminal process, limited service response, assistance
to municipal agencies, crime prevention and education programs, victim assistance services, and providing school crossing
guards for the Polk County School System.
The Sheriff is presently given the responsibility for the administration and
every day operation of the Central County Jail, South County Jail Facilities, and Sheriff's Training and Respect Program to
include prisoner transportation throughout the state.
The Sheriff is also statutorily charged with the responsibility for providing
deputies to attend the Board of County Commissioners meetings and for all sessions of Polk County and Circuit Courts within
The Sheriff’s Office employs 1,550 full-time (572 sworn, 428 certified,
550 civilians), 256 part-time, and 1,000 volunteer members. The Polk County Sheriff's Office primary service response area
consists of the unincorporated areas of Polk County (those area with Polk County that are outside city limits). The unincorporated
area of Polk County totals approximately 1,909 of the county's total 2,010.2 square miles.
This service area is subdivide into specific geographic areas of directed patrol and investigative responsibility composed
of two regions, four districts, and twelve sectors.