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Timothy Carney

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Timothy Carney was raised in an orphanage in the Midwest.  He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served thirteen months in Vietnam.  Upon discharge, he joined the Orange County sheriff's Department.  He worked in various capacities for the Orange County sheriff’s Department as an investigator, including narcotics and homicide. After serving as a homicide investigator and a sergeant, he was promoted to lieutenant.  Timothy Carney is a graduate of Regis University, Denver, Colorado.

Timothy Carney co-authored Final Affair, a true crime book.  According to the book description, “When Janet Overton died from "unexplained causes," no one in her Orange County community suspected foul play. But a year later, Sheriff's Investigator Tim Carney sensed something amiss in this so-called "nothing case"-and uncovered the shocking truth about Dr. Richard Overton's past.”

According to one reader of Final Affair, “This is literally the only police procedural true crime book I've ever read. The book begins with the strange death of Janet Overton, a popular school trustee, which was ultimately classified as a death from natural causes. The case was filed as an open coroner's case, and that was where it languished until Investigator Timothy Carney [one of the book's co-authors] opened a file in his desk drawer on the first day of his new job as a homicide investigator.

The remainder of the book details Carney and his partner's dogged, almost obsessive pursuit of what they are sure was a murder by cyanide and of Richard Overton, the victim's husband, who they become convinced is the murderer and who is also revealed to be a classic antisocial personality or sociopath. Carney and his partner meet and overcome each obstacle that arises during the investigation, knowing that if they fail at any step along the way, the case will be over. Carney becomes relentless in his research and preparation, and ultimately, the case must go before a homicide panel [a group of attorneys each with substantial experience trying homicide cases] before the District Attorney's office will proceed to a grand jury. Carney wins, the case goes before a grand jury, and Overton is arrested. The book ends with his arrest.

The ending of the books is one of its faults. Overton was tried twice [the first trial resulted in a hung jury] and the only information about the trials were two sentences in an Epilogue at the end of the book. This case is bizarre and the evidence is so strange I was curious for some details about what a jury thought or about how the case was tried. This book also needed more details about Richard Overton and the development of his sociopath.”

Final Affair (Berkley True Crime)
Frank McAdams  More Info

About the Orange County Sheriff’s Department:

The history of Orange County goes back further than the past 100 years and is a tribute to the adventurous spirit, personal drive and tremendous courage of the early explorers and settlers who's vision and fortitude made cities where there were only dreams. In any society, there are always challenges, but the pioneer men and women who forged Orange County out of a barren land had the courage to overcome the obstacles that stood in their path.


It wasn’t until California became a state in 1850 that formal law enforcement institutions, based on the common law of England, became established. Even then, Southern California was a lawless society until the 1870s, plagued by rustlers, highwaymen, murderers, robbers and swindlers. Many made their headquarters in Los Angeles, blatantly defying the law and its traditional keepers-sheriff, jailor, judge and jury. Impromptu, poorly organized vigilante groups supplemented formal law enforcement officials, often taking the law into their own hands, but even these groups were ineffective.


The growth of communities, the increase in the number and proximity of small farms and the improvement of both education and communication systems finally brought lawlessness under control. Each formal community had its marshal, its constable and its judge and when Orange County was formed in 1889, its citizens had a sheriff, directly responsible to them, and a new set of institutions right in their own backyard.


The Orange County Sheriff’s Department today is a highly professional organization, which not only continues in its traditional role of crime suppression, but also has expanded into the area of crime prevention. At the Orange County Sheriff’s Department you can see the spirit of adventure and the same courage as the early settler had.


Orange County is a place where dreams have become a reality




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