The astronaut crime that shocked the world
“Moore . . . explains in her gripping debut how Nowak, a decorated astronaut and mother of three, could risk everything for love. . . . This is must reading for true crime fans.”—Publishers Weekly
“The sections exploring the mental and emotional demands made of astronauts, and NASA’s declining mental-health screening and counseling protocols will fascinate readers. . . . An engaging character study of a woman who seemed to have everything and lost it all.”—Booklist
“Fast-paced and absorbing. . . . An entertaining 265-page mixture of a true crime story and an intensely human drama.”—Tallahassee Democrat
“A fair and insightful look at a case that dominated headlines. Moore brings nuance and depth to the tragic story of Lisa Nowak. It’s impossible to read and not feel some level of empathy for all involved. As Moore shows through painstaking research and attention to detail, Nowak’s story is so much more than a joke for late-night TV; it’s a cautionary tale of how quickly and irretrievably life can change.”—Mara Bellaby, executive editor, Florida Today
“Lurches between two extremes: There is on one side a brilliant, uber-focused woman who ascended from the Naval Academy to the Astronaut Corps to flying in space, and on the other a tragic figure broken by personal and professional trauma. I covered the Lisa Nowak story for CNN, but Moore’s book contains page after page of fascinating details that I never knew. A compelling read.” —John Zarrella, former CNN correspondent
“Moore does a great job covering the Nowak scandal in a way that any reader will find riveting. There are also lots of new details to keep a veteran NASA reporter like me captivated. A must-read!”—Pat Duggins, author of Trailblazing Mars: NASA’s Next Giant Leap
“Moore gets us inside the investigation of astronaut Lisa Nowak’s infamous cross-country drive and attack on Colleen Shipman with a detailed, compelling, and sympathetic view of all who were caught up in this unbelievable story.”—Christine Kridler, journalist and filmmaker
Star Crossed transports readers to the moment the news broke that one of America’s heroes, an astronaut who had flown aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery just months before, had been arrested for a very bizarre crime.
Lisa Nowak had driven 900 miles from Houston to Orlando to intercept and confront her romantic rival in an airport parking lot—allegedly using diapers on the trip so she wouldn’t have to stop. Nowak had been dating astronaut William “Billy” Oefelein when she learned that Oefelein was seeing a new girlfriend—U.S. Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman. The “astronaut love triangle” scandal quickly made headlines. The world watched as Nowak was dismissed from NASA, pleaded guilty to a felony, and received an “other than honorable” military discharge.
An award-winning investigative reporter who covered Nowak’s criminal case, Kimberly Moore offers behind-the-scenes insights into Nowak’s childhood, her rigorous training, and her mission to space. Moore ventures inside the mind of the detective who studied the actions Nowak took that fateful February night. She includes never-before-told details of Nowak’s psychiatric diagnosis, taking a serious look at how someone so accomplished could spiral into mental illness to the point of possible attempted murder.
This book spotlights the often-overlooked psychological health of astronauts, exploring how they are cared for by NASA doctors and what changes have been made in recent years to support space travelers on long-term missions. Expertly told, Moore’s story is a riveting journey inside the high-pressure world of one of America’s most elite agencies and the life of one beleaguered astronaut.
Kimberly C. Moore is an award-winning investigative reporter based in central Florida who covered Lisa Nowak’s criminal case for Florida Today. She also served as an anchor and reporter in Israel during the first Gulf War, covered the United States Congress and White House, and reported on multiple space shuttle launches.