Murder on Birchleaf Drive: The True Story of the Michelle Young Murder Case


Was Jason the monster who bludgeoned his beautiful wife to death, leaving his toddler alone for hours to walk through her blood? If so—would he get away with it?

To the outside world, Jason and Michelle Young lived a storybook life—an attractive couple with great jobs, a beautiful home, a precocious two-year-old daughter, and a baby boy on the way.

Soon after the 29-year-old pregnant mother’s brutally beaten body was discovered on their bedroom floor, a very different
picture emerged. Of a marriage crumbling at its foundation. Of a meddlesome New York mother-in-law whose running
critique left Jason frustrated and angry. Of a 32-year-old man who behaved like a frat boy rebelling against adult responsibilities.

MURDER ON BIRCHLEAF DRIVE documents the gripping tale of a family’s marathon quest for justice, confounding crime scene evidence, persistence of law enforcement officers, and riveting courtroom combat.

“A compelling and accurate description of a fascinating murder case, from the initial investigation through the twists and turns of two trials, and all the strategic decisions in between. One of the best true crime books I have read. Very entertaining.”
—David S. Rudolf, defense attorney for Michael Peterson, featured in the Netflix series The Staircase

“Psychological thriller meets true crime story at its best! MURDER ON BIRCHLEAF DRIVE is a riveting account of what, at first blush, appears to be a boy-meets-girl romance but ends in bloody horror. Epstein brilliantly details the unraveling of the couple’s relationship and eloquently captures the legal details, making the most complicated aspects of the murder case completely understandable. Prepare yourself for an intense, heart-pounding read!”
—Dr. Jean G. Spaulding, Forensic Psychiatrist and Associate Consulting Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
Duke University

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“An amazing first book, by a talented new author, MURDER ON BIRCHLEAF DRIVE drops the reader into the complex web and dark beauty of the criminal justice system. Epstein skillfully recounts a chilling tale of human emotion, betrayal, and calculated murder.” 
— Joseph B. Cheshire, V, criminal defense attorney whose successful representation of Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of sexual assault received national acclaim

“Steve Epstein’s debut effort is an outstanding achievement in true crime writing … This is a must-read for anyone interested in seeing our criminal justice system at work.” 
— Hon. Barbara Jackson, Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, 2011-2019; Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, 2005-2011

“This fascinating and well-told story of a North Carolina murder and the trials that followed has more twists and turns than the road to Murphy … I enjoyed the daylights out of it.”
— Hon. Robert H. Edmunds, Jr., Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, 2001-2017; Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, 1999-2001; U.S. Attorney, Middle District of North Carolina, 1986-1993

“A great read, and a must- read, for those who are fascinated with the drama of real life—it’s even better than fiction.” 
—Colon Willoughby, District Attorney of Wake County, North Carolina, 1987-2014

“An excellent book, and I recommend it highly.”
—Jerry Boyd, Coronado, California Police Chief (ret.); author of multiple books including FIRESTONE PARK: POLICING SOUTH-CENTRAL LOS ANGELES and MY YEARS AS A CHIEF

“Reading MURDER ON BIRCHLEAF DRIVE is like being at the scene of the crime and inside the well of the courtroom during every moment of one of North Carolina’s most notorious murder trials.” 
—Ripley Rand, U.S. Attorney, Middle District of North Carolina, 2011-2017; Superior Court Judge, 2002-2010

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“There is no way to put down this book! Once you begin, it draws you in right from the start.”
—Stacie Overman, co-star of SyFy’s “Ghost Mine,” author of ANGEL KISSES: NO MORE CANCER

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