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The amazing story of the failure of the criminal justice system to protect the citizens it is sworn to keep safe …

Devil At My DoorDevil at My Door A Women's Triumph Over One of America's Most Prolific Sexual Preditors

by Polly Franks and Ted Schwartz 

ISBN 978-0-918339-80-5 | Trade  Paper | 256 pp | 6 x 9|Illustrated |Acid Free Paper | Index $19.95 

I’m proud of Polly for standing up for victims’ everywhere and for telling heramazing story in Devil at My Door.  This book proves that anyone can become a victim.

John Walsh, Host of CNN’s The Hunt and co-founder of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

In Devil at My Door, Polly Franks--who has been referred to as ‘a modern day Erin Brochovich of criminal Justice’--gives us a first-hand and frightening account of howa mild-mannered ‘REHABILITATED‘ deviant sex offender slipped through the American justice system unscathed. This book will not only inspire you but you will learn how onewoman made a positive difference within the justice system and her community.

John Douglas, author NY Times #1 Best-selling book Mindhunter and Former Chief of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime

The real-life story of how Mount Saint Polly (Franks) erupts to stop a serial rapist and child molester is a most compelling read….The twists and turns in this intensely personal journey will stay with you forever. Franks is my hero!  

Diane Dimond, Journalist/Author/Columnist

In Devil at My Door,  Polly Franks gives a first-hand account of how a mild-mannered monster can skip through the American justice system without so much as ascratch. As the old saying goes, truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Do yourself a favor; read this book. You’ll never see the world in the same way again.  

Mark Goldman, Co-Founder Goldman/McCormick Public Relations --New York Former producer Sirius Radio and Court TV

Polly Franks, a Thalidomide baby, had never walked without crutches much less tried to bring a sexual predator to justice, when in 1997 she took on the challenge of stopping one of America’s most prolific sexual predators from her wheelchair. Devil at My Door is the story of Joseph Frank Smith, a sexual predator, and of one woman’s determination to end his trail of pain and misery. The book begins with the early activitiesof the sexual predator in 1983 San Antonio, Texas. It then traces the lives of Polly andher nemesis as they become forever entwined, ending in a state courthouse in Richmond, Virginia in 1999.

During Joseph Frank Smith’s crime spree between 1982 and1998, he was linked to a minimum of 286 incidents of sexual crimes. No one knows how many of his attacks remained unreported or were not linked to him. Polly’s involvement in his case began in 1995, stemming from her experience as the mother of two children who were victimized by a former neighbor and family friend who turned out to be none other than Joseph Frank Smith. Although she uses a wheelchair, Polly was determined to take a stand in light of the failures of the courts and legal system. One of her first steps to help fight this predator was to become a licensed private investigator.

The story is an alarming look at the American criminal justice system includingthe failures of the various, prosecutors, courts, and judges who were charged in keeping society safe from Joseph Frank Smith. While ultimately, justice would prevail and law enforcement would identify and get their man, for over a decade and a half, hundreds ofwomen and young girls were terrorized and assaulted. In a country, where we see somany of our freedoms being overwhelmed by the information age, the complete failure ofthe law enforcement and legal systems to follow one violent and dangerous criminal from one jurisdiction to another and ensure that the terms of his conviction were followed is almost incomprehensible.

About the authors…

Polly Franks has served as an advocate for victims of violent crime, particularly childhood sexual abuse since 1995. Since that time, she has testified before Congressand lobbied on Capitol Hill for tougher sex offender laws, such as the nationwide Amber Alert bill and the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act. Her story was published in Good Housekeeping magazine. Polly has been interviewed by the Today Show, DatelineNBC, 20/20, Court TV, the John Walsh Show, ABC World News Tonight, the Montel Williams Show, Nancy Grace, and Fox News. In addition, she has given numerous interviews for national radio programs, as well as newspaper and magazine articles.  She has shared her story with audiences throughout the country.

In 2006, Polly created the Franks Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicatedto protecting America’s children from sexual predators. She is a also a founding boardmember of the National Coalition of Victims in Action. Polly is a graduate of Bluefield College. She and her husband Patrick are the very proud parents of three grown daughters, one grandchild, and a menagerie of animals.

Ted Schwarz, a New York Times bestselling author, is the author, co-author, or “ghost”of more than 100 books and more than 3,000 articles in publications ranging from Family Circle and Woman’s Day to Cosmopolitan and Germany’s Stern. He is best known for The Hillside Strangler which has been in print for more than 40 years.

Several of his books, including Deadly Whispers, False Arrest, The Five of Me,and Marita, among others have become successful made-for-TV movies. Other titles were turned into documentaries, most recently, The Sax Man. He also ghosted two of the popular “end time” novels. He has taught professional writing, conducted seminars,and served as an adjunct professor at such locations as Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Yavapai College, Pima College, and the East Cleveland Ohio Public Library,where for approximately 14 years he ran a free training program for would-be writing professionals. The Ted Schwarz Archives are in the Hayden Library Special Collections of Arizona State University.

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