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Man Who Plotted Wife’s 1985 Murder That Inspired 2 Books, TV Miniseries Dies At 61

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

CORCORAN (CBS/AP) — The man who masterminded the 1985 murder of his wife in a plot that inspired two books and a TV miniseries has died in a central California prison hospital.

David Brown died of natural causes in a prison hospital Thursday. He was 61, said Anthony Bear, a prison spokesman.

Brown was in a protective housing unit because of his notoriety for the killing of his fifth wife, Linda Brown, as she slept.

He was accused of persuading two teenagers —one his daughter, the other his sister-in-law and secret lover, Patti Bailey — to kill his wife. The computer businessman went on to collect $835,000 from the victim’s insurance, including several policies started just months before her death.

Prosecutors said Brown coerced his daughter, Cinnamon, to take the blame. Cinnamon was 14 when she confessed to shooting Linda Brown. She spent seven years in a California Youth Authority detention facility before being paroled.

In 1988, Cinnamon cooperated with investigators after she became fed up with her father’s luxurious lifestyle while she was imprisoned.

Brown paid $350,000 in cash for a house within five months of the killing. The night of the murder, Linda Brown was sleeping in a rented home in Garden Grove. She was shot twice at close range. He told police he had left home earlier because of bickering between his daughter and his wife.

Brown was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1990.

The plot inspired the four-hour 1991 NBC miniseries, “Love, Lies and Murder.” The movie starred Clancy Brown as David Brown, Moira Kelly as Cinnamon, Sheryl Lee as the lover/sister-in-law/6th wife and Cynthia Nixon as Donna.

The miniseries was based on Ann Rule’s “If You Really Love Me” and “A Killing in the Family” by Stephen Singular, Tim Hill and Danielle Hill.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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