The author who examined the Word of Life Church in Chadwicks, NY following the murder of Lucas Leonard in 2015 is appearing at Barnes & Noble in New Hartford tonight.

Susan Ashline will be signing her new book, 'Without A Prayer', and she'll host a question and answer session from 6:00 - 8:00 this evening. Ashline's book includes interviews with Word of Life members including Bruce Leonard, who pleaded guilty to first and second degree assault in connection with the beating the resulted in his son's death.

''The people in the DA's office will tell you that it was very soon [they started the investigation], they noticed these people were brainwashed. Basically, the first day, they knew things weren't right with the congregation'' Ashline said, who interviewed Bruce Leonard for her book in June. ''He was funny, he was engaging, he was well spoken...he was not the person we saw [in court].'' But, Ashline said she believe Bruce hasn't completely 'awakened' from the brainwashing.

On October 11, 2015, members of a religious cult began their physical assault on Lucas Leonard, 19. The following day, he was dead on a tarp—one they’d placed under him so his blood wouldn’t stain their carpet.
But the teen’s mental assault began the day he was born into the cult known as the Word of Life Christian Church in a small community in Upstate New York.
Despite the crime gaining worldwide notoriety, few know the story behind the headlines. Without a Prayer tells of Luke’s death—and life—and goes deep inside the cult, revealing the leaders’ twisted hold on their followers.
Appearing on Keeler in the Morning this week, Ashline said Crystal Leonard - the half-sister of Lucas and Christopher Leonard - will attend the question and answer session, as well as representatives of the Oneida County District Attorney's Office.

More From WIBX 950