Ronald J. Watkins
Ronald J. Watkins is an American writer of novels and nonfiction. Watkins has also served as co-author, collaborator, or editor for more than 30 books. He is the founder and principal writer for Watkins & Associates.
In 1993, Watkins published Birthright, the saga of the Shoen family, which founded and owned U-Haul International and of the then-unsolved murder of Eva Shoen. When he refused to identify his sources under subpoena, he was twice found in contempt by a federal court, with his position being upheld by the Ninth Circuit on both occasions. These established case law sustaining the right of authors of non-fiction books to not identify either confidential or non-confidential sources. For Watkins’ defense of the First Amendment, he was recognized as a finalist for the PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.
Watkins’ first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, was an account of the impeachment of Arizona governor Evan Mecham. Written just one year after the events, and based on hundreds of interviews with participants, it remains the definitive account of an American impeachment.
He then authored Evil Intentions, the story of the brutal murder of Suzanne Rossetti in Phoenix, Arizona. It was followed a few years later by Against Her Will, the story of the murder of Kelly Tinyes in Valley Stream, Long Island, New York. This was the first murder case in the State of New York solved in large part by DNA testing.
In 2003, John Murray (UK) published Watkins’ book, Unknown Seas: How Vasco da Gama Opened the East. The following year, Watkins was nominated for the Mountbatten Maritime Prize in the United Kingdom. The book has since been published in Portuguese in Brazil and in Czech in the Czech Republic.
Watkins is co-author with Charles G. Irion on the Summit Murder Mystery series, mystery novels set on the highest mountains in the world. In all, the Series is projected to include eight books.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Science in Justice Studies. Following university, he worked as a probation officer and presentencing investigator for the Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former chief administrative law judge and was assistant director of the Arizona Department of Insurance where he served as Arizona’s chief insurance fraud investigator.
Watkins has been called on by the media and has made a number of television and radio appearances, including Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice; PrimeTime! with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric; Under Scrutiny with Jane Wallace; Geraldo with Geraldo Rivera, and American Forum national radio program.
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