The Book

Two Tales of the Same Story

With a mere click of the mouse, fate threw us together as active participants in a true story that has had profound consequences on each of our lives. The story revolves around the question of who inherits the $7 million fortune left by Rhode Island inventor and jewelry magnate Art Hadley, and his wife, Frances, and the quest to identify their rightful heirs. Our account describes a six-year journey—one replete with heartwarming human struggles, rollercoaster emotions, discord from surprising sources, intriguing legal maneuvers and gratifying results.

As co-authors, we’re in a unique position to tell this story. Suzanne is Art’s grandniece. She and several family members retained John, a Rhode Island attorney, to represent their interests.

Our story unfolded for each of us from very different perspectives. Although we considered writing separate books, each story would be incomplete without the other; the human drama and the legal proceedings were too tightly interwoven. Consequently, we’ve written the story of Art Hadley’s fortune and its distribution from a dual perspective.

Suzanne and eight other descendants of Art Hadley engaged John to represent them in investigating whether they were entitled to any of the Art Hadley fortune. This captivating tale illustrates the significance of faith, commitment, family unity, spiritual guidance, the ups and downs and countless delays of the legal system, and the corruptive effect of greed and self-defeating arrogance.

Our account hinges on a set of facts and circumstances in a case that fell through the legal cracks. There was no clear winner or loser; there is no one who was right and no one who was wrong—simply a group of people fighting for what they believed was fair and in keeping with Great Uncle Art’s wishes. Unfortunately, there was no governing law in Rhode Island that could provide a precedent to help decide this case. We were in uncharted territory.

That left the inventor’s fortune up for grabs.