Monster in River Oaks: How an Heiress to the Exxon Fortune Became a Hostage in Her Own Home

The Book Gets Rave Reviews From Prominent Judges and Attorneys


“The most tragic and scandalous story I’ve ever read—the worst part is that it’s true.”
Joe Nixon, former member of the Texas Legislature, Trial Attorney, Houston

Houston, Texas—Not since Blood and Money have such secrets of passion and possession been revealed about the residents of Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood, home to some of the nation’s most elite, powerful, and wealthy families.

Monster in River Oaks written by Houston Attorney, Michael Phillips captures the true story of one of the wealthiest women in America who despite her money became a victim of a predatory monster who is still on the streets of Houston today preying on other victims.

“The story is about one of Houston’s most famous families, a family whose grandfather founded a company that would become Exxon,” said Michael Phillips, author of the book. “It is a story based on police files, private investigator reports and trial evidence. It is a story that shows anyone can become a victim of control and abuse despite their economic circumstances.”

“The stark facts of this drama, documented by court records and orders, can only be remembered as stranger than fiction. Phillips sends a powerful message to the rich and famous,” said Honorable Don Wittig, former Justice of the Texas Court of Appeals, Houston Division.

An Exxon heiress, widowed with three children, watched as her family was divided and conquered by outsiders. Inexplicably, the outsiders were ultimately granted
insider status. As a result, joy turned into torment, closeness became sexual abuse, and one of the outsiders became the “Duke” of Del Monte Drive.

“A thrilling story about a tragedy fueled by Texas oil money. Go with the author deep into the well of a Houston courtroom where you will turn each page in anticipation of the next answer from the witness stand,” said the Honorable Levi Benton, former Judge 215th Judicial District Court, Houston.

“An account of the slow undoing of a family and the family’s heroic path to redemption in a Texas courtroom. Phillips gives us an epic story set against a backdrop of sex and Texas oil money,” said Quentin Brogdon, Trial Attorney at the Law Offices of Frank Branson in Dallas.

The book is a warning to all of us and documents the tale of a man whose insatiable lust for power and money was able to exercise his dominion by intimidation, control, sexual abuse and domestic violence. It is an intriguing story of human weaknesses and the reader who relishes insights into forbidden secrets of the fabulously rich.

About the Author
Michael Phillips: 713.552.9595

Mr. Phillips left a thriving practice with a major civil litigation firm in 1982 to found Phillips & Akers. He has been a regular fixture at courthouses throughout the state, trying to verdict or negotiating a settlement in excess of 350 cases. He specializes in business litigation, personal injury defense and insurance coverage. As the founding shareholder, he has guided the firm in its development and growth. He has nevertheless dedicated time towards many civic and charitable causes, in addition to serving the profession, which has served him. . Phillips currently resides in Houston with his wife and two children. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, and was named to the Order of Barristers in 1969. This is his first novel.