Death Of A Dream: Authors' Note

Correspondent Erin Moriarty And Producer Paul LaRosa Pen New Book

"Death of a Dream," published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books division, is the third in a series of true-crime books that are based on the broadcasts of the CBS News reality drama 48 Hours Mystery. Pocket Books, like CBSNews.com, is a unit of CBS Corp.

Writing and reporting the book "Death of a Dream" was a different journey for each of its authors.

The book tells the story of 21-year-old dancer Catherine Woods who moved from Columbus, Ohio, to New York City as a teenager hoping to make it big as a Broadway dancer. Instead of acclaim, Catherine found tragedy. The book also tells the story of Paul Cortez, a New York native from the Bronx, who was following his own muse and who had hopes of making it as a musician.

Both their dreams died on the Thanksgiving weekend of 2005.

Like Catherine, Erin Moriarty is from Columbus and, like Paul Cortez, Paul LaRosa is from the Bronx. Each of us brings a unique perspective to the tale because of our backgrounds. Erin insisted from the beginning that Catherine be viewed as the talented, but complicated young woman she was: an ambitious dancer determined to support herself in New York City even if it meant working secretly as an exotic dancer. Catherine never gave up her dream. Paul LaRosa, for his part, wanted to pay full attention to all that Paul Cortez, had accomplished in his life, up to the moment when it all came crashing down.

This book was culled from more than 100 hours of videotaped interviews with all the principals, dozens of police and court documents, and hundreds of pages of courtroom transcription. Erin Moriarty, who began working on the case just days after the murder, is the only member of the media to ever interview Paul Cortez, and the full interview is included in the book.

But documents aside, the book tries to uncover what was in the personas of these two young people who yearned for so much and yet came away with so little. ***And with all that is known about the case, there remains an intriguing mystery about what really happened between these two beautiful young dreamers.

Former Manhattan prosecutor and now author Linda Fairstein says of the book: "Dreams often do die hard - but few as brutally as those of Catherine Woods. This is a haunting tale of murder, obsessive love, and betrayal - and a chilling good read."

We hope you'll read it and we'd be happy to answer your questions. Erin's e-mail is efm@cbsnews.com and Paul's is plr@cbsnews.com.

Thank you.

Paul & Erin