Susan Spencer-Wendel

For more than a decade, Susan (shown with husband John) covered the courthouse for The Post, chronicling daily the goings-on inside that monument to human misery. In that time, she was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Florida Press Club and Florida Bar for her coverage of legal issues. In 2007, she won the prestigious Green Eyeshade Award, with a collection of her stories placing second in the Southeastern U.S. for courts and law reporting. Susan focused primarily on criminal cases but covered all kinds of citizen contact with the court system.  Susan left The Post in August 2011 after she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS.) She continues to write articles for the paper as a freelancer. In June, she sold a book proposal  for a memoir titled Until I Say Goodbye to HarperCollins for $2.3 million. Universal Pictures won a bidding war for the book, co-written with Bret Witter and due this fall. Susan is a native of West Palm Beach. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.

Latest from Susan Spencer-Wendel

Mother of ‘Until I Say Good-Bye’ author dies of pancreatic cancer
 Theodora “Tee” Damianos Spencer — “the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen” — passed away early Sunday morning. Her husband, Tom Spencer, who exclaimed that upon first seeing Tee in 1955, was her constant companion ever since they met. In the past few years, Mr. Spencer, a pharmacist, nursed his wife...

6:53 PM Monday, Mar. 03, 2014

Theodora “Tee” Damianos Spencer — “the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen” — passed away early Sunday morning. Her husband, Tom Spencer, who exclaimed that upon first seeing Tee in 1955, was her constant companion ever since they met. In the past few years, Mr. Spencer, a pharmacist, nursed his wife...
Happiness is…A Frenchie named Lenny
 During the glut of publicity earlier this year about my book “Until I Say Goodbye” — crazy, wasn’t it? — there entered another central character in my life, a perfect foil, which every good story needs. Foil is a literary term meaning to present a character in contrast or in comparison with another. Hamlet dueled...

4:00 AM Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013

During the glut of publicity earlier this year about my book “Until I Say Goodbye” — crazy, wasn’t it? — there entered another central character in my life, a perfect foil, which every good story needs. Foil is a literary term meaning to present a character in contrast or in comparison with another. Hamlet dueled...
A final journey: To help a sick wife live — and die — with joy
 I sit in the 100-degree water nestled as close to the font of the thermal mineral spring as possible. Above me are the blue-and-green mosaic-tiled domes of the Gellert baths, adjacent the near-century-old hotel of the same name. Honeyed light streams through glass ceiling tiles into the steamy, cavernous room. I study the women — young...

11:09 PM Saturday, May. 05, 2012

I sit in the 100-degree water nestled as close to the font of the thermal mineral spring as possible. Above me are the blue-and-green mosaic-tiled domes of the Gellert baths, adjacent the near-century-old hotel of the same name. Honeyed light streams through glass ceiling tiles into the steamy, cavernous room. I study the women — young...
Commission votes to send no more nominees to Scott for judicial appointment

12:06 AM Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011

The nine commissioners who make recommendations on judicial appointments deliberated 90 minutes Friday on whether to accede to Gov. Rick Scott's request for more names to consider to fill a Fourth District Court of Appeal vacancy. In the end, they voted not to. They then sent Scott the names of the same four applicants they had recommended...
Goodman's DUI manslaughter case could be ready for trial this year
 At a brief hearing this morning, a criminal defense attorney for John Goodman ­- the polo club owner accused of driving intoxicated, crashing his car and leaving a young man to die - told a judge the criminal case against Goodman may be ready for trial within eight to 10 months. "Don't hold me to it," attorney Mark Shapiro told...

4:43 PM Friday, Jan. 14, 2011

At a brief hearing this morning, a criminal defense attorney for John Goodman ­- the polo club owner accused of driving intoxicated, crashing his car and leaving a young man to die - told a judge the criminal case against Goodman may be ready for trial within eight to 10 months. "Don't hold me to it," attorney Mark Shapiro told...
Homeless man gets 40-year sentence in strangulation death of suburban West Palm Beach woman
 The detective sat on the courtroom bench, the family of murder victim Brenda Skeene on benches behind him, awaiting the sentencing Thursday of the man convicted of strangling Skeene. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Det. Stephen Ultsh said to a reporter taking notes: "Scribble a life sentence." Indeed a shackled Cory A. Bogart...

6:42 PM Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

The detective sat on the courtroom bench, the family of murder victim Brenda Skeene on benches behind him, awaiting the sentencing Thursday of the man convicted of strangling Skeene. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Det. Stephen Ultsh said to a reporter taking notes: "Scribble a life sentence." Indeed a shackled Cory A. Bogart...
Inspector General recommends tighter controls over county contract

10:28 AM Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

A lack of oversight of an exclusive contract with the county allowed for a financial shell game where victims of crime owed timely restitution payments did not get them, a report of the county's new Inspector General has concluded. The not-for-profit agency Pride Integrated Services, which oversee thousands of people on misdemeanor probation...
Scott asks nominating commission to send more names for appellate court vacancy

12:03 AM Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott is asking a local judicial nominating commission to send him additional names to choose from to fill an open appellate court judgeship. In a letter to JNC Chairman Greg Barnhart, Scott's lawyer wrote that the governor would like to have six nominees rather than just four. Four judges, including Palm Beach County's Chief Judge...
Man pleads to manslaughter in shooting death of roommate
 A 23-year-old charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man he allegedly quarreled with pleaded to a lesser manslaughter charge this morning, receiving a prison sentence of 10 years. Emanuel Reyes Alamo potentially could have faced mandatory life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in the December 2008 death of...

5:16 PM Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

A 23-year-old charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man he allegedly quarreled with pleaded to a lesser manslaughter charge this morning, receiving a prison sentence of 10 years. Emanuel Reyes Alamo potentially could have faced mandatory life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in the December 2008 death of...
Don't change eyewitness ID policies, expert tells panel
 State prosecutors strongly argued their case Monday before the Florida Innocence Commission, the body charged with recommending changes to end the rash of wrongful convictions. To that end, they presented another national expert contravening earlier testimony commissioners heard on eyewitness identification, far and away the leading cause...

3:08 AM Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

State prosecutors strongly argued their case Monday before the Florida Innocence Commission, the body charged with recommending changes to end the rash of wrongful convictions. To that end, they presented another national expert contravening earlier testimony commissioners heard on eyewitness identification, far and away the leading cause...