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The year 1999 brought a series of great personal tragedies to Palahniuk's life. At that time, his father, Fred Palahniuk, had started dating a woman named Donna Fontaine, whom he had met through a personal ad under the title "Kismet". Her former boyfriend, Dale Shackelford, had previously been imprisoned for sexual abuse, and had vowed to kill Fontaine as soon as he was released from prison. Palahniuk believes that, using a personal ad, Fontaine was looking for "the biggest man she could find" to protect her from Shackelford, and Palahniuk's father qualified. After his release, Shackelford followed Fontaine and the senior Palahniuk to Fontaine's home in Kendrick, Idaho, after they had gone out for a date. Shackelford then shot them both and dragged their bodies into Fontaine's cabin home, which he then set afire. In the spring of 2001, Shackelford was found guilty for two counts of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death. In the wake of these events, Palahniuk began working on the novel Lullaby. He has stated that he wrote the novel to help him cope with having participated in the decision to have Shackelford receive the death sentence.