Saturday, February 11, 2023

Sunday Synopsis-The Decision to Kill-true crime


The Decision to Kill: A True Crime Story of a Teenage Killer and the Mother Who Loved HimThe Decision to Kill: A True Crime Story of a Teenage Killer and the Mother Who Loved Him by Leslie Ghiglieri
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The description calls this book a "gripping true crime debut" for author Leslie Ghiglieri. It is anything but gripping. It is devoid of suspense. It is devoid of courtroom drama. There is nothing gripping about it. For me, it was the-book-that-never-ends!

When troubled teenager Dwayne Weir was 16 in 1986, he killed his adoptive father. He allowed his little sister to be the person who discovered his dead body. And his decision to kill left his adoptive mother Cherie with agonizing grief and heart-wrenching guilt. She wanted to forgive him, but she wasn't sure she could.

The story is told mostly through letters that Cherie and Dwayne wrote to each other during his incarceration, so Ghiglieri did less writing than most authors. She was also Cherie's long time friend. Entire letters were quoted verbatim when they could have been summarized.

Cherie's letters disccussed her grief and guilt, her Christian faith, and her desire to understand what happened. But she also expressed concern over Dwayne's Alport Syndrome, a genetic kidney disease that also affected his hearing and eyes.

Dwayne blitzed his mother with letters, page after page. Some of them were pity party letters. Others were defiant. He tried to blame the drugs or strict parenting for causing him to kill his father, anything but blaming himself. He even claimed a struggle with gender identity. Later in his incarceration, he "found religion," which still didn't prevent him from acting out enough to get thrown in the "hole."

I got so tired of reading his letters. He may have written different words, but every letter was basically the same, and I can't find any reason why I should care what happened to him or what was going to become of him because he killed his father. I feel like the author tried too hard to make him sympathetic, and I just couldn't conjure any pity for him. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, I do not recommend this book.

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