Top positive review
20 of 20 people found this helpful
on June 14, 2008
This is a well-written, gripping true crime tale. I simply could not put the book down! It is a tragic story that is profoundly sad, as it deals with the murder of a woman, Jane Bautista, by her older son, Jason Bautista, with the knowledge and blessing of the younger one, Matt Montejo. Jane Bautista was mentally ill, and they simply could no longer deal with her erratic and frightening behavior. Jason's regrettable act was one that he deluded himself into thinking would restore normalcy into his and his brother's lives, only to find that his young life would never be normal as a result.
The book lays out the pattern of the children's lives over the years, living with a mother that had, undoubtedly, developed paranoid schizophrenia in her early adulthood. Her behavior was erratic, frightening, and totally paranoid. Although she came into contact with adults, including her own family, displaying frightening, irrational, and peculiar behavior, no one did anything or notified anyone to intervene in what certainly must have been a very difficult situation with which to cope for her poor children. Their life was anything but normal.
The Deputy District Attorney who tried the case seemed to be totally without compassion, seeking the maximum penalty for this murder. He saw it simply in black and white terms. It is true, however, that Jason, who was about twenty years old at the time of the murder, could have sought outside help or simply left the household instead of murdering his mother in cold blood. Instead, he not only killed her but chose to dispose of her remains in a way that shocks the conscience. Although given his home life, it is difficult to expect him to have been totally rational. Yet, there is simply no way one can condone what he did. Still, one cannot help but feel that the criminal justice system dealt with Jason over harshly, given the context out of which his actions arose.
This is an excellent true crime book, three dimensional in the telling and well-researched. It is certainly one that aficionados of the genre will greatly enjoy reading.