While the City Slept

While the City Slept

A Love Lost to Violence and A Young Man's Descent Into Madness

Book - 2016
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On a summer night in 2009, three lives intersected in one American neighborhood. Two people newly in love--Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper, who spent many years trying to find themselves and who eventually found each other--and a young man on a dangerous psychological descent: Isaiah Kalebu, age twenty-three, the son of a distant, authoritarian father and a mother with a family history of mental illness. All three paths forever altered by a violent crime, all three stories a wake-up call to the system that failed to see the signs.
Publisher: New York : Viking, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780143109518
0143109510
9780670015719
0670015717
Characteristics: [x], 316 pages : map ; 24 cm

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t
taylor501
Mar 11, 2017

One of the better contributions to the "true crime" genre...The story itself and the writing which explains it are a notch above. If this is a category you enjoy, grab this book.

d
DorisWaggoner
Oct 12, 2016

I remember this 2009 crime, which took place a few miles from where I live. I didn't read the newspaper series on the crime and its aftermath that won Sanders the Pulitzer Prize. That series forms the foundation of this book, which begins with what the neighbors saw when the two women fled their house in the middle of the night screaming for help. Before we get a more or less complete description of the crime itself, Sanders takes us through a careful reconstruction of the lives of the three people involved, whose lives intersect on that night. This leads him to the failures of both how the mentally ill are treated (or not), and of the criminal justice system, and especially what happens when the two intersect. The climax of the book is the trial. Here, for the first time, we get a more or less complete description of just what happened that night, its effects on the survivors, and the true question--why doesn't society care enough to spend the money it would take to prevent crimes like this. That cost would be less than the cost of the criminal justice system when those with mental illness commit crimes (and not all do, of course.) And Sanders makes clear he thinks that many mental illnesses are preventable.

s
StarGladiator
Jun 17, 2016

The commenter, salsabrarian, makes an interesting comment: // How many more tragedies must occur before government provides full support for treating and supporting those with mental illness? \\ Since this book is being cited, perhaps one should examine the author, a reporter and the history of his publication, The Stranger?
Both Eli Sanders and other reporters there have gushed on and on about Gary Locke who, as governor of Washington, seriously cut back on spending on the Western Hospital for the Criminally Insane; and signed the Interstate Compact on Parolees - - bringing three out of every four ex-cons into the Seattle and Puget Sound area [and only the families of four slain police officers in Lacey have settled with the state government, many others, and ignorant attorneys, evidently aren't aware of this, since other murders, assaults, et cetera, have also resulted from this]. And, Gov. Locke offshored a bunch of jobs from a bunch of state agencies - - not reported, and actually censored at times, by Eli Sanders and The Stranger paper! [This is important as it shrinks the state's tax base, although makes the government budget appear better for the short term - - but subtracts from spending on social essentials!]
Also, the individual who wrote the legal brief for Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist to dump all the mentally ill out onto the streets back in 1978, Michael Young, was recently president of the University of Washington [now with U.T], but neither Sanders nor The Stranger would report on this, and did indeed censor remarks about this from the newspaper online.
So if the author and his paper are aiding and abetting those involved, then receiving a Pulitzer for writing about it, the problem becomes collusion between elements of the media and the government!

s
salsabrarian
Jun 16, 2016

How many more tragedies must occur before government provides full support for treating and supporting those with mental illness? This book shows how frighteningly insufficient our legal and medical systems are in dealing with mental illness. Wake up, people!!!

b
Bill_L
Mar 02, 2016

A well-written account of a brutal crime that treats both the victims and the perpetrator, a victim himself, with balance and sensitivity.

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