The Incredible True Story Of A Son’s Treachery And A Fathers Forgiveness
As I read the press release for this book, I could not believe this was based on a true story, it is beyond my imagination. In fact I stopped reading and went to Google, sure enough this is a true story, many of the news items are still online.
The story involves the Whitaker family, mother Tricia, father Kent, and their two sons Bart and Kevin. To celebrate Bart about to finish his college time, the family goes out to an Italian restaurant to celebrate. This will be the last time that they will be together. When they return home a masked gunman is waiting, Tricia and Kevin are killed, father Kent receives a shot in his shoulder, and son Bart one in the upper arm, fracturing the bone. In the ensuing mayhem the gunman disappears.
Who would wish to bring down this kind of hatred to a perfectly normal middle class Texan family?
The motive of robbery gone wrong does not seem strong, nothing has been touched. As Kent lives through the next few days and weeks he realizes that the police are zeroing in on Bart as their prime, and only suspect. While one part of him screams NO this cannot be, another part begins to follow the twisted logic.
Gradually Kent realizes that much of Bart’s life is merely a facade. But what can father Kent do?
Murder by Family is a remarkable book, and author Kent Whitaker is a very remarkable man. Not only has he shown great courage in penning this work, he has shown great forgiveness for the actions of his son. Kent is a deeply religious man, and it is through those convictions that he is able to completely and unconditionally forgive the actions of a son who caused the deaths of Tricia and Kevin.
What surprised me about this story was the length of time the police took to build their case. It was as if they were missing the keystone. After seven months it seemed as if they would never succeed. However they did, also Bart heard about his impending arrest and fled to Mexico, and remained a fugitive for another 15 months. Finally though he was taken into custody.
Today Bart sits in cell on Texas’ Death Row, yet another blow to the Whitaker family, Kent argued long and hard for his son to be given life imprisonment rather than the death penalty. I have to share Kent’s feelings on this, in my opinion the family has suffered enough, they do not need another life taken.
Murder by Family is a book that covers some very uncomfortable themes, but Kent has written it in a style that flows. I found myself drawn into it from page one. It is written the style of a novel, which now I think about it may have helped soften some of the edges. Subconsciously as you read you think fiction, rather than fact.
I can honestly say that I could not put this book down, I sat and read it from cover to cover.