Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Review: The Killing Jar


                    Today's review is on The Killing Jar by Gloria Nixon-John & Robert "Skip" Noelker

The Killing Jar is a poignant retelling of the life of Todd Ice, once the youngest person on death row in the United States.

Raised with an overbearing and controlling mother who not only pushed him to be perfect in everything he did, she also criticized and ridiculed him while his father passively sat by and let it happen. After years of this abuse, Ice; who is Ted Lynch in the book, suffers from a psychotic break.

In 1978, Lynch (Ice) is tried for the brutal beating and murder of a 7 year-old neighbor and the beating/attempted murder of her mother. Even with the compelling evidence provided by Psychologists, in which Lynch's (Ice) diagnoses of Schizophrenia is presented, he is found guilty and sentenced to death.

Later in 1983, the US Supreme Court reversed his conviction and death sentence, and in 1986 he is retried. His new lawyers present new evidence that Lynch (Ice) was psychotic at the time of the crimes. They were able to prove that there was mental illness/insanity on both sides of his family, and in view of this, the jury convicted him of the lesser offense of manslaughter during extreme emotional disturbance.

Though this new ruling was a "win" for Lynch (Ice) and his lawyers, he still did not receive the necessary psychological treatment he so desperately needed. Shunned by his family and hated by many in his community, Lynch (Ice) continued to spin further down, even turning on those who had helped him.

You WILL NOT be able to put this book down AT ALL! And hopefully it will make you stop and think about the long road our society still has to go when it comes to mental illness and the treatment of those suffering from them.

I found myself struggling with my own emotions while reading The Killing Jar.  I often found myself going from anger, to sadness, to pride in my profession, to despair in the lack of treatment that this young boy growing up in prison did not receive.  This is one book that will have lasting effects on any reader, and by far should have the highest rating on anyone's scale.

 5+ stars
Available at Amazon

Annette M G Nishimoto, P.C.
Professional Counselor


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