on March 2, 2006
If you somewhat remember the headlines from this story and can recall the basic outline of the situation involving Amy Grossberg, Brian Peterson and the disposal of their newborn son, you will probably like this book. For those who followed the case closely and are looking for very detailed and lengthy interviews with Amy and Brian and other law officials involved in the trial, you will be disappointed. You could save yourself the $6.99 and read a few CNN archive articles and/or the case history on crimelibrary.com and get the same information that is in this book. It does have eight pages of photos, again, nothing that new that has not been recycled throughout the media for the past ten years, and in black and white as well. In sum, for hardcore true crime fans or intense followers of the case only.
on November 4, 2001
I rarely cry when reading a book but this was an exception to the rule. Being the mother of teenage children, this book really hit home. The book is a nonfiction about a teenage couple who manage to fool not only themselves but their parents, doctors, friends and many others into ignoring the fact that they are about to become parents. This book gives graphic details about Amy's pregnancy, dorm life, daily worried life, eventual labor and delivery of her baby, disposal of the baby and the horrendous aftermath. It also details how Brian, Amy's boyfriend, handles the crisis and sends a stern lesson out to young folk. I fully recommend this book and although it's shocking, I think teenagers would receive a strong message about unprotected sex and the consequences.
on February 1, 2004
It took me a while to get through the whole book, as I am a slower reader, but I enjoyed it a lot. As a fan of true crime, a recommend this book. It's not the best I've read, but it is a good read just the same.
You are taken into a world where the pressures of rich kids like Brian Peterson and Amy Grossberg take a turn for the worst. When Amy finds out she is pregnant by her boyfriend Brian, all she can think about is "getting rid of it." Afterall, what will her parents do? And what about her future? Unfortunately all this thought seems to cloud Amy's logical thinking, and is shown in the letters she had wrote to Brian filled with fear, depression, and just wanting the baby gone. Amy never develops any kind of bond with the baby growing inside her.
To top it off, Amy's health deteriorates, and her lack of care for her unborn child hurts her and her baby. She makes Brian keep her secret and not tell a soul. Brian, being loyal to his girlfriend, obeys, and does what he can to go see Amy and take care of her, as they attend different colleges. Amy meanwhile, denys she is pregnant despite the suspicions of her roommates.
To make a long story short, rather than go to a hospital, Brian and Amy end up going to a motel where Amy delivers their child. Amy wanted nothing more than for Brian to get rid of it, so Brian leaves the room, comes back with a garbage bag, puts the baby in the garbage bag, then throws the bag in the dumpster behind the motel.
There was much controversy and hazing stories from Amy and Brian during the questioning, trial, etc. Was the baby dead when born? If so, was the baby still alive when thrown in the dumpster? Why was there damage to the baby's head? Did they do it before Brian dumped the baby, or was the trauma caused by the throw into the dumpster? Was the baby alive when this occured, or was the baby dead already? If alive, did the head trauma kill the baby, or was it hypothermia or suffocation? Did something fall on the baby's head in the dumpster?
All these questions were gone over and over in an attempt to figure out if these two young lovers were killers, or just the innocent victims of poor judgement. It could have been easier, had one of the detectives not moved anything from the dumpster.
In the end, both served some time for the mistake that they made. After reading this book, YOU be the judge; did Brian and Amy get what they deserve? What do you think REALLY happened to the baby?
I guess the hardest part of the book was trying to keep track of all the detectives, lawyers and attorny's etc. There were a few names to memorize, and what their specific jobs were, and that kind of made the book harder to get through. But overall, enjoy the read of a very sad book, where through it all, those who cannot help themselves need someone ot stand up for them and be their voice.
on November 26, 2002
As a Jewish person with family in the same section of New Jersey that is described in the book, I can totally agree with Most's analysis of the family/school/personal situations of these two kids. Doug Most has also immersed himself into the environment he is writing about not only by covering the case from start to finish for his northern New Jersey newspaper, but also interviewing most of the investigators, attorneys, friends and families of both teenagers and attending court hearings throughout the case. He is extremely knowledgeable about the history of the case (the facts) and he presents them very well, in a concise and easy-to-read fashion. The story will hook you, and you will feel like you know these two young people and their families personally.
He also describes the forensic evidence over how the baby actually died in quite a lot of detail, which might be a little hard to understand and you will be introduced to a lot of attorneys, crime lab investigators, coroner's reports and the like. If you are into crime investigation, there is enough detail to interest you. I, however, was more drawn to the social aspects of the case. What made these kids act the way they did? Most explains that very well. You will learn what it is like to live in a posh neighborhood and having to be the very best so your parents will look better, and have to have the very best clothes and get into the best colleges so your parents can achieve status in the community. He describes how "cutthroat" high-school life is in these ritzy communities, and then you begin to see why Amy and Brian had to hide the fact that they were in trouble. "Teenage pregnancies just don't happen in our community", neighbors say. "Our kids are raised better than that." They don't want their parents to be embarrassed in the community. You learn about the decision-making process the kids go through and then you see how much of a shock people get when they see the reality of teenagers' lives. I strongly believe that every parent should read this book, especially Jewish parents, and discuss it with their kids. I say Jewish families, because after all, Amy's family is, and I think that being Jewish drives parents to "encourage" their kids to strive more for success.
on March 23, 2009
I first read this book when I was 14 and found it interesting. I didn't quite grasp I recently read it again and my medical knowledge helped me to understand the reasons as to why the charges against the pair were reduced from capital murder. The circumstance surrounding the case are hard to believe. It is like something you would see on TV, in fact a Law and Order episode was roughly based on this crime. The sad thing being everything is true. It is a good book, but is biased in the sense that it presents the case in a way that more than supports the prosecutor.
This book is well researched and very detailed. It gives an inside look into the lives of Brian and Amy and their posh New Jersey suburb. The characters are fleshed out and interesting However, you are even the tiniest bit squeamish, I recommend skipping the chapter "Get rid of it!" or at least please don't read this while eating a bowl of cereal. Very graphic and rather disgusting. I would recommend this book to true crime fans.
on November 10, 2010
i must say i have read this book many times and it still shocks me each time i read it. to know what these to teens must have been feeling at the time to think of what their parents might say. at that young age you really do think it wont happen to me i wont get pregnant. and you are truely surprised when you do. ths is a great book well worth the money spent on it!!! its a must buy!!!
on August 3, 2012
Amy Grossberg was an eighteen year-old college freshman, the daughter of a wealthy couple, and pregnant. The only other person who knew was her boyfriend, Brian Peterson.
Twice the couple drove to an abortion clinic. Twice Amy backed out. What if she got an infection and her parents found out?
Adoption? No way! Giving birth would surely result in her family learning of her "mistake."
At any cost, Amy Grossberg did not want her family to know she was sexually active, much less pregnant. And ever the faithful and dutiful boyfriend, Brian Peterson kept their secret.
On the night of November 12, 1996, however, there would be no more hiding her pregnancy. Amy was in labor. A baby was coming, ready or not.
Calling Brian, the couple rushed to a Delaware hotel where Amy delivered a 6 pounds, 2 ounce baby boy. As the infant lay still attached to his mother by the umbilical cord, Brian covered him with a towel and the couple tried to decide what to do. For Amy, it was simple, "Get rid of it! Get rid of it!," she demanded.
And that's what Brian Peterson did. Tearing the cord, he placed the baby into a garbage bag and tossed it into the dumpsters behind the hotel.
These two teens may have gotten away with murder had it not been for the ignorance when it came to the placenta. In just a matter of hours, Amy Grossberg would be lying in a hospital and Brian Peterson would find himself in the proverbial hot seat with doctors and cops wanting to know where the baby was.
In his book Always In Our Hearts: The Story Of Amy Grossberg, Brian Peterson, The Pregnancy They Hid And The Baby They Killed, author Doug Most does a fabulous job of laying out the facts of this well-publicized case of neonaticide in Delaware.
While Most does seem to have an opinion about these teenage killers (and who couldn't?!), it's obvious he's trying to keep it to himself as he delivers "just the facts," including all the "medical expert opinions" on whether the baby was alive or stillborn, so as to allow readers to form their own conclusion.
If I had one complaint, it would have to be the redundant proclamation in the beginnings (and some in the latter portions of the book) about how those raised in Wyckoff, New Jersey, are raised with such high expectations and about how these "poor little rich kids" simply cannot disappoint their parents. I got it the first ten times, didn't need to hear it ten more.
But, in all fairness, I'm certain Most was setting the scene, delving into the psychological dynamics for readers to get a sense of life as a whole for this kids. And I admit I wasn't much sympathetic to begin with so...
I liked Always In Our Hearts and do recommend it. I love a book that serves a duo purpose and this one does: (1) Tell me all about the case and (2) offers life skills lessons for parents and children. Personally, if I had my way, this would be mandatory reading for high schoolers AND their parents.
on March 20, 2013
I remember reading this book and about the only thing that made an impression on me, was that the boyfriend said he went to the bathroom, and when he came out, the baby was dead. So it wasn't known if Amy hit the baby on the head, or was it from throwing him in the dumpster? I don't remember if Brian testified anything about the dumpster - was it full, empty, did he hear the baby hit the bottom? When the police found the baby, was he on top of other garbage, or did he have something heavy on top of him?
I've read that Amy either had to speak or did speak to teenagers about the experience, but she still would claim no fault, saying she was too out of it because of her labor to know what was going on. She was supposedly so afraid of her parents' finding out that she was pregnant, yet what they found out was much worse, and still they stalwartly stood by their child. Her mother says Amy "did nothing wrong."
Of course these two had very rich parents, and that helped them out a lot. Strange that none of them even went to the funeral of the baby who is "always in our hearts," and the funeral home had to provide the casket. Amy now has her own greeting card company (again with the rich parents), but still lives at home with mommy and daddy. I don't think the grandparents much feel the loss of their grandson, not that Brian or Amy feel it either.
on May 20, 2001
I thought that this story was very interesting. The suspense kept me on my toes wanting to read more all the time. The story was about two upper class teenagers raised within good families who made a terrible mistake that would soon change their lives forever. These two young teens were placed in a position where they had to make very adult decisions. The author shows just how the human mind reacts when put into a tight situation. Not only did they react, but so did the small community in which they subsided in. The author shows just how different perspectives of a case can make such a big difference in a mind boggling case.