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4.4 out of 5 stars
Savage Son
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91 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2010
Marshall Slot, the lead detective named in the book, is my son. Myself, being a former Police officer and detective, take umbrage in the fact that the author of this book never consulted or even had a conversation with any Police officials connected with this particular case. As a result, the book is rife with conjecture as to what was really verbalized by any of the named parties involved.
Many purported quotes were merely literary license as well as often misquoted media accounts. Granted, the book makes for entertaining reading for those who enjoy this genre, however, the author's credibility for a true and factual account leave much to be desired.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2010
In Texas, we think little of driving three hours for good barbecue or a hot date. Evidently Corey Mitchell didn't bother to drive that distance from his Central Texas home to actually view the scene of the Whitaker murders.

In SAVAGE SON, he describes Sugar Lakes, the subdivision in which the Whitaker family lived, as a gated community. He relates how Steven Champagne, the driver of the getaway car, managed to bypass the keypad controlling the gate by slipping in behind another car. In fact, he twice makes reference to the gate and keypad. Sugar Lakes has never been a gated community in the thirty years of its existance, so I am left to conclude that Mitchell never visited himself.

Another research error, but less glaring, is the author's contention that Kent and Bart Whitaker were taken to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital to recover from their wounds, and he sets a number of chapters in their hospital room. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land did not exist in 2003; it opened in late 2006.

I found the writing to be stilted and sometimes trite. This line was my favorite: "It was only a matter of time before it would be too late." I would have laughed aloud, but Mitchell was referring to the imminent death of Tricia Whitaker.

As murders in Sugar Land are thankfully rare, I followed this case closely. I looked forward to the publication of SAVAGE SON and was quite disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I want to say that Corey Mitchell is one of my favorite true crime writers. While the books he writes are about horrible crimes that way he writes them is amazing. They do not read like nonfiction, they read like a really good novel. He gives his readers amazing background on all of those involved and tries to figure out what or where things went wrong.

In SAVAGE SON he succeeds again. I read this book as usual shaking my head and thinking WTF? This Bart Whitaker had it all, successful parents, privledged childhood, basically wanting for nothing and yet he still wants his parents dead so he can have the insurance money! Can you say GREEDY PIG? Usually I can reach really deep and find a shred of sympathy for these murderers but this guy, NO WAY. The only thing I can give him is he has to have a screw loose from birth.

Again I think why didn't anyone say anything when he was going around telling anyone that would listen that he wanted to kill his parents? Yes, one young girl did, she took the proper steps, called the police but like usual nothing came of it. He found some idiots to help him carry this plan out and never felt any remorse. After all, he didn't pull the trigger!!! The fact that his father forgave him for killing his wife and son is an amazing thing and he is a better person than I am. I would let him fry!

I always feel like a weirdo saying that a true crime book was great but Corey Mitchell's are. It's not the crime that makes it so good it's what the author does with the crime when he writes the story. Mr. MItchell has a gift for taking you to the scene and showing you everything. If you have not read his books, read them.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2010
I have never written a review, but this book has really gotten to me. I love true crime stories
and what struck me about this one is the fact the father (Kent Whitaker) is so forgiving of
his sociopathic son who tried to kill his family three times before finally succeeding in
killing his mother and brother. The son was a compulsive liar all his life and the parents
just couldn't believe their "angel" did some of the things he did. Yet, he still believes in him and thinks he's become a good God-loving individual.

While the story is tragic and in some ways, I admire Kent Whitaker for his forgiveness, I mostly
find it bazaar. How can he want a relationship with his manipulative son that has lied and
manipulated people his entire life?! How can he trust his son? Forgiveness, I understand, as
it heals the soul. But why would the father type the son's blogs about horrid prison conditions and against the death penalty? (Prison is punishment -- it isn't supposed to be "Holiday Inn".)
Kent Whitaker portrays himself as a do-gooder and thinks he's so wonderful because he forgave his son. Well, I take issue with that. He goes too far in forgiving his sociopathic son and that isn't a religion I want. The father is in to himself. The son is too. Need i say
more? They both come across narcisstic, in my opinion!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2010
I could not wait to read this book. I was very interested in the story of Bart Whitaker and the author came highly recommended. I was disappointed. I know that people will criticize me, but this is my opinion. TV and the internet are to blame. The author got most of his material from a 20/20 episode, a CBS 48 hours mystery episode, an Oprah Winfrey show, Bart's father's book, and Bart's web site - all of which I've seen or read. I wanted to read new material, not a rehash of everything out there. He did speak to the driver of the getaway car in depth but he also he spent way too much time talking about how the incriminating evidence was found and how the scent dogs tracked the killer. If you do not watch true crime shows and you have not read Kent Whitaker's book, then I guess this book just about covers it. You will be happy with it. If, on the other hand, you know a lot about the case, you will be disappointed. This book only skimmed the surface. It's hard to read and critique a book when you know over 85% of the material in it.

As a postscript, I am in the process of rereading this book. I think some time went by and I'm thinking that perhaps I was being too harsh. So I am changing my review from 2 stars to 4 stars - I still think more research should have been done on Bart's early years.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 12, 2010
I've been eagerly awaiting "Savage Son" since Corey Mitchell announced on his website "In cold blog" that he was working on a book about the Whitaker case in Texas. This case has fascinated me since I first heard about it two years ago. The Whitakers-Kent, Bart, Kevin and Tricia-were gunned down in cold blood after a dinner celebrating their oldest sons upcoming graduation from college. Only Bart and Kent survived the massacre, and eventually evidence points to Bart, the oldest son as the mastermind behind the killings of his family members. Kent, Bart's Father, decision to forgive his son and argue for life imprisonment rather than the death penalty is startling but understandable due to Kent's Christianity. Kent Whitaker emerges as the hero behind this story, and I am glad to find out through this book that he has remarried and is moving on with his life.

Corey Mitchell is a master of telling a true crime story. As he discusses the case, you feel that you are there, hearing what the characters in the story are saying. He also goes over events in chronological order, and has few flashbacks to previous events that reflect on the current story; which makes the story easy to read and follow. The pictures of the Whitaker family, the criminals, and the scene of the crime/items used in the crime are upsetting but necessary to tell the tale.

I had previously read "Murder by Family" by Kent Whitaker on this crime. Whitaker's story is more of redemption and forgiveness of his son Bart for his part in the heinous act of killing Whitaker's other family members. His book is excellent, and I highly recommend it in addition to this one for a portrait of what the Whitaker family was like.

I was extremely moved by the acknowledgement section of this book. I had no idea that Mr. Mitchell had gone through so much in researching this book and in dealing with bad press as a result of a video on his website "In cold blog." Researching this book apparently took its toll on Mitchell-he himself writes that for a time, after researching Bart's callous disregard for human life; he wanted to give up the true crime genre. Mitchell has written about many serial killers and pedophiles, and was more disgusted by Bart's narcissism/sociopathy/arrogance than any of the other killers he has profiled. Mitchell discusses in this acknowledgement that he was moved to forgive others who have spoken against him and his web site due to the influence of Kent Whitaker, and I commend him for that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
As a true crime story I enjoyed reading this book. As a mother of 3 children I was unable to believe a child can be so bitter and twisted and driven to murder his own family for financial gain and manipulating others to do his dirty work and almost getting away with it but too many people he tried to recruit told the sad truth of a plan that had been in motion for years and failed attempt.Yet his father forgave him. Great Read
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I am reading the book. We knew the killer Chris Brashear when he was growing up in our little town Lake Jackson Texas. He was a good kid, in the band, good student. It is shocking to read this knowing what he did. He killed two innocent people in cold blood, and he is in prison. The whole thing just makes me sick. But I really wanted to read the book and learn the whole story. God bless Kent Whitaker, and RIP Tricia and Kevin Whitaker. I am convinced that Bart is sociopath/psychopath/narcissistist. And Chris could have walked away at any time. Bart had been obsessed with killing his family for years, and had tried to get friends to help him. Other friends got in their cars, drove away, and never spoke to Bart again. Chris could and should have done this, too. We looked up the murder rate in Sugar Land Texas and the year these murders happened, pretty much doubled the murder rate for that year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2014
Book Review: Savage Son by Corey Mitchell

The Whitaker family were having a celebration at Pappadeaux Restaurant at Sugarland, Texas, USA on 10 December 2003. They were celebrating the graduation of their eldest son, Bart from college. After the celebration and feasting ended, the family drove home. As the younger son Kevin passed through the door of the home and into the lounge-room, he was shot in the chest almost at point-blank range and fell on the floor almost dead. His mother ran to his aid and was similarly shot at point blank range in the chest. Next to be shot was the father Kent in the arm. Then Bart was shot in the arm as well. The assailant high-tailed it out the back door. As it transpired, Bart had set up this horrific scenario with his mate Chris Brasher who was the gunman. He shot Bart too to in order to make it look like a robbery and to steer the blame away from Bart. The plan failed because Kent the father survived. Bart headed to Mexico when he was pursued by police and after everybody suspected him of murder. Brashear and the other accomplice Steven Champagne (was that his real name?) were captured. Champagne never really wanted to be a part of the murders but was sucked in by Bart. Eventually Brashear was sentenced to life imprisonment and Bart to death by lethal injection. Champagne did not celebrate like his name suggests as he was sentenced to 15 years in the hard house. In my opinion, Brashear should have received the death penalty as well. The law needs to be changed here.

This is a shocking story of one evil, sociopathic and psychopathic young man. It doesn't get much worse than this horrific tale. Bart has been a compulsive liar all his life and the parents just couldn't believe that their "angel" did some of the things he did such as robbing schools of their computers and other equipment. He had incredible love and every financial asset that anyone would ever wish for. In fact, he had just been given a $4000 Rolex watch by his mother before the restaurant meal and just a few hours before she was shot dead by Brashear. It was Champagne who filled in most of the details on the murder because Bart was mostly non-sensical after his capture. Lets hope they exterminate him soon. Most people cannot believe that Kent Whitaker has forgiven him and the others. Some think that he is just as narcissistic as his son.

The book is a extremely gripping read and is illustrated with a block of numerous black and white photographs.

This thick 410-page paper-back book is a valuable addition to the crime’s buff library. Highly recommended.

Dr Trevor J Hawkeswood
Author: Light and Dark- My Experiences with the Paranormal (2013) and Spiders of Australia (2003)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2013
"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child" fits this narrative to a "T"! The notion that a loved, handsome, materially gifted young man could plan and execute such evil is just beyond comprehension. What gave me the shivers is that I live in the very town, Waco, Texas, where he first plotted this deed. Each chapter begins with the location it deals with printed in italics under the chapter number. I was reading this book in Hastings Books and Movies and low and behold I don't remember what chapter number, but it's fairly early in the book, there were the italics "Hastings Books and Movies"! While living in Waco and attending Baylor University in the early 2000's, he shop-lifted an item at Hastings. The employee who observed him couldn't stop him, but got his license number as he drove away. However, the number traced back to his father in Spring, TX and they weren't able to trace him to a local address, so for all practical purposes he was never punished for this crime. Another italics gives the address of his apartment complex off of I-35. It is stll there although under a different name, probably one of the nicest off-campus complexes in the Baylor area. I stood and gazed at the very apartment where he was making his first plans which utimately went awry because of the general stupidity of the people whom he had recruited. He finally left Waco and moved back to the Houston area where his loving father set him up in an expensive condo of his own, which generosity was repaid three-fold when he murdered his loving brother and mother and almost succeeded in killing his father. I can't really fault the father, I know it's the instinct of a parent to give lavishly to their children, but apparently nothing was enough for this wretched human being who now awaits an execution that can come only too soon as far as I'm concerned!
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