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132 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUCH A SAD STORY
This is one of the saddest books I have ever read. There is something very, very wrong with our social services system in the United States, and particularly California, that allowed two boys, from birth, to suffer the whims of violence and neglect that these two boys suffered. That they eventually killed their abusive mother is not surprising. What is surprising, is...
Published on February 11, 2006 by Anne Salazar

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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book -- a very sad story
It's a fast read. The book focuses on the life of the sons (who killed their mother). I remember when this story made headlines. The sons were villains in the media. I don't remember any of the information in this book being in the media. Shows how people can be convicted in the media when the public doesn't know the whole story. The mother was mentally ill and her...
Published on February 11, 2007 by Veronica T.


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132 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUCH A SAD STORY, February 11, 2006
By 
Anne Salazar "inveterate reader" (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the saddest books I have ever read. There is something very, very wrong with our social services system in the United States, and particularly California, that allowed two boys, from birth, to suffer the whims of violence and neglect that these two boys suffered. That they eventually killed their abusive mother is not surprising. What is surprising, is that they suffered her abuse for so long with NO adult intervention on their behalf. Tina Dirmann did an excellent job in telling their story in this book. (It's hard to believe it's her first, and hopefully she will continue writing books.)

All of the adults mentioned in this book should be taken to task for their ho-hum attitudes towards this never-ending abuse, if not criminally charged with allowing it to go on. The boys' mother suffered severe psychiatric illnesses, undoubtedly paranoid schizophrenia. However, it should never be expected that minor children, who lived with the sequelae of severe mental illness, would know enough (or be brave enough) to turn to authorities to save themselves. The mother is the only parental figure they ever knew; that she treated them so criminally day after day, year after year, was not for them to judge, or to know enough to do anything about. It is really unbelievable that nothing was EVER done for these boys to save them from their mother.

I am so sad for Jason and Matthew. I hope that Matthew has found some peace and has made a good life for himself, and that he continues to see and support his brother. Is it too much to hope that Jason will get treatment and will be able to continue his education in prison, and will someday come under the scrutiny of a caring judge who will give him a chance to live a normal, productive life? One can only hope. Someplace in our legal system, there must be a place for juveniles and young adults who have suffered at the hands of their parent every single day of their lives to get help, instead of such severe punishment, just as we have finally, finally realized that battered women deserve our pity and our understanding and our help. I am ashamed to be a member of this society where we punish children for finally acting out to save their own lives and sanity.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful, riveting, November 30, 2005
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This book immediately drew me in with its gripping storyline and hard-hitting facts, which are presented without speculation throughout. The reader is left to determine what's real, who's telling the truth, if the murder was justified and, ultimately, could the sons have gotten away with their horrific crime if it wasn't for that one mistake...? The cadence of the book is brisk and to-the-point; evidence is presented matter-of-factly. Dirmann masterfully approaches character development by illustrating how the main characters dealt with events in their lives and through the impressions left on others. I read the book in three hours and then passed it along to two of my friends who also read it in 1-2 sittings. Highly recommended.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book -- a very sad story, February 11, 2007
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It's a fast read. The book focuses on the life of the sons (who killed their mother). I remember when this story made headlines. The sons were villains in the media. I don't remember any of the information in this book being in the media. Shows how people can be convicted in the media when the public doesn't know the whole story. The mother was mentally ill and her sons had a tragic and abusive childhood being raised by her. Not an "excuse" to kill someone, but I can understand what drove them after reading this book. Tragic all the way around.

Not one of those books I couldn't put down.. Not one of the most well-written books I've read, but I appreciate the other side of the story being told.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHAME ON AMERICA FOR LETTING THIS HAPPEN, March 13, 2006
By 
M. Norton "peggy n" (merritt island, florida United States) - See all my reviews
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This woman obviously needed help and so did those kids. The second husband had no right leaving his son and the other child knowing what he knew was happening, if anything he or her parents should be the ones tried for that murder. With out giving too much of the story away, this was a very sad situation from her adolescence through adulthood and the fact that everyone turned away and ignore her is (I would like to say shocking but this being America where everyone turns their back on others) irresponsible. There were enough people who could have gotten involved and freed those children and the mother before letting that murder happen. As much as she moved around there were plenty of people knowing what was going on. It was so preventable. But unfortunately this is a country where from the teachers to the Child Protective Services no one pushes it far enough even though few neighbors tried and ended up paying for it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, tragic story, January 2, 2006
By 
Tina Dirmann did a fantastic job writing about this difficult case, which encompasses motherhood, mental illness, child abuse, and matricide. Dirmann does not interject her own biases or agenda into her writing, rather she presents the many different angles of this story in a compassionate fashion. That, in and of itself is impressive, because many writers of true crime tend to lean one side or the other,get caught up in emotion, and appear unable to really present all sides of the story. Lessons can be learned from this book regarding mental illness and society's responsibility to help families who are in need of intervention. It is so sad that the extended families of these boys failed not only them, but also tragically failed their mother.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As If You Were LIving the Lives of the Crimials, November 14, 2005
This is a tight book, which really puts you at the scene. No BS. No speculation, the hard hitting sad, scary, intense facts of a horrific murder. You won't be disappointed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, March 10, 2007
I agree with most other reviewers. While this may not have been the most exciting or well written true crime book, it may certainly qualify as the most tragic. It was a fast read and was interesting.

Shame on all those who saw what was happening to those poor suffering boys and refused to report it. Shame on all those who knew this mother was schizophrenic and did nothing to assist her. In particular, I am perplexed and angry that this woman's own family did nothing to gain treatment for their seriously mentally ill daughter! They had options and chose instead to do nothing.

Even more tragic, her family allowed those two boys to suffer for years and years! Where is the justice in punishing Jason? While murder is wrong and I am not condoning the actions of her older son, one can hardly blame him. Yes, he was of legal age, employed, and could have left his mother... but children raised in abusive homes often do not feel secure enough to leave or to even see leaving as a viable option. Jason has served some time in prison. He is certainly not a continued threat to society, nor was he ever. Perhaps a sympathetic judge will someday commute the sentence for this young man and allow him to have some chance at life... a normal life. This woman's parents should have been on trial for doing NOTHING!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!!, August 22, 2006
By 
VERY sad, i cannot believe the jury gave Jason what they did. I do think Jason could have left though. He WAS over 18, i mean killing her was stupid in my opinion. I think the DA could have been a little more understanding, all of his abuse history was barely even brought up in the trial and his lawyer well sucked, i kept thinking of things i would have said if i was his lawyer!

Anyway's this book is an addicting read and you won't put it down.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such Good Boys:, May 19, 2006
By 
This book is a very good book and story line and written very well as you have no problem following the course it takes you down with all the twists and turns. Very interesting and in one way you want to put it down because of some of the content and then on the other hand you can't put it down because you want to find out what happens.

Read it, you'll understand what I mean.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOMMY DEAREST..., June 14, 2008
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This is a well-written, gripping true crime tale. I simply could not put the book down! It is a tragic story that is profoundly sad, as it deals with the murder of a woman, Jane Bautista, by her older son, Jason Bautista, with the knowledge and blessing of the younger one, Matt Montejo. Jane Bautista was mentally ill, and they simply could no longer deal with her erratic and frightening behavior. Jason's regrettable act was one that he deluded himself into thinking would restore normalcy into his and his brother's lives, only to find that his young life would never be normal as a result.

The book lays out the pattern of the children's lives over the years, living with a mother that had, undoubtedly, developed paranoid schizophrenia in her early adulthood. Her behavior was erratic, frightening, and totally paranoid. Although she came into contact with adults, including her own family, displaying frightening, irrational, and peculiar behavior, no one did anything or notified anyone to intervene in what certainly must have been a very difficult situation with which to cope for her poor children. Their life was anything but normal.

The Deputy District Attorney who tried the case seemed to be totally without compassion, seeking the maximum penalty for this murder. He saw it simply in black and white terms. It is true, however, that Jason, who was about twenty years old at the time of the murder, could have sought outside help or simply left the household instead of murdering his mother in cold blood. Instead, he not only killed her but chose to dispose of her remains in a way that shocks the conscience. Although given his home life, it is difficult to expect him to have been totally rational. Yet, there is simply no way one can condone what he did. Still, one cannot help but feel that the criminal justice system dealt with Jason over harshly, given the context out of which his actions arose.

This is an excellent true crime book, three dimensional in the telling and well-researched. It is certainly one that aficionados of the genre will greatly enjoy reading.
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