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When a Child Kills Paperback – September 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671674218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671674212
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 3.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,574,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

L.A. attorney Mones eloquently defends brutalized teenage parricides in this well-documented study of juvenile crime and parental sadism.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Not since the highly publicized 60 Minutes interview of Richard Jahnke, who at age 16 killed his father in their Wyoming home, and Alan Prendergast's ensuing book The Poison Tree ( LJ 6/1/86) have we glimpsed the stark reality of parricide. Although very little has been written on the subject, Mones is the leading authority in defending these cases. He humanely conveys the plight of children caught in the web of child abuse and/or neglect. With compassionate insight, he documents the cases of eight children and presents interviews with 12 more, chronicling the years of abuse that led to their desperate actions. Mones's study is more involving than Muriel Gardiner's Deadly Innocents: Portraits of Children Who Kill ( LJ 7/76). In an informative but casual writing style, he presents a strong case for compassion toward those trapped in a justice system unwilling or unable to cope with family violence. Highly recommended.
- Lisa Wise, Steele Memorial Lib., Elmira, N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author


Paul Mones is one of the leading children rights attorney's in the nation. He has focused his work on advocating for abused children. He pioneered the battered child syndrome defense used in cases of battered and abused children who kill their parents. His book, WHEN A CHILD KILLS: ABUSED CHILDREN WHO KILL THEIR PARENTS (1991) is considered a landmark book in the field.
He has also been at the forefront representing survivors of sexual abuse by litigating on their behalf against institutions like the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church where children have been sexually abused. In Portland, Oregon in 2010, he won the largest sexual abuse verdict in history against the Boy Scouts of America. In addition to his trial work, Paul also lectures nationally and internationally on child sexual abuse and other critical youth issues to numerous professional organizations. He is admitted to the bar in Oregon and California but works on child abuse and adolescent violence throughout the United States.
In August of 1993, Attorney General Janet Reno presented him the American Bar Association's Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award "awarded to one attorney each year for his or her outstanding contributions...to the rights of children and youth."
Mr. Mones is also the author of STALKING JUSTICE, a true crime book concerned the first U.S. serial murder-rape case solved by D.N.A. fingerprinting (Pocketbooks/Simon and Schuster in July, 1995) He also contributed a chapter entitled, "Talking to Your Children About Terrorism," in FEAR LESS by Gavin de Becker. In addition Mr. Mones has been an op-ed contributor to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and USA Today and has appeared on Larry King, the Today Show, Oprah Winfrey, 60 Minutes, Frontlines as well as other television and radio news shows throughout the nation.



Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1997
Format: Paperback
When A Child Kills is an exceptionally insightful view of family violence and it's tragic outcome. Paul Mones shows us the unflinching truth of what we are doing to our children and what happens when they snap. With sensitivity for the real victims of parenticide, he describes, with numerous case examples, the various players in violent familial relationship and the almost predictable way that some children fight back.
Mones discusses how some children are abused, unloved and humiliated repeatedly until they fear and loath their own parent. This fear and loathing mixes with the love they have for the parent and they end up feeling trapped and helpless. When they can no longer take the abuse or fear so desperately the next episode, they strike out at the moment they feel safest(usually when the parent is asleep). Mones explains how the child's fear is the very thing that makes the public believe the murder was in cold blood.
I could say you won't want to put this book down but I found that I had to put it down frequently because I was shaking, I was so mad at the parents for the abuse and the untenable situation into which they put their own children.
A disturbing, well written, thoughful, honest book.
Robert Quinn-O'Connor
robo@critpath.org
Collingdale, PA, USA
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Englynd on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
This was a phenomenal book. It offerred a unique, unglorified view of the types of situations in which children sometimes turn to violence to escape abuse. A must-read for anyone who finds themselves in a position where they come into contact with children who have been, or are being abused.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Freundin on February 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After watching the Cody Posey murder trial (Court TV) I wanted to know more about this topic. Cody Posey testified in his trial that he had suffered horrible abuse at the hands of his father. I was very moved by his testimony and disappointed about his conviction. One of the interviewed Court TV trial experts for child abuse cases recommended the book When a Child Kills by Paul Mones. Luckily, my local library had this book.

This book is very shocking. I had to put it down after every chapter in order to process the facts. The author describes in a brutally raw way why some children kill their parents. I wouldn't call it child abuse in some of the described cases, I would call it severe torture.

The book (written in 1991) is timeless. Cody Posey's life story could have been one of the seven sad stories documented in this book. I am an atheist. I think hell is right here on earth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Christensen on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When a Child Kills. This book filled with tragic truths, reflects what children see as solutions to problems that boggle the adolescent mind. Our society teaches us, through "entertainment", easy, quick, and permanent ways to deal with disagreeable situations, anger and frustrations. From toddlers to teens, the saturation of evil and cruelty brings stain to young, undeveloped minds. For some, there is a breaking point. For some, a fear of telling, fear of not being believed. Fear of mockery. Sad stories of the cause, the act, and the punishment.
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