15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding true crime: insightful, thorough, and balanced,
This review is from: Dying Dreams (Paperback)
The crimes were horrible and strange: two infant girls kidnapped from the same family in a two and a half year period in two different towns by a masked, gun-wielding man. That was what Paula Sims told the police. The truth is even stranger and more horrible: each baby girl was drowned by her mother, who then disposed of them.
This stunning truth is contained in the last chapter of Dying Dreams, where Paula Sims, convicted of the murder of her second daughter Heather, confesses to the author about each murder and body disposal, though she denies freezing the Heather's body [there is some forensic evidence that this did happen] before dumping the body in a trash can at a rest stop. I have been reading true crime for over eight years and cannot remember any other work that contains a confession from the criminal.
The rest of this book also benefits from Paula's many conversations with the author. Her life is described in much greater detail than the other book on this case, Precious Victims. She also describes several summers of sexual abuse at the hands of a grandfather and bad cases of postpartum depression after each of her daughters were born. Neither of these factors excuses her crimes, but the postpartum depression is mitigating and was never brought forth in her trial. The largest factor for her murders is plainly described here: her loveless marriage to an ultra-fussy, malcontented, verbally abusive, control freak named Rob. The most poignant moment for me was the recollection of Paula's hospital roommate describing her calling Rob and apologizing for having given birth to a girl. His attitude toward baby girls [and women in general] seems to be a contributing factor toward the murder of each child.
This book is well organized and plainly written, and the author interviewed many of the people connected to this story. This is the rare true crime book that, when you have finished it, you feel as though you know who, what, where, when, how, and, most importantly, why the crime occured and all the circumstances that led up to and surrounded it. Amazingly, at the end of this book, you've heard most of those things from the criminal herself.
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Initial post: Oct 10, 2013 7:44:38 PM PDT
Nancy Sherburne says:
It was in finding an alternative to ordering used books from Amazon's third-party sellers and their $3.99 shipping charge that led me to Thrift Books and this book in particular. I went to Amazon for more information and further reviews to help me to decide to order it or not. I know quite a few know of the initials WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) but when I read this another set of initials popped up - WWYD (What Would You Do?). If I were in her place, married to a lunatic as she was, perhaps I, too, would find myself willing to kill my daughters under his threats in order to keep alive. Who knows? I do wish she wasn't referred to as a criminal, but as an abusive wife and mother driven to do a horrible act she would never have committed herself but only did so because of the kind of man she was married to. I may change my mind after reading the book, but this is my impression from reading the summary. I cry for her poor murdered daughters, but I also cry for her. I shed no tears for Rob.
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