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Always In Our Hearts: The Story Of Amy Grossberg, Brian Peterson, The Pregnancy They Hid And The Baby They Killed Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2005
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"Doug Most has done a terrific job of recreating Brian and Amy's sad story. His objectivity, subtlety and eye for meaningful detail have turned an unforgettable case into an unforgettable reading experience." -Charles Brandt, former chief deputy attorney general of Delaware and author of The Right to Remain Silent
"A true-crime page-turner." -Kirkus Reviews
"Teens will be drawn to this examination of a horrific crime committed by two bright college students." -Booklist
From the Author
This case sparked a debate about how parents and their teenagers fail to communicate about sex and the dangerous consequences that can result. It also was the case that prompted states to begin passing so-called "Safe Haven" laws, permitting mothers to drop off their unwanted infants at designated safe zones like hospitals. Planned Parenthood listed this book as recommended reading for high school students, and I have traveled around speaking to high schools about the case and how the tragedy could have been avoided with one conversation.
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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.
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.
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.