We’re led through a maze of good and evil by Rommelmann, who explores the days, months, and then years after Stott-Smith’s arrest and attempts to understand not who committed the crime or how, but why. With what can only be described as maternal courage, she challenges us to look past the simple way our culture metabolizes episodes of filicide, ridding ourselves of the burden of close inspection by making the murderer into a monster. With a dark poignancy she re-creates—through interviews with Stott-Smith’s family, friends, and enemies—the circumstances that led to an unforgettable and heartbreaking American tragedy. In the process, we are shown without judgment the destructive forces that surrounded a woman ill equipped to handle them, and we’re asked to look when looking is hard, so that we might get closer to the truth.
- Barry Harbaugh, Editor