Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder

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Product Details

$27.99  $26.03
Henry Holt & Company
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Mikita Brottman, PhD, is an Oxford-educated scholar and psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, including An Unexplained Death, The Great Grisby, and The Maximum Security Book Club. She is a professor of humanities at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore


"Two years after the Menendez brothers famously killed their parents in Beverly Hills, a 22-year old man walked into a Florida police station and confessed to a similar crime. But the case of Brian Bechtold never made the cover of People magazine. Mikita Brottman has compiled an astonishing narrative of a man trapped in a netherworld, locked up in psych wards for 27 years after being declared 'not criminally responsible' for his parents' death. Bechtold grew up in a household that mixed abuse and mental illness, and his life story confronts the question: Can one be both a victim and a victimizer?"
--Robert Rand, author of The Menendez Murders

"Couple Found Slain is a compelling account of a young adult who killed his parents and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Mikita Brottman has done a masterful job relating this man's perceptions of his experiences as a patient in a psychiatric hospital for 27 years. This book raises important questions about the rights of the 'criminally insane.'"
--Kathleen M. Heide, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, University of South Florida and author of Understanding Parricide: When Sons and Daughters Kill Parents

Few have written more eloquently--and beautifully--about the terror of an institution that makes it virtually impossible to prove their sanity. Mikita Brottman shows the injustices of America's mental health care system with urgency, empathy and a keen eye for detail. It gives you goosebumps to think that almost anyone could end up in one of these soul-crushing, Kafkaesque machines.
--Sabine Heinlein, author of Among Murderers

Mikita Brottman's COUPLE FOUND SLAIN is a riveting account of a terrible crime and its aftermath. Deeply researched and compulsively readable, Brottman exposes the myriad ways that forensic psychiatry and a calcified system fail Bechtold and others judged 'not criminally responsible' for their actions. A gripping investigation that questions not only the sentence without end meted out to Bechtold, but the psychiatric dogma used to justify his continued incarceration.
--Deborah Rudacille, author of The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism and Transgender Rights

Brottman has established herself as a leading voice in modern true crime. She finds empathy in the criminal and shows compassion for those whom society wishes to simply forget. This is not just a well-written book, it's an important book. A must-read.
--James Renner, author of True Crime Addict

A stunning achievement. This heartbreaking expose will enrage readers who yearn for a humane and rational treatment approach for those who are found by the U.S. court system to be 'criminally insane.' This is not a book for the timid or the weak of heart, but it's an absolutely essential read for those who demand fairness, coherence and compassion in our treatment of mental illness.
--Tom Nugent, author of Death at Buffalo Creek

"Brottman deftly points to problems at facilities like Perkins [Hospital Center], from psychiatrists who spend too little time with patients, to high staff turnover...This thought-provoking book adds to conversations about the role of psychiatric institutions and how society can offer solutions."
--Library Journal

"The author's meticulous research is evident throughout...making for a smooth narrative populated by a variety of colorful characters...Brottman shows effectively that forced hospitalization could make anyone seem paranoid."
--Kirkus Reviews

[Brottman] makes a compelling case against the unjust, seemingly arbitrary treatment of those deemed 'criminally insane.'