Kill Grandma For Meby Jim Defelice, Jim DeFelice
In December, 1994, 13-year-old Wendy Gardner convinced James Evans, her 15-year-old lover, to strangle her grandmother to death. Then she took her own little sister prisoner, stole her grandmother's money, and began a three-day orgy of sex and junk food. From the heinous crime itself to the sensational trial, here is the graphic and shocking account of one of the most bizarre killings ever committed in the state of New York. Photos.
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This book is a story about two young teens Wendy Garner (13) and James Evans (15) who are in a relationship of obsession and commit a terrible crime. Wendy used to be a great young girl who got good grades and behaved like a young girl should until she met James. Wendy's grandmother notices a big change in the way Wendy acts such as drinking, not attending school, sneaking out, and having sexual intercourse. She was not impressed so she decided that she is going to try to keep the two young love birds away from each other. Wendy and James would not have this happen to them. Read this book and see the twisted things these two young teens manage to do. I enjoyed this book because it just goes to show the terrible things that a child or children are able to do. I also liked to hear about how the lives that the children had made them into the people they were. I recommend this book to a person who enjoys to read true crime books, just be prepared to read a disturbing story.
I personally knew James. I tutored him in middle school. He was a very dark boy, figuratively. It's a shame no one could've done more, even the school. I was a couple years older than James. It's definitely a dark moment in Saugerties history. -Greta Bowen.
The Book, Kill Grandma for Me by Jim DeFelice, was very shocking. The genre of the story is true crime. It is a bout a thirteen year old girl living in New York who was once the perfect child. Her name is Wendy Gardner and was raised by her grandmother, Elizabeth Gardner. The year was 1994Things were going great in life until fifteen year old James Evans came in. James and Wendy started going out. This drastically changed Wendy. She stared picking up bad habits that problem child James had. Elizabeth did not approve of these ¿Love Birds¿ Dating. She was determined to put it to an end. Wendy and James couldn¿t live without each other and was going to destroy what ever stood in their way. This graphic book goes through the murder and trial of Betty Gardner. The point of view that the writer chose for this book was third person. In this story, DeFelice likes to bring the readers close to each of the characters. In this story we see letters and diary entries written by the characters. This book has vivid detail during the time of the murder. This is not a book for the Squeamish. The story begins with action. The middle of the story gets boring this is the time of the trial. The story starts to pick its speed up towards the end of the book. The cover and title of the book explains wheat the book is all about. The cover is what grabbed My attention. It had the quotes ¿If I kill Her will You Love Me?¿, ¿Yea.¿, ¿Maybe We should shoot Her?¿, ¿Just do it.¿ How could anyone kill their own Grandmother? No one deserves to be killed, let alone by their own flesh and blood. I did not like the fact that the writer used more that half of the story on the trial, it was so boring!!!!!!!!! Over all I give this book three thumbs up. I recommend this book to the young adults and to adults. This book is not for children due to the fact that there is a murder, foul language, and contains sexual content. This book made me appreciate My family and the life that God has given to Me. This book also proved the fact that the mind of a child, teen, tween, what ever they want to be called is very immature. These two lovebirds needed a lot of more time to grow. What really made this whole story crazy was that of it being non-fiction.
Growing up in this neighborhood, knowing the streets intimately, and eating at Pizza Hut, I was captivated by the story. I could not put the book down. How could these young adolescent kids become such diabolical monsters. As I walked the streets of the neighborhood when I returned home for the holidays, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up just thinking the monsters walked the same street, plotting and planning.
This author leans far too heavily on the prosecution's evidence and ignores key facts that include expert testimony from a prosecutorial witness that decided to testify on the defense's side after interviewing Ms. Gardner: Dr. Kevin Smith indicated that he found Wendy without a criminal mentality and the mental stability of an eight year old. He indicated that he found James Evans to be a sociopath and a murderer. This does not mean that either of these individuals is innocent, but shows the holes present in the prosecution's case. Sadly, despite numerous witnesses verifying emotional instability and neighbors verifying the child abuse that she suffered at the hands of her paternal Grandmother, justice was not served. It is entirely possible that her sister inevitably lied on the stand to cover up the deceased Grandmother's abuse because she had no where else to go except with her remaining family - and this possible falsified eyewitness testimony from a child that was eleven is one of the key elements that likely changed a severe emotional disturbance defense that would have lead to a manslaughter conviction to a 2nd degree murder charge. Also, a "confession" was provided by the girl that should not have been submitted into the courts as her father had surrendered his parental rights many years prior to the crime. Betty Gardner's own son testified that he knew his daughter was being abused and that HE was also mistreated and abused as a child. He was ultimately discredited due to his prior drug use and convictions. Furthermore, DeFelice clearly continued to cash in and exploit the deceased's family by posting hideous images of Betty's corpse in the trunk of her car. Less focus should have been placed on the trial and on fictitious superfluous dialogue to entice morbid "true crime readers".