Simon Says: A True Story of Boys and Murder in the Rocky Mountain Westby Kathryn Eastburn
On a frigid New Year’s Eve, just twenty months after the Columbine massacre, three teenage boys carefully plotted the murder of a schoolmate and his grandparents at their mountain hideaway outside of Colorado Springs. The boys’ leader, Simon Sue, was responsible for strong-arming the others into believing they were members of a secret paramilitary organization-and that their very lives depended on successfully executing the organization’s “mission.” Simon Says tells the page-turning story of how these boys’ lives could have gone so horribly astray, how their parents assumed all was right in their sons’ lives, and what the fallout of the grisly murders was on all the families. Through painstaking research, journalist Kathryn Eastburn gets into the minds of these boys to reveal a place where the rites of passage to young manhood, to acceptance, come at an exorbitant price.
On New Year's Eve 2000, Isaac Grimes, a Colorado Springs high school sophomore, went on a sleepover at the rural Colorado home of the grandparents of his former best friend Tony Dutcher. There, Isaac confessed three months later, he slit Tony's throat while his accomplice and fellow student Jon Matheny shot to death Carl Dutcher, a military veteran and licensed arms dealer, and his wife, JoAnna. Grimes and Matheny blamed high school senior Simon Sue for planning the triple homicide; Sue had bullied them into believing they were guerrillas following orders in a Marxist Guyanese paramilitary organization. At 15, Grimes became the youngest inmate in the adult prison system after he was convicted and sentenced to 60 years; Matheny and Sue were sentenced to 66 and 53 years, respectively. Eastburn, who covered the case for the Colorado Springs Independent, offers a well-researched, fast-paced account of events. The crime is ultimately more interesting than the criminals, who shed meager insight into their own motives and psyches. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
- Da Capo Press
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- 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
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Journalist Kathryn Eastburn covered the court proceedings against the boys in this case for nearly three years for the Colorado Springs Independent. She lives in Colorado Springs.
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