Walking After Midnight: One Woman's Journey Through Murder, Justice, and Forgiveness

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Many people who have been harmed or wronged often feel that to respond with non-violence and forgiveness is to be weak. As Katy Hutchison reveals here, to forgive and seek reconciliation not only requires even more strength than a resort to force or retaliation, but also ensures deeper, more far-reaching beneficial consequences for all concerned. I am sure her remarkable story will serve as an inspiration to others by beset by grief and loss as she was.
-The Dalai Lama

On New Year's Eve, 1997, Bob McIntosh left his family and friends at the dinner table to check on a disturbance at a neighbor's house. He never came home. Savagely beaten by an unknown assailant, McIntosh died that night at a local hospital, leaving behind his wife and twin four-year olds.

While authorities searched for McIntosh's killer, his wife, author Katy Hutchison, began the slow process of rebuilding a life for her children and herself. Refusing to be defined by her husband's murder, she moved to a different town, pursued a new career, and eventually remarried--but, with questions about her husband's death still unanswered, the healing Hutchison longed for was slow in coming.

In the spring of 2002, authorities arrested a young man named Ryan Aldrigde for the murder of Bob McIntosh. On hearing the news, Hutchison startled investigators by asking to meet the man who had killed her husband. She didn't take satisfaction in seeing Aldridge in custody, nor did she want to rail against him for the harm he had inflicted on her and her family. Instead, she wanted to learn from him why he had attacked McIntosh and what she could do to help stop incidents like it from happening again. In a letter she sent to Aldridge after his arrest, Hutchison offered this remarkable sentiment:

All I want for you is what you took from Bob--a happy and productive life.

Walking After Midnight tells a story at turns devastating and triumphant, a unique exploration of one woman's courageous response to tragedy that challenges our expectations about grief and loss. It's an inspiring account of the power of forgiveness, compassion, and a different kind of justice.

An excellent primer for handling loss with intelligence and dignity…an antidote to the endless cycles of violence that consume too many lives and too many countries.
-Frederic Luskin, Ph.D., author of Forgive for Good and director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects

A remarkable story of tragedy and transcendence. Not everyone who walks this road will make the choices Hutchison did, but all will recognize the intersections and obstacles she encounters along the way. And no one who reads this story can dismiss the authenticity and passion with which it is told.
-Howard Zehr, founding theorist of restorative justice, professor of restorative justice at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding of Eastern Mennonite University and author of Changing Lenses

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this cautionary tale about the dangers of teenage substance abuse, Hutchison tells how she became reconciled with the drunken teenage boy who killed her husband. On New Year's Eve 1997, in Squamish, British Columbia, Hutchison's husband, Bob, went with two male friends to check on an unsupervised teenagers' party nearby. When Bob attempted to get the crowd of intoxicated, drug-using adolescents to leave the house, he was punched and then kicked to death. A few years later, Ryan Aldridge admitted his guilt and offered letters of apology to the author and her children; he was sentenced to five years for manslaughter. The author takes readers through the aftermath of her husband's death, describing their love for each other despite the usual marital conflicts. She is forthright in recounting how she fell in love with her second husband, marrying him eight months after Bob's death. The most valuable part of this compelling memoir is Hutchison's healing emotional journey, which resulted in reconciliation with Ryan. While in prison (he is currently out on parole), Ryan began to participate with Hutchison in presentations about the dangers of teenage substance abuse. Hutchison has become an activist for restorative justice, which facilitates victim-offender reconciliation. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
An advocate for restorative justice, Hutchison tells the horrific story of her husband's murder on New Year's Eve 1997 and how she and her family have since rebuilt their lives. Hutchison's husband, Bob McIntosh, a well-regarded lawyer, renowned triathlete, and beloved Squamish, British Columbia, community member, was murdered while trying to be a good neighbor. Checking on an out-of-control teen party at the home of a vacationing friend, he was punched and beaten to death by two teens. Hutchison sketches the near-idyllic life she had led with McIntosh and their then four-year-old twins, her decision to move back home to Victoria to build a new life, the five-year criminal investigation, her remarriage, and her new speaking career. Sharing "The Story of Bob" with students in hopes that she could help curb teen violence, she is now a much-in-demand speaker sometimes sharing the stage with one of her husband's killers. This is a powerful tale of resilience and forgiveness. Hutchison's story is so touching and inspiring that the reader may not question her idealized response to every setback. Highly recommended. Karen Sandlin Silverman, Ctr. for Applied Research, Philadelphia Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572245037
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Series: Unassigned Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Katy Hutchison, a passionate advocate for restorative justice, is a professional speaker working with young people on topics of social responsibility. Her program, inspired by the event surrounding the murder of her husband, has reached more than 100,000 people across Canada and the United States. She was nominated for a Courage to Come Back Award in 2003 and a Woman of Distinction Award in 2004.
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