Never Leave Your Dead: A True Story of War Trauma, Murder, and Madness

Never Leave Your Dead: A True Story of War Trauma, Murder, and Madness

by Diane Cameron

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Overview

Was Donald a traumatized veteran? A victim of abuse in the mental-health system? Was he a criminal? Mentally ill? Or just eccentric?

Join author Diane Cameron as she unravels the true story of her stepfather, Donald Watkins, a former Marine who served in China from 1937 to 1939 during the Japanese invasion. After returning home, Donald’s seemingly normal life took a sharp turn when he murdered his first wife and mother-in-law in 1953. As punishment for his crime, he spent twenty-two years at Fairview State Hospital for the criminally insane.

Donald’s story traverses continents and decades. Years after his release from Farview, Cameron’s stark examination of her relationship with Donald and her mother highlights the far reach of mental illness. Her in-depth research and keen insight will stir public debate about what is happening today and what we can expect as the impact of war trauma for veterans and their families unfurls and detonates.

Diane Cameron is an award-winning columnist. An excerpt from Never Leave Your Dead was first published in the Bellevue Literary Review and was nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942094166
Publisher: Central Recovery Press, LLC
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 786,760
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author


Diane Cameron is an award-winning columnist whose topics include popular culture and social perspective. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Chicago Tribune,
Christian Science Monitor, the Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Albany Times Union. Her column, “The Common Writer,” in the Altamont Enterprise was awarded first place for Best Column from the New York Press Association in April of 2007. An excerpt from Never Leave Your Dead was first published in the Bellevue Literary Review and was nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize.

Table of Contents

Foreword William P. Nash xi

Preface xiii

Prologue: The Murder-March 7,1953 1

Chapter 1 My Mother's Donald 5

Chapter 2 Getting to Know Donald 15

Chapter 3 Out of Order 23

Chapter 4 For God and Country 27

Chapter 5 Missing History: Donald's Past Has a Past 45

Chapter 6 Nuts for the Nation: St. Elizabeths Hospital 53

Chapter 7 Semper Fi: There's No Purple Heart for Falling Apart 65

Chapter 8 They Brought Home More Than Souvenirs 83

Chapter 9 When My Mother Told Me 89

Chapter 10 Cold Storage: Farview State Hospital 99

Chapter 11 Unveiling the Myth of Thomas Szasz 109

Chapter 12 Getting Help and Getting Home Again 121

Chapter 13 Donald Crosses the Line 135

Chapter 14 There Are So Many Donalds 145

Chapter 15 Still Crazy After All These Years 157

Chapter 16 Iambic Pentameter and the Meter of War 165

Chapter 17 Never Leave Your Dead 173

Acknowledgments and Thanks 177

The Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 179

Resources for Veterans and their Families and Friends 181

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