The Stalking of Kristin: A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter 3.5 out of 5based on
meggyweg on LibraryThing
10 months ago
I thought Lardner maintained a very calm, dispassionate tone in this book, which is surprising given that it's about his own daughter's murder. Or perhaps not so surprising, once you learn that Lardner is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. In any case, this was is a very tragic story of a gifted young artist who was killed right in the prime of her life, and a troubled and violent young man who, given his background, never really had much of a chance.In this book Lardner exposed the criminal justice system and the courts for their half-hearted and pitiful attempts to protect the victims of domestic violence. "Blind justice" was blind to the needs of the people it was supposed to be helping. Although Kristin's killer, Michael Cartier, had four felony convictions on his record, didn't keep the terms of his probation and repeatedly violated restraining orders, he was never severely punished. The longest jail sentence he ever got in his life was six months, and then he was released early for good behavior when his behavior hadn't been good. Kristin had a restraining order against him; he violated it shortly before her death and she reported it, but he was never arrested. As Lardner noted, the psychological programs designed for domestic abusers are rarely effective and may even enable offenders. The behavior modification programs tend to focus on things like "raise the client's self-esteem" rather than "make the client take responsibility for his violent behavior."Twenty years ago next month, Michael Cartier shot Kristin Lardner to death and then took his own life. As a result of Kristin's father's book, the state of Massachusetts passed some laws attempting to correct some of the mistakes that contributed to her death. But somehow, I don't think it helped very much.