Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder by Mikita Brottman


Critically acclaimed author and psychoanalyst Mikita Brottman offers literary true crime writing at its best, taking us into the life of a murderer after his conviction—when most stories end but the defendant's life goes on.

On February 21, 1992, 22-year-old Brian Bechtold walked into a police station in Port St. Joe, Florida and confessed that he’d shot and killed his parents in their family home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He said he’d been possessed by the devil. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and ruled “not criminally responsible” for the murders on grounds of insanity.

But after the trial, where do the "criminally insane" go? Brottman reveals Brian's inner life leading up to the murder, as well as his complicated afterlife in a maximum security psychiatric hospital, where he is neither imprisoned nor free. During his 27 years at the hospital, Brian has tried to escape and been shot by police, and has witnessed three patient-on-patient murders. He’s experienced the drugging of patients beyond recognition, a sadistic system of rewards and punishments, and the short-lived reign of a crazed psychiatrist-turned-stalker.

In the tradition of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Couple Found Slain is an insider’s account of life in the underworld of forensic psych wards in America and the forgotten lives of those held there, often indefinitely.



About The Author


Mikita Brottman is a British American non-fiction author, scholar, and psychoanalyst known for her interest in true crime. Her writing blends a number genres, often incorporating elements of autobiography, psychoanalysis, forensic psychology, and literary history. The most consistent focus of Brottman's work, however, is her reconsideration and transformation of the true crime genre. Her most recent book, "An Unexplained Death," is a compelling, often creepy account of her own obsession with a mysterious incident in Baltimore's old Belvedere Hotel. 


My Review

What an in-depth look at a murder, horrendous killing of his parents, but why, is there a reason.
The author takes us on a journey from before the murders, his growing up years, and then when Brian, himself reports the Crime at a Florida police department.
This is riveting as we follow his time in the mental hospital, meet other inmates, and what happens too many of them.
Once you're in this hospital, we see up close how the patients are treated, over medicated, and I felt sorry for him. He seems highly intelligent, and aware of what is going on, so maybe that is harder.
Will he ever be let go? He seems to have a lot of people rooting for him, but is he capable of living in society?
I still have some questions, but the author did a wonderful job at giving a complete picture of what his life is like.

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher MacMillian Audio, and was not required to give a positive review.

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