My Review and Thoughts:
This is a truly brutal case of murder. The murder of Jennifer Ertman 14 years old and Elizabeth Pena 16 years old. This is a sad and haunting note in the history of Houston Texas. This was a crime on June 24th, 1993.
Both girls where beautiful high school students at Waltrip High. On that night, they were at a pool party of a friend. Both realized they were going to be late getting home so they left. A shortcut was taken by some railroads that then led through T.C. Jester Park. There they came across a modern nightmare, gang members, drinking. At that moment innocence was captured and six gang members ganged raped and tortured the innocence. Soon the ordeal would worsen as it led to murder.
For this is a story of Innocence Slain!!!
From broken ribs, bunched out teeth, forced in oral sex and being repeatedly vaginal and anal raped over an hour period while being punched and kicked, and then ultimately strangled to death. They then were stepped on to make sure they were dead. This is a case of pure capital murder. This book is a haunting part of criminal history that should be read for the mere documentation of the ordeal.
It's a moment in history just like all crimes of a brutal nature that should not be forgotten, because these where innocent victims taken by human monsters. These two girls should be remembered not as a brutal victim, but as innocent high school students living out their life, but because of monsters of a human nature, bullies, disgusting gang members, they will forever be stained with the image of a violent act.
What makes this book stand out is that Corey Mitchell doesn't just write a typical crime book and linger on the horrible ordeal, he introduces you to the players, the two victims and even the six human monsters.
You get to know each of the victims and the monsters. You know their story and slowly the ordeal unfolds giving you the whole massive reality. The beauty of giving the voices to the victims is amazing. He lets you know them, become a part of them, and showcase the innocence, and the reality of two teenage girls. He leads you down a path of the monsters, giving you the makeup and reality to them. He expresses the everyday lives, and the atmospheres leading to the horrible stain of crime.
This is a well written book that can give haunting nightmares on how reality based it is. I found myself not wanting to put it down, I wanting to read page after page until the end and that's the quality of telling this ordeal; this true crime story. The depravity caused that night and the depravity caused in the aftermath is something that will linger inside my mind for a long time.
It amazes me how many signs where given on certain of these boys being trouble makers, signs that the system failed again to protect Ertman and Pena. These boys list consisted of assaulting teachers, carrying weapons, stealing, drugs, car theft, assault with a deadly weapon, stalking, and yet over and over these boys got slaps on the wrist, a simple probation that even then they broke it, and nothing was done. They grew more and more violent and they never got stopped.
Most of the parents did not care or where so blind they just allowed them to do whatever they wanted. They had no care for others, they had no care for the law or life, and they were creating themselves into whatever they wished, mainly thugs; violent thugs.
At times the book goes through the spill of bad moments throughout the boy’s life where you end up thinking maybe the book is making excuses because of their past ordeals, but, the book is displaying all the facts never taking any side. I don't like boo who sob stories in trying to excuse violent actions, you ultimately have a choice, right from wrong, and these human monsters choose wrong.
I think the parents and the justice system are to blame for a lot of the ordeal. These kids could do as they wished. Most of them never were punished or corrected. If my son or child hit me, or threatened me, or pushed me through a glass door window, that would be the end of that ordeal, because off you go. The amazing reality these thugs exhibited is almost unbelievable, yet it's true. Guns and knives at school, punching and kicking and attacking and stalking teachers, killing and harming animals, mistreating grownups and so on.
The description of the gang rape and brutal murders of Pena and Ertman is very graphic, a little too graphic, yet it must be written that way for you the reader can grasp and understand the horrible nightmare, and evil reality that happened to these two young innocent girls.
This book causes emotions in the reader giving at times a bitter taste on how horrible the ordeal was and how there was so many opportunities to stop these kids by locking them up before that fateful horrible night of murder, and just maybe the justice system would not have failed Pena and Ertman that night.
Corey Mitchell's writing is flawless and will forever leave me with the nightmares of this horrible crime. Mitchell knows how to capture a complete story from the start to the end.
This is a case that forever has haunted me because of how savage and horrible the ordeal was. This was a case that lingered in the news and brought massive political talks and ordeals due to the bad guys screaming they did not get a Mexican consular, ahhh boo who. If you can do the crime, you get the punishment, that's how I feel, no matter if your white, black, American, Japanese and so on. If any case needs justice this one did, and justice was served.