The brutality that took place on a summer night in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood is a horrific incident no one will soon forget. Stranger writer and Seattle native, Eli Sanders, won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the story and resulting trial and crafted his work into this amazing book While the City Slept.
Certainly, it is the story of a crime but more it is the story of the broken mental health system, in Seattle’s King County, and in the wider country. Sanders has incredible respect for the surviving partner which is handled with nothing short of grace. He also carefully dissects the steps the perpetrator went through, on his journey into brutal madness, and into the criminal justice system. If there is finger pointing it is a system that allowed this man to go improperly treated and monitored.
The book is so well-crafted and so compelling written you will want to read it in but a few sittings.
The bravery of the courtroom testimony, about the crime, and the compassion to see that this young man barely had a chance, from his humble beginnings ,will move readers way after the book is closed.
Read it and realize we have a mental health crisis in our country that spawns neglect, horrific crimes, drug abuse, and prisons bursting at the seams. Read the book and work for mental health parity and more resources to help those who suffer most among us.
“Inspiring . . . From a harrowing crime, it draws powerful lessons for our mental health and criminal justice systems that can’t be ignored.”
—Sister Helen Prejean, bestselling author of Dead Man Walking