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4.3 out of 5 stars
18
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2012
The mother of the title was a nutcase. She had that Munchausen's By Proxy we hear a lot more of these days than they did back in the late 70's when she was trying to kill her adopted kids. You have to wonder why someone would adopt children only to put them through so much. I really felt for poor little Tia. She died a long, painful and lingering death all so her her mother could have heaps of attention showered upon by hospital personnel then the local church and community. Just outrageous. THEN her husband Steve suggests they adopt again....idiot.
She even managed to elicit sympathy and a great deal of additional privilege while she was going through the judicial process.My jaw would hit the floor at how this monster seemed to manage to elicit sympathy from all around her.
I was staggered that the judge in her preliminary hearing stated that "I don't think there has been proved a conscious disregard for life in this matter" !! I don't know how much more disregard she needed to exhibit !
I did get bogged down with all the medical portions of this book and again with the court appearances' portion. I have to wonder how any jury managed to keep up with all the medical jargon and the differing times her kids attended hospital and the medicines they were prescribed, etc.
I felt for the daughter that lived as it seems she ended up with another parent who sounded a little unhinged herself.
The author clearly had a total disregard for the use of apostrophes as there were lots missing. However, this book was certainly well researched. I tried to look up for an update online on this family but I couldn't find anything so it's a shame in her 2012 version she didn't add an extra update chapter to the events of the 70's and 80's.
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on 24 September 2013
I remember hearing about this case at the time, but I had a vague feeling that later it was found that the mother wasn't to blame. Not sure what gave me this idea, as reading this book I was totally convinced of her guilt even from the first few pages. The way that she reacted to her adopted daughter being moved to the ICU struck me as very strange - what truly caring parent would create a scene over a decision made by qualified medical personnel to give their child the best care available? Unless of course they feared that lack of access would mean that their child might mysteriously recover thus denying them of the attention they feel they deserve and the credit for being a supremely self-sacrificing mother.

With the benefit of hindsight it seems incredible how naive the staff at Kaiser were. A woman adopts a baby girl - with some existing health problems - who dies for no apparent reason. Incredibly she is allowed to adopt another baby 9 months later and this child soon develops similar symptoms to the first child who died - meanwhile the 'loving' mother is allowed involvement in every aspect of the child's care including mixing her formula! Really the scenario speaks for itself ...

I suspect, for what it's worth that the first child Tia really was ill when she arrived in the US and that Priscilla felt so gratified by the contact with hospital staff and the admiration she received for her coping skills that she started contaminating the child's formula with sodium bicarb in order to precipate more hospital visits. Clearly she was - and for all I know - still is - in huge denial no doubt telling herself that's Tia's death was caused by some illness and that the whole business over Mindy was a fuss over nothing.

To her credit, the author does give Priscilla and her husband Steve a voice and tries to show an alternative scenario in which they were the victims of injustice but I'm afraid I couldn't buy it - the adoptive mother who testified that Mindy was still ill was far from impartial and the 'contaminated formula' theory seemed something the defence would bring up to create 'reasonable doubt' in the jury's mind rather than something which would convince a sceptical reader.

Still for that all that it seems to me that she got off lightly and everyone seemed to pussyfoot around her. She was no doubt lucky that her's was one of the first cases of MBP, just a few years later and she would have been caught much earlier and no doubt received a more appropriate punishment!
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on 29 November 2014
I loved this story- like another reader I wouldn't be 100% convinced that she did it! Can't claim to understand all the ins and outs of the medical details or the court case but never got bored with it.
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on 6 January 2013
Bought this as a free read, but would willingly have paid. Well written with just enough drama to make it a page-turner, without going overboard. The mother initially comesn over as someone caught up in a series of coincidences, but there was always the nagging thought that is she really as innocent as she makes out? The trial was well set out and again had just the right mix of "did she - didn't she?"
As someone who worked with children of all ages, I find it difficult to understand any form of abuse, but the form that this took is nothing short of torture. A very good, but harrowing, read
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on 27 March 2013
The book is long but don't let that put you off. The story had me up and down with did she or didn't she do it and even at the end I can't make my mind up if the right decision was made. A thoroughly enjoyable book. Highly recommended.
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on 15 August 2012
This book was very well written and if you like medical, legal drama then its a must for you. I thought it would be hard to read with all the medical and legal jargon but it wasn't. I downloaded it as a freebie but would have been willing to pay for it.
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on 12 May 2013
Really interesting story - particularly enjoyed the courtroom dialogue.
Would certainly recommend
Altho it was free to download at the time I got it - I would certainly have been happy to purchase it.
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on 26 February 2013
A very interesting read that recounts the story in great depth - although I had hoped to reach some sort of conclusive state from Priscilla that admitted her actions but none came. Definitely recommended though
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on 3 March 2013
I don't normally leave reviews but I really enjoyed this book. I looked forward to picking it up and reading it as it was gripping and interesting all the way through. Well done
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on 16 March 2013
Sometimes, this story was quite harrowing. It is well written. It goes through a lot of the court case, of which some of the text i glanced over. It was a free download, so ok.
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