Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder by Mikita Brottman

Couple Found Slain is the true sad story of a family who was torn apart after the youngest son shot and killed his parents. But the tragedy had started long ago, with parents who were verbally and physically abusive to their children. But that unfortunately was not the end of this story. Quite honestly, it was only the beginning.

In 1992 a 22-year-old named Brian Bechtold walked into a police station and informed the police officer that he had killed his parents over two weeks prior in another state after hearing voices and believing them to be the devil telling him to kill them.

Brian was judged criminally insane and diagnosed with schizophrenia. He ended up at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, a 250 in-patient facility. But Brian’s journey was far from over. As a matter of fact, unbeknownst to him it was only the beginning of a fight for his life.

Brian’s childhood was not the happiest. He and his siblings were constantly abused by non-caring parents who mentally and physically abused them almost on a daily basis. But for outsiders looking in that just was not the case. They saw a quiet husband who went to work as an engineer and a wife who took care of their growing family. As the years passed and Brian’s siblings moved out, their wrath, especially his father’s began to increase. With his mother ailing from a bout with breast cancer and continued failing health, Brian just snapped.

After his sentence he was placed in a maximum psychiatric hospital. As the years went by and through therapy and medication, Brian seemed to improve. He had begun to see other patients who had done similar or even far worse crimes being released back into society. But when he asked why he was not allowed to be released he was never really given a reason that made sense.

The Perkins Center was not exactly a proficient facility. Patients were improperly medicated, there were clashes with guards, nurses and even administrators, and there were confrontations with patients which included patients murdering each other. There was even an episode of a psychiatrist who worked at the center stalking an administrator.

When Brian questioned why he could not leave, they labeled him paranoid and just drugged him more until he began to refuse the medication. He was accused of trying to hurt guards and other patients. It seemed they wanted to keep insisting he was mentally ill. So when Brian heard from other patients that prison was actually a better facility than the Center, he decided to plan an escape in the hopes that he would end up in prison, thinking he would get a definite sentence and a release date would finally be possible. But that would not be the case.

Since then his mental state has remained stable and he has been trying to get himself released, even going to court and representing himself, something a mentally unstable person would certainly not be able to do.

This is not only the story about a mentally ill person killing his parents, but of how the system treats these individuals, even when they become a recovery story. What Brian did was reprehensible. But did he have some sort of psychotic break and through the years has fully recovered? If so, why are there no provisions put in place. Why should a patient who is no danger any more live in a facility where there is danger not only by other patients, but from the people who are suppose to protect them. Hopefully this book will shed some light on the problem and perhaps begin a series of changes.

Thank you #NetGalley #HenryHoltandCo. #MikitaBrottman #CoupleFoundSlain for the advanced copy. The book will be out in early July.

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