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Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder

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“Mikita Brottman is one of today’s finest practitioners of nonfiction.” —The New York Times Book Review 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 “Mikita Brottman is one of today’s finest practitioners of nonfiction.” —The New York Times Book Review 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.


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“Mikita Brottman is one of today’s finest practitioners of nonfiction.” —The New York Times Book Review 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 “Mikita Brottman is one of today’s finest practitioners of nonfiction.” —The New York Times Book Review 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.

30 review for Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder by Mikita Brottman (Author, Narrator), Christina Delaine (Narrator) This story deals with a real life crime and the aftermath for the man who killed his parents. True to the title, although we learn of Brian Bechtold's family life, starting from before his parents married all the way until he killed them in the family home, the story's main focus is on Brian's life in the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center where he has been since the death of his parent i Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder by Mikita Brottman (Author, Narrator), Christina Delaine (Narrator) This story deals with a real life crime and the aftermath for the man who killed his parents. True to the title, although we learn of Brian Bechtold's family life, starting from before his parents married all the way until he killed them in the family home, the story's main focus is on Brian's life in the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center where he has been since the death of his parent in 1992. This story is disturbing on so many levels and I feel in no way competent about choosing sides or making a decision on the right and wrong of Brian's fate. It does seem that if you compare him to others who have been released from the hospital within a few years of their crimes, that Brian should also have been able to fit the requirements for release, either to prison or to living in the outside world.  Brian came from a very dysfunctional family and had already exhibited mental problems for several years before he murdered his mother and father in 1992. After driving from his home, through various states, for almost two weeks, Brian picked up a Bible and started reading. It's then that he feels like he was cured of his mental disorder and he walked into a Florida police station and confessed that he had killed his parents. He was found not criminally responsible for his crime and was sent to Perkins. Unlike the majority of residents at this hospital, who usually are released from the hospital in a few years, Brian has remained there for decades. He does seem to be a changed man from the person he was in his teens and early 20s but according the many of the doctors who have examined him and his records over the years, many of them say that he is even more of a danger to himself and others and that his mental illness is as bad or worse than when he committed his crime.  The author presents us with Brian's history over his years at the hospital. He seems to be caught in a catch-22 black hole. Anything he says or does will be used against him. Anything he doesn't say or do will be used against him. Anything and everything can be used to diagnose him with various illnesses and disorders. Brian has no say over anything in his life and even wanting to make his own decisions is considered more evidence of his mental illness. Through various means Brian has tried to escape the hospital, both legal means and illegal means and he seems more entrenched there than ever.  I'm not in a position to decide what is best for Brian or for society, in regards to Brian. This book is interesting but more than that, it's very disturbing, and will appeal to those who are interested in true crime and/or the fate of those who experience life in a mental hospital and all the bureaucracy and indifference that might entail. I can understand how trapped and helpless patients might feel and I have no answer to their situations. At the same time, I feel for those who are there to care for and help the patients.  Publication: July 6th 2021 Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mikita Brottman, and Macmillan Audio for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. While I rarely read true crime, I was drawn to this book by Mikita Brottman, which seeks to explore a unique perspective. After a young man killed his family, he went to authorities to admit the act, but felt that he was not in his right mind at the time of the murder. Deemed not criminally responsible, B First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mikita Brottman, and Macmillan Audio for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. While I rarely read true crime, I was drawn to this book by Mikita Brottman, which seeks to explore a unique perspective. After a young man killed his family, he went to authorities to admit the act, but felt that he was not in his right mind at the time of the murder. Deemed not criminally responsible, Brian Bechtold was sent to live in a psychiatric facility for the foreseeable future. After meeting Brottman there, Brottman is able to slowly reveal the truth behind what happens inside these facilities. What is presented is as chilling as the lead-up to Brian Bechtold’s arrival! An explosive book that really had me thinking throughout and a must-read for true crime fans! In 1992, Brian Bechtold walked into a police station in Florida with a stark admission. After some mumbling and confused banter, Bechtold told authorities that he had killed his parents within the last few weeks in the family home. When the police in Maryland made their way to the Bechtold house, they found two bodies, dead for over a week, all of which substantiated Brian’s comments down in Florida. Citing years of abuse—which the author depicts in the opening chapters that summarise the Bechtold family—Brian did not deny what he had done, but felt that his actions were fuelled by feelings that left him not responsible for his actions. The State of Maryland agreed and deemed Brian Bechtold not criminally responsible for the murders. This would not set him free, however, but rather force him to reside in a psychiatric facility for the foreseeable future. It is here that the crux of the book presents itself. The book continues by picking up the thread of Brian’s story—and life—within the walls of this facility. The author met Brian as she came to hold weekly meetings with residents to hone their reading and fiction skills. Brian’s story explores not only life within an institution, but also how residents live under constant scrutiny of staff, guards, doctors, and the general public. Some residents, like Brian, were suffering from obvious mental illnesses, but whose live were manageable with the proper medications and daily rituals. Others, on the other hand, appeared highly troubled and in a world all their own. The variance is substantial and truly remarkable for the attentive reader. The struggle is not only one of the life of a psychiatric patient, but how they are treated and what rights they have. The author shows on numerous occasions the powerlessness that Brian suffered and how his diagnosis all but neutered his ability to stand up for himself. There are both legal and health issues that emerge throughout, many of which led to actual court proceedings. These interactions, albeit brief, with the outside world, show the limits that patients have, particularly when saddled with crimes they have committed. Mikita Brottman may focus much of her attention on Brian Bechtold’s life, including many of his advancements and regressions, but also branches out to tell the stories of other residents at times, offering strong contrasts in how others were treated, handled, and relegated to a sort of psychotic heap when things got to be too much. There is not a single chapter that does not raise many interesting arguments about psychiatric facilities or the treatment of those within their walls, as well as the difficulties of those who are inside to ever make it back in to the general population. While some have drawn parallels to famous movies about life on a psychiatric ward, Brottman offers fact, rather than glamourised fiction, to tell a story that will surely offer true crime fans new horrors and fears about what happens when most of their books end. The story is far from over at the point of conviction! I will be the first to admit that true crime is not usually the type of book I flock to read, though there was something here that drew me in. Perhaps it was Brottman’s desire to ‘show the view behind the curtain’ or to discuss the other side of true crime. It may have been the author’s clear narrative that built the story up while also tackling key aspects of the Bechtold experience. The story progressed nicely and the narrative clearly laid things out in such a way that the reader could follow the story without much trouble. The content was, at times, staggering in its bluntness and also somewhat ghastly. That people are regularly treated in such a way, outside the view of the public, is astonishing. It is, however, something that must be said and Brottman has done so effectively. I felt a part of the struggle throughout Bechtold’s turmoil, which is what I expect Brottman wanted. Kudos, Madam Brottman. You have me curious about what else you may have penned in the genre and so I will have to scour some library shelves to see what I can find. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    3.5 stars Mental illness ran in Brian Bechtold's family, with an uncle who suffered from delusions, a cousin who went nuts, and a grandmother who spent time in a mental institution. This may help explain why Brian's mother and father were abusive parents who alternately neglected or tormented and beat their children. It may also help explain why in 1992, when Brian was twenty-two years old, he picked up a shotgun and killed his parents. Brian confessed to the police, and explained that he went te 3.5 stars Mental illness ran in Brian Bechtold's family, with an uncle who suffered from delusions, a cousin who went nuts, and a grandmother who spent time in a mental institution. This may help explain why Brian's mother and father were abusive parents who alternately neglected or tormented and beat their children. It may also help explain why in 1992, when Brian was twenty-two years old, he picked up a shotgun and killed his parents. Brian confessed to the police, and explained that he went temporarily insane. ***** From a 1992 article in the Baltimore Sun: On a quiet, tree-lined street in Silver Spring, shaken neighbors were still struggling yesterday to understand the deaths of Dorothy and George Bechtold, whose bodies were found after their son walked into a Florida police station and confessed he had killed them. The youngest of the couple's five children, 23-year-old Brian Antonio Bechtold brought his Rottweiler dog named Ox when he walked into the police station in Port St. Joe, a town about 30 miles east of Panama City, and told Sgt. Timothy Hightower he wanted to turn himself in for murder. "He said he was possessed by the devil and the devil made him do it," Sergeant Hightower said yesterday. "We talked for several hours at his request. He mentioned that he had been possessed for a while and five days before . . . he became religious and Jesus told him to turn himself in." ***** Brian was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic who was incompetent to stand trial. So instead of prison, Brian went to the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Maryland, whose mission is to help patients get better and re-enter society (if possible). The Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center At first, Brian seemed to make good progress. In 1994, two years after admission, a psychological evaluation found Brian to be appropriately dressed and groomed, of average intelligence, with relatively clear thinking. Brian thought he was cured, but psychiatrists thought Brian was cleverly ACTING sane while strategically hiding his emotions and distorted thoughts. Brian's doctors believed Brian had to confront his inner demons before he could 'get better', and Brian consistently avoided doing this. In any case, Brian thought he should have fewer restrictions and less medication, and his doctors - thinking Brian was being sneaky and manipulative - prescribed more restrictions and more medication. This became a vicious cycle and drove Brian to depression and acting out. Over time Brian made two attempts to escape from Perkins, the second time with a homemade weapon and a hostage. The author, Mikita Brottman, has a Ph.D. in English literature and conducts fiction workshops in the Maryland prison system and in forensic psychiatric hospitals. When Brottman met Brian at Perkins, he had been a patient for decades. Brottman became interested in Brian's story - as well as the tales of other patients at Perkins - and did extensive research for this book. Author Mikita Brottman The narrative is a shocking exposé of Perkins, detailing poorly trained staff; workers who goof off and don't do their jobs; employees who abuse patients; rape and murder among residents; seeming random re-assignment of patients between minimal, medium, and maximum security; and more. In addition, most of the psychiatrists spend little time with patients, and just 'pass on' a diagnosis year after year.....without doing a re-evaluation. As for Brian, Brottman tells his story in detail, with a concentration on his years at Perkins. Brian frequently wishes he went to prison instead of the hospital, because you get out of prison after serving your sentence.....but a psychiatric hospital can keep you forever. For the reader, it's hard to determine if Brian is cured (as he believes) or is too sick to re-enter society (like his psychiatrists think). Brottman seems to come down on Brian's side, but I'm not convinced. Brian did, after all, kill his parents and do criminal things while at Perkins. In addition, Brian has an aversion to taking his medication. Psychiatric patients who get out and stop taking their prescriptions can relapse. If nothing else, Brottman's book shines a light on mental institutions, which can certainly use improvement. The narrative is well-written, interesting, and informative, though a bit too detailed in places. Highly recommend to readers interested in the topic. Thanks to Netgalley, Mikita Brottman, and Henry Holt and Company for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    Char

    Being that I have always loved the true crime genre, when I saw this available on NetGalley, I requested the audio. I discovered that this really isn't a true crime book at all because the crime was over and done with quite early on. COUPLE FOUND SLAIN is more of a look at mental illness and how it is treated, or not treated, as the case may be. Being that mental illness is a problem with my own family, I have a lot to say. Brian Bechtold admitted that he killed his parents. He was of the age an Being that I have always loved the true crime genre, when I saw this available on NetGalley, I requested the audio. I discovered that this really isn't a true crime book at all because the crime was over and done with quite early on. COUPLE FOUND SLAIN is more of a look at mental illness and how it is treated, or not treated, as the case may be. Being that mental illness is a problem with my own family, I have a lot to say. Brian Bechtold admitted that he killed his parents. He was of the age and displayed the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, with some other diagnoses on the side. He is found to be ill and is sent to a psychiatric hospital called Clifton T. Perkins, rather than to prison. There, he gets better. There he remains. Is that the right decision, though? Over the years there, it is Brian's contention that he is no longer ill. Some of the doctors at Perkins concur, but only somewhat. During his incarceration, Brian outlives almost the entire staff and many of the other patients. (By outlives, I mean he stays on while the doctors, nurses, and security staff come and go.) His diagnosis keeps changing, even though he feels fine, and is otherwise a perfect patient, at least for a while. One doctor's notes get passed on to the next doctor and the next and the next, all of them pretty much parroting the one before. If that first doctor in the chain makes erroneous assumptions or diagnoses, those are taken up by the next doctor and on and on. No matter Brian's actual behavior, the view of the doctor's is already preconceived based on the patient history the doctor is given. With each of these doctors, (many of whom seemed to think they knew everything), came a string of medicines to treat whatever was the diagnosis of the day. I am personally familiar with almost all of the meds discussed because I have mental illness issues within my own family. So many problems come along with these drugs and I don't think anyone really knows all of the side effects. What I do know is that they can work very differently from person to person, they can take up to 3 months to start working and then when it's decided they are no longer working or needed, they can take months for a patient to wean off of them. During this time, the meds can make a patient feel dead inside, or they can go to the other extreme and make the patient super sensitive. They can cause weight gains and losses, and they can cause severe fatigue. It seems to me that Brian and my family both have dealt with doctors that are basically just guessing. To be fair, treating mental illnesses are not as easy as treating something quantifiable like a broken arm or leg. In the end, what it comes down to is that sometimes, being found incompetent to stand trial and being sentenced to a psychiatric hospital instead, can be worse than going to prison. In Brian's case, that was definitely so. I know that he killed his parents, yes-that fact never escaped my mind, but if the system isn't dedicated to rehabilitating the patients so that one day they can return to regular life, what is it exactly that they are doing? I think the author presented Brian's case in a simple way, starting with the family and Brian's history with them, then quickly moved on to the murders and past it. Every event after that has been carefully researched and documented by by the author as well. She lays everything out and leaves the reader to come to their own conclusions. I did feel compassion and empathy for Brian, mostly because what happened is not exactly just or fair. How do you reconcile all of that with the crime he committed? It's very difficult. The narrator took a bit of getting used to, but I did get used to her. In the beginning, the narrative is a bit dry, but after the crime, in detailing all of the different events at the hospital and in the court system, she was clear and concise in her voicing. Because of the author's extensive research and because Brian's case is a sad one, she was able to create a sense of empathy towards him and I think that can be rather difficult when a double murderer is involved. Kudos to her for that! But the fact remains that my heart goes out to the guy and I wonder if the author's heart did too? Don't expect the same old-same old true crime book here folks. This is an in-depth look at only a few of the problems regarding how we care for mental illnesses in this country. No matter what you think about Brian's case, this book WILL have you thinking. *Thanks to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the audio download of COUPLE FOUND SLAIN in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I don’t often read true crime, let alone listen to it. But this book takes place in Maryland, my home state and I know of the Clifton T. Perkins Home for the Insane. This is a sad story from the get go. Brian was the fifth child in a totally dysfunctional family. The beginning of the book is like watching dominoes fall. It really had me pondering the nature vs. nurture question. Brian walks into a police station admitting to killing both his parents. Since he admits to the crime, the majority of I don’t often read true crime, let alone listen to it. But this book takes place in Maryland, my home state and I know of the Clifton T. Perkins Home for the Insane. This is a sad story from the get go. Brian was the fifth child in a totally dysfunctional family. The beginning of the book is like watching dominoes fall. It really had me pondering the nature vs. nurture question. Brian walks into a police station admitting to killing both his parents. Since he admits to the crime, the majority of the story is after he’s assigned to Perkins. What starts as a positive tale of rehabilitation quickly turns into a nightmare. During his 27 years incarcerated at Perkins, Brian bounced between maximum, medium and light security. He cycled through multiple psychiatrists, most of whom just relied on his prior diagnoses without any thought to improvement he might have had. Because he stood up for the rights of the patients, he was frequently labeled as troublesome. Brottman does a good job of giving Brian a voice, but not taking everything he says at face value. For all Brian’s assertions that he is now sane, he continues to violently express his anger. She fully expresses the differences between being a patient in a facility for the criminally insane, as opposed to a prisoner. A lot of the issues are the same - employees that don’t care, abuse, no attempts to truly rehabilitate. But prisoners actually have more rights. I also appreciated the catch 22 the patients faced. For example, religious beliefs that are deemed acceptable, even if a little out there, in the general public are seen as proof of insanity. Every word, every action was open to interpretation by the psychiatrists and nurses. The word of other patients was also used as proof of Brian’s problems. I appreciated this book for pointing out the many problems with dealing with the criminally insane. It fulfilled my goal for reading nonfiction - to educate me and make me think. Christina Adelaide was a great narrator. This is nonfiction, so there’s no emotion, but she gave individuals separate voices in the dramatic recreations. My thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Insightful and disturbing. A very different type of true crime book looking at the aftermath of the murder and how mental illness is treated.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Every once in awhile, I take a break from fiction and delve into a memoir or true crime book, so when I received a copy of this ARC, I decided it was time for that break. Something about the cover and title caught my attention immediately, but I had no idea the story would be so complex and thought-provoking. 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 Spr Every once in awhile, I take a break from fiction and delve into a memoir or true crime book, so when I received a copy of this ARC, I decided it was time for that break. Something about the cover and title caught my attention immediately, but I had no idea the story would be so complex and thought-provoking. 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. Very little time is spent on the murder though, as the bulk of the book focuses on where the "criminally insane" go after their trial is over. Bechtold is sent to a maximum security psychiatric hospital, Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, where he is neither imprisoned nor free. During his 27 and counting years at the hospital, Brian has tried to escape. been shot by police, diagnosed with cancer, and watched numerous other patients also institutionalized for horrific murders be set free. Brottman does a commendable job at showing the correlation between the abuse and neglect suffered by Brian at the hands of his parents and their murder; as well as the likelihood that such also played a role in the development of his mental illness. Not that it excuses his behavior, but they were not good parents. After Brian's admission into Perkins Hospital, Brottman spends a great deal of time discussing Brian's treatments and his futile efforts of release. Shortly after his admission, Brian's mental state seemed to stabilize, and he became hopeful for an eventual release. At one point, he even represented himself in court (and did a fairly decent job at it) - something a mentally unstable person seemingly could not do. Of course, my cynical side thinks Ed Norton in Primal Fear (aka it was all a calculated gamble that didn't pay off), but my heart tells me Brian Bechtold does truly have a mental illness. I never realized what a subjective, bottomless pit a psychiatric hospital can be. One's chances of release depends entirely on the clinicians and their assessments. While I see the necessity of that in some areas, I think it is also dangerous. In Brian's case, he would begin work with a clinician, and then they would leave or be let go, and he would be assigned a new one, who without fail, would give him a different diagnosis, medication, etc. If Brian refused meds, he was uncooperative; if he took meds and acted strangely due to the meds, he was deemed a continued threat. It was a vicious cycle and was all rather disturbing. After Brian learned from other patients that prison was actually a better alternative than Perkins, he planned an escape hoping he would then be sent to prison, where he would have a definite sentence and a chance for parole. His plan backfired though, and only added to his indefinite sentence at Perkins. It is painfully clear from reading this book that the mental health system needs a complete overhaul. There does not appear to be sensible provisions in place for those who are deemed rehabilitated to be able to re-enter society. That being said, I did think that Brottman came across as a bit overly biased at times. I think the narrative could have benefited from a more unprejudiced tone when it came to mental health diagnosis/treatment, and those who are on the front lines dealing with it. Just as not all mentally ill people who commit crimes should be put away for life, not all clinicians who work in mental health facilities should be branded as calculated, uncaring beings trying to ruin someone's life forever. Overall, an interesting, albeit disconcerting glimpse into life in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. I admit that several times during the book, my opinion of Brian Bechtold changed, but what didn't change was my opinion that the system has seriously failed him. I hope with this book Brottman is able to effectuate some discussion and change to the mental health system. 4 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ink_Drinker

    I don’t read many true crime books, but I do love all the true crime TV shows and Netflix series, so I was looking forward listening to this true crime story by a new-to-me author. As soon as I started listening, I realized this wasn’t your normal whodunnit scenario. The story starts off with 22-year-old Brian Bechtold confessing to shooting and killing his parents in their family home. What the book mainly focuses on is a story of what really happens to criminals, like Brian Bechtold, that are I don’t read many true crime books, but I do love all the true crime TV shows and Netflix series, so I was looking forward listening to this true crime story by a new-to-me author. As soon as I started listening, I realized this wasn’t your normal whodunnit scenario. The story starts off with 22-year-old Brian Bechtold confessing to shooting and killing his parents in their family home. What the book mainly focuses on is a story of what really happens to criminals, like Brian Bechtold, that are deemed insane (untreated schizophrenia) and cannot stand trial, so they are sent to a mental health facility/psychiatric hospital instead of prison. At times, the audiobook seemed like a fiction novel because it’s was so hard for me to imagine the horrifying scenes described within could possibly have happened in a mental health institution in 2021. Prison would be a better alternative, in my opinion. Bechtold, now 52 years old is still in the same psychiatric hospital and insists he is no longer delusional. No release date is set. I don’t want to explain much more of the story. It’s a must read for any true crime lover!! I felt the narrators did a great job of explaining all of the different episodes at the hospital and the details of the court system in a clear and concise way. I was hanging on every word!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Audiobook narrated by Christina Delaine. I thought it was very well done. This is my third true crime book this year and it’s been the best so far. The first half of this book is a bio of the family and the crime. Really liked how the author told this part. The second half was the aftermath of the crime. What actually happened to the guilty party. Where they went. How they lived and all the difficult issues this entailed. As a side note I want to mention that I spent a couple of days on a psych f Audiobook narrated by Christina Delaine. I thought it was very well done. This is my third true crime book this year and it’s been the best so far. The first half of this book is a bio of the family and the crime. Really liked how the author told this part. The second half was the aftermath of the crime. What actually happened to the guilty party. Where they went. How they lived and all the difficult issues this entailed. As a side note I want to mention that I spent a couple of days on a psych floor in my 20’s and it was surreal. I’ve never felt so helpless. Now having said that I was really torn about this situation. And I’m glad I don’t have to decide what’s safe for “us” in society. Again, I really liked this book and it’s made me appreciate my family. I highly recommend if you love true crime.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder is definitely one of the stronger true crime books that I've read lately. I navigated the story by alternating between audiobook and the written book, and the audiobook was much stronger. This book started right into the case of Brian Bechtold and his family's murder. We dive into a world people tend to forget - post conviction prison life. This book provides an in-depth account of Brian's post-arrest and his psychological diagnosis. The narrative wa Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder is definitely one of the stronger true crime books that I've read lately. I navigated the story by alternating between audiobook and the written book, and the audiobook was much stronger. This book started right into the case of Brian Bechtold and his family's murder. We dive into a world people tend to forget - post conviction prison life. This book provides an in-depth account of Brian's post-arrest and his psychological diagnosis. The narrative was very strong and at times I felt like I was listening to a show on Investigation Discovery (my favorite tv channel). Highly recommend.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tooter

    3.5 Stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Hudson

    A very disturbing and telling portrayal of the black hole that is our mental health system and it’s institutions. And I mean black hole literally. Brian Bechtold is a man who murdered his parents in their home when he was about 21 or 22 during a psychotic break. He takes off with his dog but walks into a police statIon 10-14 days later in Florida to tell them he killed his parents but he is clearly out of it. He returns to Maryland where he is found incompetent to stand trial and ends up in a me A very disturbing and telling portrayal of the black hole that is our mental health system and it’s institutions. And I mean black hole literally. Brian Bechtold is a man who murdered his parents in their home when he was about 21 or 22 during a psychotic break. He takes off with his dog but walks into a police statIon 10-14 days later in Florida to tell them he killed his parents but he is clearly out of it. He returns to Maryland where he is found incompetent to stand trial and ends up in a mental hospital in Maryland called Perkins. The rest of the story tells us how Brian despite getting better and working toward finally being released is met with a brick wall at every turn. There are times I wanted to scream while reading this book. As a psych major and a doctor I know how difficult it is to get rid of a label particularly one as harsh as paranoid schizophrenia. I understand why these people require extra vigilance. Yet if you are alone and particularly if you are indigent your hands are tied and there is very little you can do to fight back against the system. In this case though it becomes clear, at least if you trust the author, that Brian is no longer schizoaffective as they call it now, no matter how he tries to prove it his behavior is either turned against him or ignored. It seemed as though nobody was willing to give him a chance. I found the doctors arguments to be specious and self serving and I was shocked at the hypocrisy they displayed. It remains clear that the system still needs a complete overhaul and more people need to enter the mental health field. I don’t know how to get that to happen but things are probably worse than better now given the amount of drugs we take for every mental condition, needed or not. The author is a very good writer and did a great job with telling the story in a few number of pages. It is a very quick read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Leone-campbell

    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 st 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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Non-fiction look at a true life experience in a mental health facility (Perkins). It's told to 5 star level. Very, very hard to read as the crimes committed by participants in this book are worst category. Psychology and the medical criteria (including DSM categorizations) are far, far from all the mish-mash that is presently defined as science. Often I have noted that RX psycho treatments are some of the worst outcomes too for any homo sapiens in any country, culture etc. But what I think is th Non-fiction look at a true life experience in a mental health facility (Perkins). It's told to 5 star level. Very, very hard to read as the crimes committed by participants in this book are worst category. Psychology and the medical criteria (including DSM categorizations) are far, far from all the mish-mash that is presently defined as science. Often I have noted that RX psycho treatments are some of the worst outcomes too for any homo sapiens in any country, culture etc. But what I think is the worst aspect of suffering and outcome consequence of all is the nearly total lack of any quality control aspect or evaluation in being sent to a Psychiatric Facility (long term or as sentencing for a crimes most especially). There is no there, there. It could be 30 to 50 years or 5 months. All judgments are subjective. Psychiatric evaluations vary immensely between any two medical personnel within criteria judging. It is essentially true that any normal reaction could and will be judged differently for anyone who has mental illness acting out extreme in their background, as well. (Like any religious belief, for instance.) Prison is probably a better sentence for some of these people, and especially for the prime (Brian) of this tale. Very sad. And in equivocations and observation of mental health treatments- this book is 5 star. Excellent prose skill too in the telling.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elle G.

    Unfortunately, this is not what I expected it to be. While I appreciate the how the author shows readers how mental health issues can play a part in criminal behavior, this isn't a true crime book like I expected. I think readers who are looking specifically for a true crime novel should be aware that this is not that kind of book even though that's how it's being portrayed. This is more of a book about the aftermath of a killing and how ones mental health issues played a part in it. Unfortunately, this is not what I expected it to be. While I appreciate the how the author shows readers how mental health issues can play a part in criminal behavior, this isn't a true crime book like I expected. I think readers who are looking specifically for a true crime novel should be aware that this is not that kind of book even though that's how it's being portrayed. This is more of a book about the aftermath of a killing and how ones mental health issues played a part in it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe

    Couple Found Slain was the heartbreaking story of Brian Bechtold and the true crime story from before his crime through his journey through the psych ward. Thank you so much to Henry Holt and Mikita Brottman for my ARC of this book! The book started with Brian confessing to murdering his parents after having a religious epiphany. He is diagnosed with schizophrenia and ends up in a maximum security psychiatric facility. The book follows Brian’s journey through the 27 years he has been imprisoned Couple Found Slain was the heartbreaking story of Brian Bechtold and the true crime story from before his crime through his journey through the psych ward. Thank you so much to Henry Holt and Mikita Brottman for my ARC of this book! The book started with Brian confessing to murdering his parents after having a religious epiphany. He is diagnosed with schizophrenia and ends up in a maximum security psychiatric facility. The book follows Brian’s journey through the 27 years he has been imprisoned in the facility. It talks about how the people in these facilities are not free from justice, as some believe, but many times suffer much more. Thoughts: This book was heartbreaking and eye-opening. I didn’t know much about this aspect of true crime and sometimes fell under the false impression that the “insanity defense” was an easy way out. This book shows how hard it is to go through the psychiatric system and all of the hard things patients encounter. It’s hard to know the reality because the author does seem biased, and the ending of the book shows that there must be more to the case than Brottman is portraying. Mental health is such a difficult thing to diagnose and Brottman did make many good points about changing diagnosis. The information about parricide was very interesting and I never knew much about this topic. Having my Master’s Degree in the field of Psychology, I found this book informative and engaging. I’m not sure if I agree with all of the perspectives in the book, but it was a unique point of view. It was also interesting having lived in that area of Maryland, so I felt connected to the book in a different way. The story was a quick and powerful- 4 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    I've read many true crime books and listened to even more crime related podcasts and audio books. Most delve into the case and end with the perpetrator being brought to justice. The cell door closes on the convicted criminal and the family/loved ones of the victim talk about justice....The End. That isn't how this book ends. Couple Found Slain starts with the history of the family involved, moves on to the murder, and then focuses on the subsequent decades of the killer's life in a psychiatric f I've read many true crime books and listened to even more crime related podcasts and audio books. Most delve into the case and end with the perpetrator being brought to justice. The cell door closes on the convicted criminal and the family/loved ones of the victim talk about justice....The End. That isn't how this book ends. Couple Found Slain starts with the history of the family involved, moves on to the murder, and then focuses on the subsequent decades of the killer's life in a psychiatric facility. All true crime stories should be disturbing. They deal with harsh, real subjects, victims and punishment or cold cases where no solution was found. Those things are automatically disturbing. But this book takes it to a new level. I found myself completely disgusted by the victims...abusive, horrible people. And I was simultaneously sympathetic and judgmental of the killer....horrible way to grow up and understandable he finally had a mental break, but nobody has the right to murder anyone. And finally completely confused about how I feel about his incarceration in a mental facility. Should he be released? Should he stay confined? Yikes.... In the end, I just had to throw up my hands and say that I am not really qualified to have an opinion in this case. But, the book did get its point across. And leaves me with one main thought: is the justice system meant to rehabilitate and release at some point, or is it meant to permanently file mentally ill criminals away with no hope of living outside a facility? And are mental facilities real treatment, or extended torture for basically permanent residents? Like I said -- for me this book was disturbing as it left me with thoughts/questions on subjects that I am not qualified to even begin to form an educated opinion. I can form an emotional one....but not one based on facts. Very interesting book! I loved the fact that the story didn't just revolve around the crime...but the history of those involved and the aftermath for the murderer. The entire story. Obviously careful and complete research went into this project! I listened to the audio version of this book. Narrated by Christina Delaine, the book is just shy of 9 hours long, Delaine has a pleasant voice and reads at a nice steady pace. All in all, a good listening experience. **I voluntarily listened to a review copy of this audio book from Macmillan Audio. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Brian Bechtold walks into the police station in a small town in Florida to confess that he murdered his parents in their family home in Maryland. ⁣ ⁣ He was found to have schizophrenia and ruled “not criminally responsible” for the murders on grounds of insanity.⁣ ⁣ What happens next is where most true crime non-fiction ends, but Mikita Brottman takes us through the dark under belly of a life in a maximum security psychiatric hospital, where the chance of freedom is indefinite. ⁣ ⁣ The recount of his Brian Bechtold walks into the police station in a small town in Florida to confess that he murdered his parents in their family home in Maryland. ⁣ ⁣ He was found to have schizophrenia and ruled “not criminally responsible” for the murders on grounds of insanity.⁣ ⁣ What happens next is where most true crime non-fiction ends, but Mikita Brottman takes us through the dark under belly of a life in a maximum security psychiatric hospital, where the chance of freedom is indefinite. ⁣ ⁣ The recount of his next 27 years as he witnesses harrowing murders in the ward by truly insane patients, to his attempt at escape, being shot, and living his life drugged to semi-conscious state by some incompetent practitioners, is truly eye opening. I highly recommend this book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    I really enjoyed this book, it’s such a different angle than the usual true crime read. It was so unusual to find a book that follows the killer after the crime when he’s sent to a mental hospital instead of prison, after being found not guilty by reason of insanity. Its very eye-opening to see what its like there from his perspective. Seeing how he is treated by doctors and staff during his years there is revealing as well. Excellent writing and detail. Advance electronic review copy was provi I really enjoyed this book, it’s such a different angle than the usual true crime read. It was so unusual to find a book that follows the killer after the crime when he’s sent to a mental hospital instead of prison, after being found not guilty by reason of insanity. Its very eye-opening to see what its like there from his perspective. Seeing how he is treated by doctors and staff during his years there is revealing as well. Excellent writing and detail. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Mikita Brottman, and the publisher.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eva K (journeyofthepages)

    wow, wow, wow. Couple Found Slain by Mikita Brottman is such a different book! I was completely enthralled with this story. Initially when I listened to the intro, I wasn't sure I'd be that into it. Then when it started and I learned that it is a MD case (where I live), I was more interested because that's my backyard! eek. scary. This story is a broad testament to how people get thrown into and complete abandoned in the mental institution world. Even though it is about a murder who committed a wow, wow, wow. Couple Found Slain by Mikita Brottman is such a different book! I was completely enthralled with this story. Initially when I listened to the intro, I wasn't sure I'd be that into it. Then when it started and I learned that it is a MD case (where I live), I was more interested because that's my backyard! eek. scary. This story is a broad testament to how people get thrown into and complete abandoned in the mental institution world. Even though it is about a murder who committed a gruesome crime during a psychotic break, and you realize this guy is capable of incredible harm, you find yourself sympathizing and empathizing with him because of how he is so terribly mistreated in the psychiatric hospitals. He is treated as completely insane for decades. He is deemed not fit to stand trial. Even though, he comes out of is psychotic break and is perfectly mentally fit. This was unlike anything I've read or listened to before. I was conflicted the whole book - hating him for being a murderer but also hating how inhumanely he was being treated. What a great read. Highly recommend this one for all true crime lovers. Thank you NetGalley, Macmillan Audio, and Henry Holt and Co. for a copy of this book for review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Interesting and informative and a bit frightening

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura Peden

    Couple Found Slain is a very different sort of true crime book in that it starts with the crime and follows the life of the murderer post-conviction. Brian Bechtold murdered his parents and ends up turning himself in and confessing. He is found not criminally responsible and sent to a maximum security psychiatric hospital, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This book sheds light on what it’s really like to live in a mental hospital. Overdrugging patients, sadistic punishments and fabrications of Couple Found Slain is a very different sort of true crime book in that it starts with the crime and follows the life of the murderer post-conviction. Brian Bechtold murdered his parents and ends up turning himself in and confessing. He is found not criminally responsible and sent to a maximum security psychiatric hospital, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This book sheds light on what it’s really like to live in a mental hospital. Overdrugging patients, sadistic punishments and fabrications of wrong doings in patients files had Brian wishing he’d been sent to prison. If you enjoyed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, don’t miss this one! It’s available on 7/6 Thank you to Macmillan Audio & NetGalley for an advanced listeners copy in exchange for an honest review!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sally Mander

    Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder By: Mikita Brottman In 1992, Brian Bechtold a 22-year-old man brutally murdered his father and mother in their home. This is his story. He never denied his guilt. He was judged "not criminally responsible" by reason of insanity. He was eventually found to be suffering from schizophrenia. His life changed greatly after he was admitted to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital called Perkins Center. This is Brian Bechtold's biography, starting in his young c Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder By: Mikita Brottman In 1992, Brian Bechtold a 22-year-old man brutally murdered his father and mother in their home. This is his story. He never denied his guilt. He was judged "not criminally responsible" by reason of insanity. He was eventually found to be suffering from schizophrenia. His life changed greatly after he was admitted to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital called Perkins Center. This is Brian Bechtold's biography, starting in his young childhood with parents who were unable to be loving, caring parents to their four children. Brian's childhood was filled with abuse and neglect. There were several instances of mental health issues in their family history. Brian Bechtold was left to rot in Perkins. There was no care or treatment being offered, the informational brochures put out by the hospital said they offered one on one instruction and classes, and rehabilitation. The inmates were usually forcibly drugged with antipsychotics and left to sit or stand in a dayroom all day and had slobber running down their faces. Classes or group therapy were rare. Brian found himself feeling better if he was not taking the heavy drugs, The hospital personnel insisted that he needed to be on the medications so that he would heal and be able to return to society one day. Except that one day never came. Brian did everything he could to get out, not take the harsh medications, or at least be sent to a prison, where he would at least have basic human freedoms. With no success. The doctors and staff had preconceived ideas about Brian Bechtold and did not examine him or even read his charts, when they had to update his files or testify in court about his abilities or lack thereof, they would simply copy over whatever the last ten doctors had written and go on. If Brian complained it looked like he was not cooperating in his treatment. If he refused to take medications, they saw it as a denial of his condition. All he wanted was to be treated as a human being and given a chance. He was not allowed. He instead is treated as less than a human being and has been kept in Maryland at Perkins Center for 29 years, with no end in sight. There was no real conclusion to the book, just that Brian Bechtold exists in this state mental hospital, with no hope for the future. He has no say whatsoever in his care, is not allowed to refuse treatment. Is not allowed to move in with his sister who has said she would let him live with her and she'd look after him. Thank you to NetGalley for the complimentary copy for which I was not required to leave a review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    I would definitely recommend this for fans of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Although this is being categorized as true crime just be forewarned that this may not quell your murder porn fix add Explorer exploration into what mental institution for the criminally insane look like. I would definitely recommend this for fans of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Although this is being categorized as true crime just be forewarned that this may not quell your murder porn fix add Explorer exploration into what mental institution for the criminally insane look like.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Zavala

    2.5⭐ rounded up. Couple Found Slain is very well written and engaging. I listened to the audio and the narrator was fantastic. Unfortunately, I do not agree with the premise of this book. Spoilers below. The premise of this book is to talk about what happened to one man, Brian, after he was placed into a mental hospital. He committed parenticide and was found not criminally responsible. Couple Found Slain is extremely biased. The author knows Brian from working in the mental hospital. She found him 2.5⭐ rounded up. Couple Found Slain is very well written and engaging. I listened to the audio and the narrator was fantastic. Unfortunately, I do not agree with the premise of this book. Spoilers below. The premise of this book is to talk about what happened to one man, Brian, after he was placed into a mental hospital. He committed parenticide and was found not criminally responsible. Couple Found Slain is extremely biased. The author knows Brian from working in the mental hospital. She found him to be very affable. Brian came across as very manipulative, narcissistic, and violent when he didn't get what he wanted. I don't understand how the author believed he wasn't violent. He attacked staff twice when he wasn't getting what he wanted. The author seemed to think that the violence was justified because Brian felt like he was being treated unfairly. If Brian really wanted out of the institution or moved to different security levels, the average person would work to follow protocol, not commit violent acts. Brian spent too much time comparing himself to other patients and not enough time working on himself. I agree that mental health can and has been misdiagnosed, I cannot agree with the author that this was the situation with Brian. I was unable to determine if Brian is still alive at this time. Also, I have concerns that Brian is getting compensation from the writing of this book. I couldn't find anything that says one way or the other. There was a "throwaway" chapter that seemed completely irrelevant to the entire book. Said chapter is about sexual assaults and a murders that different patients committed in the hospital. However, they have nothing to do with Brian's story. Seemed like they were added to the book for shock value.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    A thoroughly researched and well written account of what happened to Brian Bechtold, a 22 year old man with mental illness, after he killed his parents in cold blood. We are introduced to his family history and follow him through his trial as he’s found to be NCR and his years spent in a forensic psychiatric hospital. It was an incredibly fascinating story that delved into the ins and outs of a forensic hospital, the way patients are treated and one man’s battle against the system. Would recomme A thoroughly researched and well written account of what happened to Brian Bechtold, a 22 year old man with mental illness, after he killed his parents in cold blood. We are introduced to his family history and follow him through his trial as he’s found to be NCR and his years spent in a forensic psychiatric hospital. It was an incredibly fascinating story that delved into the ins and outs of a forensic hospital, the way patients are treated and one man’s battle against the system. Would recommend to readers who enjoy true crime and are looking for a story that is outside of the typical true crime box. Thank you to MacMillan Audio and Netgalley for an advanced audio copy in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    HollyLovesBooks

    This true crime, non-fiction account of the forensic mental health system over several decades was incredibly accurate and disturbing. This is the story of Brian Bechtold, a 22-year-old man who wandered into a police department in Port St. Joe, Florida and confessed to killing both of his parents. This crime was occurred in Maryland where the family was living and therefore Brian was arrested and tried in Maryland. He was found guilty by reason of insanity or what was called "not criminally resp This true crime, non-fiction account of the forensic mental health system over several decades was incredibly accurate and disturbing. This is the story of Brian Bechtold, a 22-year-old man who wandered into a police department in Port St. Joe, Florida and confessed to killing both of his parents. This crime was occurred in Maryland where the family was living and therefore Brian was arrested and tried in Maryland. He was found guilty by reason of insanity or what was called "not criminally responsible". He was sentenced to "treatment and incarceration" in a state mental facility for the "criminally insane". The system at the time was one of maximum security with step down units based on good behavior. A problem with this approach is that it is incredibly subjective. In addition to this, there is very little true review of a case. In other words, the history and documentation that is in place from the beginning remains an active part of the chart throughout the sentence. When new doctors and nurses assume care for the individual, they often adopt the previous diagnoses rather than "start over" and formulate their own diagnosis. Therefore, Brian, who was highly intelligent and educated, was stuck in a monotonous loop of mediocre or poor treatment and lack of new ideas. From my personal experience having worked in the forensic unit of a psychiatric state hospital, I can absolutely see both sides of this situation. From the caregiver side, it would be difficult to have the resources and time to fully review and rediagnose every person you care for when taking over from a previous provider. In addition, resources for treatment options are limited as is staffing. This can lead to less than stellar care. However, I can absolutely see that the person who is admitted to a facility may feel as though they have done everything right after they are admitted and yet are no closer to discharge and feel like there is no hope. I believe that the other issue is that mental healthcare has gone to a rehabilitation model, where the expectation, on both sides, is for functional improvement and ultimately the ability to resume as normal a life as possible. The ability to control impulses and take care of activities of daily living is a goal that may be obtainable or not. The decision that someone is at risk to themselves or others is a vital consideration as well. I have seen people who do rehabilitate and can be safely discharged to a forensic group home and then some do return to their homes. I have also seen the opposite situation, where the mental health issue is intractable and the likelihood of fully returning to society outside of a psychiatric institution is low. This book brings up some excellent points and was a great read. I was allowed an early release of the audiobook. I flew through it, knowing many of the places and the situations. It gives a fantastic look at how this system works, or doesn't work, and is highly worth the time. The narrator, Christina Delaine, did a great job with this as well. #CoupleFoundSlain #Netgalley #MacmillanAudio

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    I found this nonfiction book about Brian Brechtold who, in 1992, murdered both of his parents. The description of how it all went down and was really detailed but not with boring unnecessary details. Brian came from a family who had mental health problems among quite a few of them. It became evident to me (though I'm not in the medical field) that he, too, had mental problems. I found the story of Brian's murders fascinating. I thought it would've been planned and that he killed them with great I found this nonfiction book about Brian Brechtold who, in 1992, murdered both of his parents. The description of how it all went down and was really detailed but not with boring unnecessary details. Brian came from a family who had mental health problems among quite a few of them. It became evident to me (though I'm not in the medical field) that he, too, had mental problems. I found the story of Brian's murders fascinating. I thought it would've been planned and that he killed them with great intention; however, after he killed them he went to the police after a week or ten days and turned himself in but claimed he didn't know if he really had killed them, dreamt it, or even hallucinated it. The investigation into the murders was quite informative. Brian eventually ended up being placed in Perkins Psychiatric Hospital and the author used that setting to further the reader's insight into mentally ill people who murder. The data was given in an informal way so I didn't feel bogged down with stats. At the same time, Brottman informed her readers with some interesting things about people who murder their parents, which I had never known before. I highly recommend this book. I would like to thank Macmillan Audio and Henry Holt and Co. for a free audiobook and eARC of this book respectively in exchange for my opinion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Civille

    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. He said that he was possessed and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and ruled not criminally responsible on grounds of insanity. Mikita Brottman does a fantastic job of describing Brian's life leading up to the murders and his experiences in the psychiatric hospital. Brian is in this hospital for 27-years where he experiences some unbelievable 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. He said that he was possessed and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and ruled not criminally responsible on grounds of insanity. Mikita Brottman does a fantastic job of describing Brian's life leading up to the murders and his experiences in the psychiatric hospital. Brian is in this hospital for 27-years where he experiences some unbelievable scenarios some of which he is a part of, others where he is just a witness. Most importantly, this audiobook brought me awareness of some issues within the psych wards and lives that can just be turned on and forgotten. Thank you @netgalley and @macmillan.audio for this #gifted advanced listening copy in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Couple Found Slain is a true crime drama unlike anything I've ever read. It starts with the murder of the mother and father and quickly we learn that Brian Bechtold is responsible- the son. He goes on the run for a few days but turns himself into a Texas jail where is returned to Maryland his home state. The main focus of the book is Brian's life in the Perkins Hospital Center where he has been since the death of his parents in 1992. It seems Brian has been living there for decades while many of Couple Found Slain is a true crime drama unlike anything I've ever read. It starts with the murder of the mother and father and quickly we learn that Brian Bechtold is responsible- the son. He goes on the run for a few days but turns himself into a Texas jail where is returned to Maryland his home state. The main focus of the book is Brian's life in the Perkins Hospital Center where he has been since the death of his parents in 1992. It seems Brian has been living there for decades while many of the other prisoners have been released. This book is so interesting and disturbing as we see how those are truly treated in mental health facilities . Defiantly a must read! Out July 6th! Thanks to NetGalley for my advanced ebook copy.

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